Thursday, 25 December 2008

Cover from Malaysia

On 23 December 2008 I received this very nice cover from Siew Lan (on blogspot as fungstamp). It features the whole series, issued on 13 March 2008, dedicated to Malaysian nocturnal animals (Haiwan-Haiwan Nokturnal): 30 sen - teledu (Mydaus javanensis), 30 sen - tikus ambang bulan (Echinosorex gymnurus), 50 sen - kucing tulap (Catopuma temminckii), RM1 - keluang (Pteropus vampyrus). Thank you!

Postcard from South Africa

Received on 17 December 2009. A view from the Drakensberg National Park in Kwazulu/Natal Province, South Africa.

The self-adhesive stamp (looking very much like a sticker) was issued on 17 August 2007 along with four other stamps in a booklet called the Big Five (these five large African mammals being lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino). The current value of the airmail postcard is 4.20 rands.

Thank you, Gisela.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Cover from Portugal

On 20 November 2008 I received this nice cover with a mixture of two stamp-issuing territories: Portugal and Madeira. I already spoke about the Madeira stamp from 2007 in an earlier post. So the other bird stamp here is Portuguese, 1 eurocent of value, depicting a peto-verde (Picus viridis), issued in 2003 in a series of nice definitives. The 5 eurocent stamp on the right shows the "Aqueduto dos Pegoes" in Tomar, and was issued on 7 June 2005 in a series dedicated to the monuments of the period of the personal union of Portugal and Spain, the so-called "período filipino" (1580-1640), when three Habsburg kings named Philip ruled the two countries.

The stamps were hand-cancelled at CTC Lisboa on 18/11/2008.

Thank you Paula:-)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Postcard from India

Yesterday, on 16 December 2008, I received this nice postcard of the famous Red Fort, located in the walled city of Delhi, India. It was constructed by the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638 A.D., the art work in the fort being a synthesis of Persian, European and Indian art.

The two stamps used on the card are part of a series of attractive definitives issued on 30 April 2000 as the VIII Definitive Series of the Indian post. The Rs.10 depicts the tiger in the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, and the Rs.5 stamp a leopard cat, "a member of the cat family of the same size of the domestic cat, but having the colour and markings of a miniature panther"; the other stamps in the series being Black Buck (25p), Nilgiri Tahr (50p), Sarus Crane (Re.1/-), Kurinji Flower (Rs.2/-, Smooth Indian Otter (Rs.3/-), Tawny Coaster Butterfly (Rs.15/-) Amaltaas (Rs.20/-) and Pardise Fly Catcher (Rs.50/-).

Thank you A.!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Cover from Nicaragua

Another older letter, which I received sometime in May 1998 from a friend from Managua, Nicaragua. Nicaragua is represented in many a collection through its CTOs of attractive topics, but it is also a country with interesting production regarding local issues...

Both these stamps were issued in 1996 and both are nice commemoratives of these local issues. The yellow 5 córdoba stamp was issued on the occasion of the 1996 visit of the Pope John Paul II, the bluish 5 córdoba stamp (issued on 8 May 1996) is dedicated to the SICA (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana) and features six flags of the participating countries and a map of the region.

Thanks L.:-)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Cover from Austria no. 2

Yesterday, on 15 December 2008, I received this great letter from Florian from Graz, Austria, with two Austrian EUROPA stamps. Both stamps are singles, i.e. are part of no series, there are no modifications between stamps issued in booklets and in sheets. Both have the print-run of 800,000 and were issued in June: the letter-writing stamp on 8 June 2008 and the scouting stamp on 16 June 2007, and both are a great addition to my collection:-) Thanks!

Postcard from Brno, Czech Republic

When visiting Brno last week I sent home also a postcard with a snowy view of the Peter and Paul Cathedral (Petrov) built in the 14th to 15th century. The stamp used is taken from a miniature sheet dedicated to the Unesco Biosphere Reservation of the White Carpathians and its orchid meadows (mountain range dividing the Czech and Slovak Republic above Bratislava). The sheet combining offset and engraving consists of 4 stamps and four coupons. The 10 CZK stamp shows the orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis and the butterfly Colias myrmidone and was hand-cancelled at the Brno 1 Post Office in the very centre of the city.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Cover from Estonia

On 15 September 2008 I received this nice airmail cover sent on 11 September 2008 from the town of Johvi in the northeast of Estonia. The five stamps range from 1993 to 2007 and show a great selection of what this small nation has to offer. The 1 EEK stamp from 1993 is dedicated to Lydia Koidula, a poetess of the national movement period in the 19th century (issued on 14 December 1993, with a print-run of 485,900), the 4.40 EEK stamp (issued on 4 April 2001, in 503,760 pieces) shows a northern lapwing, the bird of the year selected by the Estonian Ornithological Society, and the last commemorative stamps of 3.60 EEK (issued on 29 March 1999) shows the then Estonian president Lennart Meri, also a celebrated author and film-maker. The stamp goes with a tab featuring the Estonian coat-of-arms and the text "The President of the Republic of Estonia" in four languages.

The two small self-adhesive stamps are newer; the 0.30 EEK daisy was issued on 17 January 2007 with a print-run of 1,730,000, and the 0.30 EEK dandelion is from 14 September 2004 and was issued in one million pieces.

Thank you, Kristiina:-)

Friday, 12 December 2008

Postcard from Macau

More than a year ago, on 26 November 2007, I received this nice postcard from Macau, showing the UNESCO protected Ruins of St. Paul's, the remnants of a Portuguese cathedral built in Macau in the 17th century.

The first stamp with the nominal value of 3.50 patacas is taken from the series Legends and Myths VI (Lendas e Mitos VI) - Liang Shambo and Zhu Yingtai. It was issued on 15 February 2003 in 400,000 pieces. The second stamp has similar literary connotations. It is part of Seng Yu - Proverbs II (Proverbios II), has the nominal value of 1.50 patacas and was issued on 1 June 2007 with a print-run of 140,000.

The card was sent on 20/11/2007 by Jasmin:-)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Czech Christmas postcard

On Tuesday 9 December when shopping and savouring the Christmas atmosphere in Svoboda Square (náměstí Svobody) in Brno, South Moravia, among many other wooden stands selling traditional products and mulled wine I came across a wooden hut of the Czech Post selling Christmas stamps, postcards, and offering a special cancellation, so I hopped in and sent ourselves this wintery card with the 10 CZK stamp, which I presented here on 5 November. The postmark says Traditional Christmas in Brno and bears the name of the Brno 1 post office, which presumably organises this nice event.

Christmas cover from Slovakia

After Germany I received today this year's Christmas stamp also from the neighbouring Slovakia, from the town of Giraltovce in the eastern part of the country. The stamp, featuring a painting called "The Holy Family" by an unknown Flemish artist active in the mid-16th century, was issued on 13 November 2008 in a print-run of 4 million pieces.

It is the first Slovak Christmas stamp using the new system of denominations: T2 50g (2nd class item up to 50 grams, corresponding at present to 10 Slovak crowns).

Cover from the Netherlands

On 3 November 2008, thanks to Astrid, I received this interesting cover from the Netherlands (postmark illegible). It shows two faces of the Dutch car manufacturer Spyker, established 1880, defunct in 1929. However, according to wikipedia, in 1999 a new company, Spyker Cars was founded, unrelated to the original company but for the brand name. The text on the gray 39 eurocent stamp says: 1922 Spyker Brooklands Double 12 Record; the other stamp says 2003 Spyker C8 Double 12 R 24 Uur Van Le Mans (which, honestly, does not make much sense to me...) Anyway, a nice example of how stamps can promote a country's hidden treasures...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Postcard from Macedonia

On 1 December 2008 I received this great postcard from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. It was sent on 24 November and thus reached me in 7 days. It shows the main sights of this city: the Kale fortress, the Orthodox cathedral, and the stone bridge over the Vardar River.

And the total of 5 stamps! The square stamp was issued on 20 December 1996 in a series dedicated to rural architecture. The four definitives are from 2006. The 3 and 6 denar stamps were issued on 30 August and the 4 and 10 denar stamps on 12 Janury. All of them are part of a 6-piece series showing traditional copperware from the 18th to 19th century.

Thanks Ana for this beauty!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Postcard from Hungary no. 2

We spent the last days of November in a great thermal spa in Sárvár, in western Hungary (Vás county). From there I sent myself this multiview postcard with a nice painting stamp which I bought, together with the whole sheet, at the local post-office, at the counter reserved for handling valuable items (and philatelic material) behind a steel-clad, bell-operated door (which is a usual spot for buying special stamps also in my hometown).

The stamp of 150 HUF, issued on 23 May 2007 in a print-run of 200,000, shows "A Picnic in May" (1873) by the Hungarian painter Pál Szinyei Merse, and together with the three other stamps in the series commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of the Hungarian National Gallery. The card was dropped in a mailbox on Friday and came here on Monday.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Registered cover from Uruguay no. 2

On 15 September 2008 I received another registered letter from my friend A. living in Montevideo, Uruguay. This time it was registered only in Uruguay and in Prague, Czech Republic, thus skipping Switzerland as was the case with my first letter mailed from there.

The letter was posted on 5 September 2008 and reached me in 10 days. It features a set of three stamps, repeating the small self-adhesive 100 UYU definitive with grey eagle (águila gris - Geranoaetus melanoleucus) issued in 2006. The new stamps are:

- a nice 12 UYU stamp of the Hospital Central de las Fuerzas Armadas (Central Hospital of the Armed Forces), established in 1908, thus celebrating this year its 100th anniversary; issued on 15 July 2008, with a print-run of 15,000, part of a series dedicated to hospitals; and

- a 4 UYU stamp of Echinopsis multiplex issued in 2000 along with another stamp in a small series dedicated to cacti.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Postcard from Serbia

On 24 November 2008 I received this lovely and huge (A5) postcard from Beograd, the capital of Serbia. The card was sent on 17 November and shows the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube, the old Beograde, and the modern city to the left.

The stamp is part of the 2007 Christmas issue and shows an 18th century painting called Christ's Birth.

Thank you, Ana for this splendid surprise:-)

Christmas cover from Germany

Yesterday I received this nice letter from Wurzen, Germany, dated 2/12/2008, with the complete series of this year's German Christmas stamps. They were issued on 13 November 2008, in a joint issue with Vatican, since one stamp shows a picture housed in a German museum, and the other one a picture which can be found in a Vatican gallery. The pictures are: Raffaello - Adorazione dei Magi (1517-1519) [55 + 25 eurocent] and Albrecht Durer - Geburt Christi (around 1500) [45 + 20 eurocent]. Both very nicely designed. Thank you, Thomas!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Cover from Serbia

Last week I received my first cover from Serbia, sent on 26 November 2008 from the city of Novi Sad, northwest of Belgade. Four stamps were used on it, all of them definitives, all of them pretty. The three identical stamps from 2007 show a tranquil view of the River Morava. Interestingly, another River Morava flows also through my town here in the Czech Republic, and is the major watercourse of the whole region called... Morava (or Moravia in English). Well, I didn't know about its Serbian cousin:-) The other stamp shows the Serbian coat-of-arms with a two-headed eagle (our Moravian eagle has only one head, but likewise has a crown...) issued in 2006 in the amount of 500,000 copies with possible additions based on demand.

The automatic cancellation has a text in Serbian and English, but is not very legible. Thank you C. for this letter.