Friday, June 30, 2006

LISA

LISA (for Libre Service affranchissement, i.e. self-service stamping) is the French acronym we use to name automatic stamps, also known as ATM. The standard LISA, the one you can buy in any post office, is not very nice. It is light blue and does not give a very nice result when put on a cover. Once or twice a year, the French post issues "commemorative" LISA, usually to celebrate a stamp fair such as "Le Salon d'Automne" which takes place each year in November. At this occasion, and only during the stamp fair, you can find few machines from which you can buy such commemorative LISA. Here are two examples of such labels. The first one was sold during the 57th Salon d'Automne in November 2003 and pictures monument from Paris and Luxemburg.



The second one was sold during the 58th Salon d'Automne in November 2004 and pictures monuments from Paris and Athens. Here you can also see the commemorative postmark of the stamp fair.



This is always a little bit difficult to buy such LISA. The stamp fair usually lasts only for three or four days, and there is always a big queue in front of those machines. Last year I had to wait 1H30 before being able to buy some. Very often you can find dealers, queuing in front of the machines to buy big bunch of labels. On the very first day of the issue of the LISA it even takes longer because for each label, people takes a receipt. It seems this is the way ATM are more interesting : the label and the receipt for the first day of issue. I know that collecting ATM is very famous in Germany. In France this is less the case.

Last week, during the "Salon du timbre" the French post has issued not only one but three commemorative LISA. Here is a picture of those new ones. The scan is not very good but you can see that they are quite colorful. The first LISA pictures Garnier opera house (the old opera house in Paris), the second commemorates Mozart’s year and the last one pictures exotic fruits.


It is a pity that such LISA are sold for such a short period, and only in one place. I think they should be available in a larger scale. On the other hand, may be this is the rarity that makes them interesting... As always.
If you are interested in ATM, you should visit the blog of George that is listed in my links section. It is very well done and you can see ATM from all over the world.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cover from Slovenia, Europa and Children’s books

I finally found some time to switch on my scanner and to scan this nice cover I got last week. It comes from Slovenia and has been sent by a reader of my blog, Bob, as a late birthday gift. Thank you very much Bob. What a nice set of stamps. If I’m not wrong they are all 2006 issues, except the one on the right (with the dog) that was issued in 2005.
The blue stamp with cats on it is the 2006 Europa issue from Slovenia. The Europa subject of the year is “integration as seen by the children”. The idea to picture integration with a black cat, a white cat and a spotted kitten is rather nice. A nice way to illustrate the mixing of cultures. It makes me think that I will write something about Europa issues in a further post. By the way I have a problem with the subject of this year. I read it is “integration as seen by the children” and effectively a lot of countries have chosen some children’s drawings to illustrate their Europa stamps. But the issue from France, or even the one from Great Britain is not a child’s drawing. Does it mean they took into account only a part of the subject ? Are there other countries that took some liberties with the subject ?
I also like the second stamp from the left. It pictures Twinkle Sleepyhead a character from a children’s book. It has been issued together with the fourth stamp from the left, that pictures Spotty the ball. If somebody has some information about those two characters I would be happy to learn about them. I like children’s stories ;-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

General Post Office in Dublin

I have not much time to write these days due to a huge amount of work, but I wanted to drop some lines in my blog anyway. As I said in some previous posts, I have spent last weekend in Dublin. I had a wonderful time, the weather was good, except some rain on Saturday but not too much. I even found the opportunity to buy some stamps. I visited the General Post Office (GPO), located on O’Connel street, one of the main streets of Dublin. This is a very impressive building, as you can see on the stamp. A very nice place, where there is also a philatelic shop. I had a nice time enjoying the quietness of the GPO while the street outside was awfully busy with big amount of tourists…
The GPO is not only a nice place, but it has played an important role in the history of Ireland. On Easter Monday of 1916 around 2.000 men have seized control of the GPO and some other strategic points in Dublin, in order to proclaim the political independence from Britain and the creation of an Irish republic. This was the start of a succession of events that would lead to the establishment on the Irish free state in 1921. The stamp commemorates the 90th anniversary of what is called the “Easter rising” and pictures the front of the GPO as it stands today, newly restored.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Do you know Andre Buzin ?


I’m back from my long and nice weekend. I’ll tell you more about my stay in Dublin in a future post. Today I want to speak about André Buzin. Do you know him ? He is a Belgian artist, specialized in paintings of animals and flora. He is famous in the philatelic world because he is the designer of the “birds” definitive stamps from Belgium since 1985. He has issued his first stamp in 1984 for Zaire, and has also issued stamps for Rwanda.
His stamps are always very impressive by the quality and the precision of their design. I like them a lot and if you don’t know already the “birds” stamps from Belgium, I invite you to have a look to the
Belgian post philatelic website. I know that some collectors have focused their collection only on stamps designed by André Buzin and if I’m not wrong there is even a philatelic association dedicated to Buzin’s stamps ! I myself own several stamps he has issued and all of them are as nice as the one I have chosen to illustrate my post.
This stamp has been issued on the 19th of April 2004 by Belgium and pictures an Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), one of the world’s largest owl that can be found in Europe.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bad mood... and away to Dublin


Yes I’m in a bad mood today. I was supposed to have a day off and to take this opportunity to visit the stamp fair that is running in Paris since last weekend (Le Salon du Timbre et de l’Ecrit) but due to too much work I had to cancel this day off ! And I won’t be able to visit the fair. Too bad. Last time in 2004 it was the same, I could not go there because of work.
Anyway, a good news. Tonight I’ll leave for a three days weekend to Dublin. May be I’ll have the opportunity to deal with stamps there, who knows ? I have been once to Dublin already. For a rugby match. This time it is just to visit. And enjoy. To illustrate this post I searched for a non Irish stamp picturing Dublin and I found this one. It is from Poland. It has been issued on the 25th of October 2005 and it belongs to a set of five stamps about capital cities of the European Union (the other cities pictured in the set are : Paris, Lisbon, Budapest and Vilnius). So that’ll be all for today… See you on Monday and have a great time with yours stamps

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stamps as ambassadors for a country ?


Last weekend, I read an interesting article in the April/June issue of SETEMPE (the South African Post Office philatelic magazine) written by Hanri de la Harpe (I must admit I don’t know him). The article is about stamp design, and about what should be pictured on stamps. I wanted to quote two sentences that I find interesting :
  • Stamps are important “ambassadors” for a country so their theme must reflect issues that are important to that country and could inform other countries about the diversity, potential, highlights and achievements of the country
  • Stamps should have meaning for their country’s population as a whole and will also be interpreted by the global population. For this reason, the stamp’s message must be clear, easy to understand and accessible to people of all walks of life and all educational levels and the theme should not exclude a social group of any community

I must admit that I quite agree with those statements. Then it made me think of a set of stamps, well, more exactly a set of Souvenir Sheets that France has started to issue in 2003. Tow souvenir sheets per year, ten stamps per sheet (!) so it gives twenty stamps per year and one hundred for the complete set, since I have understood that the complete set will be with ten sheets (last issue should be in 2007). The title of those sheets is “La France à vivre/La France à voir” (France to live/France to see) and is supposed to picture some representative aspects of the French culture in various fields : architecture, gastronomy, folklore etc. When I heard about this is idea I thought it was a very good one. But then I was disappointed by the result. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t like the overall design of the stamps sheets, and the stamp themselves are not so nice. I tried to use them on covers for my pen pals (in order to use those stamps as “ambassadors” of the culture of my own country) but the result is disappointing and it’s hard to get a nice cover with those stamps.
The one I show on this post is the number 7 in the set (ok, I did not choose it only because there is a frog on it !). This is the latest one, issued the 26th of March 2006. So you can decide by yourself if you like it or not. The subjects shown on the stamps are : la mirabelle (mirabelle plum), les marais salants (salt marsh), le carnaval (carnival), les vendanges (grape harvest), le café (coffee shop), le beurre (the butter), la transhumance (transhumance), Le roquefort (Roquefort cheese), L’huile d’olive (Olive oil), Les Hortillonages (no idea how to translate this one !). No all very French specific, but I guess that finding one hundred French specific subjects is not so easy…

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Over-printed stamps

I have always been fascinated by over-printed stamps. I don’t know why. I know that some people are specialized in collecting over-printed stamps, and I understand that it must be a very interesting field for collection. Over-printing stamps has very often led to a lot of varieties. What is sad is that there is a lot of fakes in this area, because they are often easy to produce. So, take care when you buy over-printed stamps that are expensive.
Stamps have been over-printed for various reasons : to commemorate a specific event, because of change of postal tariff, because of change of currency, or because of change of name of the country.
The stamp I have chosen has been over-printed for the last two reasons. Originally the stamp has been issued by Basutoland in 1954. It belongs to the definitive set and pictures the searing of angora goats. It was bearing a face value of 10s. For those who don’t know, Basutoland is a former British colony located in South Africa. Before 1933, Basutoland was using stamps from South Africa, but then started to issue its own stamp. Until 1960, Basutoland was using the British monetary system. In 1961 a new currency started to be used : the Rand. This is why this stamp was re-issued in 1961 bearing a new face of 1 Rand. Then the 4th of October 1966 Basutoland became independent and took the name of Lesotho. So the same stamp was re-issued the 1st of November 1966 with “Lesotho” printed on it. A very rare variety of this stamp also exists with the name of the country misspelled as “Lseotho”. I don’t have this variety in my collection, if you have it, I’ll be happy to get a scan of it.
I guess you understand why I have this stamp in my collection. No ? 1966…? It is a part of my 1966 stamps collection (see my previous post) ;-)

Monday, June 19, 2006

The year 1966 in stamps

At the beginning of this year, I have decided to start a new collection : I decided to gather all stamps that have been issued in 1966, the year of my birth. I don’t know why I had suddenly this idea. May be this is because I was becoming 40. In fact it was triggered by a story I read in a philatelic French newspaper where there was an article about a grand father who offered to his grand daughter, for a her 15th birthday, the complete set of the stamps of the year of her birth ! I really thought this was a nice idea and I started to check how the year 1966 was as far as stamps are concerned.
I know what you will tell me : this is an almost impossible mission. The number of stamps issued worldwide in 1966 must be quite high. And some of them have today reached prices that I will never be able to afford. But I take it as a challenge, and I’ll see what comes out from this quest.
In several months I have already accumulated a rather good number of stamps. What strikes me when I browse my collection is the very high number of beautiful stamps it contains. For instance, almost all stamps issued by France at this time are recess-printed, and some of them are very nice. Much nicer than the new issues we have had since several years. I will surely have the opportunity to show some of them to you in this blog.
My last purchase in this matter is the set of four stamps that I have selected to illustrate my post. They have been issued by Laos on the 20th of May 1966 and they picture various aspects of the local folklore. From left to right and top to bottom you can see :
- Scott 131, procession of the wax pagoda
- Scott 132, wrist-tying ceremony
- Scott 130, women building ceremonial sand hills
- Scott 129, ordination of Buddhist monk
(I mixed up the stamps when scanning them...)
I really like this set of stamps. I have other stamps from Laos, also from 1966 and they are also very beautiful.

If you have any mint stamps issued in 1966 that you want to sell or exchange, don’t hesitate to contact me. And I’m also desperately looking for a cover postmarked on the 9th of May 1966 (the day of my birth). If you have one, I would me glad to see it !

Friday, June 16, 2006

Taj Mahal

Here is another cover I received through the CCCC (Cover Collectors Circuit Club) that I mentioned few days ago. I find it quite nice and I thought it could be interesting to show it on my blog. I was very happy when I found it in my mail box after a hard day of work !
It comes from India, and again, this is a First Day Cover that has traveled through the postal service. Its condition is very good as you can see on the scan. I like the stamp of this cover, big and nice, and the postmark is also very nice, repeating the subject of the stamp. As you see, the stamp pictures the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is located in Âgrâ, in the north of India. The construction of this beautiful monument has been commissioned by the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shâh Jahân to pay tribute to his wife Ajumand Bano Begum (known also as Mumtaz Mahal) who died the 17th of June 1631 when giving birth to their 14th child. The construction has started in 1632 and there is a big debate about the exact date of the end : 1643/1644 for some, 1648 for some others… According to this cover the end date is officially assumed to be 1654 since the stamp commemorates the 350th anniversary of the end of the construction and was issued in 2004.
A lot of legends are told around the Taj Mahal and its construction. One of the famous one is that a replica in black marble was supposed to be built on the other side of the river. The most recent findings show that this is really a legend…
I put here a close up of the stamp and postmark so that you can see it better. Nice, isn’t it ?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Souvenir sheets


Yesterday was a very busy day at work, so I did not find any time to write something in my blog. A day without stamps, is like… as we would say in French : “un repas sans fromage” (a meal without cheese) ;-)
Hopefully today I have a bit more time, and as announced few days ago I would like to speak about souvenir sheets.

Nowadays, almost all post offices issue stamps in souvenir sheets. This usually gives very nice result and very nice item to add to a collection. But honestly, aren’t they more items to please philatelists (and to make them spend more money) than real postal items ? Who is really using those souvenir sheets for postal service ? Very often they are too big to be used directly on a cover. How many persons really destroy those nice items to take out the stamps ?
I’m even more annoyed when the stamps are issued only in a souvenir sheet and are not available as separated items. This is the case for the stamps I presented in my post about Soccer world cup 2006, and this is the case for the sheet I used to illustrate this post. This one is for me even more extreme.

This souvenir sheet has been issued the 4th of April 2006 and belongs to a set started in 2003 about gardens of France. The sheet pictures two very nice gardens located very near Paris : the “ parc de la Valllée aux Loups” and Albert-Khan gardens. The overall design is quite nice, and the shape of the sheet is also interesting. All souvenir sheets of this set have a similar layout.
I said this is an extreme case, because as you can see, the souvenir sheet is rather big (around 30 cm long), with only two stamps “lost” in the middle. Who is really going to tear off this sheet to get out the stamps ? And the very high face value of the stamps does not help to have them used on mail !
This souvenir sheet bears the indication “Salon du timbre 2006” which is a big stamp fair that will start in Paris this weekend and last for one week. I will try to go there and I will for sure speak about it in my blog. This stamp fair is the occasion for French post to issue a bunch of new stamps…

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mushrooms from Pakistan, and the Cover Collectors Circuit Club

I’m a member of the Cover Collectors Circuit Club (also known as CCCC). In case you don’t know it, this is an international philatelic association which gives you the possibility to get nice covers from various different countries. How does it work ? A “circuit” is a list of five or six members. An originating member sends the circuit to the first name in the list. Then the circuit is sent from one member to the next one in the list. At the end the circuit is mailed back to the originating member. At each step the receiver gives a grade (bad/good/excellent) to the cover he has received. There are members all over the world, so you can have the opportunity to get covers from countries from where you rarely receive mail. This is worth a try, the fee being very low I think. The CCCC has given me the opportunity to be in touch with various collectors with whom I have had (and still have) very fruitful exchanges.To illustrate this post I have chosen a cover I received from Pakistan !

This is not a place from where I get mail every day ! The cover is rather nice I think. The bad point is that it arrived open (not by accident but on purpose) and even torn on the lower left corner as you can see on the scan. The paper of the cover is very thin and easily gets torn. The four stamps belong to a set of ten stamps issued the 1st of October 2005 by Pakistan about mushrooms (Scott 1071 for the complete set). A very popular topic among topical collectors. For the specialists the stamps picture (clockwise) the following species : Amanita caesara, Lepiota procera, Coprinus comatus and Amanita vaginata. I don’t know much about mushrooms, I think they are all edible, but I’m not sure. If you know something about those mushrooms, just let me know. I’m always happy to learn new things.
The postmark from Islamabad is also really good, even if a little bit heavy (I have increased the contrast on the picture, in reality the postmark is no so dark). It is now almost impossible to get such clean postmark from France, except if you go to special philatelic offices. Or you have to be very nice with the postman. When you just drop mails in a public mail box, you can be sure that the cover will come out with an ugly postmark. Ok, I’m not going to re-launch the debate I read in almost all European philatelic newspapers on how postal services sometimes “spoil” nice stamps… It seems to be a common problem.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Joint issues (cont'd)

As an echo to my last post, George a collector from Taiwan has sent me the scan of the indian issue for the France-India joint issue. So here are the stamps:



There have also been issued in a souvenir sheet. Nice, isn't it ?

Joint issues

I’m back from a busy weekend. Full of activities but none related to stamps. Too bad.

For today’s post I wanted to speak about joint issues. I rather like the idea of two (or more) countries issuing jointly one or several stamps. I think this is a good way to show the cooperation between two different countries. I even like it more when both countries issue the stamps with the same design. Joint issue is a nice field for a collection, if I’m not wrong there is even a specialized stamp catalog listing all joint issues that have been produced so far. There are much more than what I would have thought…
Since three or four years, French post has started to produce regularly joint issues, twice or three times a year. Last year we have had one with Vatican, one with Czech republic, in 2004 there was one with Belgium and one with Canada. For 2006 we have one planned with United Nations and one with Argentina, at least.To illustrate this post I have chosen the stamps of the 2003 joint issue with India. They were issued the 1st of December 2003. The stamps from India use the same design, except that the stamps are a little bit smaller (the French stamps are rather large : 40mmx52mm) and the background is yellow instead of white. The first stamp pictures a cock from a French illumination of the 15th century.

The other one pictures a peacock on an Indian jewel from the 19th century.

I love those stamps, I think they are really beautiful. I have used them a lot on covers and they have always got a lot of success among my pen pals… Both stamps are recess-printed. They are my preferred stamps among the ones issued the last five years by the French post.

Friday, June 09, 2006

2006 Soccer world cup in Germany


I could hardly choose another topic for today's post ! In case you don't know it already, today is the start of the 2006 Soccer world cup in Germany. I'm not really a big fan of soccer (I prefer rugby) but still, this is a big event that one can not ignore. Everybody in France hopes that french team (that we call "Les Bleus") will do the same miracle than in 1998 and will win the cup. And everybody prays so that we don't have the same nightmare than in 2002 where the team was out after the first round ! Myself I do not really believe we have our chances, I would really bet on a final between Brazil and Germany.

I illustrated this post with the souvenir sheet issued by french post to commemorate this new world cup. It has been issued on the 29th of May 2006 and it bears not less than ten stamps ! ( the stamps are not sold individually). I don't really find the sheet very beautiful but I like its originality : the round stamps (France issued round stamps for the first time in 1998 for.. guess what... the soccer worl cup !), the mixture of stamps with various shapes, the stamps in the corners which are not aligned with the sheet...

In case you don't understand french, the stamps in the corners are picturing from left to right and top to bottom : the substitutes, the supporters, the coaches and the journalists. The round stamps picture various soccer actions. And the last stamp pictures a referee (with the traditional yellow jersey). I really appreciate that they chose to picture a referee. I do have a deep respect for referees, in all sports. I think they are doing a very difficult job.

In a future post I'll speak a bit more about souvenir sheets, in general, and I will share with you my opinion about the ones issued by France.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Prehistoric paintings

I’m thrilled ! I got my first comment on my blog ! (see previous post) Thank you very much Adrian. Following the suggestion of Adrian, I’m going to speak about a French stamp today. Here it is.


It has been issued the 29th of May 2006 and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the discover of the prehistoric cave of Rouffignac. It is located in what is called the Perigord noir (black Perigord) in the south west of France. Its cave contains prehistoric paintings that are more than 13000 years old. Around 270 different paintings can be found in this cave (mainly mammoth, bison, rhinoceros but also men). Those paintings are located on three different levels in galleries that are more than 10km long.

I have chosen this stamp, first because I like it. I have always been interested in archaeology. When I was young I wanted to be an archaeologist. In my wildest dreams I was Howard Carter discovering the tomb of Tuthankamon ! This is true that I was more into Ancient Egypt than into Prehistory. Later I realized that I would earn more money dealing with computers than digging ancient tombs. So I changed my plans. But still, I have participated to some archaeological digs in my youth.

But I chose this stamp mainly because this is the most recent stamp issued by “La Poste” and which is recess-printed. As Adrian says in his comment, France is still issuing stamps that are recess-printed. But unfortunately, less and less French stamps are printed in such a way. French philatelists complain a lot about the quality of stamps issued by the French post, and I know that some of them have even decided to stop collecting new issues. Recess-printing is not used so much anymore, compared to what was done in the past, or what is done in some other European countries such as Monaco, or Sweden I think. It’s a pity because recess-printing gives always very beautiful stamps…

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Philately and Internet

I use internet a lot to help me in my stamps collection. First to buy stamps. My first source is Ebay. This is the first place where I bought stamps on the net. I think I am at somewhere around 130 successful transactions now on Ebay. I never had any problems. Well, may be once only, when I bought some frog stamps that were claimed to be MNH (mint never hinged) and that finally appeared to be hinged. But after few mail exchanges, the seller has acknowledged his mistake and I got my money back. Of course you have to be careful anyway : you must really have a close look to the scan, you must read carefully the description and the feedback score of the seller. And you should not hesitate to ask questions before bidding. Furthermore I never bid on expensive stamps.
I also buy stamps from online stamps dealers. Some have very good on line catalogues and provide an easy and secured way to buy. I also buy stamps directly from foreign post offices. I have found a very useful web page that lists the web sites of a big number of foreign post offices, it can be found at
http://www.grcdi.nl/linkspo.htm . Not all post offices propose an on line shop, but a lot of them provide at least information about the stamps they issue. This is funny to see how different the service can be from one country to another. I must admit that French Post is not the best one on this matter…

I also use Internet to find information about stamps. I learn about new issues, about the subject around the stamps. For instance, I learned a lot about frogs while browsing some scientific websites to help me complete my website. Internet is really an impressive source of information. But you must know how to search for information and also you must take care that all what is written on the Net is not necessarily true.
I like to browse personal websites of stamps collectors, even if they don’t deal with my topics. Some are very nice and are full of very interesting information. I just want to mention one:
Reptiles and Amphibians on stamps which is very well done and which gave me a huge amount of information for my collection.

More recently I discovered philatelic blogs. I read a few of them almost every day and I’m always impressed by amount of things you can learn by just reading such blogs. My favourite one is the one from Michael (
cddstamps weblog) where you can learn a lot, and on top of this you can answer the quiz and get prices ! Michael does a very good job with his blog.
I wanted also to mention the other blogs that I read :
Suzi’s Stamps & Stuff, In search of stamps, Stamps Chicken Things, Akphilately. They are all very interesting and well done.
For French speaking people I recommend also a very good one,
Dominique’s weblog.

This is the very good work of those people that made me decide to start my own blog. I hope mine will be as interesting as theirs…

Thursday, June 01, 2006

First Day Covers and relic species


I do not collect first day covers. I’m not even really interested in what I call "mint" FDC, i.e. first day covers that have never travelled through the postal service. I think they are too much philatelic and not postal enough. Each time I attend to a first day ceremony, I’m impressed by the care taken by some collectors to prepare very nice covers to get them postmarked with the first day cancel. Some of them are really beautiful. Small pieces of art by themselves.
I always wonder if FDC have any specific value, I mean more than the cancelled stamps that they bear ? And can they be used for philatelic exhibition ? My feeling is that answer to both questions is no, except may be for old FDC.
Nevertheless, I like first day covers when they have been "used" through the postal service. Even if it means that they are not in perfect condition. I find them more authentic… After all, the main purpose of stamps is to pay for a postal service. Sometimes we forget it I think.

The cover I chose for this posting comes from China, from one of my philatelic pen pals. I like this cover for several reasons. First of all I like the stamps. They have been issued the 12th of March 2006 by China post. They picture what they call "relic species", i.e. species that have survived disasters due to geographical, geological, climatic or other special reasons. The species are (from left to right) :

  • The maidenhair tree (Ginko biloba ) : this plant is often called a living fossil. This is the oldest tree on earth. It has appeared more than 300 millions years ago and has survived through all the climatic changes that our planet has experienced
  • The Chinese swamp cypress (Glyptostrobus pensilis) : this species in almost extinct in wild areas due to over cutting for its scented wood. But it can be found in rice fields where it is used for its roots that help stabilize the soil by reducing erosion
  • The Dove tree (Davidia involucrata) : it got its name because its flowers look like wings of a flying dove
  • The Chinese Tulip tree (Liriodendron chinensis) : well, I don’t have much information about this one…
I also like this cover because its condition is rather good, even if it came from China to France through the postal service (the left border looks better in reality than on the scan). The sender took a great care when putting the stamps to have them aligned in a nice way, and the postmark is also very good. Which is normal for a first day cancel, you will say !




United Nations stamps


I’m happy. Yesterday I have received my last purchase : the United Nations new issues for endangered species. I bought it from the UN web site. I use internet a lot to buy stamps. This new issue is a set of twelve stamps (four per office) picturing endangered amphibians and reptiles, issued in bloc of four se-tenant. To illustrate this post I have chosen the one from the office of Geneva, because this is the one I prefer. I like it because it is really colourful.
The frog on the top left corner is a Tomato Frog (Dyscohus antongilii). It is a rather large frog, that can be found mainly in Madagascar. It is usually red or orange on the back, with some black spots on the side. Its skin does not produce toxins but acts as glue to deter predators. I have a poster with a tomato frog pinned on the wall of my office.
The frog on the right bottom corner is a Golfodulcean Poison Frog (Phyllobates vitatus). This is a poison frog that can be found in Costa Rica.
Both species are endangered, as a lot of other frog species. I don’t speak about the two other stamps because I don’t much about the reptiles they picture.
I’m also glad to see that there is a small frog in the corner of the sheet… Now I have to find some time to put those stamps on my website.

I have never received any cover franked with UN stamps. I guess this is normal since, if I’m not mistaken, such covers can be sent only from the UN buildings. As I don’t know anybody working for the UN organization… I wonder if there is really a need for so many UN stamps ?
In fact I realize that I even never received a cover with a frog stamp on it. I bought some, on auction website, but I never got one directly in my mail box… This is a pity…

I swear : next time I will speak about something else than frog stamps ;-)

Introduction

Luxembourg 1985
Scott 735 - Yvert&Tellier 1086


This is it. This is the D Day. I have decided to start my philatelic blog. I’m thinking of it since several weeks. Now, it’s time to try !
I have called my blog “My philately” because I intend to speak about the stamps I like, and about the nice covers that I can get from all over the world, thanks to several philatelic pen pals or other contacts.
My objective with this blog is to write about philately, and hopefully to be read by some people so that we can exchange opinions or information about stamps.
For this first posting, I thought the best was to introduce myself, so that, you readers, can know me a bit better.
In few words, my name is Eric, I was born in 1966 in France. I live in Paris, and I work in mobile telecommunication for a big French company.
Apart from philately I have several other hobbies : rugby, science-fiction, cooking, surfing on the Web…
I collect (seriously) stamps since 6 or 7 years only. As a child, I started to collect stamps after a friend of my parents offered me a pack of 500 stamps from Spain. I remember the time I could spend putting my Spanish stamps in my album and trying to find them in the Yvert&Tellier catalog that my aunt had offered me. But, getting older, I was more and more involved in school work and could not find any time to go on with my stamps collection.
Only few years ago I suddenly decided to go back to stamp collecting and to do it seriously this time. Since then, I spend a lot of my free time trying to get stamps for my collections, learning about philately, reading philatelic newspapers, surfing the web looking for stamps sites or reading philatelic blogs.
My main collection is a topical one : I collect all philatelic material about frogs and toads. Why such topic ? It would be too long to explain. I have already gathered a quite interesting amount of stamps. I have started to build a website around my collection, if you are interested, click on the frog stamp below. And don’t forget to give me your opinion about it !
Otherwise I collect French stamps (of course), but also stamps from China, all stamps issued in 1966 (the year of my birth, just in case you forgot), stamps about rugby, science-fiction, ancient Egypt.
I’m always interested in beautiful stamps, even if they do not belong to those topics. And I’m always happy to learn the story behind the stamps. I realize every day that collecting stamps is a very good way of learning a lot about a lot of different things.
I’m a member of several philatelic associations, even though I’m not very active in them due to lack of time. I’m a member of the AFPT (Association Française de Philatélie Thématique), ATA (American topical association), APS (American philatelic society), CCCC (Covers Circuit Collectors Club), ISWSC (International society of worldwide stamps collectors), and several other covers circuits clubs.

I think that’s it for the introduction. To finish this first post a word about the stamp I chose. This is a stamp issued by Luxembourg the 23rd of September 1985. The stamp pictures a nice Hyla arborea (Green tree frog).
If you click on the stamp you will access to my website : The Philatelic Frog.