Sunday, July 29, 2012

Frog on coins

I already took the opportunity of this blog to share with you some coins picturing frogs. I am not a coin collector, but this is always interesting to see what type of coins exist for my topic.
When I browsed the website of the Australian post to buy the stamps I shared with you in my previous post, I came across a nice coin, picturing a frog in color. So I decided to get it, just of the pleasure. This coin is of course only an object for collection and is not intended to be used in daily life, contrarily to the one I already showed in my blog.

Here is the coin, sold in a protective pack.

Here is the other side of the pack.

The frog that is pictures on the coin is a Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroborree)

This species of frog was also pictured on several stamps, including a definitive Australian stamp from 1982.

This frog is very colorful and you understand easily why it was chosen to be pictured on stamps.
'Corroboree' is an Indigenous Australian word for a gathering or meeting where traditionally the attendees paint themselves with yellow markings similar to those of this frog.
Corroboree frogs are the first vertebrates discovered that are able to produce their own poisonous alkaloids. The alkaloid is secreted from the skin as a defense against predation, and potentially against skin infections by microbes. Corroboree frogs are quite unusual in their nature. Not only do they not start breeding until four years of age, they also hibernate during winter under whatever shelter they can find. Males stay with the egg nests and may breed with many females over the course of one season.
The species is highly endangered by man activities.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Farming in Australia (II)

Few months ago I have shown you a set of stamps issued by Australia related to farming and that I was happy to add to by cow stamp collection. On the 26th of June 2012, Australian postal administration has issued a second set of four stamps in the same series. I am not really sure that this subject deserved a second set on the same year… but I’m still very happy to add it to my collection. Australia is really on a trend of emitting a huge amount of stamps and as you will see here again, a huge amount of philatelic products related to theses issues. 

Let’s first have a look to the new set of four stamps. 

They are sold in the form of a block of four. The four stamps have the same face value. Clockwise the stamps picture the following farming activities: 

Beef cattle: with over 23 million animals, Beef cattle are one of the major farming industries across much of Australia. Hereford, Aberdeen Angus, Beef Shorthorn, Limousin, Charolais and Simmental are breads that you can find through the country. The stamp picture some Droughtmaster, a Brahman cattle cross developed in Australia for dry, harsh conditions, particularly in the north of the country. 

Oranges: Most of the citrus fruit produced every year in Australia is oranges. Mandarins, lemons, limes and grapefruit account for the remaining citrus production (around 27 per cent). The main orange varieties are Navels and Valencias. Citrus production regions are in the Riverland, South Australia; the Murray Valley in Victoria and New South Wales; the Riverina in New South Wales and the Central Burnett region in Queensland. There are also additional plantings throughout Western Australia, inland and coastal New South Wales, regions in Queensland, as well as smaller plantings in the Northern Territory. 

Sugar : Australia is the third largest raw sugar producer in the world. Eighty per cent of the country's sugar is exported, making the industry the seventh largest agricultural exporter in Australia. Australia's sugarcane is grown in high-rainfall and irrigated areas along coastal plains and river valleys on 2,100 km of Australia's eastern coast, between Mossman in far north Queensland and Grafton in New South Wales. Queensland accounts for about 95 per cent of Australia's raw sugar production, and New South Wales around 5 per cent. 

Wool : Australia is the world's leading producer of wool, accounting for around 24 per cent of global wool production. Australia is also the world's leading wool exporter. The vast majority of Australian wool is suited to the manufacture of high-quality fashion apparel. 

A nice set of stamps, and a nice stamp for my cow collection! As it was not enough the four stamps are also issued in auto-adhesive format. 

The block of four can be bought in a presentation pack, as the previous set. This time the cover is picturing sheep and not cows anymore. 

Both types of stamps can be found on official first day covers with similar first day cancels than the previous set.

Also maximum cards have been issued, reusing the same illustration that the stamps. 

Then you can also buy the stamps in the form of booklet of ten stamps. 

Or booklet of twenty stamps.

 I stop here but you can also buy a booklet of booklets ! You must really be wealthy if you want to collect all types of philatelic products produced by Australian post for each stamp issue!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My first cover from Honduras

Today I’m thrilled to share with you the first cover I have received from Honduras. Thank you Sonia for this letter and what it contained.
Sonia maintains a very nice philatelic blog (in Spanish and English)/ I invite you to visit it :

Here is the cover.

I must admit that I had a hard time finding details on the stamps used on the cover and also on the stamp sheet that Sonia sent me. I could not find any good resource on the internet to get data on stamps issued by Honduras. If you know any…

The stamp on the left on the cover is from this year and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between Honduras and Korea. The stamp pictures current presidents of both countries. I do not know if it is part of a joint issue with Korea?
The second one celebrates the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship with Japan. The stamp pictures princess Sayako, the third child and only girl of Akihito, the current Emperor of Japan. The building pictured on the stamp is the National Congress Palace of Honduras, located in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.

The postmark is not very readable but it seems interesting by the design of the border of the circle.

Sonia also sent me a stamp sheet issued in 2008 and picturing paintings from the artist Gaye-Darlene Bidart de Satulsky.

I did not find information about this artist…

Thank you again Sonia. I will son send you something from France in return.

Monday, July 16, 2012

In a mixture of old stamps

I have been very active on my blog these last days (not to say weeks). I have been so busy at work, including a short business trip to Shanghai for which I still feel very jetlagged… But today I decided to keep some time to write a post in my blog, to share some stamps with you.

There is one thing I really like to do when I need to relax. I like to have an unsorted mixture of stamps in front of me, and I like taking the time to examine the stamp one by one, selecting those that will go into some of my collections, putting aside those for which I want to find more information, later. I did this recently with a mixture of mint stamps that I have since ages now and that I never took the time to sort. I was so happy to find three stamps for my cow stamp collection that I decided to share them with you. I really like them.

The first one is from Colombia.

As you can see this is a surcharged and overprinted stamp. The original stamp is from 1932 and pictures cattle heads. The stamp was overprinted and surcharged on the 5th if January 1934 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Cartagena. Cartagena, Colombia is a city located on the northern coast of Colombia and was founded on June 1st 1533 and named after Cartagena, Spain. 

The second stamp I found is from Australia and pictures a boy, a girl and a calf.

It was issued on the 3rd of September 1953 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the young farmers’ clubs.

The last one is my preferred one. It is part of a set of three stamps issued by New Zealand in January 1956 to celebrate the centennial of Southland region. Southland, the southernmost region of the South Island, was part of Otago province until the abolition of the provincial system in 1876. For a period from 1860 to 1870, Southland had its own government located in the city of Invercargill. 1956 marked in fact the centennial of the founding of the city of Invercargill. After some reluctance, the New Zealand postal administration agreed to issues a set of stamps. A design competition was launched. The chosen designs were then highly amended by the selection committee. Printed by De la Rue, the full set contains three stamps with one that fits to my cow stamps collection.
The lowest face value stamp was designed by E.R. Leeming and shows a scene of whaling activity in Foveaux Strait located between the South Island and Stewart Island.

The scene is quite impressive, and you realize the danger of this activity when you see the small boat on the stamp! (This stamp somehow reminds me of Moby Dick from Herman Melville…)

The second stamp designed by L.C.Mitchell shows an allegorical farming scene with a very nice cow!

The scene is quite surprising I think. The way the woman and the cow look at the same direction is interesting. A very nice stamp for my collection.

The last stamp of the set was designed by M.R.Smith and shows a native flightless bird, the Takahe.

The Takahe, also known as Notornis, was thought extinct for some time, until it was rediscovered in 1948.

I spent a nice time sorting out my mixture of stamps and at the end I was really happy to get three more stamps for my collection!