Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More mail art

Some days ago I have shared with you two Mail art covers that I received from Philippe. I have recently received two new ones, very spectacular, still on the frog theme.
The first one is using a stamp issued by French post on the 6th of June 2006 (interesting date 06/06/06!) in the artistic series, and picturing a very colorful panting from the French painter Claude Viallat.
Here is the stamp (picture coming from
La Poste).

And here is the cover.

The second one uses an older stamp, issued on the 19th of April 1991 (denomination is still French Francs) to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Mozart.
Again here is the stamp (picture coming from
Phila Echanges).

And the cover.

(In case you wonder, the stamp at 2.50 F is not enough to cover the standard rate of a letter in France which is 0.56€ (= 3.67 F ). There are other definitive stamps on the other side of the cover to complete the franking).
On both covers Philippe made a clever use of the design of the stamps!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Frog fossils on Libyan stamp

When you are a topical collector there is a very powerful tool proposed by the ATA (American Topical Association) to its members: the checklist. A checklist is a list of stamps issued on a specific topic, ordered by date of issue and giving reference such as Scott catalog numbers. Prices for electronic versions (Excel file) of checklists are not very high, but of course you need to be a member of the ATA to be able to purchase them. Such lists do not remove the pleasure of searching because anyway they are sometimes incomplete, sometimes they contain mistakes, and they do not include very recent issues anyway. They really provide a very good basis to start a topical collection.
When I decided to start to collect stamps picturing frogs and toads, I naturally purchased the associated checklist from ATA. This was 10 years ago. I remember that I was spending a lot of time browsing the list and trying to find stamps on auctions or stamp dealers websites. I was particularly fascinated by one entry of the list, a stamp from Libya issued on 1985. I was interested by it because it seems that it did not picture a living frog but a frog fossil!
Can you imagine that I spent 10 years looking for this stamp, and only last week I found it on
Delcampe (a very good auctions website) almost by accident?
So now I’m really happy to be able to share it with you. Here is the stamp.

It is a part of a set of three stamps issued on the 1st of March 1985 and dedicated to Libyan fossils.
Frog fossils have been found on all continents, including Antarctica. The earliest full fossil of a modern frog dates from 125 Millions year ago!
This stamp from Libya is the only stamp issued by this country and related to frogs or toads.
The other stamps of the set pictures a fish and a mammal fossil. Here they are.

Friday, July 24, 2009

First cover from Dominican Republic

Yes, today I’m sharing with you the first cover I received from Dominican Republic! I’m glad to add one new country to my list. But to be honest this cover is still an enigma for me. Let’s show the cover fist.

The first question mark concerns the stamps. I could really find information about them. They have been issued in 2009 but when? For which purpose? The only possibility I found is that they could have been issued in April 2009 to celebrate the first anniversary of the official opening of the new Chinatown (Chinese quarter) of Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic. “Barrio chino”, which is written on both stamps, seems to mean Chinatown. I discovered that in April 2008 has been officially opened a renovated Chinese quarter in Santo Domingo. Plaza de Confucio (which is written on one stamp) is one of the places of this new area in the city.
I don’t know if the stamps are part of a bigger set or not. So if you have information, I will be happy to hear from you.

The second question mark concerns the cancel. Both stamps are cancelled by a rectangular postmark from Santo Domingo, which is normal. But on top, you can see a ink jet printer inscription reading:

“De partout jusqu’à vous… From anywhere to anyone”

This is the cancel used by Canadian post. Why is there a Canadian cancel on this cover? Does anyone have any clue?

By the way, there is an interesting thing to mention about this cancel from Canada: the French part (De partout jusqu’à vous ) is not exactly the translation of the English part. The translation of the French part would be “From anywhere to you” instead o “From anywhere to anyone”.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Print your own stamps on line

Since now several months, the French postal administration, like in a lot of other countries, proposes a service that gives you the possibility to print your stamps on line. The service is called “Mon timbre en ligne” (my stamp on line) is available at
Only recently I decided to try it to see how it works. The idea is quite simple. You go to the website and you select a picture among a selection of various images sorted by topic. You can not download your own picture, at least on the public version of the service. Then you choose the characteristics of your stamp (how many you want, which denomination etc.). You are then proposed to see and print a “specimen” to make sure your printer is correctly configured. After payment you are allowed to print the final result.
When I tried I of course selected a picture of a frog (what else could I choose ;-) ), which is proposed in the Animal section. I selected a stamp at the tariff 0.56€, the standard rate for a letter in France. Here is the specimen I got.

And here is the final stamp that I got after the payment. Note that the stamp is priced at the face value!
As you can see, for security reason, there is a validity date indicated below the stamp. Passed this date, the stamp is not valid for postage anymore. The stamp is divided in two sections: one with the picture, the logo of La Poste, the country and the denomination, and one with a bare code where the information is stored and can be read by the machine in charge of sorting mails.

I used one of this stamp on a cover addressed to myself, but unfortunately it came back without cancellation! So not very interesting to be shown. I will try again and if I can get a good cancelled version I will post it here.

This service is probably interesting for people who have to send a big number of mails. This is interesting that La Poste proposes to have a picture on the stamp, which is not the case of such service proposed in other countries (if I’m not wrong Royal Mail, in UK, does not propose to have a picture on this type of stamps). Now it raises one question that I already raised about personalized stamps: are those stamps collectable?
Probably not, since they loose their validity for postage after some time. Also I wonder what is the real life duration of a picture printed in a color laser printer. I guess in few years the picture will be altered significantly.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A simple cover from Hungary

I’m always happy when I get mail franked with nice stamps out of a philatelic context. Except philatelists, it is more and more seldom that people take the time to put nice stamps on a cover they sent. So I was quite happy when I got this cover from Hungary, with two bird stamps and a very clean postmark. This is why I decided to share it with you. So far I did not get so many covers from Hungary.

The stamp located on the right side of the cover has been issued on the 16th of May 2008. It pictures Orseg national park, one of the various national parks from Hungary where a very rich flora and fauna can be found. To illustrate this, the stamp pictures a bird that can be seen in this park, a crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), a bird that had the particularity to have its mandibles crossing their tips. The stamp seems to picture a male, because males are usually red or orange and females are green or yellow.
On the left side of the stamp one can see a medallion with a black and white picture of a man. This man is Chernel Istvan (1865-1922) a Hungarian ornithologist. I was not really able to find the exact reason why he is also pictured on the stamp.
The second stamp was issued on the 9th of October 2001. According to my Scott catalog, this stamp has been issued to track the attempt to create the world’s largest stamp mosaic! I could not find further information but I guess that the peacock pictured on the stamp is in fact a mosaic made of stamps. This is quite hard to see because the stamp is rather small, but I guess this is the spirit. I do not know if this attempt was a success and if this mosaic could enter into the Guinness Record Book at that time. I think that recently the largest stamp mosaic was done in Hong Kong.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Germany and UN joint stamp issue

On the 7th of May 2009 a stamp has been jointly issued between Germany and United Nations (Vienna office). This joint stamp issue qualifies as a twin issue since the design and the date of issue are the same.

Interestingly the design of both stamps is not exactly similar. If you check the fourth building (starting from left) it is larger on the German stamp than on the UN stamp (it seems truncated on the UN stamp). I guess that this is due to the format of the stamp, the UN stamp being shorter the design had to be adapted.

Kalpana, who sent me those stamps (thank you very much Kalpana) also sent me a very nice First Day Cover of the German issue. Here it is.

The stamp pictures Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg (Saxony-Anhalt) that are all associated with the lives of Martin Luther and his fellow-reformer Melanchthon.
I think there is no need to introduce Martin Luther (1483-1546) the priest and theology professor who was the initiator of the Protestant reformation. He was born in Eisleben (he also died there) but spent most of his life in Wittenberg. Philipp Melanchton (1497-1560) was a German professor and theologian. He was a friend and associate of Martin Luther and was a key leader of the Lutheran reformation.
Here are two German stamps picturing Martin Luther, issued in 1952 and 1961.

And here is one German stamp issued un 1960 picturing his associate Melanchton.

The memorials, pictured on the stamp, include Melanchthon’s house in Wittenberg, the houses in Eisleben where Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546, his room in Wittenberg, the local church and the castle church where, on the 31st of October 1517, Luther posted his famous “Ninety-five Theses”, which launched the Reformation and a new era in the religious and political history of the Western world. These sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996 by UNESCO.

The FDC is postmarked from Eisleben, the home town of Luther, with a very nice cancel. The postmark pictures two symbols. On the left side, this is the coat of arms of Eisleben.

On the right side this is the Luther rose, a seal designed for Martin Luther and that has become a symbol for the Lutherans.

The stamp issued by United Nations is in fact part of a larger set of six stamps (two per office) and dedicated to World Heritage Sites located in Germany. This is the fourteenth stamp issue illustrating World heritage sites. Here is a picture of the whole set.

The sites that are pictured on the stamps are (from top to bottom):

Office of New York
44c - Town Hall and Statue of Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen
The old town hall was built in the Gothic style in the early fifteenth century, after Bremen joined the Hanseatic League. The building was renovated in the so-called Weser Renaissance style in the early seventeenth century. A new town hall was built next to the old one in the early twentieth century as part of an ensemble that survived bombardment during the Second World War. The statue stands 5.5 m tall and dates back to 1404. This site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004.

98c – Aachen Cathedral
The Aachen Cathedral was the first German cultural monument to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. The cathedral was built between 790 and 800 under the Emperor Charlemagne. The Palatine Chapel, with its octagonal basilica and cupola, is the first vaulted building north of the Alps. It is heavily influenced by the building traditions of classical antiquity and by Byzantine architecture.

Office of Vienna
0.65€ - Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin
In 1990, UNESCO officially recognized the palaces and parks of Potsdam and Berlin, built between 1730 and 1916, as part of World Heritage. The protected area of the World Heritage site covers the palace and park of Babelsberg, as well as the “New Garden” situated to the west of the Heiligen See lake, with the Marmorpalais and the Cäcilienhof palace where the Potsdam Agreement was signed in August 1945. The palace and park of Sanssouci, often called the “Prussian Versailles”, are a synthesis of the artistic movements that marked the European cities and courts of the eighteenth century.

1.40€ - Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg

Office of Geneva
1.00f.s. - Wartburg Castle
The Wartburg, near Eisenach (Thuringia), was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999 as “an outstanding monument to the feudal era in Central Europe”. Legend says that the castle was founded in 1067 by Count Ludwig der Springer. It was here that Martin Luther, during his exile, translated the New Testament into German in 1521 and 1522. The castle is also linked to the legend of the “Minstrel’s Contest”, to Saint Elizabeth and to the festival of the German students associations 300 years after the Reformation. Because of its location on the former border between East and West Germany, the Wartburg remains a symbol of German integration and unity.

1.30f.s. - Monastic Island of Reichenau
The Monastic Island of Reichenau on Lake Constance is an outstanding testament to the religious and cultural role of a great Benedictine monastery in the Middle Ages. In the year 724, the abbot Pirmin founded the monastery on the “rich isle”, and the Benedictine abbey developed between 800 and 1100 into a spiritual and cultural centre of the Holy Roman Empire.
The three Romanesque churches on the island, St Mary and Marcus, St Peter and Paul, and St George, which were built from the ninth to the eleventh centuries, are fine examples of the architecture of the early Middle Ages in Central Europe.
The Monastic Island of Reichenau was inscribed on the World Heritage List in the year 2000.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New frog stamp from Australia (cont’d)

In order to complete my article of last week about the stamps issued for the 150th anniversary of the creation of Queensland, I would like to share with you the other philatelic products related to this issue.
First of all, both stamps have also been issued as a souvenir sheet.

The background of the souvenir sheet pictures a map of Queensland and also a windmill, as on one of the stamps.

Here are the First Day Covers of both stamps and of the souvenir sheet, postmarked from Brisbane.

Also two maximum cards are available, with the same first day cancellation.

Finally the stamps and the souvenir sheet have also been issued in a presentation pack. Here is the front cover of this pack.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eichstätt letter

On the 7th of May 2009 the German postal administration has celebrated the stamp day by issuing a stamp with surtax picturing one of the treasures of German philately. I had recently the very nice surprise to receive a first day cover of this issue. Thank you Kalpana for this cover (and the others), thank you very much.

Before detailing the subject of the stamp, let’s have a close look to its perforation. If you look carefully between both stamps on the cover you will see that there is a small hole having the shape of an oak leaf. Here is a zoom on the stamp so that can see it better.

As you can see on the cover there are two versions of the same stamp: one with the hole on the right border and one with the hole on the left border. This sort of perforation is a security measure to avoid falsification of stamps. I have already shown some examples of security perforations on stamps from other countries (e.g the cross on stamps from Portugal, the ellipse on stamps from UK…). But this is the first time that this is done by Germany. It seems this is a sort of test, and if the test is successful, such perforation will be generalized on all stamps. I wonder why the shape of an oak leaf has been selected.

Let’s come back to the design of the stamp. As I said, it pictures one of the treasures of German philately, a cover called the Eichstätt letter. Here is a picture of the original letter.

It is addressed to Eichstätt, hence its name. What is the particularity of this cover? It is franked with a block of six black stamps that are the first stamp issue from the Kingdom of Bavaria, a stamp that was issued on the 1st of November 1849. Here is a picture of this stamp. Very simple design, isn’t it?

This letter is a unique item that was discovered in 1958 in a set of old documents and acquired by the German ministry of Post in 1969. I can not even imagine its value. It is considered as one of the most valuable objects of German philately. It has been the subject of philatelic exhibitions together with other philatelic rarities.

Just to be complete you can note that the surtax on the stamp is marked with a five dots cross that I already mentioned for a previous issue.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New covers from Japan

In a previous post I wrote about a set of stamps issued by Japan for the 50th anniversary of the wedding between the emperor and the empress. A souvenir sheet was part of the set and I had only a very small picture to share with you. I recently got the very nice surprise to receive a cover franked with this souvenir sheet, from Yusuke, a reader of my blog. Thank you very much Yusuke! Like that I’m able to share with you a larger picture of the souvenir sheet.

Using a full souvenir sheet to frank a cover is not so common so I’m always very happy to get such covers. Each time I try myself to send a cover with a souvenir sheet on it I have to fight to be able to stick it correctly on the cover!

Yusuke sent me also another cover. Here it is. I like the vertical orientation ;-)

The small stamp on the bottom is part of a definitive series about flora and fauna that I already mentioned several times here in my blog. Otherwise on the top of the cover there is the top part (first raw) of a stamp sheet issued on the 5th of June 2009 about flora. The left stamp pictures Chery blossoms whereas the right one pictures a Zelkova serrata, a tree also called keyaki in Japanese. I found a picture of the full sheet on the Japanese post website (this is a “specimen” version, hence the black circles printed on the stamps).

The margins of the sheet are illustrated as you can see. The format of the stamps, a square, is rather unusual for Japan if I’m not wrong.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New frog stamp from Australia

I recently had the opportunity to discuss with other topical (or thematic) collectors. We have exchanged some information about our respective collections. One of the question that popped up was: what is the country that has issued the highest number of stamps that fall into our topic. For frog and toad stamps, I must admit that I was not really able to answer directly. I'm still not able, since I did not compute precisely the number of stamps per country. But I would hesitate between South Africa (South Africa is helped by the fact that its postal administration has issued a sheet of 10 stamps picturing frogs in 2000!) and Australia, one of the rare countries that have issued definitive stamps picturing frogs. It is not very surprising when you know that there are more than 200 frog species in Australia!

Again, very recently, the Australian post has issued a stamp picturing one of my favourite animal. It is a part of a set of two stamps issued on the 6th of June 2009 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the creation of Queensland.

Queensland is a state of Australia which is located on the north east of the mainland continent. It was declared an indepedant state, separated from New South Wales in 1859. Queen Victoria signed a document establishing the new colony of Queensland on the 6th of JUne 1859, and later, on the 10th of December 1859 the creation of the state was officially proclaimed by the first Governor Sir George Ferguson Bowen. The state is nammed Queensland in honour of Queen Victoria.

Here is the first stamp of the set.

It pictures the Queensland Parliament house located in Brisbane, the capital of the state. Parliament did not sit there until August 1868, even though it was established on the day Queensland was proclamied. The stamp also underlines the importance of rural life in this state by the presence of a windmil, and the outback is illustrated by the red sands at the bottom of the stamp. Also on the left top border can be read "Waltzing Matilda", the title of a very famous a popular song composed in 1895 that has become, among other things, an anthem for the rugby games played at home!

The second stamp of the set is the one picturing the frog.

The main image of the stamp pictures the well known Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest natural reef and among the first World Heritage sites of Australia. This reef attracts tourists from all over the world and is therefore a major element in Queensland economy.
The stamp also pictured a Litoria chloris, commonly nammed Red-eyed tree frog, which is a frog species native to eastern Australia (Red-eyed tree frog is also the comon name of another frog species : Agalychnis callidryas, which is very often pictured on stamp). This very colourful and very attractive frog has the particularity that its skin secretions have been found to destroy HIV without harming the healthy T cells! The same has been found for the White's Tree Frog, but the Red-eyed tree frog produces it in larger quantity.

This frog species has been already pictured several times on stamps: on stamps from Angola, Mali, Antigua and Micronesia but this the first time it is pictured on an Australian stamp. A very similar species, the Orange-thighed Frog (Litoria xantheroma) has been pictured on a definitive stamp isued by Australian post in 2003.

I really enjoy this set of stamps issued by Australia, and not only because there is a frog on it ;-) I think they really illustrate a subject which is specific to Australia, not like the other numerous stamps issued by this country!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mail art

I have always been fascinated by mail art. Mail art, or postal art, is an art that uses the postal system as a medium. I’ve had the opportunity to see several exhibitions of mail arts and I have always been amazed by the imagination of the postal artists. Unfortunately I have never been able to produce some postal art myself (I’m not an artists…) and so far I never got the chance to receive some neither. Until recent days. Following the portrait that Timbres Magazine has published about me, I was contacted by a postal artist, Philippe, who has nicely sent me two pieces that he has designed just for me, around my interest for the frogs. But first, if you want to see more of the work from Philippe you can visit his website.

So Philippe sent me to decorated covers, with a humoristic twist in both of them. Here is the first one.

The stamp used for this drawing is a part of the famous people set issued on the 23rd of February 1987 and pictures Jean Rostand. Here is a picture of the original stamp (picture is coming from PHILA ECHANGE website)

Jean Rostand (1894 - 1977) was a French biologist and philosopher. He became famous for his work as a science writer, as well as a philosopher. His scientific work covered a variety of biological fields such as amphibian embryology while his literary output extended into popular science, history of science and philosophy. He was the son of playwright Edmond Rostand and the brother of novelist and playwright Maurice Rostand. Following the footsteps of his father, Rostand was elected to the prestigious French Academy in 1959.
As Jean Rostand has studied deeply the biology of the amphibians (and therefore of the frogs and toads) he must have spent a lot of time studying them through a microscope. Here, the drawing of Philippe shows a human looking frog, studying Jean Rostand through the microscope! A funny idea.

I know that this cover may shock a lot of philatelists because the stamp has been cut to fit into the design, which could be seen as a crime for stamp collectors. But this is for the purpose of art.

The second one has a different inspiration.

It uses a stamp recently issued (on the 22th of June 2009) and belonging to the Nature series. The full set contains four stamps and also a souvenir sheet, and is dedicated to extinct or endangered animals. Here is the souvenir sheet.

The stamps picture three endangered animals, the Rhinoceros, the California condor and the Giant Panda and one extinct animal, the Aurochs.
Philippe used the Rhinoceros stamp and integrated it into the design of a Genetically Modified Organism (in French OGM as mentioned in the text of the address) mixing the head of the Rhinoceros and the body of a frog. A frightening creature, isn’t it?

Did you ever receive mail art? Or do you produce mail art on your side? I would be happy to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A French FDC

Yesterday I have shown you the postal card sent by the French post to communicate about the philatelic program of 2009. If you check the left part of the second postcard, the yellow/orange one, you can see all the modifications made in the philatelic program of the first half of the year compared to the first postcard (the blue one). In this section, at the bottom, you can see a stamp planned to be issued on the 22nd of June 2009 as a tribute to Jean Moulin.
I recently had the very nice surprise to receive from
Eric, a FDC of this stamp. Thank you very much Eric, I don’t received FDC from France so often!
Here is the cover.
Nice stamp, nice cancellation. Jean Moulin (1899-1943) was a member of the French resistance during World War II, probably the most famous one. He is known by all French people (at least he should be) and is really seen as a symbol of the resistance due to his courage and death at the hand of the Germans. If you want to know more about him, you can check this website. The portrait of Jean Moulin used on the stamp and the cancel is a very well known one. The background of the stamp pictures the house where Jean Moulin got arrested. This house is going to be a memorial that should open in 2011. The house is located in Caluire (a small city located near Lyon) where was held the first day ceremony of the stamp as you can read on the cancellation.

This is not the first stamp issued by the French postal administration and picturing Jean Moulin. A stamp was issued on the 20th of May 1957 in a set dedicated to heroes from the restistance. Here is the 1957 stamp (picture is coming from the

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

French philatelic program

It seems that this year, the French post has decided to innovate for the communication of its philatelic program.
In April of this year, I have received this.

It is a postcard presenting the stamp issues planned for the first half of the year. The recto (top of the image) pictures the stamps to be issued and the recto (bottom of the image) provides the date of issue and the subject.
As you can see this is a sort of pre-paid postcard, with a printed stamp that imitates one of the new personalized stamps called “Mon timbre à moi”. There is no cancellation on this pseudo stamp.
At that time I was a bit surprised to receive the program of the first half of the year in April, whereas the year is already started. On the recto side it is announced that the program of the second half will be sent in June.
And effectively, here is what I have received few days ago.

This is the same principle, a pre-paid postcard with only a difference on the color of the background and of the printed stamp. I let you see the stamps that are going to be issued in the coming months (as usual click on the picture to zoom).

I think this is a good initiative. I wonder if this will continue next year or not. If yes, then we could envisage a new collection of these postal stationeries.

How does your postal administration communicate about its philatelic program? I would be happy to hear from you.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Mythical creatures

Being a sci-fi and fantasy fan (well I’m much more into sci-fi, but fantasy is also ok…), my attention was naturally triggered by a recent stamp issue from Great Britain dedicated to Mythical creatures. Scott, from Positively Postal, made me the surprise to send me the presentation pack of this issue. Thank you very much Scott.

The stamps have been issued on the 16th of June 2009. They picture six different creatures that you can meet in fairy tales or legends: dragons, unicorns, giants, pixies, mermaids and fairies.
Scott’s website you can find plenty of information about this issue (and also a lot of interesting features about other Royal mail issues) and also a competition where you can win some stamps. So don’t hesitate to visit it.

By coincidence it happened that almost at the same time that I received Scott’s letter, I also received a FDC bearing two of these stamps, through a cover exchange circuit. Here is a scan of the FDC, with the dragon and unicorn stamps (the two stamps that I prefer in his issue) and a very nice cancellation picturing a mermaid. The cancel does not bear the mention “first day of issue” so I guess it is why it could be used on the two definitive Machin stamps that were added to complete the franking.

Inside the FDC there was a card giving some information about the creatures pictured on the stamp. Here is a scan of the card.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Turkish covers (II)

Beginning of this year, I have shown you some covers coming from a contact in Turkey who sends covers that he decorates himself with his own drawings. I have received two additional covers from him recently and decorated with the same subject: a toucan.
Here is the first one

The cover is franked with a large stamp that is part of a set of two issued on the 12th for May 2009. This issue is a joint issue between Turkey and Portugal, to underline the diplomatic relationship between both countries. The subject of both stamps is pottery. Here is a picture of the full set of stamps issued by Turkey.

And here is a picture of the stamps issued by Portugal.

As you can see, same design, and as they were issued at the same date, this joint issue is classified as a twin issue (click here to know more about the classification of joint stamp issues)
The stamp on the cover pictures a vase from Portugal and the other one pictures a Mosque lamp from Turkey. The names of both countries appears on stamps from both nations (which is not always the case for joint issues) with the name of the issuing country is bigger and bolder letters.

The other stamp on the cover is part of a definitive set that I already described in my previous article about the first Turkish covers.

Here is the second one.

The cover is franked with a very large stamp belonging to a set of two stamps issued on the 2nd of April 2009 dedicated to Sultan’s boats. Here is a picture of the full set.

I was not able to find information about the boats that are pictured on the stamps. So if you have some, I would be happy to hear from you.

I like the idea of drawing on covers. And I like the idea of postal art in general. If you are into postal art, I would be very happy to hear from you also. Just drop me an email.