Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Postmark from Germany (II)

This post is a follow up of my the previous. Together with the nice cover I shared with you yesterday I also received a large cover bearing nice stamp and a very interesting postamrk. The cover is so large that I could not scan it in one shot so I decided to show you only the stamp parts. Here they are.

First let's say a word about the stamps. They have been issued in January 2010 in a series issued "for the welfare" dedicated to fruits. Each stamp bears a surtax and pictures the now usual "plus" sign, the five points cross. But what is to be noticed about these stamps is that they represent a first time for the German post : they are scented stamps! They smell after the fruit they picture (you have to rub the stamp to free the perfume).

Four fruits are pictured on the set:the apple, the strawberry (my favourite fruit), the lemon and the blueberry. I think the stamps are rather simple but very beautiful.

The postmark is also to be noticed. In fact it is similar to the postmark from this postcard that I received from another contact.

The postmark is one of the five postmarks used during the international stamp fair held in Sindelfingen at the end of October. If you look closely to the postmark that you will see that it pictures various animals, among which there is a frog! I almost missed it the first time I saw it.

Postmarks from Germany (I)

I would like to start this post with a big THANK YOU. Thank you to Kalpana for the letters (with the nice postmarks I'm sharing with you today), for the stamps and for the philatelic papers (this is very good to help me practicing my German which is not so good)! I got them all more than one week ago but I could not find time until now to scan them and write about them.
As you will see Kalpana has adapted already to my new topic for collection (Cows) without forgetting my old one (Frogs) as you will see in my next post.

Here is the first cover that I received, with a very nice postmark picturing a pig and a cow (click on the picture to see a zoom).

The pictorial postmark celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute which is the German national research center for animal health. The insititute was founded in 1910 by Friedrich Loeffler (1852-1915) a German bacteriologist who, among other things, discovered the organism causing diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) and the cause of foot and mouth disease (Aphthovirus).
On the 7th of October 2010 a stamp was even issued by the German postal administration to celebrate the same anniversary.

I received a second very nice cover.

Here the postmark celebrates the 20th anniversary of the National association of philately from Mecklenburg-Vorpommem. Mecklenburg-Vorpommem is a federal state in northern Germany. The postmark pictures a part of the coat of arms of the state that is reproduced below.

The large coat of arms of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is used by the parliament of the Land and the superior state authorities. It shows a shield divided into four sections. In its upper right and lower left section there are bullheads on a golden background. The bullheads represent the former grand dukedoms of Mecklenburg, i. e. Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The red griffon on a silver background in the upper left section stands for Vorpommern. In the fourth section the Brandenburg eagle refers to the close historical link between Pommern and Brandenburg.

Both covers bear the same stamp, a stamp issued in September 2008 that I already mentionned in a
previous post thanks again to a sending of Kalpana.
These two covers are my first postamrks for my cow collection!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The game of the frog

11As an echo of my last post I would like to show you today a pre-stamped envelop that I bought recently on an auction website and that I received yesterday. This is a pre-stamped envelop from France that belongs to a series dedicated to traditional games of the north of France. This envelop is illustrated with a game called “the game of the frog” or “the game of the barrel”.

This game is a very old one. The objective of the game is to throw small objects (stones, coins etc) into one or several holes made in a piece of wood placed on top of a barrel. After the 19th century a frog was often added on one extremity of the piece of wood, giving to the game its name “the game of the frog”. If you could succeed throwing the object into the mouth of the frog then you could win much more points. The frog was sometimes replaced by other sculpted animals, even by human heads. It seems this game is rather famous in the north of France, but it is played in other places in the world such as in South American where the game is known as “sapo” (toad) or “rana” frog.

The printed stamp on the envelop reuses the design of a stamp that is part of a set issued in 1993. This set contains “greeting stamps” illustrated by comics author. The stamp used on the cover contains the greeting “Good luck” and was designed by Mezzo. Here is a copy of the original stamp (the scan comes form the excellent website Phila Echange).

Three main differences between the original stamp and the printed stamp:
- the mention of the date of issue (2003) has disappeared.
- the mention “republique française” has been replaced by “France”
- and finally the printed stamp contains the mention phil@post which is the name of the company in charge of printing stamps for the French postal administration

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Frogs on postal stationeries

My collection of philatelic items picturing frogs does not contain only stamps and postmarks but also postal stationeries: pre-stamped envelops or postal cards, aerogrammes…. I recently scanned a bunch of such items and decided to share some with you.
These items can be classified in various types depending on the location where the frog is pictured.

The first type is the most interesting one: this is the case when the frog is pictured on the printed stamp and when this printed stamp re-uses the design of an actual stamp.
Here is an example of a pre-stamped postal card from United States of the America re-using the design of a 1996 stamp from the “endangered species” series and picturing a Wyoming toad.

As you can see both the picture part and the stamp part of the card uses the same design.
The second type is when the printed stamp pictures the frog but does not really correspond to an existing postage stamp.

Here are two examples, one from Austria (card) and a very nice one from Australia (envelop).

Then the third type, which is the most common is when the frog is only pictured on the side of the envelop or on the picture side of a card but not on the printed stamp.
Here is an example of a card from Germany (card).

Here is another one from USSR (envelop).

If you did not see it already one of the foxes is playing with a frog, which is rather small on the scan I agree ;-).
There are even cases where the postage paid is not indicated via a printed stamp as on this example of pre-paid envelop from Australia that could be used only to send Xmas greetings and that pictures the very famous Kermit the frog!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Triangular stamps on a cover from Pakistan

Triangular stamps are not so common. I like them; I think this is an interesting shape for a stamp. So I’m happy today to share with you a cover that I received recently from Pakistan, posted from Islamabad, and bearing a set of four triangular stamps.

The four triangular stamps have been issued on the 23rd of March 2009 to celebrate the national year of environment. Each stamp pictures a national emblem of Pakistan. From left to right and top to bottom you can see:

- The jasmine (Jasminus) a type of shrubs and vines belonging to the olive family with around 200 different species! The stamp pictures probably the common jasmine (Jasminum officinal) which is the national flower of Pakistan
- The deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara) that is a species of cedar native to northern Pakistan and also the national tree of the country
- The Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) which is an Eurasian upland game bird in the pheasant family and the national bird of Pakistan
- The Markhor (Capra falconeri) a species of wild goat that is found in central Pakistan which is also the national animal of Pakistan. To be noted the corkscrew-like horns of this goat.

Three other large stamps are used on the cover. Starting on the far left is a stamp issued in February of this year to celebrate the first edition of the Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore from the 14th to the 26th of August 2010. There were 26 sports presented during these games. Pakistan won only one medal, a silver one, in hockey after being defeated 2-1 by Australia in the final.

The stamp on the right is part of a set issued on the 26th of August 2002 to commemorate the world summit on sustainable development (WSSD) held from the 26th of August and the 4th of September in Johannesburg. The full set contains two stamps.

The last stamp on the cover was issue on the 9th of September 2009 (09/09/09 ! nice date) to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Philippines. The stamp pictures the flag of both countries. I thought that this stamp was a part of a joint issue but I could not find any stamp issued by Philippines on the same subject…