Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Panoramic stamp from France

Received on 23 September 2009 from Paris, a cover with a long engraved stamp of Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux, designed by the Royal architect Jacques Ange Gabriel as landscape for an equestrian statue of Louis XV. The stamp was issued on 22 June 2009. The letter reached me in just two days and the rest of the postage is covered by the current Mariannes. Thank you, Julien!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Postcard from China no. 3

Received in May 2009 this beautiful postcard showing the world-famous Summer Palace or Yihe yuan, in Beijing, one of China's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The top se-tenant stamps of 1.20 yuan each show the islands and peaceful waters of Qiandao Lake, a man-made lake located in Chun'an County, Zhejiang (issued on 16 April 2008, also as a souvenir sheet). The other colourful stamp of 0.60 yuan shows a scene from the well-known fairy-tale The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. Born in 1805, many postal administrations around the world commemorated in 2005 his anniversary by issuing stamps dedicated either to him or his works. Thank you, Xie Kui!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Cover from Norway

My first cover from Norway received at the end of May 2009, sent on 25/5/2009 from Borgheim, in the island of Nøtterøy in the south of the country. The souvenir sheet with a stamp of NOK 6 shows Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra born on 21/1/2004, granddaughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. The smaller stamp was issued on 6 February 2007 and is part of a series commemorating the World Rally Championship hosted in 2007 by Norway (there is also a miniature sheet with all the three stamps). Innland A rate is currently NOK 8, print-run: 1,000,000. Thank you, Renate!

Postcard from Brazil no. 2

A card showing the Parque de Ibirapuera in São Paulo (which is comparable in its importance to the Central Park in New York City). The single stamp of RS 1, issued on 07/02/2009 in 1,020,000 copies, is dedicated to the Brazilian archbishop and "pastor of peace" Dom Helder Camara (1909 - 1999). Apart from his portrait the stamp shows a silhouette of Instituto Dom Helder Camara in Recife. Thank you Maria, from Varginha, Minas Gerais.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Postcard from Isle of Man

A postcard showing the seaside resort of Port Erin in the south of the Isle of Man (3,300 inhabitants), sent on 7 May 2009 from Douglas, Isle of Man. The 56p postage is covered by three very different stamps: the 2.5p stamp showing Tynwald Hill was issued in 1973 and is part of the first Manx series of definitives not featuring the head of the British Queen but local scenes (the same design was reissued in 1975 with the value of 4.5p). The action 3.5p stamp from 1973 commemorates the Manx Grand Prix Golden Jubilee (1923-1973), and then there is the gild-framed Queen on a red staircase, stamp issued in 2002 for another Golden Jubilee, this time the 50th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. Thank you Gwynn:-)

Cover from Slovenia no. 1.

Cover sent from Maribor, Slovenia on 14 May 2009 featuring two wintery stamps: a chimneysweep with pigs, horseshoes and lucky four leaf clovers (New Year stamp issued on 23/11/2007) and a snowman with a magpie bringing it a glittery ball (self-adhesive Christmas stamp issued on 17/11/06 - one of two, the other bearing the "C" of the higher rate). The third 0.13 eurocent stamp commemorating the Red Cross Week of 8 - 15 May 2009 is a bit of a mystery for me, since it is not shown on the Slovenian post office website as a stamp in the 2009 catalogue, and the value is also a bit small. Therefore, if I am not mistaken, I think that the stamp is part of a series of postage due stamps (doplačilnice) issued in Slovenia every year, usually connected with red cross or fire prevention (maybe that is also why it is not cancelled), and that would make it in this case not a proper stamp, but only a label. Well, thank you, Polona!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New Czech stamps May - September 2009

25 May 2009: This engraved stamp is part of an ongoing series of stamps dedicated to children, covering famous Czech fairy-tale/cartoon characters, this time with rather bizarre puppets of Spejbl and his son Hurvínek, conceived by Professor Josef Skupa (1892 - 1957) in the 1920s. Apart from the CZK 10 stamp, there is also a special philatelic booklet with coupons. Print run: 1,026,000.


27 May 2009: A very nice stamp (print-run 194,000, 5 stamps in a sheet plus four coupons) commemorating Judah Loew ben Bezalel (c. 1520 – 17 September 1609), Jewish mystic, philosopher who served as a leading rabbi in Prague, and supposed creator of the golem. Rabbi Loew was also interested in alchemy and was granted an audience with the Emperor Rudolf II, whose Majesty Letter of 9 July 1609 is the theme of the following stamp...


17 June 2009: CZK 26 stamp (light domestic registered letter rate) commemorating the 400th anniversary of issuing the Majesty Letter by the Emperor and Czech King Rudolf II, legalising a broad religious freedom based on the principle that faith is a gift of God and must not be imposed upon anyone. Print-run 350,000.


17 June 2009: An offset stamp issued a month before the so-called fire brigade olympics organised by the CTIP (Comité technique international de prévention et d'extintion du feu) in Ostrava, Czech Republic (19 - 26 July 2009). Print-run: 1,500,000.


2 September 2009: A souvenir sheet of CZK 43! (another lovely stamp impossible to be used on a normal letter) showing the Ceske Stredohori uplands - tertiary volcanic region, northwest Bohemia, botanically richest region in the Czech Republic. The stamp features the ruins of Castle Hazmburk and the early Baroque Chateau Libochovice. The stamp is engraved, the rest of the sheet is printed in offset.


2 September 2009: A new souvenir sheet called Krivoklatsko Region - the Life of the Forest, in the annual series dedicated to Czech biosphere reserves... and this one is simply breathtaking. Engraved stamps combined with offset coupons, the CZK 17 stamp showing the Castle Krivoklat with the full moon and a barn owl is my this year's favourite. The other stamps feature a red deer, an eagle owl, a black stork, and an emperor moth (Eudia pavonia). Print-run 80,000 sheets.


23 September 2009: Technical Monuments series: Two engraved stamps showing mills: Ruprechtov (Vyskov District, nor far from where I live) windmill of the Dutch type enhanced by the most efficient Halladay turbine better equipped to withstand heavy winds, reconstructed in 1998, unique not only in the Czech Republic but also in Europe (well, I definitely must go to see it...) + Hoslovice (Strakonice District in South Bohemia) watermill, the oldest and uniquely preserved watermill in Bohemia. The trees used to build the ceiling were cut in 1568-69. Print-runs: 1,500,000 and 1,000,000 copies.

Medieval dream of Riquewihr

Zvětšit mapu

Riquewihr, for me the loveliest town I have seen this year in France, hands down. To underline this fact I was happy to find in a side street the Musée de la Communication en Alsace, where, apart from a nice selection of current French stamps on sale, it was possible to get a special hand cancellation with the text "Les Plus Belles Maquettes du Musée" with the date 29 May 2009. I chose the then new engraved stamp dedicated to the 500th anniversary of birth of Jean Calvin (1509-1564), major figure of the Reformation.

I Am Back

After a month spent in France and a couple of rather hectic summer months here at home, I am back with the autumn, hoping to hit my former stride and travel again through stamps and suggestive postcards:-)