Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Just a short note to wish all of you a very happy new year. I hope 2012 will bring you all what you may desire for you and your family!

I have updated the list of links on my blog. If you want me to add a link to yours, don't hesitate to send me a mail.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Frogs, frogs, frogs everywhere !

As I said in a previous post, I have started a very massive reshuffling of my website presenting my frog stamps collection (The Philatelic Frog) and as you can imagine I am very slow in doing this change. Nevertheless, these last months, I have accumulated quite a big number of frog stamps and on popular demand (don’t laugh I had two different requests ;-) ) I decided to write this post to share with you all my latest findings.

Sooner or later they will be posted on my website but for people sharing the same interest this blog post could be already a good source of information.

I present them below in so specific order and I do not show the ones I already showed in this blog. Some are recent issues from 2011, some are older (mainly 2010) but I only recently found out about them. Some of these issues have been highlighted to me by some of my readers and for this I would like to say a big thank you to every body reading my blog and an even bigger thank you to all who help me in my collections.

• Let’s start by Dominican Republic that issued a set of four stamps on the 7th of September 2011 bearing the logo of the WWF and picturing the same frog species: Hypsiboas heilprini (Hispaniolan Green Tree frog)

To be noted that these are the first frog stamps issued by this country.

• Then a stamp and souvenir sheet issued by Indonesia on the 5th of November 2011.


The frog that is pictured on the stamp is a Leptophryne cruentata (Bleeding toad). To be noted that souvenir sheet is pre-cut in the form of a water lily leaf as you can see on the First Day Cover below.

• 2011 has been chosen as the international year of the forest and at this occasion, United Nations have issued a set of six stamps (two se-tenant stamps per office). The stamps from the office of New York picture a magical forest and its inhabitants among which there is a red frog.

What I find surprising for these stamps (and for the other stamps of the set by the way) is that nowhere it is mentioned that United Nations is the entity that has issued the stamps! Strange, no?
• Now let’s move to Ukraine where a very impressive sheet of five stamps has been issued on the 22nd of November 2011 to picture amphibians.

The stamps picture the following species: Pelophylax kl. esculentus (Edible frog), Pelophylax lessonae (Pool frog), Pelophylax ridibundus (Marsh frog), Rana dalmatina (Agile frog) and the well known Hyla arborea (Green tree frog).
• To stay on spectacular issue, here is one from Vanuatu, issued on the 27th of July 2011 with four stamps and a rather impressive souvenir sheet. All stamps pictures the same type of frog, a Litoria aurea (Green and golden bell frog)

I could not find any information to confirm that the two following issues are valid ones. If you have any information I would be happy to get some as they may be bogus issues. Even if they are valid they are clearly issues targeting topical collectors and will probably never see a cover!

• The first one is from Guinea-Bissau

• The second is one from Mozambique.

• Let’s continue with this stamp booklet issued by Ecuador in 2011 to promote the Yasuni-ITT program and that contains three stamps picturing a frog.

The Yasuni-ITT program is named after the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini field located in the Yasuni National Park. Under this field a big reserve of oil has been found by through the Yasuni-ITT initiative the government from Ecuador committed not to exploit this oil reserve in order to protect the spectacular natural reserve full of various species of plants and animals that represents this area.

• In the of four stamps issued on the 24th of August 2011 by Costa-Rica featuring the flora and fauna of the natural reserve “Bosque Eterno de los Niños” we can find a stamp picturing a frog, Lithobates vibricarius.

• A souvenir sheet issued in 2011 by Bangladesh featuring rare animals of the country contains a stamp picturing a frog, Euphlyctis hexadactylus (Green pond frog).

• A very different type of issue is the set of stamps issued by Gambia in the scope of the international philatelic exhibition Nippon 2011. Dedicated to Origami, this issue pictures various animals in paper among which there is a frog.

As you may know, if you read my blog regularly, I’m very found of Origami, therefore I really like this issue. The frog is not an easy model for Origami, I never succeeded to fold a good one.

• Also on a different note here is a stamp issued by Soith Korea on the 1st of October 2011 as part of the definitive series. The stamp pictures a long-necked Jar decorated with clay figurines among which you can see some frogs.

Among the issues of 2010 I would like to share with you the following.

• The fist frog stamp from Bolivia issued on the 1st of November 2010.

It is part of a set of four stamps dedicated to endangered species. The frog that is featured on the stamp is an Atelopus tricolor (the Three-colored harlequin toad).

• The rather rare issue from East Timor celebrates the year of biodiversity with amphibians and reptiles

Limnonectes timorensis (Timor river frog) is the species features on the stamp.

• Also to celebrate the year of the biodiversity, here is the stamp issued by Morocco on the 1st of October 2010 on which there is, as you can see on the zoom, a small frog

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mail from Santa Calus

When I was a young boy, I was told by adult people that Santa Claus would come into my house through the chimney to bring me presents, but only if I have been a good boy. At this time I was very skeptic because there was no chimney in my house! So how could Santa Claus come? I remember that I tried to stay awake during the whole night in order to see him and see how he would do… Of course I failed and felt asleep very quickly…
Years later, I know that Santa Claus does not really exist ;-) but I always like the Christmas spirit. This is why I’m happy to share with you some mails received from Santa Claus office.

I got the first one from Elena, a colleague from Romania, who spent few days in Lapland. She was kind enough to take the time to send me one postcard and one cover.
On the postcard is pictured Santa Claus village located in Rovaniemi.

Rovaniemi is a city located in the North of Finland, 10km away from the polar circle. It is the capital of the finish Lapland and is the official home town of Santa Claus.

Here is the other side of the card bearing a Christmas stamp issued in 2001.

The postmark is more visible on the cover that I also got from Elena.  

Nice postmark, isn’t it? I could not really find information on the stamp that Elena used on the cover. It seems it is part of a set issued in 2011 for the Stamp Day but I’m not completely sure. I also don’t now what is the bridge pictured on the stamp; If you know I would be happy to hear from you.

From the same place I also received the “official” letter from Santa Claus sent by the Finish post.  

Same stamp, same postmark. The letter that was inside is in French! Here it is with also a nice drawing on the reverse side.

The cover also contained a 2012 calendar. This letter from Santa Claus is not free. It can be bought from Finish post website and exists in various languages.

And to finish let me show you the letter from Santa Claus that French post is sending. To get it you just need to write to Santa using the French post website. What you get is a postal stationary containing a small gift, a paper mask to be cut out for your kids.

As I won’t probably have time to write more in my blog before the weekend, let me whish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS. Let’s get immersed in the Christmas spirit!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Some more mails from postal administrations

As a follow up of my previous post, I would like to share with you some more mails that I received from other postal administrations.

The first one is from Liechtenstein. This is the first letter I receive from this country, but as you can see it does not bear any stamps unfortunately.

But on the positive side I must say that this cover contained a gift for me (on top of its expected content). This is a nice Christmas card. I think it compensates the lack of stamps on the cover!

The card bears one of the three Christmas stamps issued by the Liechtenstein Post on the 14th of November. Here is a picture of the full set that I rather like (two of the three stamps contain an ox in their design so will fit into my cow/ox collection!).

The second one is from Luxembourg. Again no stamps on it!

But again there was an unexpected gift inside. This is again a Christmas card containing the Christmas stamp issued by Luxembourg on the 6th of November 2011 and bearing the first day cancel.

I realized that this stamp would also fit into my collection as among the small animals that you can see there is a small ox!

The last one comes from Faroe Islands. My first cover from this part of the world! And this time the postal administration has used four stamps to frank the cover!

The four stamps are part of a set of eight issued on the 18th of September 2006. The full set has been issued as a souvenir sheet.

The stamps picture various views of sandoy, one of the Faroe Islands. There are 18 islands in total, one 
being inhabited, and sandoy being the fifth biggest one.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Mails from postal administrations

I recently received mails from several postal administrations and I decided to share them with you in order to share also my frustration.

Before I show you the covers I received, let me give two important precisions. The first one is that all these covers (except one) were sent only to me, I mean that they were not covers containing a generic mail sent to hundreds or thousands of people. The second point is that they are all coming from the philatelic service of the concerned postal administration.
Here are the covers I got from Sweden, Finland and United Nations.

You start to understand where I going to?

Now let’s see the covers I got from Iceland and Portugal.

You see the differences? The last two covers are franked with real stamps! Yes! And it really makes a difference.

And for Portugal I must even precise that the cover contained a catalog of 2011 products, so not a mail just sent to me but to a lot a people. This is the exception.

The cover from Iceland bears a Christmas stamp from a set of two issued on the 5th of November 2009 and picturing stained-glass exploring Iceland’s religious history.

The second stamp is a part of a set of two issued on the 10th of March 2005 dedictaed to mice! The stamp pictures a (cute) field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) as opposed to the house mouse (Mus musculus) which is pictured on the second stamp of the set.

The Portuguese cover bears a more recent stamp which is part of a set of six issued on the 3rd of March 2011 celebrating the inscription of fado in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

The set pictures the most famous people associated with this traditional Portuguese musical genre.
Why all philatelic services don’t use stamps when they write a specific customer? This could be a very good advertisement of their products. This experience makes me feel like buying more stamps from Iceland and Portugal!

Friday, December 02, 2011

My first cover from Laos

I’m very happy today to share with you my first cover received from Laos! This is a registered cover franked with a rather interesting number of stamps. Here it is.

The bad news is that I have had a lot of difficulties to find some information about the stamps (date of issue, subject, etc). I could not find any good on line resources to learn about the recent stamps issued by Laos.
I can anyway share with you my limited knowledge.
The stamp located on the far left was issued in 2005 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Lao PDR. Indeed this is on the 2nd of December 1975 that the country became the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
The stamp in the middle was issued in 2010 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the nomination of the city of Luang Prabang as UNESCO world heritage site. I don’t know if other stamps have been issued together with this one and I could not really find details on what it pictures.
All the other stamps, picturing flowers, are 2011 issues on which I could not find any information.
If you can help me to gather more details I would be very happy.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Advent calendar

Today being the 1st of December I have opened the first window of the Advent calendar that I bought from the French post.

As expected behind the window there as a piece of chocolate (not the best chocolate in the world if you allow me…) wrapped into a paper reusing the design of the Happiness image that is on the window and on the stamps of the collector.

Twenty four days to go before Chistmas ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Unusual cancellation on a French cover

I have received this cover a long time ago but I never took the time to share it with you. Over the weekend I was doing some clean up among the scanned images in my PC and I found it back and decided to show it today.

The stamps on the cover are not the reason why I wanted to write about it? Nevertheless, let me give some information about them.
The stamp on the left has been issued in 1973 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the cooperation treaty between France and Germany. That was signed on the 22nd of January 1963. The design of the stamp uses a mixture of the French and German flags to illustrate this cooperation.
The other stamp has been issued in 1989 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French revolution. The stamp has been designed by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon and pictures the birds used as a logo during the commemoration.

The real reason that triggered my intention to share this cover with you is the cancel. The block of four stamps is cancelled with an unusual rectangular cancel. Here is a close up of the cancellation (I tried to play with Photoshop to highlight more the cancel, this is the best I could do).

As you can see the cancel reads: Montrouge CCT1 920840.

Montrouge is the city where I live. CCT1 stands for Centre de Courrier Type 1 (Mail center type 1). My understanding is that a CCT1 comes from the split of a post office in two separate entities (located in the same place but with their own director): one entity for mail sorting/distribution and one for the general public. I don’t know what a CCT2 is and I don’t know if there are other types of CC.
I guess 920840 is the code of the CCT1 of Montrouge.

This is the firs time I see such cancel on a cover. I guess that what happened is that the cover left un-cancelled the place where it was mailed and that when it arrives in Montrouge mail center they used what they had in hands to cancel the stamps.

At the end it gives an unusual item!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A cover from Colombia and a new frog item

I recently received a very nice cover from Colombia that I would like to share with you. This is a registered letter, franked with an interesting number of stamps. The stamps are cancelled with a nice postmark from Bogota. A nice result! Here is the cover.

The stamp on the left part of the cover was issued in 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Colpatria bank. The stamp pictures the Colpatria tower that hosts the headquarter of the bank, a 50 story skyscraper located in Bogota. This is the tallest building of the country; it was built in 1978/1979.

The stamp located in the middle of the cover is part of a set of four corporate stamps issued on the 1st of March 2009 to commemorate the launch 4.72, the new name of the postal service in Colombia. I could not find information about the origin of this name, 4.72?

The last stamp on the right was issued in 2006 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis Xavier.

But what was even more interesting for me was what was inside the cover: a souvenir sheet recently issued by Colombian post to celebrate biodiversity. I’m not a bog fan of the design of the souvenir sheet, as it looks really artificial. It looks similar to other souvenir sheets issued by this country. I could not find the exact date of issue of the sheet, so if you have information, please contact me.

Here is the item.

As you can see the souvenir sheet pictures several frogs, two on the border and one on the stamp. The stamp pictures a rather impressive number of species of animals and plants! The design is quite loaded. Only the animals and plants pictured on the stamp are identified, which makes the stamp design even more crowded.

The frog pictured on the stamp is a Lhemann’s Poison frog (Dendrobates lehmanni), a species of frog that is endemic to Colombia. It is named after the Colombian biologist Frederico Carlos Lehmann. The stamp pictures three other animals and four plants!

I take this opportunity to tell you that I’m working on a BIG reshuffling of my frog stamp website. It takes me a lot of time and energy, this is why I have less time to update this blog. I hope I will be able to finish soon and to share it with you.