Monday, November 10, 2008

FDC of the 9th of May 1966 !

I would like to start this post by a big THANK YOU to Andrzej. He sent me recently a nice cover, and this cover contained a gift, a FDC postmarked on the 9th of May 1966, the day of my birth ! You know that I collect stamps issued in 1966 and I am looking for such items since years. And now I get one ! Thanks again Andrzej for this very nice surprise.

Let me show you the FDC.
The stamp was issued on the 9th of May 1966 to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the victory against fascism, on the 9th of May 1945. The stamp pictures a peace dove and a war memorial. A stamp has also been issued in 1965, 1974, 1975 and 1980 to commemorate the 20th, 29th, 30th and 35th anniversaries. The design of those stamps always include a peace dove (sorry, I could not find a scan of these stamps).

I am very happy and proud to add this item to my 1966 stamps collection !

Now let see the cover that Andrzej used to send me the FDC.

The two horizontal stamps are part of a set of four stamps dedicated to extreme sports and issued on the 15th of April 2005. The one of the left pictures parachute jumping and thee other one pictures the bungee jumping. The two other stamps of the set pictures the rock-climbing and rafting. This set has been printed in the form of small sheets of eight stamps each. Here is a picture of such a sheet.

I must admit that extreme sports are not my favourite. I would be much too scared to do any of these activities !

The last stamp of the cover is very nice. It is a part of a set of four stamps issued on the 26th of June 1996 and dedicated to Polish Kings and Queens. The stamp pictures a portrait of Jadwiga (1374-1399) who was Queen of Poland from 1384 until her death. She has been canonized in 1997 as Saint Hedwig (Jadwiga) and she has become the patron saint of the Queens ! She is said to have accomplished several miracles during her life (this is a condition to become a saint), the two best known being named “Jadwiga’s cross” and “Jadwiga’s foot” :
- Jadwiga often prayed before a large black crucifix hanging in the north aisle of Wawel Cathedral. During one of these prayers, the Christ on the cross is said to have spoken to her. The crucifix, "Saint Jadwiga's cross", is still there, with her relics beneath it.
- According to another legend, Jadwiga took a piece of jewelry from her foot and gave it to a poor stonemason who had begged for her help. When the queen left, he noticed her footprint in the plaster floor of his workplace, even though the plaster had already hardened before her visit. The supposed footprint, known as "Jadwiga's foot", can still be seen in one of Kraków's churches.

The portrait has been realized by Jan Matejko (1838-1893) a polish painter who is known for his important gallery of portraits of Kings and Queens.

Here is a picture of the full set that I think is very nice.

The other kings pictured on the stamps are Wladyslaw II Jagiello, Wladyslaw III Warnenczyk and Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk.

Just to be complete you see that on the left corner of the cover there is a hand stamp which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the election of John Paul II as a pope. The mark pictures the coat of arms of John Paul II, the Marian cross. Here is a colour picture of those arms.

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