Saturday, May 08, 2010

Very nice cover from Iceland

I'm writing this post from ondon where I am for few days of vacations. I will take this opportunity to visit London 2010 the international philatelic exhibition which is currently held in the British capital. But for today I have selected a very nice cover to share with you. A cover that I received few days ago from a country that is very present in the news these days: Iceland. Thank you very much Benedikt for this very nice cover!
The souvenir sheet that Benedikt has used to frank this cover has been issued on the 16th of September 2009 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening to the public of the National Center for Cultural Heritage, also known as the Culture House.
The Culture House is a venue for Icelandic national heritage. It holds diverse exhibitions, cultural events and meetings in cooperation with national museums and collections and other institutions. It was built between 1906 and 1908 to house the National Library and National Archives of Iceland and was opened to the public in the spring of 1909. The building was also home to Iceland’s National Museum and Natural History Museum for several decades. The Museum Building, as it soon came to be called, thus housed for a long time all the main treasures of the Icelandic nation under the same roof. On the exterior walls of the building are the names of eight leading figures from Icelandic cultural and religious history and their dates. They are: medieval historians Ari Þorgilsson and Snorri Sturluson, bishop and bible translator Guðbrandur Þorláksson, hymnist Hallgrímur Pétursson, annalist and historian Jón Halldórsson, writer and Enlightenment scholar Eggert Ólafsson, annalist Jón Espólín and literary scholar Sveinbjörn Egilsson. Above the granite door frames of the building is a falcon crest with a crown, the Icelandic coat of arms when the Culture House was built.

On the left side of the cover, two stamps have been used to complete the rate. The stamp on the bottom is part of a set of five stamps issued on the 24th of May 2007 dedicated to the glaciers in Iceland. Glaciers cover nearly 11% of Iceland’s surface. Almost all glaciers in Iceland are of the temperate glacier type. Ice caps are large glacial ice sheets which cover terrain of varying elevation, for the most part covering it. The stamp pictures Breiðamerkurjökull one of the largest of the island. Here is a picture of the full set.

Interesting to see that one of the stamp does not have the same size than the others. This is quite unusual I think.

The last stamp is part of a set of two, issued on the 20th of April 2007 to commemorate 100 years of Forestry in Iceland. Here is the full set.

The set commemorates the publication of the Forestry and Soil conservatory act on the 22nd of November 1907.
I was not able to identify the plants that are pictured on the stamps, but I think those stamps are really nice.

Also to be admired is the very neat cancellation, as on all covers I have received so far from Iceland. On these days when a lot of countries are using mechanical cancellation that spoil the stamps it is good to see a nice and clean postmark! Thank you again Benedikt.

1 comment:

Saraccino said...

The left one should be a birch (betula pubescens). The subspecies is Betula pubescens subsp. tortuosa (or the newer name subsp. czerepanovii).

The right one should be a european mountain ash or rowan (Sorbus aucuparia subsp. glabrata). They get very golden or red leaves in autumn depending on the earth they are growing in. If the soil is very dry, they get this beautiful red colour :)