Sunday, December 21, 2014

Unalaska, USA

Unalaska is a city on both Unalaska and Amaknak Islands; islands at the start of the Aleutian Island chain off the west coast of Alaska. The largest US fishery by volume is located in Unalaska at its port facility known as Dutch Harbor.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kanazawa, Japan

From the city of Kanazawa, Japan. The pair of stamps is from a sheet commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Shinkansen high-speed rail network.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Battle of Bladensburg

Another War of 1812 postmark. Bladensburg, Maryland is a few kilometres north east of Washington DC. The British victory there on 24 August 2014 allowed them to occupy Washington and set fire to many government buildings, including the White House. It was a humiliating defeat for the Americans.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Alderney's Final Panel of the Bayeux Tapestry

This miniature stamp sheet from Alderney depicts their version of the missing scene from the end of the Bayeux Tapestry. What it interesting about this stamp is that the top layer is not paper, but cotton: 100% combed cotton, with a thread count of 167x167. It's a nice looking sheet. Has an interesting texture. 

The Bayeux Tapestry is 70 meters of embroidered cloth that depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. It is believe that the tapestry was commissioned sometime in the 11th century. The end of the tapestry is missing and is believe to contain one final "scene" but exactly what it contained is uncertain.

On the channel island of Alderney, a large group of island residents came together to construct their own final scene to the tapestry. Their tapestry, at 3m in length, documents the days after the battle of Hastings in 1066, which includes the coronation of William the Conqueror as the King of England and the construction of the Tower of London.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Břeclav, Czech Republic

Břeclav is a city of 25000 in the south of the Czech Republic. It is an important transportation hub, being at a point on the Czech southern border where it forms a T with the borders of Austria and Slovakia. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Battle of Fort McHenry FDC

First Day Covers for the latest stamp in the "War of 1812" series by the USPS: The Battle of Fort McHenry. I thought this would be the last stamp release in the series but I was just reading that a "Battle of New Orleans" stamp was planned for next year which makes sense as it was the final major battle of the war which ended in January of 1815.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Barque Europa at Port Lockroy

This came back to me from Port Lockroy, having been carried down there aboard the Barque Europa. The Europa is a steel-hulled barque built in 1911. It is now a Dutch registered ship, purchased in 1984 and fully restored. The company that owns it offers working cruises where passengers assist the crew with some of the daily tasks aboard the ship. They offer an "Antarctic Expedition" cruise that starts and ends in Ushuaia. It takes you across the Drake Passage and makes a few stops along the Antarctic Peninsula.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Flémalle, Belgium

Gastronomic delights from Belgium. Chocolate... of course, Mussels and fries, and Eel in green sauce.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Guatemalan Jade

From Guatemala City I believe. The set of stamps on the right feature Guatemalan art pieces crafted from jade. Apparently Guatemala is an important source of jade in the Americas.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

War of 1812, Battle of Plattsburgh Postmark

The latest War of 1812 commemorative stamp from the USPS is on the left. This stamp commemorates the battle of Fort McHenry when the British were defeated in their attempt to take over Baltimore on 13 September of 1814. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chatham Marconi Wireless Station Postmark

A postmark to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Marconi Wireless Receiving Station in Chatham Massachusetts. It was built to replace the Cape Cod station that was slowly being destroyed by natural forces, having been built too close to the ocean. The receiving station at Chatham was used in conjunction with the transmitting station in nearby Marion for ship to shore wireless communication. The site is now home to the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center museum.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Diplomatic Relations: Brazil and the Philippines

These stamps from Brazil commemorate diplomatic relations between Brazil and the Philippines.  The bird on the left is a crowned eagle from Brazil and the one on the right is a Philippine eagle, obviously, from the Philippines. Both are endangered.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Victoria Cross Postmark - Guildford, England

Royal Mail is issuing postmarks to commemorate recipients of the Victoria Cross during the First World War. Guildford was the birth place of Captain Francis Grenfell, who received the Victoria Cross for his fearless actions on 24 August 1914. Published in the London Gazette: "For gallantry in action against unbroken infantry at Andregnies, Belgium, on 24th August 1914, and for gallant conduct in assisting to save the guns of the 119th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, near Doubon the same day." He was the third soldier to receive the Victoria Cross during that war. Captain Francis Grenfell was killed in action 24 May 1915.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Doctor Who, Twelfth Doctor postmark

British postmark to commemorate the television premier of the Doctor Who series 8 and the introduction of the Twelfth doctor, played by Peter Capaldi.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Iceland Manuscripts

The stamps on this cover from Iceland are from a pair that is a joint issue with Denmark. The stamps on this cover contain text from a Danish manuscript that contains the legal statutes for Sjælland (the largest Danish island). There was another stamp issued also that contains text from The Book of Kálfalækur. Both manuscripts are part of the Arnamagnæan Collection, which was started in the 17th century by Icelandic scholar and manuscript collector Árni Magnússon.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Campiglia Cervo, Italy

The postmark on this cover from Italy commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. The postmark location is Campiglia Cervo, a small town north west of the town of Biella in Northern Italy. Looks like a stamp show postmark: Mostra storico filatelica.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Quebec City

Another Haunted Canada stamp. This one was cancelled in Quebec City. The Château Frontenac is a hotel, originally built in 1893. It is a National History Site and a prominent feature on the Quebec City skyline. The hotel was named after Louis de Buade, Count of Frontenac, who was governor of the colony of New France between 1672 and 1698. Apparently his ghost haunts the hotel even though it was built nearly 200 years after his death.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Diekirch, Luxembourg

From the town of Diekirch in Luxembourg. The stamp on the right is from a miniature sheet commemorating the 80th anniversary of the “Fédération des Sociétés philatéliques du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg”. What's interesting about this stamp is that it is partially made from silk. The top layer of the stamp is made from very fine silk fibres (30g per meter) and it gives the stamp an interesting texture.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cieszyn, Poland

Cieszyn is a Polish city on the Olza River, which runs along the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. In 1920 the town was divided when the border was established. The larger part of the town became part of Poland.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island

Another Haunted Canada stamp and postmark. The stamps depicts the a burning ship in the Northumberland Strait between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The strait has seen many ship wrecks and apparently a burning ghost ship is occasionally seen from shore.

This was postmarked in Murry Harbour, PEI. There are 4 other maritime post office that have this postmark: Bouctouche NB, Pictou Island NS. River John NS and Tatamagouche NS.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fortaleza, Brazil

Postmarked by the Fortaleza Philatelic Agency. The stamp on the left is one of the "Art of Brazilian Football" stamps. It think this one is for Porto Alegre. The stamp on the right marks the Centenary of the Ceará Sporting Club. Ceará being the state for which Fortaleza is the capital.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Garfield, Australia

Did you know that 64% of Christmas Island is a national park? Two of the stamps on this cover from Garfield, Australia are Christmas Island stamps, showing off the park's environmental diversity. The other two stamps are from a joint issue with Norfolk Island and feature the Norfolk Island Pine which grows in Australia and on Norfolk Island.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Porto Alegre, Brazil

A block of four stamps commemorating 350 years of postal service in Brazil. This came to me from Porto Alegre: the capital of Rio Grande do Sul.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Haunted Canada

In June, Canada Post issued a book of 10 stamps with 5 designs that depict popular Canadian ghost stories. At first I wasn't impressed with these stamps but they actually don't look that bad. Some elements of the design are printed with an iridescent effect to add a subtle ghostly shimmer when the light hits them the right way. To accompany the stamps, surprising large commemorative postmarks were also created.

Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario was built in the 1790's and was the British army headquarters during the war of 1812. The fort is said to be haunted by the ghosts of a young soldier and a little girl. On an abandoned railway track north of St. Louis Saskatchewan a glowing light sometimes appears which is said to be the spirit of a train conductor killed in the 1920's. This has become known as the St. Louis Light or St. Louis Ghost train. Creepy.

I also tried to get a postmark from Banff for the Ghost Bride stamp but the postmaster in Banff tells me the postmark is missing and he is waiting on a replacement. Examples of the other two should be coming back to me soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mariupol, Ukraine

A Ukrainian cover from Mariupol in the Donetska region (the regional postmark is hard to make out on the second stamp from the right). The stamps on the right, postmarked with the first day postmark, were issued 24 April 2013 and are part of a set featuring tourist areas in Ukraine. The right-most stamp is Hang Palace in the town of Bakhchysarai and the stamp next to it is Ayu-Dag (Bear Mountain). Both places are in Crimea.

The two stamps on the left are more recent. The left most stamp commemorates 100 years since the birth of Ukrainian actress Maria Kapnist (who passed away in 1993) and the final stamp commemorates 20 years of Ukraine postal services.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Antofagasta, Chile

From the Chilean city of Antofagasta: La Perla del Norte. It's a coastal city that lies on the edge of the Atacama Desert which is the worlds driest desert. The Tropic of Capricorn cuts through Chile just north of the city. The stamp on the right commemorates the 125th anniversary of the Chilean philatelic society.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hugo Chavez

Shortly after his death in 2013, Venezuela Post issued a sheet of stamps commemorating the life of Hugo Chavez.

Friday, August 8, 2014

German Lighthouses

Postmarked with a Pellworm lighthouse postmark. Pellworm is one of the North Frisian islands which sits off the north-west coast of Germany. Home to 1200 people. The lighthouse is a popular site for weddings.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

AdMail from New Zealand Post

I get ad mail from New Zealand Post a few times a years: colourful brochures advertising new stamp releases. Sometimes the envelope they come in has an actual stamp on it.

This stamps is from the Matariki 2014 series. Matariki is the Māori New Year. On this stamp, Ranginui and Papatuanuku are depicted in a painting by Pauline Kahurangi Yearbury. Rangi and Papa as they are known are the birth parents in the Māori creation myth. The sky father and the earth mother are always depicted in a tight embrace.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Musée de La Poste, Paris

I've been to Paris a few times and never managed to visit the postal museum.  The postmark on this letter depicts a horse-drawn mail carriage and I believe this is one of the permanent postmarks available from the postal counter at the museum. There is some good info about the museum's ATM issues and accompanying postmarks on this website.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Denkendorf, Germany

From Denkendorf, in Baden-Württemberg a few kms south-east of Stuttgart. 2014 Lighthouse stamps : Buk in the north-east and Pellworm in the north-west

Friday, June 13, 2014

FIFA 2014 Artwork

These stamps from Brazil feature artwork that represents some of the FIFA 2014 host cities. From left to right: Curitiba, Porto Alegre and São Paulo

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jimi Hendrix

Cancelled in Austin, Texas. The Jimi Hendrix first day postmark was used on the Jim Hendrix stamp.
The stamps next to it are from 2013: WW2 Medal of Honor and one of the "Made in America" statmps. The older group of stamps on the right are the 1975 Apollo - Soyuz  Test Project commemorative (the first joint US-Soviet space mission), the 1962 Civil War battle of Shiloh commemorative and the 1948 Gettysburg Address commemorative.

Monday, May 26, 2014

S.A. Agulhas II

I would guess that this comes to me from the South African research station on Marion Island. I can't find a reference to the SA Agulhas II missions but I did find an article saying the vessel returned to port this month after a journey to the island. Same month as the (Cape Town) postmark.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brazil, FIFA 2014 Host Cities

Three stamps from a set of 12 that feature artwork from the official host city posters for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. From left to right, posters for Belo Horizonte, Brasília and Cuiabá.