Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A new cover from Korea

In my collection of covers from the whole world, I had only one from South Korea so far. Here is a second one that I received recently from a reader (Thanks a lot !), franked with three very recent stamps.

The stamp on the left, the one that is put vertically, belongs to a set of four stamps issued on the 28 September 2007. This set is the 4th set in a series started in 2004 about Korean bridges (four stamps per year). The stamp of the cover pictures Gwangan bridge, located in Busan, that connects Haeundae-gu to Suyeong-gu. It was completed in 2002 and officially opened in January 2003. Its total length is 7,420m, the suspension-bridge section being 900m long. This is the longest among all suspension bridges in Korea. I think the stamp of the cover (and by the way the four stamps of the set) is really nice. The night view of the bridge emphasizes the beautiful illumination that has been put in place on it.
The two other stamps belong to a set of four issued on the 5th of September. This set is the second in a series started last year about extreme sports. In 2006 the set of stamps was about skateboarding, this year it is about inline skating. The stamps picture a Flip and a Drop-in, two figures of the inline skating. This sport is more and more popular in almost all countries, including South Korea, where professional inline skaters start to appear.

You may notice something else on the cover : the small red bars that are located at the bottom of the cover are crossed. These bars are printed by the machine that are doing automatic sorting of the mail. It seems that during the automatic sorting of this cover, there was a error, the cover ended in Sceaux, another city of my department, but not in Montrouge, the city where I live. The cover was sent back from Sceaux to Montrouge by the postal clerks (There is a cancel from Sceaux on the back on the cover). Prior to that they had to cross the red bars to make sure the machine would not route again the cover to the wrong place ! Such mistake happens from time to time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cover from Croatia

I have received many covers from many countries, but last week I have received my first cover from Croatia. So I was rather happy about it. Here it is.

Both stamps are from 2006. The one on the left is the Christmas stamp issued on the 27th of November. It pictures an altar stone screen “Nativity” from the parish church of St. Stephen in Luka Šipanska, dated from the 15th century and painted by Venetian painter Pantaleone. It is forty-nine centimeters high and thirty-eight centimeters wide. On the bottom of the picture, on the lower part of the frame, there are some faded texts, unraveled so far: these are waiting to be deciphered by contemporary restoration means.
The second stamp was issued on the 15th of September 2006 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Jewish community of Zagreb. It pictures the facade of the demolished synagogue in Praška Street and Chanukkiyah. The Jewish Community of Zagreb was founded in the year 1806 by the representatives of some twenty Jewish families who have moved and settled in Zagreb about two decades previously.
Both stamps bear a very specific detail that you can find on almost all Croatian stamps : the small red squares that you can find also on the national flag and coat of arms.
The postmark is very clean and very nice.
A very nice cover that I will add to my collection.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Frogs of Australia

As you know, I collect all stamps picturing a frog or a toad. But I have also extended my collection to aerogrammes, pre-stamped and pre-paid envelopes or cards. Therefore you can imagine my joy when I learned that Australia was going to issue such products picturing frogs. And I was even happier when I received my order made on the Australian post website.

A set of five aerogrammes has been issued on the 25th of September 2007. Here are the five items.

As you see they are very colourful and very nice. The five frogs that are pictured are :
- The Spotted Grass Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis, Gunther 1858), that is one of the most common frog of Australia and that can be found in New South Wales and Victoria, eastern South Australia, the majority of Queensland and eastern Tasmania.
- The Red-eyed Tree Frog (Litoria chloris, Boulenger 1893), a species native to Eastern Australia. One very specific characteristics of this species is that its skin secretion has been found to destroy the HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), without harming healthy T-cells
- The Great Barred Frog (Mixophyes fasciolatus, Gunther 1864) a rather large frog that can be found near running water
- The White-lipped Tree Frog (Litoria infrafrenata, Gunther 1867), also known as the Giant Tree Frog, that is the world's largest tree frog. This species is native to the rainforests of Northern Queensland, New Guinea, the Bismarck Islands and the Admiralty Islands. The White-lipped Tree Frog can reach a length of over 13 centimetres (5 inches). Females are larger than males, and the males usually reach only 10 centimetres (4 inches).The lower lip has a distinctive white stripe (giving this species its name) which continues to the shoulder.
- The Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea, Lesson 1827) that is native to eastern Australia, and which is also one of the largest frog of Australia
On top of those five aerogrammes, three pre-stamped envelopes have been issued. I show you here only the stamp area.

The species that are pictured are :
- the Corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree, Moore 1953), that takes it names from its yellow strips that look like the paintings that are worn by Indigenous Australians during some traditional ceremonies (Corroboree is an indigenous Australian word meaning meeting)
- Lesueur’s frog (Litoria lesueuri, Dumeril & Bibron 1841)
- Western spotted frog (Heleioporus albopunctatus, Gray 1841)

Australia is a country where you can find more than 200 endemic species. This is surely why Australia is the country that has issued the highest number of stamps picturing frogs (see my website for further information).
If you are interested in frogs I found a very nice website describing all the species that can be found in Australia.

I have an extra copy of those aerogrammes and envelopes, so if you are a frog collector and if you are interested by these items, drop me a mail.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pacific lighthouses

Cover exchange circuits give you sometimes the opportunity to receive fantastic covers. Here is an example of such nice surprise that I got thanks to the CCCC. I show you both side of the envelope so that you can appreciate how nice it is.

This is a first day cover bearing three stamps belonging to a set by USPS to celebrate lighthouses located on the Pacific coast. The complete set contains five stamps. The three stamps of the cover picture, from left to right :
- Grays Harbor Lighthouse, also known as Westport Lighthouse , the tallest lighthouse in the state of Washington and one of the tallest on the Pacific Coast. It was dedicated in 1898.
- Five Finger Lighthouse located in Alaska. The construction on the original wood tower was completed in 1902 but a fire destroyed it in 1933. Two years later a new concrete tower with a black lantern was erected. The lighthouse was automated in 1984.
- Diamond Head Lighthouse is the last occupied light station in Hawaii. First lit in 1899, the original tower was replaced with a concrete lighthouse in 1917.
Here is a picture of the complete set, the two other stamps (not on the cover) picture Umpqua River lighthouse (Oregon) and St. George Reef lighthouse (California).

The design of modern stamps from USA is very often criticised by American philatelists and they are unfortunately right. But here, I must admit that those stamps are really beautiful don’t you think so ?
And the idea to use this illustrated cover was really a great idea.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh Canada !

Some days ago, I have called for help from my Canadian readers to get a copy of the new frog stamps issued by Canadian post. My call was answered by two persons !Heather, another frog stamp collector (yes I’m not alone ;-) ), sent me this great cover, franked with the endangered species souvenir sheet, enclosing also in the cover a mint copy. Thank you so much Heather ! I sent you an email but I don’t know if you got it.

The second to answer my call was Glenn. He sent me a copy of the souvenir sheet and the booklet also. Thank you so much Glenn. He sent me the whole stuff in a very very nice cover that I would like to show you

As you see the cover is franked with a souvenir sheet bearing one stamp. It was issued on the 22nd of June 2007 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Vancouver. Captain George Vancouver (22 June, 1757 – May 12, 1798) was an officer of the British Royal Navy who is mainly known for his exploration of North America, including the Pacific coast along Canadian province of British Columbia and the American states of Alaska, Washington and Oregon. He started his career very early, since at the age of fifteen he travelled aboard the HMS Resolution, on Captain James Cook’s second voyage. Various locations have been named after him, including Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia.
The stamp of the souvenir sheet pictures George Vancouver seen from behind as he gazes towards a mountainous coastline. The designer of the stamp justifies his choice to picture the man like that by his will to “create a design that focused on the man itself, and captured the solitary and isolated position in which he found himself, geographically and personally”. The stamp also pictures a reproduction of Vancouver’s signature, on the left side. What can not be seen on the scan, is that the stamp is actually embossed, making it even more stunning. A very nice stamp and sheet. This is not the first time that Canada celebrates George Vancouver. A stamp issued in 1988 was illustrated with the routes of his explorations.

But this 2007 stamp is a first for Canadian post. This is the first time the face of the person commemorated is not shown on the stamp.

By the way, Glenn, who sent me this cover, has started an interesting quest : he would like to get a postcard from all countries of the world. So if you would like to help him in his quest, you can drop him a postcard. His address is written on the top left corner of the cover I showed above (clock on it to see it bigger, I did not hide it on purpose…). Thanks you in advance for him !

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fauna souvenir sheet from Bulgaria

I am a member of several stamps exchange circuits. The good point of such associations is that this is an easy way to get stamps (and covers) from all over the world. Of course this is difficult to master the type, quality and origin of the stamps you receive : I prefer when people send stamps from their own country, even if they don’t fit into my topical interests. Sometimes you can get really nice surprises. Recently I received this cover from Bulgaria.

I was first interested by the stamp on the cover. I found it really nice. It was issued on the 21st of July to celebrate the Junior 470 World Championship that was held in Bourgas, between the 21st and the 29th of July. This is a nautical competition, the 470 being a type of boat. I really like the stamp, even if I’m not too much into nautical sports.Inside the envelope I found a set of mint stamps from Bulgaria, all related to fauna. Within these stamps there was this souvenir sheet that made me very happy.

Why ? Because if you look well at the right border of the sheet you will see … a frog ! A new item for my frog stamps collection ! This sheet has been issued on the 10th of September 2007 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the natural reserve of Ropotamo. This reserve, located on the river of the same name, was officially created in 1992 and is very famous for its water lilies. The souvenir sheet shows some of the animals and plants that can be found there.
On the stamps are pictured :
- the European otter (Lutra lura)
- the sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
On the border of the sheet you can see some animals : three pygmy cormorants (Halietor pygmaeus) and two flathead mullets (Mugil cephalus), and some plants : some European white water lilies (Nymphaea alba) and Yellow water lilies (Nuphar latea).
The common names in Bulgarian and the scientific names of all animals and plants are written on the sheet. Except for the frog which is not a specific type of frog, just there to complete the design.

There were some other interesting items in the envelope but I keep them for a future article.

When looking for information about Bulgarian stamps I found this excellent website that I recommend if you are interested by stamps from this country.

Monday, October 22, 2007

2007 Rugby World Cup is over

The 2007 Rugby World Cup is now over. South Africa has won the cup, the Web Ellis Cup, by beating England. France has lost, once again against Argentina, during the game for the third place. Once again, I’m a bit disappointed, not really by the defeat, but by the way the French team has played.
Next Rugby World Cup will be in 2011 and will be hosted by New Zealand.

This tournament has been a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to attend to 12 on the total of 48 games. Not bad. There was always a very good atmosphere among the public. I really had a great time.
But this event is also related to philately, since several postal administrations have issued stamps to celebrate it. I have already spoken about some issues from
France and Portugal. But today I would like to show you some other stamps issued for the occasion.The two following stamps have been issued in September by the Romanian post.

Romania has participated to all Rugby World Cup editions, since its creation in 1987. The Romanian team is the strongest one among European teams out of the Six major nations (France, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy). The two stamps picture scenes taken from games played by the Romanian rugby team : the Romanian players are the ones in blue on the 1.80l stamp and the ones in yellow on the other one. Yellow and blue are the official colours of the team. The Romanian team is nicknamed “the Oaks”, and its emblem is an oak’s leaf, which is pictured on both stamps. One thing to be noticed : the 1.80l stamp seems to picture a game between Romania and the springboks, the players of South Africa. Romania has met South Africa only once ! It was on the 30th of May 1995 for the Rugby World Cup held in South Africa. This game was won by South Africa 21 to 8.

Another stamp has been issued in September by Andorra post.

The player carrying the ball on the stamp wears the official jersey of the team of the Principality of Andorra. I did not even know that Andorra had a rugby team !

The last stamp I wanted to show you comes from Bulgaria. Sorry for the small size of the picture. I do not have this stamp yet, so I could not scan it. I took this picture from the web. Bulgaria was not a part of the 20 nations that have played the final part of the rugby world cup. Hence this is rather surprising that this country has issued a stamp for this occasion. I could not find any background information about this issue. If you have any, I will be happy to hear from you.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Links update

A severe strike in French public transport has desorganised my daily schedule these last two days. I did not find the time to prepare a proper update of my blog. Sorry for this.
I took this opportunity to update the list of links (mainly the blogs part) which is on the lest side of my blog. If you maintain a philatelic blog and if it is not listed here, don't hesitate to send me the link so that I can add it.
And for tonight, cross the fingers with me : France meets Argentina for the 3rd place of the Rugby World Cup : Allez les bleus ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cover from Japan and UNESCO World heritage

I have already shown here on my blog several nice covers from Japan. I got them all through the Asian Covers Collectors Club, of which I am a member. I recently received a new one that I would like to share with you today.

It is franked with a band of four se-tenant stamps that belong to a block of ten. This block has been issued on the 23rd of March 2007. Here is the complete block.

It is a part of the series “UNESCO world heritage” that picture the Japanese sites that have been retained by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The block of ten is dedicated to the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes located in the Kii mountain. Set in the forests of the Kii Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, three sacred sites reflect the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism. Each of the sites contains shrines, some of which were founded as early as the 9th century.

The stamps of the cover picture one of pilgrimage routes, and one of shrine belonging to these sites. The fourth stamps pictures a statue that belongs to the national treasure.

This cover made me wonder how a site is chosen to become a “world heritage” site by UNESCO. After some research on the Web I found out the list of criteria used by UNESCO. I’m not going to list them all (there are ten) but you can read them on the UNESCO World Heritage Website. To be selected, a site must meet at list one of the ten criteria. The one represented on the stamps actually meet four of the ten criteria. Not bad !

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

1966 FDC from Iceland

Last week, I have shown you a cover sent by Benedikt from Iceland. As I said in this article, he used this cover to send me a FDC from 1966, the year of my birth. Here is the FDC he sent.

Very nice, isn’t it ? The four stamps have been issued on the 4th of August 1966 (I was 2 months old ;-) ) and picture various sceneries of Iceland. From left to right and top to bottom, the places that are pictured are :
- Londrangar : two prominent rocks, protruding from the coast and located on the west part of the island. They are the remnants of a crater, which has been eroded to its present form by the sea.
- Mývatn : a lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of water birds, especially ducks. The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago. The name of the lake comes from the huge numbers of flies to be found there in the summer.
- Mt Bulandstindur : a pyramid shaped mountain reaching 1069 m above sea level and located on the east part of Iceland
- Dyrhólaey : a peninsula located on the south coast of Iceland. It is a former island of volcanic origin.
The stamps are really nice and the postmark, from Reykjavik is very clean (which is rather normal for the first day cancel). Iceland is a country that is fascinating me, and when I see such stamps I really feel like going there to see the sceneries for real !

May be one word also about the rest of the cover. On the left top corner, you can see the coat of arms of Iceland : it pictures a shield, supported by a bull, an eagle, a dragon and a giant. They are the four guardians of Iceland, that are known, according to the legend, to have fought against Danish king to gain the independence of the island. The bull and giant are standing on a basement of basalt representing Iceland.

Below the coat of arms I guess this is the emblem of the Icelandic post, the one that was used at this time (a more modern one is used nowadays). But I’m not sure of this.

Thank you very much for this FDC, Benedikt. I’m preparing some stamps for you, so watch your mail box. I hope I’ll be able to send them soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

On the road to the final

If you follow the 2007 Rugby World Cup you know that I am a bit disappointed : France has lost against England in the first semi-final. I’m not only disappointed because they lost, but also because they really did not play well. They could have won this match ! Well, that’s life. France will meet Argentina in the game for the third place (as a revenge of the first opening game that France lost!) and England will meet South Africa for the final (another revenge since South Africa has won 36-0 against England during the first round).

Why do I speak about rugby today ? It’s because I was asked by one of my reader to write about the first “moving stamp” issued by the French post. I did not speak about it before because it was mentioned in several other blogs, but as I’m asked to write about it I’ll do. First of all here is a picture of the stamp.

Yes, I know, it is not moving. If you want to see it moving just click here, and you’ll see it on the website of the French post. The stamp was issued on the 6th September to celebrate the start of the rugby world cup in France. The stamp picture a player kicking a penalty (or a drop goal ? I wonder… since we don’t see a tee, it should be a drop goal). Thanks to the moving effect you see the ball going between the poles.
Now some technical stuff. Such stamp is called a lenticular stamp. A lenticular print is an image that has been sliced into strips which are then interlaced with one or more other images. The image is then printed on the back of a series of
prism-like lenses. The lenses are lined up with each image interlace, so that light reflected off each strip is reflected in a slightly different direction, but all strips from the same image are sent in the same direction. The result is that a single eye looking at the print will see a single whole image, but another eye at different position will see a different image because of the different angle of view. How different depends on the lenses used, the number of original images, and how different the original images were from each other. These specific printing techniques are used to create images that are moving when flipped over the eye, or also 3D effect.

This is the first time that French post uses such effect. But this is clearly not the first time it is used on stamps. I have in mind a stamp from Netherlands for the 2006 Olympic winter games, picturing a moving skater. I have also mentioned on my blog a lenticular stamp from
Ireland and from Australia.
I remember some older stamps from Bhutan using a 3D effect and I wonder if they are using the same techniques… I have to search about it.

Does anybody, reading my blog, collect lenticular stamps ?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kong Rong and the pears

I have received last week, from my philatelic pen pal in China, a set of stamps issued this year by his country. Among the numerous stamps he sent me, the following pair has drawn specifically my attention.

The two stamps are printed se-tenant, and the background is golden (it’s hard to see on the scan). Why did I notice those stamps particularly ? It is because they have also been issued in the form of a booklet, but this time the stamps are self adhesive. Here is the cover and the content of the booklet.

As far as I know this is the first time that China issues a booklet of self adhesive stamps. The full set has been issued on the 1st of July.
Now let’s speak about the subject of the stamps. The set is entitled “Kong Rong declines big pears”, a bit enigmatic. After some search on the Net I found out that Kong Rong has lived in the period of the eastern Han dynasty (25-220). He was born in 158 and he died in 208. He is in the centre of a legend (or folk tale ?) and has become a symbol of courtesy and humility for the Chinese young people. The story is that when he was four years old, he was offered, together with his brothers, a set of pears. He was proposed to pick one first, and to the surprise of the adults, he decided to take the smallest one, leaving the biggest and sweetest ones to his older and younger brothers. Hence the title of the stamp set.

I really like when stamps are illustrated with such local subjects, that really reflect the culture of the issuing country. We see too often stamps issued by big nations (including France by the way) picturing subjects that have no strong links with the local culture and traditions.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Virginia Woolf

I recently received this cover from Romania.

Apart from the fact that the sender used an old commemorative envelop (commemorating the 7th walk race of postal clerks from Balkans (yes !) as written in French on the cover) and apart from the fact that the cover came open (it had been cut open, hopefully without damaging the stamp and the content), I noticed the stamp that I found rather nice. I found it quite different from the usual stamps I’m used to see on cover from Romania. And I immediately wondered why Virginia Woolf would be pictured on the Romanian stamp ? So I checked on the Internet and I found that this stamp belongs to a set of four issued in January this year to commemorate “anniversaries of personalities” (sic). Here is the complete set of stamps.

The four personalities that are pictured on the stamps are :

- Gustav Eiffel (1832-1923), the famous French engineer who is mainly known for his construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (part of the tower is also pictured on the stamp), and the metallic structure of the Liberty Statue from New York. I guess the stamp commemorates the 175th anniversary of his birth.
- Maria Cuţarida - Crătunescu (1857-1919), who was the first medicine woman from Romania. She studied medicine in France where she obtained her doctor’s degree. She acted a lot to help disfavoured children and By her convictions and actions dedicated to women’s emancipation, she was regarded as an important feminist militant. This is the 150th anniversary of her birth that is celebrated by the stamp.
- Nicolae Titulescu (1882-1941) who was a famous Romanian politician and diplomat. He carried out an intense diplomatic activity to strengthen the territorial security and integrity of Romania. He was dismissed from the Government by King Carol I and emigrated to France, where he also died.
- Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), the British writer. Here this is the 125th anniversary of her birth that is celebrated
It did not really help me to understand why Virginia Woolf and Gustav Eiffel were chosen to appear on a Romanian stamp, even they are very famous. I understand better for the two other personalities, since they are Romanian.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cover from Iceland

I haven’t received many covers from Iceland so far. I think I got only two. And the second one, that I got recently, made me very happy. It was sent by Benedickt, with whom I was in contact through Postcrossing. After reading my blog, he decided to send me a nice FDC from 1966 (the year of my birth). I will show you this FDC another time, but for today I wanted to show you the cover he used to send it to me.

As you see it is rather simple but nice. It is franked with a small souvenir sheet issued on the 7th of March 2002 to celebrate the 100Th anniversary of the birth of Halldor Laxness (1902-1998). He was an Icelandic author who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955. You can read his biography on the website.The souvenir sheet also pictures the medal of the Nobel prize of Literature. I must admit that this is the first time I saw how it actually looks like. Here is a better picture of it.

The medal represents a young man sitting under a laurel tree who, enchanted, listens to and writes down the song of the Muse. The latin inscription reads: Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes loosely translated (Word for word: Inventions enhance life which is beautified through art.). The words are taken from Vergilius Aeneid, the 6th song, verse 663. The name of the Leaureate is engraved on the plate below the figures, and the text "ACAD. SUEC." stands for the the Swedish Academy. The Nobel Prize Medal for Literature was designed by Erik Lindberg.

Thank you Benedickt for this very nice cover (and for the FDC it contained)!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New frog stamp from Canada

To mark the 2007 Stamp Collecting month the Canadian post has issued, on the 1st of October, the second set of stamps in a series of three picturing endangered species. The first set of this series, issued last year, was dedicated to terrestrial animals. This year the set concerns animals living in water : one of the stamps pictures a frog, so I’ll be very happy to be able to add one item to my collection ! The issue consists of four stamps. Here is the image of the stamps as shown on the Canada post website.

The animals that are pictured (out of the frog) are : a North Atlantic right whale, a leatherback turtle and a white sturgeon. The frog stamp pictures a Northern cricket frog (Acris crepitans). This is a rather small frog, living mainly in North America. This frog species is particularly endangered because of the pollution of their habitat by human activity. The stamps are also issued in the form of a booklet and a souvenir sheet.

This is the first time that Canada issues a stamps picturing an identifiable frog. And I think that this is the first time that this specific species is pictured on a stamp. So we have two “first” in one stamp.
If there are Canadian people reading my blog who would accept to help me to get those stamps/sheet/booklet, then I will be very happy to hear from them. Drop me a mail and let’s see what I can do for you in exchange.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cover from Czech Republic

(At last I have found a way, not too expensive, to go to Cardiff next weekend! So I will be in Cardiff from Friday to Monday. I hope France will beat New Zealand in the quarter final of the Rugby World Cup. But I’m not very optimistic…)

Some weeks ago I have written about a souvenir sheet issued by Czech Republic and picturing a frog in one corner. Lenka, who reads my blog, was kind enough to send me this souvenir sheet for my frog stamp collection. (Thank you very much Lenka. I owe you some stamps and cover. I don’t forget you, I just need to find some free time to send you something). To send me the sheet, she used a nice cover that I wanted to show you today. Here it is (for any reason my scanner was a bit disturbed by the cover. The balance is not correct and the cover looks a bit different in reality. I could not find a satisfying way to correct this wrong balance using Photoshop….)

The two stamps located on the right have been issued on the 10th of March 1999. This is a set about protected butterflies. The left stamp of the pair pictures a Catocala electa. Catocala is the name of a group of nocturne moths. As you see it has two pairs of wings : an upper wing with a rather dull colour and design, and a lower wing with very bright and nice colour. The upper wing is used to cover the second one for protection against predators. This is this particularity that gave the name to this group : Catocala comes from Kato (behind) and Kalos (beautiful).
The second stamp pictures en Euphydryas maturna, a butterfly that seems very rare, but on which I could not find any information.

The stamp located in the middle of the cover has been issued on the 9th of May 2007. It belongs to a series dedicated to the beauty of flowers, and pictures a cyclamen. This series from Czech Republic is a very nice definitive stamps series.

The last stamp, located on the left side was issued on the 10th of January 2007 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Czech Technical University. The initiative for the establishment of a first technical college in the Central European region, the today's Czech Technical University in Prague, came from K. J. Willenberg as early as in 1705. The Emperor Joseph I marked his approval of it in the prescript dated from the 18th of January 1707. The Czech Technical University emerged in 1920 as a union of seven technical colleges. I’m not so sure to know what is pictured on the stamp : the emblem of the university ? Something else ?

Once again I’m pleased to see stamps and covers from Czech Republic. The stamp issuing policy and the quality of stamps are always impressive !

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New stamp issues from Sweden

(I’m back from a three days weekend in Marseille where I have attended to the match between France and Georgia that has confirmed the qualification of France for the Quarter final of the Rugby World Cup 2007. The good news is that we are in Quarter Final, the bad news is that it will be in Cardiff and against the New Zealand ! Our chances to be in semi-final are rather weak. I’m also trying to organize my trip to Cardiff, but with such a short notice it’s quite hard. Prices are extremely high… We’ll see.)

Yesterday, when I arrived back at home from the airport, I had the pleasure to find some nice covers and stamps that I will have the pleasure to share with you in the coming days. Among them, there were some stamps from Sweden. I have a subscription to receive all the new stamp issues from Sweden, because I really like the stamps that are issued by this country. A rather low number of stamps, and quite a big amount of recess-printed ones !
Among the stamps I have received I have selected two sets to share with you.The first one, is the second issue in a series that
I have mentioned already in a previous post. The stamp was issued on the 27th of September 2007 and pictures a close up of the wing of a butterfly.
The butterfly that is pictured is a Swallowtail (Papilio machaon). This is a very nice butterfly and I’m not sure that the specific way it is pictured here, with such a close up, pays a real tribute to its beauty. Never mind. This is the design they have selected for this series.
The second set I want to share with you was issued on the 29th of September 2007. This set contains eight stamps about fashion ! The stamps picture drawings used in the dress-making process.

The stamps have also been issued in a souvenir sheet and in the form of a booklet. Each stamp celebrates a different designer whose name is written on the stamp. I really found those stamps very attractive. I guess they will give a very nice result on a cover !