Thursday, September 28, 2006

Innovations

On the 19th of September this year, Irish post (An post) has issued two stamps to commemorate the Ryder cup that was held in Ireland from the 22nd to the 24th of September. The particularity of those two stamps is that they are “lenticular” or “moving”. They are composed of several pictures inter-laced together with a new process so that when you tilt the stamp in front of your eyes, you see the picture actually moving. In the case of those two stamps you see the golf club moving and hitting the ball. This can not be seen on this scan unfortunately, but if you want to see them moving you can check at : http://www.irishstamps.ie/IrishStamps/ .

If I’m not wrong this is not the first time that moving stamps are issued. I think New Zealand was the first country to issue such stamps for the Olympic games issue of 2004.. I’m always interested in innovation in stamps design. I think this one is funny, probably not very useful but funny.
Another innovation that can be seen recently is the usage of “thermal” ink. As on this new issue from New Zealand commemorating the Gold Rush.


If you rub the dark spot of the stamp, the heat of your finger will make appear some gold nuggets in the plate ! This technique has also been used on stamps from other countries, as in Finland recently.

I’m just thinking that “innovative” stamps could be a nice subject for collection…

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Naturalists

Even if I’m a frog stamps collector, I’m always interested in fauna and flora on stamps. Recently, while doing some research around frogs and toads, I have been more and more interested also in naturalists that have discovered and even named new animal and vegetal species. So I was happy when I found this set of stamps, while sorting a worldwide mix that I recently purchased.



This set has been issued for the Falklands Islands Dependencies on the 4th of November 1985. It pictures famous naturalists and endangered species that they have discovered. I really like these stamps, even though I’m not really able to explain why.

The naturalists that are pictured on the stamps are Dumont d’Urville (French), Johann Reinhold Forster (German), Johann Georg Adam Forster (German and son of the previous one) and Sir Joseph Banks (British).

I have seen in my Scott catalog that these stamps are from the same type that four stamps issued for Falklands Islands (not “dependencies” this time) also in November 1985. If somebody reading my blog has these stamps I would be happy to get a scan of them. Even better, if they are available for exchange, I’m ready to study any proposal.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cover from India


For today, I have chosen this cover that I received last week from India. It was pretty damaged during the transport, even if this does not show too much on the scan. The stamps are cancelled with the postmark from the philatelic bureau of Trichur. The cancel seems quite nice, it shows an elephant head if I’m not wrong. The three stamps show various Indian schools. Clockwise, the stamps picture the Indraprastha girls school (issued 8th of July 2006), the Calcutta girls High School (issued 21st of April 2006) and the Sri Pratap College (issued 15th of June 2006).

I must admit that I do not know much about stamps from India. But I found a lot of interesting information on the web site “Stamps of India”.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Cactuses

Last week, at the same time than the Russian cover that I showed on Friday, I have received this cover from Czech republic

First thing to be noticed is the cancel, of course (click on the picture to zoom). If I understood well, this cover was sent during a philatelic and numismatic fair during which this special cancel was used.The stamp belongs to a set of four, issued on the 13th of September. The four stamps of the set picture cactuses that grow flowers. Here is the full set.



As you can see they have been issued by pair “se-tenant”. From lest to right and top to bottom, the following species are shown : Obregonia denegrii (coming from Mexico), Gymnocalycium denudatum (one of the very few hybrid cultivar), Cintia knizei (from Bolivia) and Astrophytum asterias (also from Mexico).I must admit I love cactuses, so I was very happy to receive this cover and this set of stamps

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lighthouses from Russia

Here is a nice cover I received this week from Russia. The three large stamps are belonging to a set issued the 16th of August 2006 and picturing lighthouses from the Barentsevo and Beloe seas. On each stamp, there is a map indicating the location of the pictured lighthouse. This is interesting to see how different they are. The other small stamp is probably a definitive one, but I don’t know much about it.
I’m not really into lighthouses, but I know several people that are interested by them. And it seems this is a very popular topic among topical stamps collectors. I’m not surprised they usually give nice results on stamps.
By the way, while I was looking for some information about those stamps, I found an interesting web site where you can find a lot of information about stamps from all former Soviet Union countries : http://home.nestor.minsk.by/fsunews/ .

Thursday, September 21, 2006

1949 Air mail stamp

I feel a little bit ashamed that I did not update my blog regularly these last days, but time is running so fast, and so many things to do… Well, it has been a long time since last time I have shown an old French stamp, isn’t it ? So here is one.

Why do I show this one ? Because I received recently, from one of my philatelic pen pals, his wish list for French stamps and among the list there was this stamp. When I looked at it, I thought that it is really a beautiful stamp. It has been issued in 1949. This is an air mail stamp (hence the face value of 100f). It has been designed and engraved by Pierre Gandon, a famous stamp designer/engraver. Of course this stamp has been recess-printed, as almost all stamps issued by France at this time.
It pictures two important monuments of Paris : the Alexander III Bridge and the Grand Palais. The Grand Palais is an exhibition hall that has been constructed for the universal exhibition of Paris in 1900. The bridge has also been built for the same occasion. If you have ever been to Paris, I’m sure you have seen them. The Grand Palais has been closed for several years (between 1993 and 2005) for refection works, because some piece of the roof were threatening to fall. Now it has been reopened and it is a very nice place.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cover from Belgium

Well, I do not have much time to update my blog these days. I do not have much time to deal with stamps at all.
Anyway I wanted to show you this cover that I received last year from Belgium. I have already mentioned here the nice birds definitive stamps designed by André Buzin. This cover bears not less than three different types of birds definitive stamps : the 0.02 euro one has been issued in 2003, the 0.01 one in 2004 and the 0.03 one has been issued in 2005. This gives a very nice result at the end, also when you see the clean postmark.The big stamp on the right corner is one of the two stamps belonging to a joint issue with Turkey from 2005 and picturing carpets and tapestry work.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Update about famous Eric on stamps

Some weeks ago I have announced that I was starting a new stamp collection : all stamps picturing or referring to someone named Eric. I also announced that I would keep you informed about the progress of my collection. I’m sure you are all impatient to know if I discovered any new stamps. So here is a small update.

First of all I found this strip of three stamps from Mali, issued in 1998 and picturing Eric Tabarly, the famous French navigator. The style of the stamps is very representative of the style of stamps from Mali at this period…

Then I also found these coil and booklet stamps from Sweden, issued in 1947, and commemorating the 100th anniversary of Erik Gustal Geijer, a famous historian, philosopher and poet.

Thanks to Adrian, I found this stamp from Great Britain. It belongs to a set issued in 1998 and picturing British comedians. This one pictures Eric Morecambe.


Also a stamp of 2004 from Belgium, picturing Eric Goeber, and belonging to a sheet about motocross champions.


And to conclude, more anecdotic, a souvenir sheet from Nevis, picturing Ariel, the little mermaid, and her lover Eric !



Two other stamps from Great Britain complete my current collection : one from the set of 2004 celebrating the 150 anniversary of the Royal Society of Arts that commemorates the creation of a font by Eric Gill, and one from the Children animal tales set of 2006 (common issue with USA) that pictures "The very hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

War tax stamps

I have recently received a mixture of worldwide stamps, there are mainly min stamps with some few exception for very old stamps. I have started sorting the stamps and the first ones that triggered my interest are those ones. If you read my blog since the beginning, you know that I’m fascinated by overprinted stamps, so you will not be surprised.


North Borneo was administrated by the British North Borneo Company from 1881 until 1946 when it became a British colony. Later North Borneo joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. At the basis, these stamps belong to a set issued in 1939. The 1c stamp pictures Buffalo transport and the 2c pictures a Palm cockatoo. Both stamps have been overprinted WAR TAX in 1941.
Stamps inscribed or overprinted WAR, WAR TAX, WAR STAMPS were issued to raise money in war time. Spain was the first one to issue stamps inscribed “IMPUESTO DE GUERRA” in 1874. The usage of such war stamps was mandatory on all mail during the period. The idea was re-used by the British empire in 1915 when Canada and many colonies issued war stamps until 1918. Only North Borneo has issued war tax stamps during the second world war. Only two types have been issued, and these are the ones I have found in my worldwide mixture….

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New face value on French stamps

Two weeks ago I have written about the postal rate increase that will happen in France on the 1st of October this year (see http://my-philately.blogspot.com/2006/08/change-of-postal-rate.html). For instance the standard postal rate for a letter below 20g will go from 0.53€ to 0.54€. And now the stamps with the new face value are coming. On the 18th of September the French post will issue a stamp picturing Thionville, a city located in the East of France. And this stamp will have the new face value of 0.54€.
In the same way, the 26th of September, French post will issue a joint issue with Romania. The stamps will be illustrated by sculptures from Constantin Brancusi. One of the stamps (The sleeping muse) bears the new face value of 0.54€ (I like this stamp a lot !) and the other one (The sleep) has a face value of 0.85€, the new standard rate for a letter below 20g for countries out of European community



Monday, September 11, 2006

Another large postmark, this time from Argentina

Last week I have shown a cover from New Zealand with a very large postmark. During the weekend, while going through my collection of covers, I found another one from another country. This one comes from Argentina. The postmark is also very clear and very large.
As usual, let’s give some information about the stamps. The four identical stamps on the right belong to the definitive fauna issue of 1995. They picture a condor. The other stamp has been issued in 2000 and belongs to a set of stamps about traditional objects. The stamp pictures a harvesting basket. Look at the perforation of the stamp. On the top there is a small notch on both side. I have seen this on several stamps. I think this is done for security reason, to make it more difficult to produce fake stamps. I guess this sort of thing has a name in the philatelic world. If somebody knows it, and if somebody has any information about this practice, I would be glad to hear from him/her.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Waltzing Matilda


Today a cover from Australia. I like this cover because of the strip of five stamps. It is a set of stamps issued in 1980 related to Australian folklore. The stamps illustrate the song “Waltzing Matilda” a very popular song in Australia, which is even sometimes considered as a unofficial anthem. It tells the story of a swagman who catches a sheep near a lake. To escape the police he jumps in the lake and gets drawn. After that his ghost haunts the lake. I know quite well this song because it is played at each international rugby test match that is held in Australia. This is always very nice to see tens of thousands of people, singing all together this song, before the kick off of the match. In 2003, I was in Sydney for the final of the rugby world cup and I remember that the lyrics of the song was printed on the back side of the train tickets you had to use to go to the stadium ! I don’t know if this song is played for all sports or only for rugby. If you want to know everything about this song check the site Who’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me ?
Just to be complete, some words about the other stamps : the one on the left is part of the Christmas issue of 1987. The one with the crab belongs to the definitive set of 1973. And the one with the butterfly (unfortunately the stamp is torn) belongs to the Nature of Australia set of 2004.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oval cancel


The post of today will take the form of a question. Last weekend, I received a parcel from USA. As it was coming from a stamp dealer, it was franked with stamps, witch was quite a good surprise. I show you here the section of the parcel with the stamps. And here comes the question. The stamps are cancelled with a double oval. And not a usual cancel with the date. The date stamp was present on several part of the parcel (a red cancel from Hewlett, New York, a portion of it can be seen on the red bottom corner of the scan) but not on the stamps. Does anybody know why this oval cancel was used ? Does is it mean anything special ? In which occasion is it used ? I think I already saw such oval cancel on a mail from USA…

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rugby

Speaking about the New Zealand cover yesterday made me realize that I did not mention here yet my second major collection : rugby on stamps. I’m a big fan of rugby and I have started since now six years, to collect all stamps and postmarks related to rugby. In fact there are not so many countries that have issued stamps about rugby. This is quite understandable since there are not so many countries in which rugby is a popular sport. If we compare to soccer there is a huge difference. Rugby is no more an Olympic sport since 1924, do you have any idea which team is the last Olympic champion of rugby ? Well, this is the team of USA ! Funny when you see that nowadays, and since a long time, USA is no more a big nation for rugby…
Next year, we will have the rugby world cup in France. This will be the occasion to get a new French stamp (even more if we win ;-) ), and probably from other countries too.
The souvenir sheet pictured here has been issued by New Zealand in 2003 to commemorate “Hong Kong 2004” the 17th Asian international stamp exhibition. The stamps used on the block are coming from a set that was issued the same year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of New Zealand rugby test match. The top stamp, pictures the well known black jersey of the “All blacks”, the formidable New Zealand national team, with the fern on the heart. The bottom stamp is a picture of the test match between England and New Zealand that was held in 1997.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cover from New Zealand

The cover I have selected for today comes from New Zealand. I have received it last week. The stamps on the right belong to the set of five issued on the 4Th of January 2006 to celebrate the Year of the Dog. The stamps picture a Labrador retriever (on the left) and a Golden retriever (on the right). The sender has kept the printed margin of the stamps. I always wonder if a stamp has more philatelic value if the margin is kept or not. Any idea ? I don’t know anything about the third stamp.
What I really like on this cover is the postmark. First of all it is very clear. But also it is really big. This is not the first time I get mail from New Zealand but this is the first time I get it with such a big postmark. I do not know if this is the “standard” cancel of Dunedin or if this is any special cancel. If somebody knows… I think I have some other covers, from some other countries, with such big postmark. I’ll have to check, and I’ll show them to you if I find them.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Frog from Nepal

Not much time to write today. Everybody is back from holidays, so a lot of work is waiting for me. Today I wanted to show you this stamp that I received last week from Nepal for my frog stamps collection. It belongs to a set of five stamps about bio-diversity and was issued the 12th of June. This one pictures a frog that can be found mainly in India, Bangladesh and Nepal : a Hill Stream Frog (Amolops formosus). I would like also to thank George from Taiwan for telling me about this stamp.
This is the first stamp I know from Nepal that pictures a frog. The list of countries that have issued stamps picturing frogs is now rather impressive. When I started this collection, I had no idea that it would be such a big collection. I must have something as 400 items now in my collection, just counting the stamps !

Friday, September 01, 2006

Cute animals from Germany


As you probably guessed, if you read regularly my blog, I’m interested in stamps about fauna. Even though my main collection is focused on frogs and toads, I’m always happy to get nice stamps picturing any type of animals. So you can imagine my pleasure when I got yesterday this set of stamps from Germany. I really find them cute. This is a set of stamps issued the 8th of June 2006 in the yearly series “Für die Jungend” (For the youth). I love the one with the young wild boars. I think these stamps must give a very nice result when put on a cover.
 
Speaking about fauna stamps, I have discovered a new blog, the blog of Richard (http://ricphila.blogspot.com/) , who is also a French philatelist and who is specializing in birds stamps. Have a look to his blog, and don’t worry, it is in English ;-)