Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Polish first day covers

I have already mentioned here, in this blog, that I’m not so much interested in mint FDC. What I mean by mint FDC, is unaddressed FDC that have never been through the postal service. Nevertheless I received few days ago a set of five Polish mint first day cover that I found rather interesting. I selected two of them to share with you.Here is the first one (as usual click on the picture to have a better view).

I was attracted by the nice first day cancel, and I immediately wondered what the stamp was about and what was the statue pictured on it. After some research I found the following. The stamp was issued on the 1st of July 2002. This stamp is a part of a series about Polish cities and is dedicated to the city of Plock.
Plock is a city located in the centre of Poland. Its history is very linked to the creation of the Polish state. The stamp pictures one of the most important monument of the town : the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral. The construction of the cathedral started after 1129, until is was consecrated in 1144. Destroyed by a fire, it was reconstructed in the years 1530. Near the cathedral there is a museum, the Diocesan museum, where one can see a collection of paintings, sculptures and priceless collections of sacred art. Among them can be found the reliquary of Saint Sigismund which is the statue pictured on the stamp. This reliquary takes the form of a bust.
Sigismund was a king of the Burgundians between 516 and 524, year of his death. In 517, his son opposed him and Sigismund had him strangled. Overcome with remorse, Sigismund retreated to a monastery. In 523 he led the Burgundians against the invading Franks of Childebert I, Clotaire I and Theodebert I. But he finally was captured by Clotaire and put to death. He then was honoured by the Burgundians as a martyr and was canonized. In the 14th century, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, transferred Sigismund’s relics to Prague. Saint Sigismund became the saint patron of Czech Republic but is also the saint patron of Plock, the Polish city commemorated on this cover.
Interesting to see how much you can learn by just looking for some information about one stamp on a first day cover.

The second cover I selected is completely different. Here it is.

The stamp was issued on the 9th of October 2007 to celebrate the World Post Day. The stamp pictures a heap of cancels from various countries to illustrate the cooperation between all the postal administrations to allow the transfer of mail from one country to another. I found this idea rather interesting !

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