Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Postcard from Thailand no. 4

A great card received from Terdsak from the town of Phetchaburi in central Thailand, capital of the Phetchaburi Province. It shows the Pa Lao-U Waterfalls in the province of Prachuab Khiri Khan, south of Phetchaburi.

The four definitive flag stamps were issued on 12 August 2010 as part of of the national identity set (which was also the topic of this year's UPAEP issues in Latin America). The other stamp shows cassia flower. Thank you very much, Terdsak!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Postcard from Great Britain no. 7

This week I have also received this fabulous card issued by the Royal Mail with the picture of the 1st class stamp dedicated to A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh as illustrated by E. H. Shepard. The same stamp was used for mailing this card. To commemorate this classic of children's literature on 12 October 2010 the Royal Mail issued a set of 6 stamps and a sheet of 4 others. The two 1st class stamps from the set and from the sheet bear the EUROPA logo... and what other book could be chosen for the year of children's literature?

Thank you very much, Catherine!!

Postcard from Russia no. 3

A great postcard received a couple of days ago from Moscow, showing the lower Katun River and the Aya Lake, part of the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site, located largely in the Altai Republic, Russia, and in Kazakhstan (Central Asia). The great thing is that the self-tenant stamps on the right are related to the Altai mountains too, they show (clockwise) Belukha Mount, Lake Teletskoye and the the River Katun. The set was issued on 18 November 2004 in 200,000 copies. The rest of the postage is covered by a stamp with the coat of arms of the city of Yaroslavl (10.5 roubles). Thank you, Julia!!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Postcard from Taiwan

View Larger Map

A great postcard sent on 9 December 2010 from Taiwan, showing a night view of Taipei, with its impressive Taipei 101 skyscraper, constructed in 1999-2004.

And six stamps!! The yellow greeting stamps was issued on 1 December 2010 to welcome the Year of the Rabbit, there is also its 12 Taiwan Dollar cousin. The 1 TWD Dicturus aeneus was issued in 2008 in the Birds of Taiwan II series, the 0.50 TWD Bauhinia variegata (pink flower at the top) is part of Flowers IV definitive series (2010), the 2.50 TWD Rosalia formosa conviva is one of four long-horned beetles from a 2010 series dedicated to them, the 1 TWD Calliandra emarginata is a pretty pink flower from the Flowers II series, and the 3.50 TWD Lantana camara is part of the Flowers I series of definitives.

Thank you Shih for this Taiwan beauty!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Cover from Bulgaria no. 5

Christmas stamps were used also on this nice cover sent from Sofia, Bulgaria, two years ago. Bulgaria, just as the Czech Republic, issues only one Christmas stamp, so here are two of them, with traditional religious themes, to reach the necessary postage. The left-hand stamp was issued on 30 November 2005, the right-hand one on 21 November 2008, and is accompanied by the first day of issue postmark. Interestingly, the Bulgarian word for Christmas "koleda" means "carol" in Czech (Christmas in Czech is Vánoce)...

Thank you, Lilia:)

Cover from Estonia no. 5

Received today, another pretty Christmas stamp:)... This time from Jarvakandi in Estonia, issued on 25 November 2010 (print-run 400,000). There is also another stamp for domestic use. Thank you, Cindi!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Postcard from Great Britain no. 6

View Larger Map

A nice postcard received a few days ago from souther Wales, showing the the promenade and the bay of the town of Porthcawl in the county borough of Bridgend, not far from Cardiff. Porthcawl is a holiday resort.

The 60p stamp has a picture of Wallace and Gromit at Christmas, from the well-known British TV series. On 2 November 2010 the Royal Mail issued the total of seven Christmas stamps with these characters. Such a pity that these beautiful self-adhesive stamps are so small!

Thank you, Claire!!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Santa Claus cover from Finland

View Larger Map

Received today from Santa Claus Main Post Office in Napapiiri, Arctic Circle, Finland:)

A really beautiful large cover with two seasonal stamps. The Santa Claus 0.55 euro stamp is part of the Finland's Christmas issue (together with Santa's deer), the 1 class landscape stamp is independent, even if issued on the same day (5 November 2010), and offers a view of the magical Lapland countryside complete with Santa Claus and his sledge.

This lovely envelope is a surprise, but there is a slight indication of whom if might have come from, so thank you very much, G.:)

Postcard from Poland

A nice postcard received yesterday from Szczecin (Štětín in Czech) in northwestern Poland, the capital of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, with a view of the breathtaking castle of the Pomeranian Dukes who ruled the Duchy of Pomerania from 1121 to 1637. The 2.40 zloty Christmas stamp was issued on 27 November 2010 together with another stamp for local use. Yes, Christmas time is coming:)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Cover from Portugal no. 6

A nice cover sent on 14 October 2008 from Lisbon (Loja do Cidadao, postcode 1600) with a set of four 0.31 euro stamps issued in September and October 2008.

The first one on the left shows an olive grove and is part of a series celebrating olive oil (issued on 7 October 2008), the second brown stamp commemorated the 100th anniversary of the CUF Barreiro company on 19 September 2008 (my Portuguese is not good enough to understand more:), the nice car stamp is dedicated to the Boavista racing circuit and the local history of Formula One races (issued on 11 September 2008), and the elegant stamp below them, issued on 5 October 2008, along with many others, commemorates the 100 anniversary of Republican ideas.

Apart the stamps shown above, each series includes also a miniature sheet with a single higher priced stamp.

When researching the background of these stamps, I noticed that, for example, only in October 2008, Portugal's post issued the total 41 stamps! The scope of production is really impressive.

Thank you, Sofia!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Cover from France no. 13

A beautiful airmail cover sent by Daniel from Mende, department of Lozere (48) in southern France. The 0.58 euro stamp showing the facade of the Opera Garnier is taken from a miniature sheet of 4 stamps dedicated to Paris, in the annual series European Capitals, this one issued on 8 November 2010. For example, here is another, which was dedicated to Prague in 2008.

Besides a set of fantastic used stamps, Daniel included also his own postal card with the stamp showing the aqueduct of Arcueil - Cachan in the department of Val-de-Marne (94), with the first day of issue postmarks dated 24 September 2010.

Merci beaucoup, Daniel!!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Czech registered cover no. 8

Received today, a registered cover sent from the town of Jaroměř in Královehradecký Region (East Bohemia). The postage is covered by a single engraved stamp of 26 Kč (the current rate for a domestic registered letter of up to 50 grams), showing a picture by Czech painter Alois Kalvoda called "Aspens near Velké Němčice" (1897) housed by the Moravian Gallery in Brno... and it is sublime.

The stamp is part of the decades running series "Art on Stamps", the showcase of the Czech stamp production, and was issued on 9 November 2005, together with two other stamps shown above... or here. I would like to point out this Czech stamp catalogue (unfortunately not in English), presenting the complete stamp production from 1945 to 1992 (Známky ČSR II) and from 1993 to these days (Známky ČR, the links on the right - navigation). The information includes names of issues, dates of issues, print-runs, authors, pictures of FDCs, pictures of sheets, prices for unused, clearly postmarked and not-so-clearly postmarked stamps, etc.

Cover from Finland no. 10

An interesting cover sent from Lappeenranta in Finland, with a complete series of two stamps issued on 19 January 1990, with holograms. The issue commemorated the incorporation of the state posts and telecommunication services, and the holograms, hovering on a background of Finnish landscapes, show logos and globes. It looks impressive, and this scan shows it quite well too.

Thank you, Petri!

Postcard from Romania no. 2

View Larger Map

A lovely postcard showing the Piata Mica in Sibiu, central Romania, in Transylvania, 155,000 inhabitants, the European Capital of Culture in 2007.

The two definitives of 50 bani and 1.6 lei form part of a long series called "Peasant Pottery"; these two stamps are from 2005 and 2007, The town of Radauti in northern Romania, where the card was sent from, is represented by the ornamenal dish on the 1.6 lei stamp.