Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Covers from Italy 21, 22 and 23

A set of three great covers received recently from Giovanni. Here's a registered letter sent from Milano, Via Rimini post-office, with a sheet of 4 abstract stamps issued on 10 March 2011, dedicated to the state's Fiscal Agencies (Land Registry, Customs, State Property and Revenue), and 4 stamps issued on 7 January 2011 on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Italy's unification...


... this stamp is featured also on the above a cover with a special first-day-of-issue cancellation from the Presidential Palace in Rome (il Quirinale)...


...and the same special cancellation can be seen used also on the souvenir sheet (7 January 2011), with the symbolic Italian flag, also part of the commemoration of the Italy's Unification.

Grazie, Giovanni, for these covers, and also for the fantastic surprise from the Pitcairn Island which I will show shortly:))

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Czech cover no. 6

A new stamp in the ongoing series dedicated to the tradition of the Czech stamp production, issued on 20 January 2011, reproducing the stamp from a postal card (1966) made by Josef Herčík, one of the top Czech engravers. The cover above bears the stamp with the coupon (taken from a booklet), and has two cancellations... I wanted to have it only hand-cancelled, but interestingly, the cover then still went to receive the machine cancellation, at the same post-office (Kroměříž 1 - the only one here which has the machine).

Below, the stamp is used again, this time without the coupon, but with a hand-cancellation only, from Kroměříž 2 post-office located in the Main Square. This postcard shows the Baroque Church of St. John the Baptist, within a stone's throw of the said office.

Cover from France no. 14

A lovely cover from France with a set of four selfadhesive stamps, taken from one of two booklets issued in 2010, showing typical regional dishes... Merci, Eric!!

Cover from Slovakia no. 4

Here's another bunch of splendid mail received lately from around the world. Due to further time constraints I will reduce my comments, but will show the lovely covers and postcards anyway, they speak for themselves:)

Slovakia: registered letter sent from Bratislava, 2 x Topolčany Castle (2010) with two coupons of the State Geological Institute, with two engraved wooden churches (East Slovakia, protected as a UNESCO WHS) and one offset printed coupon in the middle, taken from a sheet issued in 2008.

Thank you, Marian!!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Cover from Luxembourg

A set of two nice self-adhesive stamps on this cover sent from Luxembourg on 8 March 2011. The issue, from 16 March 2010, is dedicated to the Eischtal (the Valley of the river Eisch, or 'Valley of the Seven Castles' - only six of them depicted here:) -, in central Luxembourg).

Thank you, Arturo!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Postcard from Spain no. 4

A nice postcard showing the major sights of Madrid, sent from Ciudad Real on 22 December 2010.

The 0.64 euro Christmas stamp was issued on 3 November 2010, and is a painting by J. Carrero, a variation on Christmas themes.

Gracias Aurora!

Czech cover no. 5

Here's a Czech cover with a few stamps which I wanted to have postally used in my collection. The 6.50 crowns "Rose above Prague II." has two coupons, the right-hand one being used only once in a sheet of nine stamps which is the format these stamps were issued in. The left-hand one accompanies each of the stamps, and is a publicity for a postal savings bank (there may have been other tabs in circulation too, but this is the default version). The stamp was issued on 22 October 2003; incidentally, on 26 March 2003 a very similar stamp in a very similar sheet with different coupons was issued too, only with the nominal value of 6.40 crowns.

The cartoon stamp (28 May 2003) is by Adolf Born, and is part of the series "For Children", the two kids are Mach and Šebestová, who can work miracles with the telephone receiver Mach is holding.

The 0.40 crowns stamp is one of the twelve zodiac signs - pisces.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Postcard from Poland no. 2

This is an impressive postcard received in January 2011 from Warsaw, showing the Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauky) against a dramatic sunset.

The 3-zloty stamp was a bit of mystery to me. Before checking the Polish Post website, I tried to guess what it is related to... and had no idea... koi, a drop of water, and a blue stamp frame?? Well, the answer is... the stamp is taken out of a souvenir sheet which mentions the context on the border... The World Philatelic Exposition in Luoyang, China, held on 10-16 April 2009, and now it's obvious, my dear Watson:)

(An aside, in Polish I read that the stamp was issued on 16 "kwietnia" and I thought, ok, it's May - květen in Czech - but far from it! 16 kwietna is 16 April - duben in Czech... our languages are similar, but this is a truly false friend:)

Thank you, Marta, for this card!!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Covers from Russia no. 14 and 15

Two beautiful covers received earlier this week from Yuri in St. Petersburg, with a complete series of 4 stamps dedicated to the decorative art of the Republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus region (2,5 million inhabitants). The head and scarf decorations and the ornamental dagger date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries (as far as I am able to read with my knowledge of the Russian alphabet...). The postage is complemented by the kremlin definitive self-adhesive stamps from 2009, and animal definitives from 2008.

Both covers contained also these lovely postcards showing the major sights of St. Petersburg: Palace Square and The University Embankment. Thank you very much, Yuri!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Covers from Hong Kong no. 4 and 5

Two more lovely FDCs from Brian in Hong Kong. On 29 December 2010 the Hong Kong Post issued a set of five stamps devoted to the lighthouses in the local port. The 2.40 dollar stamp shows the New Green Island Lighthouse, completed in 1905, and declared national monument in 2008.

And 22 January 2011 saw the issue of Hong Kong's stamps celebrating the year of the rabbit. The souvenir cover used here is connected with the issue of the gold and silver sheetlet with two 50-dollar stamps depicting tiger and rabbit.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Cover from Slovakia no. 3

A great cover sent by Miloš. The 1.20 euro stamp was issued on 26 November 2010 in the ongoing art series (in the same tradition as the Czech one = large engraved stamps). This stamp shows a detail from the picture called the Coronation of Carl Robert of Anjou (1317), which can be found in the UNESCO WHS Cathedral Church of St. Martin in Spišská Kapitula. Another 1.20 euro portrait stamp (Madonna with the Child) was issued on the same day with the same nominal value.

The letter was sent through the town of Močenok in the Šala District, where a special cancellation was used on 31 January 2011, dedicated to St. Cyril and his discovery of the remains of St. Clement.

The list of the Slovak special cancellations can be found here. It looks like there are many more special cancellations on offer than in the Czech Republic.

Thank, you, Miloš!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Cover from Latvia no. 9

An adorable rabbit cover received at the end of January from Helena:) Quite surprisingly, the Latvian post joined the many, mainly Asian, postal authorities, to issue a stamp to greet the year of the rabbit, with a cute photo of a "trusis" with cabbage. The same animal is also depicted on the special cover issued as an accompaniment to the stamp. The rest of the postage is covered by the also supercute Christmas stamps from 2004, with more rabbits:)

The cover contained also an interesting postcard showing a piece of a facade in Riga, made in the Art Nouveau style, called also "Mucha style", after the famous Czech artist Alfons Mucha. What a great connection between the two countries!

Thank you so much, Helena, this is just fantastic!!

Cover from Austria no. 6

A lovely Christmas greeting from Florian in Austria, with a special postmark (Sonderstempel) from Christkindl dated 30 December 2010. The cover has another postmark too, from the previous day, from the post office of Ilz (8262) in Styria. The Christmas stamp, which is connected with the Cistercian abbey in Rein also in Styria, was issued on 19/11/2010 in 4,000,000 copies. Apart from that, the Austrian post issued two more Advent/Christmas stamps, one of them self-adhesive.

Danke schon, Florian!!

Postcard from New Zealand

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A great aerial picture of the city of Auckland in New Zealand's North Island. With Devonport and Rangitoto Island in the background.

The 1.90 NZ dollar (= 1 euro) stamp shows the Queenstown Bay in South Island, and is part of a 2010 issue of landscape definitives. Here is the self-adhesive version.

Thank you, Phebe!!

Cover from Israel no. 2

An uncancelled cover received at the end of 2010 from Netanya in Israel, with a 1998 definitive showing a water skier, and a 2010 commemorative (one out of three) issued on the occasion of the Shanghai Expo, dedicated to the "Israeli innovations that changed the world".

Total postage is 4.2 shekels, which equals 0.83 euro.

Thank you, Debora!

Picking up the threads

After another pause, caused again by a heavy workload, and also by a chain of childhood illnesses including chicken pox, and also flu, I hope to be back... and on Monday also start sending mail too...:)

Cover from Germany no. 3

One of the first covers received in 2011, with four German stamps issued on 3 January 2011: 0.75 euro ballonblume in the ongoing series of definitive stamps, a famous painting by romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, and two commemoratives connected with the German state of Hesse: a stamp dedicated to the history of gliders flying off the Wasserkuppe, a high plateau in the Rhön Mountains near Fulda, and a stamp dedicated to the only national park in Hesse, Kellerwald-Edersee NP.

The letter was sent through Briefzentrum no. 41, in Monchengladbach.

Thank you Isa!!