Sunday, September 27, 2009

First cover from Vatican City

It is almost two weeks since last time I have written in my blog! Two weeks of silence... this is almost a record since I have started this blog I think. And I feel sorry about that, but last week I have followed a very intensive training in a very nice castle but with an Internet connection so slow that I did not dare trying to access to my blog. I wonder how they could call that a high speed Internet connection! And this week was full of one word: work, work, WORK… No time to think about stamps. I hope this will improve in the coming days and weeks. I missed writing to you and reading other philatelic blogs…

Today I’m happy to share with you the first cover that I received from Vatican City. I have already published a post about a postcard stamped with Vatican stamp, but this is the first time that I get a cover posted from the holly City and that has traveled through the postal system. Here it is.

The nice postmark is a commemorative cancel celebrating the 80th anniversary of the convention for the enforcement action of the postal service. Vatican City has been officially created as an independent state on the 11th of February 1929. It is recognized by UPU since the 1st of June 1929. This 80th anniversary of the creation of the state has been a subject for various stamps issued this year by Vatican post.
The postmark pictures the coat of arms of Vatican City (the two crossing keys). But I could not identify the second emblem which is pictured below the coat of arms.
The stamp located on the right corner is a part of a set of four stamps issued on the 16th of September 2004 and dedicated to the Contemporary Religious Art Collection of the Vatican Museum. The stamp on the cover pictures “Still life with bottles” by Girogio Morandi.
The second stamp is a part of a wider set issued on the same year. The full set contains fifteen stamps and was issued on the 3rd of June 2004. The set is dedicated to Euro. Here if a picture of the full set.

Each stamp of the set pictures the flag and the national face of a one Euro coin. As you may know, the one Euro coin has a common face which is the same in all countries and one face which bears a national emblem. In 2004 fifteen countries were part of the Euro zone, as illustrated with this set: the initial eleven nations (Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal), three micro-states that have economical link with one of these nations (Monaco, Vatican City and San Marino); the last country included in this set is Greece that has joined the Euro zone in 2001.
Since then more countries have joined the Euro zone: Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia,.
As you noticed the sender of this cover had the good idea to use the stamp picturing the French flag and Euro coin.
In this cover I had the pleasure to find a nice postcard that I would like to share with you also.
The photo side pictures a detail of the last judgment, the very famous fresco painted by Michelangelo on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

This very impressive work was realized by Michelangelo in four years between 1537 and 1541. It pictures the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse. At the time of its creation the painting triggered a scandal because of so many naked people displayed in a religious place! Genitalia of the characters have been later covered by the artist Daniele da Volterra.
To be noted that Michelangelo has included a self-portrait: he has painted himself as Saint Bartholomew.

Here is the other side of the cover.

It bears a stamp belonging to a set of three, issued on the 17th of September 2008 and dedicated to Saint Paul. Here is a picture of the full set.

Paul of Tarsus also called Paul the Apostle was together with Saint Peter and James the Just the most notable of early Christian missionaries. He never met Christ alive, but it is said he had a vision of resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus, leading to his conversion. The three stamp of the set pictures three main step in Saint Paul’s life: the conversion, the predication and the sending to jail.
Again, a nice postmark has been used on the card. This postmark pictures a portrait of Saint Paul and commemorates the closure of the year of Saint Paul that spread from mid 2008 to mid 2009.


Eric from Jura said...

Hi Eric,
Happy to read you again :-)
Fyi, the 2nd coat of arms pictured on the postmark on your cover is Italy's arms, because of the postal convention between the 2 countries 80 years ago.

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Eric said...

Thank you Eric. Of course, I should have thought about it!