Sunday, October 25, 2009

Update of my website

Just a short note to tell you that I just published an update of my website about frogs and toads.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Frog on a red cancel from Japan

I have already shown here on my blog several items from Japan bearing nice picturial red cancel. I am very happy to share with you the latest one that I got : a red cancel picturing a frog !

The red cancel is from Matsuo Post Office, Iwate prefecture. The date of the cancel 57.11.10 represents the 10th of November 1982, the 57th year of the Emperor's reign!
The frof pictured on the cancel is a living national treasure of Japan, meaning a protected animal.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A new cover from Indonesia birds on a souvenir sheet

From the 11th of May 2009 to the 15th of May was held the World Ocean Conference (WOC) and the Coral Triangle Summit (CTS) in Manodo, Indonesia. The purpose of this conference is, as you could guess, to discuss about preservation of the oceans. At this occasion, the Indonesian postal administration has issued four stamps picturing marine animals and the emblems of the conference. I recently got a cover from Jakarta, franked with these stamps in a se-tenant block of four. Here is the cover.

The stamps do not give the name of the animals they picture, I think this is a pitty. Anyway I found out for you. Clockwise you can see:
- a bluering angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis)
- a shrimp in front of a sea anemone
- a fish nammes Anthias
- a green marine turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Inside the cover I found a souvenir sheet issued also this year (I did not find the exact date of issue) and picturing endangered birds from Indonesia.

The souvenir sheet pictures six different species of birds: wrinkled hornbill (Aceros corrugatus), Red naped trogon (Harpactus kasumba), Rufus-collored kingfisher (Actenoides concretus), white winged wood duck (Carina scutulata), great argus (Argusianus argus) and storm's stork (Ciconia stormi). This time each stamp clearly indicates the scientific name of the bird that is pictured.
The sheet (and each stamp) pictures the logo of Birdlife, an international organisation whose purpose is to protect endangered birds, and the logo of Burung, a similar Indonesian association.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My first cover from Macedonia

As announced in my last post, I’m glad to share with you my first cover coming from the Republic of Macedonia. This is a registered cover that was used by the seller of the stamps I showed you in my previous post. The cover was sent from Skopje, the capital of the country. The seller used not less than twelve stamps on this cover. Here it is.

From left to right and top to bottom, let me give you some information on the stamps.
1-This stamp is a part of a definitive series started in 1998 and dedicated to architecture. This specific stamp is from 1999 and pictures a house in Bogomila
2- This stamp was issued on the 15th of May 2002 to celebrate the Soccer World Cup help in Japan and Korea. A very bad souvenir for French people… since the French team could not qualify for the second round.
3- This stamp, issued on the 10th of September 2008, is part of a set of five stamps dedicated to flowers. It pictures a Helichrysum zivojinii.
4- This stamp is a part of a set of two stamps issued on the 15th of July 1996 and illustrated with children’s paintings
5- Jewelry is the subject of the set issues on the 1st of March 2003 from which this stamp is extracted. It pictures a pin with an icon
6- On the 1st of March 2001 a set of four stamps and one souvenir sheet were issued picturing native costumes. This stamp is part of it.
7- Issued on the 10th of December 1992 this Christmas stamp picturing a nativity scene from the 16th century is only the third stamp issued by Macedonia! Indeed, the Republic of Macedonia is independent only since 1991, so this stamp bears number 3 in my Scott catalog…
8- In 2002 the subject of Europa issues was Circus as shown on this Europa stamp issued on the 9th of May 2002
9- This stamp issued on the 5th of June 2001 pictures boats on lake Dojran
10- The 10th anniversary of the independence was commemorated with this stamp issued on the 8th of September 2001
11- After the Soccer World Cup here come the Olympic games of Salt Lake City with this stamp issued on the 16th of January 2002 and part of a set of two
12- And finally this stamp issued on the 15th of April 2002 pictures the very famous Mona Lisa (aka La Joconde) and his creator Leonardo Da Vinci. The stamp also pictures the Vitruvian man, another widely known drawing from Da Vinci which is, for instance, mentioned at the beginning of Da Vinci Code, the best seller from Dan Brown.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A new toad stamp from Macedonia

I’m always pleased to see how many stamps picturing frogs and toads are issued every year (well my bank account is may be little less pleased ;-) ). One of the most recent issues is coming from the Republic of Macedonia. The stamp is a part of a set of three stamps and one souvenir sheet dedicated to Fauna of Macedonia and issued on 9th of September 2009 (FDC of this set would make interesting 09/09/09 covers…). This is the first time that the Republic of Macedonia issues a stamp picturing a frog or a toad (on the other hand Macedonia issues its own stamps since 1993 only…).
Let’s have a look to the set that I could get from an auctions website.
The first stamp is the one picturing a toad, an Eastern Spade foot toad (Pelobates syriacus balcanius, Karaman 1928).
This type of toad gets its common name from the fact that it has one spur on each of its back feet for burrowing..
The second stamp pictures an Orhid trout (Salmo letnica, Karaman 1924).

The Ohrid trout is a type of trout found in the Republic of Macedonia and Albania, especially in Lake Ohrid. They have also been found in the Black Drin River, that flows out of Lake Ohrid at Struga, in Macedonia. The Ohrid trout is a specialty in Macedonian gastronomy; it is used for soups and other dishes. The Ohrid trout is depicted on the reverse of the Macedonian 2 denars coin, issued in 1993.

The third stamp pictures Macedonian Stone crayfishes (Austropotamobius torrentium macedonicus, Karaman ,1929).

The last stamp pictures a Macedonian Crested Newt (Triturus macedonicus, Karaman 1922)

The stamps of the set are available individually but also in the form of mini sheets, as shown here with the toad stamp.

As you may have noticed, all the animals pictured on the stamp got they scientific name from Stanko Karaman who is the subject of the souvenir sheet.

Stanko Karaman (1889-1959) was a researcher on amphipods and isopods. In 1926 he founded the Macedonian Museum of Natural History in Skopje.
In the next post I will shiw you the cover used by the seller to send me these stamps : my first cover from Macedonia with not less than twelve stamps on it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My first cover from KSA

As you noticed last week was again a very busy week with low number of posts in this blog… But today I am very proud to share with you my first cover from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Thank you Ganesh for this very nice cover. I owe you a cover on my side, thanks a lot for your patience.
Here is the cover.

The large stamp is part of a set of two issued on the 26th of May 2002 and picturing the King Fahd Industrial Port located in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Here is a picture of the full set.

Both stamps picture the same view of the Industrial port. In the right top corner, the stamps picture the coat of arms of Saudi Arabia, adopted in 1950, which consists in two crossed swords under of palm tree.

The other stamp of the cover is part of a definitive series. This specific stamp was issued on the 21st of September 1996. All stamps of the series have the same design and picture the Holy Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam.
The Kaaba is a cubical building located in Mecca. It is made of granite and covered with a black silk and gold curtain. All Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during prayers, no matter where they are. One of the five pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform a pilgrimage (called the Hajj) at least once in their lifetime. One part of the Hajj consists in walking several times around the Kaaba in a counter clockwise direction.

There is something about those stamps that triggered a question in my mind: I thought that according to the UPU rules, postage stamps should bear the name of the issuing country in Latin alphabet (except Great Britain that is the only counrty that is allowed to issue stamps without indication of the country name). This is not the case for these stamps from KSA. So was I wrong about this rule? Anyone knows?

Another thing to be noticed on the cover if the very very nice postmark. It is clear and bicolor! The date is in red while the rest of the cancel is blue. You may also notice that this cover is cancelled on the 9th of September 2009, making it my second 09/09/09 cover! I wonder if this is because of this exceptional event that the cancel has two colors, or if this is always the case.

Thank you again Ganesh. I’m very happy to add this wonderful item to my collection!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Covers and souvenir sheet from Czech Republic

On the 1st of September I published a post related to a souvenir sheet to be issued by Czech Republic the day after and picturing a frog. At this time I had only a small picture of the sheet. Now that I have purchased the sheet on an auction website I can share with you a bigger picture. The sheet is really nice and deserves it.

As you can see a lot of animals and plants are pictured. For each of them the scientific name is indicated and the name in Czech also. Here are the animals that are pictured on the stamps or on the labels:

Caprimulgus europaeus - European Nightjar
Myotis myotis - Greater mouse-eared bat
Tyto alba - Barn Owl
Smerinthus ocellatus - Eyed Hawk-Moth
Bubo bubo - Eurasian Eagle Owl
Ciconia nigra - Black Stork
Cervus elaphus - Red Deer
Aglia tau - Tau Emperor
Rana dalmatina - Agile frog
Eudia pavonia - Small Emperor Moth
Muscardinus avellanarius - Hazel Dormouse
Carabus irregularis - (I did not find any common name)
Eresus sandaliatus - Ladybird spider
Libelloides coccajus- (I did not find any common name)
Trichius fasciatus - Bee beetle

The plants are pictured on the margin of the sheet:
Taxus baccata - Common yew
Fagus sylvatica - European Beech
Sorbus aria - Common Whitebeam
Dentaria enneaphyllos - Drooping Bittercress
Dictamnus albus - Burning-bush
This is a sheet that can satisfy a lot of topical collectors!
I would like also to share with you the registered cover used by the seller to send me my purchase. Here is the recto side, nothing exceptional except a big number of labels!

The stamp located in the top right corner is part of the definitive series “Beauty of flowers”. This stamp was issued on the 9th of May 2007 and pictures a flower that I like: Cyclamen.
As you can imagine this low face value stamp is not enough to frank a registered letter from Czech Republic to France. The rest of the franking is on the other side of the cover: the sender used another copy of the souvenir sheet to frank the cover! Nice idea, isn’t it?

Like that I have a used and unused version of the souvenir sheet!

Early in September I also received two other covers from Czech Republic, from a reader of my blog. Thank you so much for these covers!
These covers seem to have been sent from a philatelic exhibition, SBERATEL, which was held in Prague beginning of September.
The first cover is franked with a part of the souvenir sheet that I just got, the part with the label picturing a frog.

The other stamp is the Europa issue of 2005. The theme of the Europa stamps in 2005 was gastronomy.
I was not really able to decipher the postmark but I guess it has something to do with United Nations, since it pictures the logo of UN.
The second cover is cancelled with the postmark of the exhibition.

The French post was represented at this exhibition; hence the French cancel in the left bottom corner of the cover.
The large stamp is part of the Art series, a very beautiful series! This stamp was issued on the 12th of November 1997 and pictures painting from Antonin Chitussi (1847-1891), a Czech Impressionist painter. The painting pictured on the stamp is entitled “Landscape with Chateau in Chantilly”.
The other stamp is a more r
ecent one. It was issued on the 22nd of April 2009 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the building of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. This building started in 1928 was supposed to be completed in three years but six years were needed to finish it. The whole building is decorated with 120 statues picturing allegories of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering but also Enterprise, Invention, Perseverance, Truthfulness, Trade and Industry.

These two covers are really fantastic and they confirm all the good things I think about philately of Czech Republic!