Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joint issues, letter from Iran

I’m writing this post from Romania, where I’m using a rather slow Internet connection, therefore I hope I’ll be able to publish it…

I have already written in this blog that I’m a member of
International Philatelic Society of Joint Stamp Issues Collectors. Well, I should say I was, because the activity of this society has been stopped, for various external reasons (you can read a letter announcing the end of the society on the website). This society is going to be replaced by a “virtual” one, organised around a mailing list. I am also working (whenever I have time) on a reshuffling of the website. Stay tuned, if you are interested by joint issues.The cover I have selected for today is a letter from Iran, which was used to send the last edition of the quarterly publication of the society, as I explained in a previous post. Here it is.

The stamps picturing butterflies are part of a definitive series that I already mentioned in the previous post.
The 100 Rials stamp has been issued in the 14th of July 2003, and pictures butterfly from the Zygaena genus.
The 2000 Rials stamp was issued on the 6th of January 2000 and pictures a Lemon butterfly (Papilio demoleus, even though it is written Papilio demolus on the stamp !). This butterfly gets its name from its host plants which are usually citrus species such as the lime.
The 4100 Rials stamp pictures the same type of butterfly (and this time the scientific name is correctly spelled). This stamp was issued on the 18th of April 2005.
The last one, the 4400 Rials was issued on the 15th of March 2005 and pictures a White tiger (Danaus melanippus).
This definitive series is really interesting for people who collect butterflies on stamps, and I know that this is a very popular topic among topical collectors.

The two stamps picturing flowers belong to a set of four stamps issued on the 11th of March 1991. This set belong to a series started in 1987, picturing flowers, and commemorating the new year festival. The two flowers that are pictured on the cover are both of the iris type : Iris spuria (sometimes referred as the blue iris) and Iris lycotis. Just for the record, the two other stamps of the set picture the Iris demawendica and the Iris meda.

The last two stamps, located on the top of the cover are part of a joint issue between Iran and Spain. The theme of this issue was gardens. Both countries have issued two stamps, using the same design, as you will see below. This issue qualifies as a Concerted issue because both countries did not issue the stamps at the same time. Iran issued the set on the 17th of December 2005 and Spain issued the stamps on the 15th of October 2005.
The first garden that is illustrated on this set is the Shahzadeh Garden. It is a Persian garden located near Mahan in the Kerman province. The name, Shahzadeh Garden means the Prince’s garden. The garden has a rectangular shape and a wall around it. It consists of an entrance structure and gate at the lower end and a two-floor residential structure at the upper end. It is ornamented with water fountains that are engined by the natural incline of the land. The garden was built for Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodolleh and its construction was left unfinished due to his death in early 1890s. Here are both stamps picturing this garden.
The second garden is the one of the palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso. This baroque palace that was built for Philip V of Spain contains gardens built in the French manner and sculptural fountains. The construction of the palace and the gardens started in 1721 on request from Philip V, because he wanted to build a palace modelled on Versailles, the famous palace built by his grand father, Louis XIV, king of France. Like Versailles, this place started as a retreat from the court but became the centre of the royal government. The fountains located in the garden picture themes from the classical mythology, including Greek deities, allegories and scenes from myths. The original waterworks are still in order. They rely purely on gravity. Like Versailles, this palace and associated gardens are now a popular tourist attraction.

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