Monday, June 30, 2008

Cover from Mongolia

It seems that I have taken the habit to receive a cover from Mongolia, once per year. And each time it bears stamps dating from the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s and never very recent issues. The cover I got these last days and that I have decided to share with you is no exception.
Here it is.

I must admit that I had quite a hard time to gather information about the three large stamps that are used on this cover. But I finally succeeded.
The first one, on the left, is a part of a set of seven stamps about mushrooms and issued on the 1st of December 1985. The stamp pictures the Amanita caesarea, commonly known as the Caesar’s mushroom, belonging to the genus Amanita, that can be found in Southern Europe and North Africa. Its common name comes from the fact it is supposed to be the favourite of Roman emperors ! The mushroom has an orange/red cap and a smooth surface. It is an edible mushroom but that can be easily confused with some poisonous members of the Amanita genus such as the Amanita muscaria.Here is a picture of the seven stamps of the set. I only found a picture of a used set.

When I see these stamps I think that they look more like stamps issued to please topical collectors than stamps issued for a real postal usage. So this is interesting to see them on a cover.

The second stamp, the one in the corner, belongs to a set of seven air-mail stamps commemorating Mongolian National achievements which was issued on the 11th of July 1977. The stamp pictures a red cross ambulance and an hospital. I’m not sure to understand which achievement is considered here… I could not find any picture of the full set…
The yellow symbol on the left side of the stamp is a symbolic representation of the coat of arms of Mongolia. I do not know what is the black symbol just below.

The last stamp is a part of a set of seven stamps picturing African animals (it seems Mongol Post likes to issue stamps per set of seven !) and issued on the 23rd of May 1991. The stamp on the cover pictures a Gorilla. Here is a picture of the full set.

It seems strange to me that I never got so far any cover stamped with recent issues. Are the recent issues from Mongol Post really used on mail, these days ?

Friday, June 27, 2008


I remember that once, when I was a kid, I spent the whole summer holidays with my cousins, building a puppets theatre, making our own puppets with sticks and old clothes and writing our own play (the story of a king who discovers that his wife, the queen, has a love affair with a knight in charge of protecting the castle…). We gave a performance in front of the other kids of the village. We had a great fun. I’m not sure that kids of today still have so much fun with puppets. I guess they prefer video games. What is the link with philately ? Well, this is the subject of the stamps on the cover I have selected for today.
Here it is.

This is a cover coming from Japan bearing four stamps that have been issued on the 27th of July 1988. This set celebrates the 15th World Puppetry Festival that was held in Japan between the 27th of July and the 11Th of August 1988.
Each stamp pictures a different type of puppet, coming from different countries. From left to right :
- A string puppet used in the animated movie “Spring and fall in the Meiji era” by Kinosuke Takeda. Kinosuke Takeda (1923-1979) was a Japanese specialist of animated movies.
- A stick puppet coming from Brno in Czech republic and belonging to the National Radost Puppet Theater
- A shadow puppet coming from China
- And finally a knight, a marionette coming from Sicily

A nice and simple cover, isn’t it ?

Once again, as on all covers I got from Japan (without speaking about FDC) I’m impressed by the clean postmark. Very neat, well positioned compared to the stamp. An example that a lot of other postal administrations should follow !

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Covers from India

For today I have selected two covers I received recently from India. The first one was sent by Mansoor.

The stamp used on this cover belongs to a set of two issued on the 24th of April 2008 in the form of a souvenir sheet. Here is the full picture of the souvenir sheet.

The set of stamps is dedicated to Jasmine, a very well known plant and flower that belongs to the same family than olives (Oleaceae) ! Jasmine flowers are usually white, even though some species have yellow flowers. There are more than 60 species of Jasmine. In China, Jasmine is used to perfume tisanes or to make tea. Jasmine is the national flowers of several countries : Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan and Syria.
To be noted that this souvenir sheet is scented. Of course it smells Jasmine ;-) Since it issued its first one, it seems that Indian Post has taken the habit to issue regularly scented stamps. Yesterday, when storing this souvenir sheet in my album I was thinking : imagine an album full of scented souvenir sheets, where all the perfumes get mixed together ! Enough to get a headache, no ?
I wonder if somebody knows how long last the perfume of such scented stamps ? At least after 3 or 4 years it seems still very strong !

If you look back to the cover you may note the nice cancellation
which is described in Mansoor’s blog.

The second cover was sent by Demastan.

It bears four stamps that were issued on the 22nd of November 2007 and that are dedicated to renewable energy. The stamps have also been issued in the form of a souvenir sheet.

The four renewable energies that are illustrated on the stamps are : Biomass, Hydro, Solar and Wind. In these days of sustainable development, this sort of subject seems very appropriate on stamps !

Thank you to both of you for sending me such covers. I owe you something in return that I will try to send you as soon as possible.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

FDC from the Salon du Timbre 2008

Just to “close the loop” I would like to show you today the FDC that I posted to myself from the Salon du Timbre that I mentioned last week.

The first one is the FDC of the stamps about Gerard Garouste. The first day cancel picture his signature.

The second one is the FDC of the stamps from the booklet with the new Marianne and the values of Europe. This is the red version of the FDC that you see on Adrian’s blog.

The third FDC bears the stamps from the souvenir sheet dedicated to big European projects, with a very simple cancel picturing the 12 stars that are on the European flag.

And finally the FDC for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games issue.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Slovakian stamps

Among the various postal administrations that were represented at the Salon du Timbre 2008 held last week in Paris, I visited the booth of Slovakian post. I found there an impressive number of beautiful stamps and I even spent some money to buy a few things.
Here are some examples of the stamps I bought.

The first one is a tribute to the Salon itself. This is a personalized stamp, the type of 2008 picturing a dahlia, with a se-tenant personalized label picturing the logo of the Salon.

I also bought this impressive souvenir sheet containing one stamp (click on the picture to have a better view).

It was issued on the 27th of June 2007. The stamp depicts Bratislava Castle from the “Vienna Illustrated Chronicles” dating back to the 14th century. This is the oldest known representation of the castle. The “Vienna Illuminated Chronicle”, is a medieval illustrated chronicle from the Kingdom of Hungary from the 14th century (NB : at this time Slovakia was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary) containing 147 illustrations. The illuminated decoration of the manuscript was executed before 1360.
The scene pictured on the stamp is a representation of a battle against the German Emperor Henry III in 1052.
The oldest mention of the name Bratislava dates back to 907 : this is the 1100th anniversary that is celebrated by this stamp issue.
The castle of Bratislava has been built in the 10th century but it has been destroyed and reconstructed several times. The background of the souvenir sheet pictures the castle as it was at different periods (note that the date of each view is indicated on the sheet).
A silver replica of this souvenir sheet has also been issued (the picture is coming from
Slovakian Philatelic service website).

Here is another sheet that I bought at the same time. It contains four stamps issued on the 18th of December 2000 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Postal Law, a set of acts that highly helped the organisation of the postal service in the area.
The stamps picture a portrait of Maria Theresa (1717-1780) who was Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Empress. She introduced several changes in the field of postal transportation thanks to a set of reforms.
If I’m not wrong, this is, again, Bratislava castle that we can see on the right bottom corner of the stamp.

There were a lot of other nice stamps on the booth, but my finances being limited I could not buy more of them. But it really gave me the idea to learn more about the philately of this country, that seems to issue a rather reasonable number of stamps per year, with a high percentage of engraved issues.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My visit to the Salon du Timbre 2008

Just a short post to tell you that I spent the whole morning at the stamp fair I mentioned in my last two articles. I had a great time, there was a lot of people. A lot of kids. There were a lot of animations and games around the stamps and philately, so this was full of kids running everywhere and screaming. A bit noisy I must admit but I think that this is good to give to young kids the opportunity to learn and to discover the world through stamps.
I took the opportunity of my visit to buy some stamps and to send some FDC to some of you. Today was the first day of issue of the souvenir sheet about European projects and the stamp dedicated to Gerard Garouste that I mention in my previous article.
I also took this opportunity to buy stamps from foreign postal administrations that I will show you in future articles.
As I’m a subscriber to French Post I got some gifts. Among them there was this proof showing the various steps of the printing of a stamp issued in 2007 by French post in the artistic series (click on the picture to have a better view).

Nice gift, no ?
Just to be complete, here is the final stamp.

It pictures a painting of Paul Sérusier (1864-1927) a Frecnh painter. The title of the painting is “La barriere fleurie” (the flowery fence).

Now I have to leave. I fly to Marseille in a few hours to attend to a rugby game during the weekend. So I'm back here on Monday only !

June and July issues (part 2)

Let’s speak today about the stamps to be issued in July.

The first issue is a souvenir sheet to celebrate the important European projects.

Date of issue : 1st of July 2008

The four stamps of the sheet picture various projects realized in the scope of the European community :
- the introduction of Euro
- the Galileo project : European system to provide positioning via satellites
- the ERASMUS project whil gives to students the opportunity to study in foreign countries
- the last stamp celebrate the fact that on the 1st of July , France will be at the head of Europe : during he next six months, the French president will be president of the European community.

The second issue is a new definitive stamp. As you may know, the French definitive stamps are illustrate with Marianne who symbolizes the republic. Our president has decided that we needed to have a new definitive stamp design, even if the last one is not so old… The new design, chosen by himself, pictures a Marianne who suggests Europe, thanks to the stars that are a symbol that is found on the European flag. Here is one of the stamps issued, knowing that thirteen different values (and therefore colours) are issued at the same time.

Date of issue : 1st of July 2008

Together with this new definitive issue, two booklet are issued mixing the new Marianne design and other stamps picturing the important values of Europe : peace (with the white dove), environment (with the tree), democracy (with the vote).
The stamps picturing Marianne have no face value : the red ones are for the internal mail and the blue one for mails towards other European countries.

Date of issue : 1st of July 2008

To be noted that, specially for the stamp fair, a version of the Marianne stamp in silver is also issued. This is the second time that French post issues such silver stamp.

Date of issue : 1st of July 2008

Personally I don’t really like the design of this new Marianne. I prefer the one that we currently have. And I’m not sure that this was the most important priority to change the definitive stamp. But I’m not going to open the debate here.

The next stamp is dedicated to a Parisian monument : Le Grand Palais.

Date of issue 7th of July 2008

I have already written about this monument in an old article. The label attached to the stamp mentions the reason of this issue : this is the 81st congress of the French Federation of philatelic associations. (FFAP)

The next issue is a stamp celebrating the inauguration of the memorial of the General De Gaulle.

Date of issue : 15th of July 2008

This memorial has been inaugurated yesterday, the 18th if June, in Colmbey-les-deux-églises, the town where General De Gaulle is buried. I don’t think I need to tell you who he is… This memorial is a museum that show a permanent display around his life and his accomplishments.

Next stamp issue is a part of the artistic series.

Date of issue : 21st of July 2008

This stamp pictures a painting from Gerard Garouste. The stamp has been designed by the painter himself ! This painting dates back to 1989.

The last issue is an impressive souvenir sheet commemorating the summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Date of issue : 28th of July 2008

The block contains ten stamps, but only four different designs. Two sports are pictured on each stamps : tennis and walk, cycling and hors riding, judo and fencing, swimming and rowing.
The top border of the sheet is cut in a way to look like a Chinese traditional house.

This closes the stamps to be issued in July ! As you see, an impressive number of stamps issued in just two months !

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June and July issues (part 1)

To continue my series about new stamp issued by French post, I would like to present you the stamps issued or to be issued in June and July. There is a particularity for the stamps. At the moment I am writing these lines, there is a big stamp fair on going in Paris. It started on the 14th of June and will run until the 22nd. If you speak French you can get information about this stamp fair on the following website.

This stamp fair is the occasion to have “anticipated” first day ceremonies of a bunch of stamps that will be actually available anywhere else in June and July. This first post focuses on the issues from June, the next one will address the one from July.
Let start by the very nice souvenir sheet issued to celebrate the stamp fair itself.
Date of issue : 14th of June 2008

This souvenir sheet re-uses four stamps issued in the series “Jardins de France” (Gardens of France). Two were issued in 2007 and picture a park called “Parc de la tête d’or” (garden of the golden head) located in Lyon. The two other stamps picture parks located in Marseille : “Parc Longchamp” and “Parc Borély” and were issued in 2008. This souvenir sheet uses the same principle than the ones issued for the previous editions of the same stamp fair in 2006 and 2004.

To be noted that the golden part of the sheet can be printed in front of your eyes during the duration of the stamp fair !
I think that this is very nice souvenir sheet. I have already used the 2004 and 2006 sheets as a gift for my philatelic friends all over the world. I guess I will do the same for the 2008 version.

The next issue is a joint issue between France and Brazil.

Date of issue : 23rd of June 2008

The left stamp pictures a glacier located in France and called : la mer de glace (the iced sea). The right stamp pictures the Amazonian rainforest. Both places are highly endangered because the activity of human beings on Earth : the glacier is melting as many other glacers in the world and the surface forest is reducing because of the high number of tress that are cut.
I did not find information about the Brazilian part of this joint issue : I do not know if the stamps from Brazil will be issued at the same date and with the same design.

The next souvenir sheet is dedicated to the circus through the ages.

Date of issue : 23rd of June 2008

The souvenir sheet pictures actors of the circus at different period in time : the trapeze artist, the juggler, the tamer, the circus rider and of course the clowns. The stamps are also sold as single stamps, separately from the souvenir sheet. The particularity of the souvenir sheet is that it bears a surtax for the Red Cross : as a consequence the souvenir sheet costs 1.80 Euro more than the total of the face value of the stamps.

The next souvenir sheet is dedicated to famous ships.

Date of issue : 23rd of June 2008

Six ancient and famous ships are pictured on this nice souvenir sheet (clockwise)
- la Grande Hermione
- la Boudeuse
- la Boussole
- l’Hermione
- l’Astrolabe
- la Confiance

I like the design of this sheet which looks like and old maritime map.

And the last one (for today !) is a booklet of ten stamps dedicated to sustainable development.

Date of issue : 30th of June 2008

Each stamp of the booklet bears a simple message explaining what should be done to help sustainable development. From left to right and top to bottom the messages are :
- Trees should be protected : the stamp invites you to save paper in order to save trees.
- Transport of the future : the stamp invites you to use bicycle instead of polluting transport means.
- Sites to be preserved : the stamps shows a map of the world
- Good to be recycled: the stamp shows a broken computer
- Unknown in winter : the stamp invites you to eat fruits of the season only (can you imagine that at the market of my home town you can find strawberries all over the year ! whereas the season is France is only around May !).
- This is a radiator : the stamp shows the sun
- To be used in good proportion : the stamp invites you to use detergent in good proportion to avoid pollution of rivers
- This is a fertilizer : the stamp shows an eaten apple, inviting you to use natural fertilizer instead of chemical ones
- Can be recycled into a sweater : the stamp shows plastic water bottles that can be recycled in a lot of ways
- This is a treasure : and the stamps shows water drops

Personally I don’t really fancy these stamps, but at least they carry useful messages.

(copyright notice : the picture of this post are issued from the website of
French post and from

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cover from Kathmandu

Among the bunch of nice covers I received these last week, there was one coming from Nepal, posted from Kathmandu. It arrived in a bad shape, the left side was torn, the envelope being opened. Fortunately nothing was missing in the cover. Anyway I decided to share it with you today. Here it is.

The stamp located on the right has been issued on the 12th of April 2006. It is a part of set of 16 stamps about Orchids, a very popular subject on stamps ! The stamp pictures a bamboo orchid (Arundina graminifolia). This species of orchids can be found in India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South China and Indonesia. The common name “bamboo orchid” comes from its thin, tall stem with alternating leaves that appears as bamboo.

Here is a picture of the souvenir sheet containing the 16 stamps of the set.

The second stamp was issued on the 2nd of April 2008. The stamp commemorates the golden jubilee of the diplomatic relations between Nepal and Germany. The stamp pictures the Dattatreya temple and the cathedral of Cologne.

The Dattatreya temple is located in Bhaktapur. It is a temple dedicated to three supreme gods of Hinduism : Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwor (Shiwa). Its construction dates back to 1427 AD. It is a three stories temple that is said, according to the legend, to have been built form the stem of a single tree !
The choice of this temple to illustrate this stamp is a tribute to the on going cooperation with Germany in restoring cultural artefacts in the area of Bhaktapur.

The cathedral of Cologne is one of the largest churches of the world, being the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Its construction started in 1248 and was completed only in 1880 ! In 1996, this very beautiful cathedral was elected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The stamp also pictures the flags from Germany and from Nepal to symbolize the relations between both countries. Nepal is the only country that has a national flag which is not rectangular ! In fact the flag is a combination of two single pennants from different branches of the previous rulers. The red colour of the flag is the colour of the rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal. The blue border symbolizes peace, whereas the crescent symbolizes the royal house, and the sun the Rana families, who were prime ministers until 1961. This flag was adopted in 1962. To be noted that before 1962, the crescent and the sun had human faces.

Surprisingly, I do not think that this stamp is a part of a joint issue with Germany, I did not find the German counterpart.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Anniversary stamps from Netherlands

I know, I know. This may sound a but provocative to show a cover from Netherlands… If you follow the European Soccer Championship that is on going in Swiss and Austria, you surely know that France has lost against Netherlands (4-1), reducing highly our chances to go further in the competition. Last chance is to beat Italy tomorrow and to pray that Romania will not beat Netherlands ! But as I’m not vindictive ;-) I selected this colourful cover sent by Piet from Netherlands. Thank you Piet !

The stamp located on the right top corner has been issued on the 20th of May 2008 and is the 2008 Europa issue from Nethelands. As I you all know now, the subject of the Europa issue this year is “letter writing”. A rather simple design, no ?
The stamp loacted to the left is part of a souvenir sheet. The souvenir sheet contains 10 stamps (five pairs of stamps) and five labels. I could not find a decent picture of the souvenir sheet, so I can not show it to you, but it is really colourful. The souvenir sheet commemorates five anniversaries in one shot ! It was also issued on the 20th of May. Each stamp celebrates the anniversary of a different organisation.
Let me show you the five stamps of the set.The first one celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science : KNAW. The design of the stamp suggests the magic of science.

The second one celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Nederlansche Bank which is a part of the European System of central Bank and of the Eurosystem. The design of the stamp re-uses the design of a coin of 1 Euro.

The third stamp celebrates the 25th anniversary of the AEX-index, and index of the 25 most traded funds of Amsterdam stock exchange.

The fourth stamp commemorates the 140th anniversary of the company Bruna. If I understood well this is a company that edits illustrated books for children and that takes its names from his founder Dick Bruna.
The last stamp, which is the one on the cover, commemorates the 125th anniversary of the ANWB, the Royal Dutch Touring Club.

The label attached to the stamp contains a text in Dutch that can be translated in this way :

“Traditionally a versatile Association for holidays, leisure and mobility, with four million active members. Have you ever driven on the wrong side?”

Piet has used the top of the sheet to decorate the cover. The small plane draws a sign printed “Jubileumpostzegels 2008” which is the name of the set and which means “Anniversary stamps 2008”.
Finaly the franking of the cover is completed with a 2 eurocents definitive stamp. Two different cancels can be seen on the cover. A large circle one, which is a manual cancel I guess, on the definitive stamp. And a mechanical one of the two stamps on the top of the cover

Friday, June 13, 2008

Meghdoot post cards

Do you know what is a Meghdoot post card ? If you are interested in Indian philately you probably know. If not, here is some information.

Last year , I showed a
postal card that I received from India. In a comment to this post, Velu mentioned the Meghdoot post cards. It triggered my curiosity and I searched for some information about them. Even more, recently I got the chance to get a relevant number (100 !) of such post cards, some of them are displayed in this post.
These Meghdoot post cards have been introduced by Indian post in 2002. They are pre-stamped post cards that cost 25 paise each, which is half of the price of a regular post card. It means that this is an interesting saving for the sender. The particularity of those cards is that the left half (on the address side) is reserved for an advertisement. The sender can write the text on the other side which is blank (instead of a picture on a normal postcard).
Meghdoot (which means “cloud messenger” ) cards have a yellow background. The advertisement is usually multicolour and contains text in English and/or in Hindi. I have seen three types of pre-printed stamp on them, as you will see on the examples I show below. Those pre-printed stamps does not seen to correspond to actual postage stamps from India, if I’m not wrong.
A lot of various advertisements exist on Meghdoot cards, from commercial products to environmental messages. Of course as a postal stationery these items are collectable.

Here is a card issued in 2002 bearing an ad for a Motorbike. The printed stamp picture the Panch Mahal, a five story palace located in Fatehpur Sikri, which seems to be a very impressive piece of architecture !

Here is a card issued in 2003 bearing an ad from the Coconut Development Board ! The printed stamp is the same than the one on the card I showed last year.

A card from 2004 bearing messages about AIDS (I’m not able to translate, sorry…), again with the same stamp.

A card from 2005 highlighting the importance of the saving of water.

A spectacular card from 2006 with an ad for the BBC Hindi.

And finally a card from 2007 with message about nature preservation. Note that the stamp is a different one : this one pictures Gandhi.

If you are interested by those cards you can find a complete listing (with pictures) on the excellent web site Stamps of India.

If some specialist is reading my blog I would like to know one thing : the post card I showed last year did not bear any advertising. Is it anyway considered as a Meghdoot card ? Or is the ad mandatory to have this naming ?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A new cover from Guatemala

Last year I presented a cover coming from Guatemala. It was an FDC bearing stamps that were part of a joint issue with Brazil. For today I have selected a very similar cover from Guatemala that I received few days ago. Here it is.

Once again I had some difficulties to gather some information about the stamps. The two stamps of the cover have been issued on the 7th of September 2007. This issue is a joint issue with Uruguay to celebrate 100 years of diplomatic relations between both countries. The stamps issued by Uruguay for this occasion have exactly the same design. Thanks to this, and to the fact that the website from Uruguayan post gives more information than the one from Guatemala, I could identify what is pictured on the stamp.
The stamp on the left side pictures the Santa Catalina Arch, located in Antigua Guatemala. Antigua Guatemala is a city located in the central highlands of Guatemala, which is famous for its well preserved baroque architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruined churches. It has been designated as a UNESCO World heritage site. The Santa Catalina arch can be found in Parque Central (Central park), a park located in the heart of the city. I could not find much information about this arch and when it was constructed…
The second stamp pictures the city gate of Colonia Del Sacramento, a city located in south western Uruguay. It is the oldest city of Uruguay. It is renowned for its historic quarter, which has also been selected as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Again, as for the cover of last year, what is surprising is that the stamps have been cancelled in 2007 with a first day cancel, and the cover has been mailed in 2008, as you can see on the second cancel. This is something that is not possible in France. A FDC must be sent the day it is cancelled, during the first day ceremony. After that, a FDC can not anymore travel through the postal service…

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hungarian cover

I spent some time during the week to scan stamps and covers for my website and my blog. Among the cover I scanned, there is this cover received recently from Hungary.

A very simple but rather nice cover, isn’t it ? The postmark is very clean and well positioned on the stamps. Let’s talk about the stamps.
The first one, on the left side, was issued on the 28th of February 2008. This is the traditional Easter issue from Magya posta, the Hungarian postal administration. The stamp picture decorated eggs. Decorating eggs seems to be a very traditional artistic activity in Hungary. Those eggs were painted by Csaba Mosonyi, an Hungarian artist, who inherited the tradition of eggs drawing from her grand mother. The eggs are decorated using wax and painting.
I have seen such eggs drawing in another country, Romania, during one of my professional trip. I have even brought back a very nice egg. The design is very impressive. As you can imagine, these items are very fragile. I remember that I had to use some tricks so that the egg would not be crashed in my luggage during the flight back to Paris !

The second stamp was issued on the 20th of April 2004. It is a part of a set of four stamps, issued to commemorated the 150th anniversary of
Zsolnay, a porcelain factory. The stamp pictures a mocha set, dated from 1999 and decorated with a motif picturing a Ginkgo biloba, a very ancient tree considered as a living fossil, that can be found in China.
The four stamps have also been issued in the form of a souvenir sheet that I really like, so I decided to share it with you.

The three other stamps picture (from left to right) : a vase with Persian flowers from 1883, a vase with twin riders from 1902 and a vase with medieval silk brocade design from 1924.