Wednesday, 27 May 2009

A short break

This blog will be on hiatus for the next several weeks because I am going on holiday to France. I have collected lots of new material, so as soon as I get home I will start publishing again:-)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Cover from Switzeland no. 2

Yet another EUROPA Astronomy stamp:-), this time from Switzerland, sent on the date of issue (8 May 2009) from Bern, on the envelope of the first day of issue. The stamp of 1 CHF shows the chart of the inner solar system and there an asteroid no. 113390 named Helvetia, discovered in Winterthur in 2002. The postage is complemented by a sticker of 0.20 CHF.

Thank you, Sara:-)

Postcard from Ukraine no. 2

A lovely autumnal postcard from Kyiv, Ukraine, showing the puppet theatre and Aqua-informational center (whatever that is;-). It was sent on 8 May 2009 and received 4 days later. The beautiful 3.75 UAH stamp (astronomy IS a great topic for stamps) shows a meridian circle on the background of a star chart. The meridian circle, or transit circle, is "an instrument for observing the time of stars passing the meridian, at the same time measuring its angular distance from the zenith." (Wikipedia) The stamp (along with its self-tenant cousin with Galileo Galilei) was issued on 17 April 2009 in 95,000 copies.

The two smaller stamps show a penny whistle from the seventh release of definitive postage stamps, issued on 16 March 2007.

Thank you, Irina.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

EUROPA cover from Finland no. 3

This is a fantasy cover from Liisa from Finland, (thank you!!!), bearing the two brand new EUROPA astronomy stamps, issued on 6 May 2009, and sent on the same day. Breathtaking views of the Moon and Saturn above a calm Finnish (?) landscape. These stamps caught my attention the very day I saw them and are to be treasured.

Postcard from Åland no. 2

Post no. 200. A postcard showing a map of Finland and a few views of this interesting country, sent on 7 May 2009 from Mariehamn, Åland, and received 4 days later. The stamp with the Europa tariff (0.80 euro) shows a portrait of Ulla-Lena Lundberg, Åland-born writer, next to a depiction of the ship Leo, from the first eponymous book of her trilogy about Åland shipping. The series, issued on 24 March 2009, also includes a stamp featuring Anni Blomqvist and a stamp featuring Valdemar Nyman

Monday, 11 May 2009

Cover from Spain no. 3

Recived today after a week of travelling from Galicia, very nice cover with this year's Spanish EUROPA stamp. It was issued on 23 April 2009 in 550,000 copies and shows a composition of the Moon and galaxies, a topic which will recur in other astronomy stamps throughout the year. Gracias, José Luis!

Postcard from the Philippines no. 2

A postcard showing a tranquil view of some of the islands in the Hundred Islands National Park, in the province of Pangasinan in northern Philippines.

The 6 peso stamp from 2005 is dedicated to the United Nations Millenium Development Goals contained in the Millennium Declaration adopted by 189 nations during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000. They are:
* Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
* Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
* Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
* Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
* Goal 5: Improve maternal health
* Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
* Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
* Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

The bird definitives of 1 and 5 pesos are from 2007 and form part of a big series showing typical and endangered species in the Philippines.

The card was sent on 18 November 2008 from Puerto Pricesa City and reached me on 1 December 2008. Thank you, Jan!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Cover from the USA no. 3

An interesting cover from Plano, Texas, sent on 21 March 2009 and received 6 days later. Apart from the Lunar New Year stamp, which I commented upon in an earlier post, it bears a nice photographic stamp with a dogsled (commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood, issued on 3 January 2009) and a 10c stamp issued on 17 June 1975 in a series celebrating the US Bicentennial (part of the painting "the Battle of Bunker Hill" by John Trumbull). Thank you very much, Peter!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Postcard from Serbia no. 3

My second postcard showing the National Museum and the monument to Prince Michael Obrenovič (1823–68), this time with a nice flock of pigeons:-) It was sent on 29 April 2009 and received on 7 May. The two large stamps are taken from a set of 8 stamps and a coupon issued on 27 March 2009 and dedicated to some of the greatest actors of the Serbian theatre. The stamps here feature Stevo Žigon (1926-2005) and Slobodan Perovič (1926-1978), the coupon all the actors in their typical roles. Thank you, Maša!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Mapcard from France

A mapcard of the westernmost French department of Finistère (29) showing views of the principal places of interest like Brest and the capital (prefecture) Quimper. Of geographic interest is also the great stamp (by Martin Morck) showing the "Palais de papes" in Avignon, the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe, where several popes and antipopes lived from the early 14th to early 15th centuries. The stamp was issued on 9 March 2009 and has the nominal value of 0.70 euro for sending light mail to EU countries. The card was sent on 4 May 2009 from Le Relecq-Kerhuon in Finistère. Thank you, Michele.

Cover from Austria no. 3

On 22 April 2009 I received this very special cover from Austria. At first it was a mystery for me, but after some detective work I've found out that the larger yellow stamp is a "meine Marke", personalised stamp ordered with the Austrian Post. It was issued on 7 April 2009 in 100(!) pieces and it commemorates the 300th anniversary of postal service in Poysdorf in Lower Austria, a town close to the border with the Czech Republic which I've visited on a couple of occasions. Besides the stamp (and a nice definitive from 2003 showing Worthersee in Carinthia), there is a special cancellation of 18 April 2009 commemorating the same event and a special delivery with a "postbus". The only remaining mystery is the postmark of Poysbrunn, a village near Poysdorf, but I assume it was one of the stops of the postbus...

Florian, thank you very much!!!

Postcard from Latvia no. 2

Another great view of Latvia, from the Vidzeme region. Turaida Castle (Thor's garden in Livonian) was constructed in the Brick Gothic style in 1214 under Albert, archibishop of Riga, it was badly damaged by fire in 1776 and now is being reconstructed.

The EUROPA stamp issued on 26 April 2008 in 300,000 copies has letter-writing as its motif. Thank you, Jura!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Flowers of the North from France

A lovely new surprise from Eric! One of the 12 sheets showing the flowers of France, taken from the booklet Flore du Nord (issued on 27 April 2009, pre-sale and special cancellation on 25/4, letter actually sent on 28/4). These nicely painted stamps present rose for Picardie and potato (la pomme de terre) for Nord-Pas de Calais, apart from them, there are five other sheets for the North and 6 for the South. The face value is currently 0.56 euro (priority letter within France up to 20 grams). Thank you very much!

Postcard from Germany no. 1

A postcard showing St. Johanniskirche in the historic centre of Lüneburg, pop. 72,000, a city in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, North Germany, a member of the former Hanseatic League.

The commemorative stamp of EUR 0.55 issued on 27 December 2007 is dedicated to the 275th anniversary of birth of builder and architect Carl Gotthard Langhans (1732 - 1808), whose main achievement was the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, shown here in a picture from 1798. The tulip stamp is part of the ongoing series of German definitives and was issued on 8 September 2005.

The card was sent on 16 April 2009 from Briefzentrum 20 (Hamburg-Zentrum). Thank you, Klaus!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

New Czech stamps - May 2009

Three new stamps issued today, all very interesting. First, it is the EUROPA 2009 stamp dedicated to astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and his work called Astronomia Nova (1609). The Czech has post opted for a drawing and a portrait unlike many other postal administrations showing breathtaking photos of stars and faraway galaxies. There is no souvenir sheet going with the stamp, nothing fancy. Print-run 240,000 copies - quite a small number, and printed in offset.


In the ongoing series "The Beauties of Our Country" there is the 12 CZK stamp of the Cistercian Monastery at Vyšší Brod in South Bohemia, with the third largest Czech library, celebrating this year the 750th anniversary of its foundation. Print-run 256,000, engraved.


The chateau at Horšovský Týn, in West Bohemia, originally an early Gothic castle reconstructed into a Renaissance chateau in the 16th century. Print-run 240,000, engraved.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Postcard from Great Britain no. 4

Another beautiful view from Anglesey in North Wales, this time of the castle of Beaumaris, designed by James of St. George and begun in 1295, but never completed. Beaumaris has been designated as a World Heritage site (Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd), and "is regarded by some to be the most architecturally perfect castle in Britain" (wikipedia).

And I am still riding the literature-on-stamps wave and have here four covers of Ian Fleming's Goldfinger (1959), ranging from the earliest hardcover to the latest paperback edition (stamp issued on 8 January 2008 in commemoration of the centenary of the author's birth). Thank you, Mia!

Cover from Russia no. 7

Another fine cover from Alex from Astrakhan! The souvenir sheet (issued on 1 February 2009) is dedicated to the 175th anniversary of birth of the Russian chemist, inventor and teacher D. I. Mendeleev (born 1834), and apart from his major achievement, the periodic table of the elements, shows a very cosy bookshelf with some leather-bound volumes and an old-fashioned chemical apparatus. I find this sheet quite lovely.

The other commemorative stamp is dedicated to another Russian personage, the writer A. N. Tolstoy, and his 125th anniversary of birth (stamp issued on 10 January 2008). Besides his writing historical fiction, he penned also some works in the science fiction genre like "The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin" (1926).

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Postcard from Ukraine

A beautiful postcard showing the city of Odessa (pop. 1,050,000) on the Black Sea, a famous port and resort. Most of the rear part is covered by a lovely decorative souvenir sheet commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the writer Nikolai Gogol (Mykola Hohol in Ukrainian, 1809-1852), issued on 1 April 2009 in 100,000 copies. The artist was born in Sorotchynsi (Poltava, Russian Empire, now Ukraine) and is famous for his comedy The Government Inspector and novels Taras Bulba and The Dead Souls. The stamp on the left of 2.20 UAH shows a portrait of N. Gogol, the stamp on the right of 1.50 UAH a scene from one of his stories; other scenes can be seen on the margins of the sheet.

There are also two small definitives issued in February 2002.
Thank you, Irina!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Postcard from Denmark no. 3

A postcard, sent on 24 April 2009, showing several views of the picturesque port of Vejle in central Denmark (pop. 50,000) with the white windmill, the symbol of the town. The single 8 DKK stamp was issued on 25 March 2009, in the EUROPA 2009 astronomy series. It shows an interesting minimalistic representation of the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen (1989). The other stamp in the series shows the Round Tower (1642), another famous Danish observatory built on the initiative of Christian IV. Thank you, Natália!