Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

Czech Antarctic Station

I came across this website the other day: The Czech Republic, specifically Masaryk University, operate a small research base off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula on James Ross Island. The base is the Gregor Johann Mendel Polar Station and can house up to 20 during the summer. To generate a bit of income, or perhaps just to promote the base, they offer postcards for sale with an option to have them mailed from the base. Unfortunately they only accept payment through bank transfer.

Almost seven years ago I contacted someone at the University who was involved with research at the base and I asked if he could send something back to me during his next expedition. He was happy to accommodate my strange request. I had to supply two covers: one with Chilean stamps and another with Argentine. Sometimes they had contact with the Argentine base Marambio, but usually it was the Chilean navy. Both covers came back trough Chile but only the Chilean cover (this one) had a postmark. I had forgotten about this cover until I saw that website with the postcards.

I think if someone were to send a cover with Czech postage on it to the Czech Antarctic Foundation, they might be willing to send it back with the base stamp on it. But I`m not sure if they would be willing to carry it down to the Antarctic. Not if they`re selling postcards mailed from the base. I might have gotten lucky with my request.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Norway: European Perch Maximum Card

I like this newly issued perch stamp from Norway. It's their "Norden" issue for this year. I don't care much for maximum cards that have the same image as that of the stamp but I love the postmark. The way the date and "Olso" follow the lower body of the perch. It all works for me.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Naucalpan, Mexico

Naucalpan is a highly industrialized city to the northwest of Mexico City.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Frogs from the Netherlands

A pair of stamps from a recent sheet featuring reptiles and amphibians from in the Netherlands. On the right is a Moor Frog. The males can turn blue for a few days during the mating season. The stamp on the left is a garlic or common spadefoot toad. When frightened, these toads can secrete a substance that smells like garlic.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Norway 100 Years of History FDC

A set of five Norwegian stamps from 2005 highlight key events during 100 years of Norwegian History. From left to right, top to bottom:
  • The swearing in of King Haakon VII on 27 November 1905 after the separation of Norway and Sweden
  • The return from exile of Crown Prince Olav in 1945, after the liberation of Norway.
  • The official launch of Norwegian Television in 1960
  • Opening of the Ekofisk Oil Field in the North Sea in 1971
  • Norway's 2-1 win over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup group stage which secured them a spot in the knockout stage. Their best World Cup finish so far.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Art of Costa Rica

I have the other half of this stamp sheet from 2008, on an identical cover. Two of four stamps depicting featuring Costa Rican art.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

TAAF, Dumont d'Urville

The stamps are from last year. They commemorate the 70th anniversary of the formation of the EPF:
Expéditions polaires françaises. It was established in 1947 after Paul-Émile Victor convinced the French government to fund expeditions to Greenland and the Antarctic. The EPF was succeeded by the French Polar Institute Paul-Émile Victor, IPEV, in 1992.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Mellieħa, Malta

From the town of Mellieħa in the north end of Malta. The stamps (and envelope) commemorate the Feast of The Assumption of Our Lady. Each stamp features a processional statue from different churches around Malta. The one on the right is from Mosta, the middle from Mġarr and on the left from the Zebbug Parish Church in Gozo.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Owls from Poland

From a sheet of four. This is a snowy owl. It's printed on fluorescent paper so the whole stamp glows under UV light and the eyes are slightly embossed.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ouyen, Australia

Ouyen is a small town in north-west Victoria. Home to a little over 1000 people. The bottom stamp is a Christmas Island Christmas stamp from last year. The other two stamps are also 2017 Christmas stamps which at first did't look all that special. But the images on the stamps are photos taken during the annual "Lights of Christmas" event at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, where lights and images are projected onto the face of the Cathedral during the month of December.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lyon, France

Chinese astrological signs. Animals. Before I realized that I thought the stamp on the left was a hamster. Doesn't quite look like a rat to me. The middle stamp is  horse and the right one is... an ox.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Columbia SC Stamp Show Station

USPS "Have a ball" stamps. Domestic forever circulars. Postmarked in Columbia, South Carolina at  the 2018 Winter Stamp and Postcard Show put on by the Columbia Philatelic Society on 20-21 January.

Friday, February 2, 2018

TAAF stamps 2018

These are just a few of the TAAF stamps issued by La Poste on Jan 1 of this year. The "L'Astrolabe" stamp was  actually issued in 2017. I decided to leave it in the image because I like the way it looks. There is a varnish applied to the "Ilmenite" stamps that make the rock and gemstones shine in the light. And the bellies of the parent penguins on the Madrid Protocol sheet have been flocked. I was somewhat disappointed when I saw it was only applied there and not to the actual stamp.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Adelaide, Australia

A pair of Kingfisher stamps from 2010. A sacred kingfisher on the left and blue-winged kookaburra on the right.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Lund, Sweden

The lighthouse stamp on the left is the lighthouse outside of När, on the island of Gotland in the Baltic sea. And the one on the right is the Vinga lighthouse on Vinga island, just outside the entrance to Gothenburg's harbour.

The three older stamps from top to bottom:
  • From a 1982 set called "To Live Together"
  • From a set issued in 1975 commemorating European Architectural Heritage Year. On this stamps is the preserved 19th century church town of Bonnstan in Skellefteå in northern Sweden.
  • Another from 1975 from a set recognizing police, fire and health services. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Berkhamstead, England

The market town of Berkhamstead, 40 km northwest of London. This year is the 400th anniversary of the town gaining chartered status as a borough. A nice postmark on a pair of songbird stamps.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

China: Phoenix Cultural Relics

All of the items on these stamps feature the phoenix in their design. From left to right: Ming Dynasty round tapestry, Qing Dynasty porcelain jar, Neolithic age jade phoenix, Western Zhou Dynasty bird shaped goblet, Tang Dynasty gold phoenix and a Tang Dynasty celadon pot with a phoenix head for a spout.

All are printed in offset and all but the first two are embossed. The gold phoenix is done in gold foil and the goblet stamp is partially engraved.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Brazil America-UPAEP : Beautiful Tourist Sites

The three stamps on this cover are from a set of five issued 27 Sept 2017. The stamps show popular tourist destinations. From left to right:  Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in the central state of Goiás, the falls at the mouth of the river Iguaçu in the southern state of Paraná and Armação dos Búzios: a coastal resort town in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

"l'Union des Postes Amérique Espagne Portugal" aka America-UPAEP is a group of Latin American postal administrations together with Portugal and Spain. Every year these countries produce a stamp issue with a common theme. Similar to "Europa" stamps from European countries.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Trelleborg, Sweden

I believe this is the first letter I've received this year that was mailed to me in 2018. Trelleborg is the southern most town in Sweden.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Meguro, Japan

Meguro is a city ward in Tokyo. Mostly residential. The Meguro River with it's landscaped, cherry tree lined banks, is popular for cherry blossom viewing in the spring.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Jades of the Hongshan Culture

From Lijang China. The set of three stamps show jade artifacts from the Hongshan Culture which existed in north-eastern China from 4700 to 2900 BC. From left to right, the artifacts on the stamps are a dragon, a phoenix and a figurine. The other two stamps are from 2013 and depict offshore oil drilling activities.