Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Iceland Christmas FDC

Christmas FDC from Iceland received yesterday.  Not sure if Postphil will be producing any more FDCs after this year.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christkindl, Austria

Christkindl is an Austrian village outside the city of Steyr. Known for its church and religious artifacts, it is also home to a post office that uses a special postmark during the Christmas season. Mail sent in Austria with the "uber Christkindl" label attached (bottom of this cover) is forwarded to the Christkindl post office for special postmarks before being sent to its destination.

The postmark on the Christkindl label was produced by the Innviertler Briefmarkensammlerverein (IBSV - the Innviertel Stamp Club). They put out special Christmas postmarks each year. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Brazil's Rally dos Sertões

Stamps commemorating Brazil's 27th annual 10 day cross-country rally known as Sertões. Each stamp represents a different vehicle category in the competition: cars, quadricycles, motorcycles and UTVs.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Budapest '71

I received this in the mail recently just as it is. Not under cover. It's an old FDC from Hungary with Budapest 1971 Stamp Exhibition stamps on it.  What I found interesting is that it was accepted as valid mail.  The stamps were cancelled 48 years ago and the bottom of the envelope was worn thin and was on the verge of disintegrating. But it made it here, intact.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Ahmedabad, India

Two satellites developed jointly by India and France: SARAL on the left and Megha-Tropiques on the right. Launched in 2013 and 2011 respectively.  The stamps were issued in 2015.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Waldmünchen, Germany

Envelope commemorating the first German Arctic expedition in 1868. The expedition was led by Carl Koldewey and they spent the summer of 1868 aboard the ship Grönland exploring the northeastern coast of Spitsbergen.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Berlin's World Clock and TV Tower 50th Anniversary

Envelope and postmark commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fernsehturm and Weltzeituhr in
Alexanderplatz. I'm not sure why the matching postmark is from Bonn as the structures are in Berlin, on the other side of the country.  Both "stamps" on the top right are printed on the envelope.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany

On the right is a stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. And on the left, the 50th anniversary of chip credit cards.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Örebro, Sweden

The stamp is an image of the Apollo 11 lunar module with the surface of the moon in the background.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Salon Philatélique d’Automne 2019, France

These covers were sent from the 73rd Fall Philatelic Show held 7th to 9th November 2019 in Paris. This year is the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci and that's what the postmarks commemorate.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ponteix, Saskatchewan

Ponteix is a small town in southwest Saskatchewan. In the 1990's, plesiosaur bones were discovered near the town and a plesiosaur statue was built to commemorate the discovery. The plesiosaur statue  was named "Mo".

Monday, November 18, 2019

Lębork, Poland

Some beetles found in Poland. On the left is Cucujus cinnaberinus: a flat bark beetle. And on the right is Oryctes nasicornis polonicus: the European rhinoceros beetle.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Canada, Red River Resistance FDC

The Red River Resistance was a rebellion in Canada led by the Métis leader Louis Riel, that led to the creation of the province of Manitoba in 1870. What I like about this FDC is the image of Upper Fort Garry. It's an 1848 lithograph by Henry James Warre. The fort was built by the Hudson Bay Company in 1822 and occupied by Riel in 1869. All that remains of the fort is the north gate.

Upper Fort Garry ca 1872

Upper Fort Garry North Gate, 2009

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Rüschlikon, Switzerland

The postmark slogan, "Ausflugsziel am Zürichsee", says something like "destination on lake Zürich". Rüschlikon sits on the western shore of Lake Zürich between Kilchberg and Thalwil. The stamps on the left are mushroom stamps: Hydenellum caeruleum and Strobilomyces strobilaceus. And the stamp on the left commeorates the Swiss electronic band Yello.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Insects from the Netherlands

A strip of 5 from a sheet of 10. The third of the four sheets that made up the 2018 "Experience Nature" series.  The insects on these stamps are all found in the Netherlands.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Apollo 11 Man on the Moon postmark

Another late arrival. This one is from Houston Texas where NASA has its mission control center. This is where they monitor and control all aspects of a space mission once it has left the launch pad. The actual mission control room that was used during the Apollo 11 mission was recently restored and opened to the public.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Japan - Enthronement of Emperor Naruhito FDC

The stamps celebrate the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, the 126th Emperor of Japan, on 22 October 2019.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Apollo 11 Anniversary Postmarks

Took quite a while for these to come back to me. The first postmark commemorates the Apollo 11 landing on the moon and the second the launch of the Apollo 11. They are big, beautiful, well applied postmarks. Glad I took the time to request them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The stamp on the left commemorates Malaysian 2016 Paralympic gold medal winners and I believe the stamp on the right is from a 2017 series that commemorates "Malaysia Day" (formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963). And the one in the middle is a low-value definitive. This one is from the "Agriculture and Fruits" series printed between 1986 and 2000. I believe there were different runs for each Malaysian state. So for this particular stamp, 5c cocoa, there would be several variants, each with a different state name, crest and leader.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Bratislava, Slovakia

The stamp on the top left from 2010 shows the ruins of the castle in Topoľčany. Next to that is a recent stamp commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The low value definitives are the Rotunda sv. Margity in Šivetice and St. John the Baptist church in Sedmerovec.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Hartland, New Brunswick

Hartland is a town in New Brunswick that sits on the east shore of the St John River at one end of the Hartland covered bridge: the longest covered bridge in the World. This cover has a perfectly applied postmark and it's paired with a stamp showing the same bridge. But it's ruined by an unnecessary pen scribble over the stamp.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

TAAF, Martin-de-Viviès via Marion Dufresne

As predicted, the third and final cover to come back from the Marion Dufresne. This time from Martin de Viviès on St Paul Island.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Scott Base, Ross Dependency

A post on the Antarctica New Zealand Facebook page implies the first Scott Base summer crew reached the base on the 16th of September. It didn't take long for this cover to make the round trip. I only sent it down there at the beginning of September.

There is effort underway to redesign Scott Base over the next few years. Very early stages. They don't have a design or contractor yet. But the plan is to replace all existing buildings with three interconnecting buildings.

Monday, September 30, 2019

TAAF, Alfred Faure via Marion Dufresne

From the research station Alfred Faure on Possession Island in the Crozet Archipelago. Like the cover I received from Port-aux-Français last week, this too was carried there and back by the French research vessel Marion Dufresne during OP2 of 2019. I wouldn't be surprised if I get another one soon from Martin-de-Viviès. Perhaps a blue envelope. I still have no memory of preparing these or sending them down there.

A cachet on the back implies OP2 was also scheduled to stop Tromelin Island. I wish I had known that when I prepared this. It's not always a stop for the Marion Dufresne and a cover from Tromelin,  carried by the Marion Dufresne, would have been nice to receive.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

San Ġwann, Malta

The stamps are from the third in an annual series that commemorates the Feasts of Malta.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

TAAF, Port-aux-Français via Marion Dufresne

From Port-aux-Français, the "capital" of the Kerguelen Islands. Carried there and back by the French research vessel Marion Dufresne during its second tour of 2019 through the French southern lands. I don't remember sending this down there but I must have sent it early last year. The "Ectemnorhinus viridis" stamp (a weevil) is from 2018.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Last order from Postphil?

Possibly maybe my last order of stamps from Iceland Post's "PostPhil". With Iceland Post losing money and Postphil operating at a loss since 2014, the decision was made to shut Postphil down. What does that mean? It means no more philatelic sales. Fewer stamp issues or none at all. And stamps that are issued will be difficult to obtain because Iceland Post will no longer have a philatelic bureau. I understand there are a few possible scenarios for the future of stamps in Iceland but for now it doesn't look good.

This is the official statement from the Postphil website:

Dear customer,

In an effort to help stabilize Iceland Post’s economic situation, the company’s board has decided to close Postphil in its current form at the end of this year. Postphil has been operating at a loss since 2014. Revenue has decreased significantly due to a fall in the number of customers, while operating costs have remained the same.

As things stand today, there are no certainties regarding the number of stamp issues in the coming years. However, it is certain that there will be a reduction in the number of issues and the number of issue dates per year.

Best regards,

The staff at Postphil

This is what was in my last order. There was a time when I used to regularly purchase mint stamps and FDCs from places like Iceland. Back when the Canadian dollar was stronger and I had more disposable income. But it's been quite a while since I've purchased stamps from Postphil. In fact, I probably stopped around the time their revenue started falling. Too many self adhesive issues and the costs were getting way too high for a casual collector like myself. I'll probably place another order after the Christmas issues are available, before the office gets shutdown for good.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ridgeway, Ontario

The Battle of Ridgeway took place 2 June 1866. The Fenian Brotherhood in the United States felt they could cause trouble in Canada and use that as leverage to force the UK into negotiations for Irish independence. About 700 Fenian insurgents crossed the Niagara river near Fort Erie and were confronted by Canadian forces just outside the current-day village of Ridgeway. The Fenians won the battle but as reinforcements flooded into the area they were forced to retreat back across the river where they were apprehended by US authorities.

On the back of this envelope is a postmark showing the Point Abino Lighthouse. This is a short distance south-west of Ridgeway on Lake Erie at the southern tip of the Point Abino peninsula. The interesting thing about this lighthouse, other than its Greek revival architecture, is the fact that it's built on the water. Only when water levels are low on the lake, or when it freezes, can you walk out to the lighthouse without getting wet. The land on Point Abino is private and controlled by a home owners association who negotiated that the lighthouse not be directly accessible over land when it was built in 1917. Road access on the peninsula is also restricted but registered guests are allowed to walk to the shore by the lighthouse during the summer months.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Kock, Poland

From the town of Kock in eastern Poland. The bird stamp on the right is the 2019 Europa stamp from Poland featuring a common chaffinch (fringilla coelebs).

Saturday, August 31, 2019

France, First Man on the Moon FDC

This was the first time I've ever requested a first-day postmark from La Poste and it came back perfectly. And not just the application of the postmark. I sent it without a return envelope so I expected it to just come back as-is with the rest of the mail. Instead it was returned by registered mail in a cardboard mailer. Pretty impressive service.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Stanley, Falkland Islands

From the Falkland Islands philatelic bureau. I had to buy some stamps and they came in this great little envelope. The stamps are recent definitives. A series featuring small native birds.