Friday, December 30, 2022

Seville, Spain

The envelope and postmarks commemorate the 13th century Iglesia de Santa Ana in Seville. All stamps are from 2017. Top right is a tourism stamp and part of a set (and a joint issue) that commemorates 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The other two stamps are from a set celebrating Spainsh cinema. On the left is Spanish film actress Lina Morgan. And lower right is Spanish film director Vicente Aranda. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Discovery of the Kerguelen Islands

There is usually a lot more to see on covers from the TAAF islands. Oh well. Both stamps are from 2022. The bottom stamp is one of the pair of annual TAAF mineral stamps. On this one is the mineral Serpentinite. And the top stamp commemorates the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Kerguelen Islands.

The 2023 TAAF stamps will be available soon. You can see them in the January 2023 edition of PhilInfo.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas from Finland

Christmas stamps from Finland featuring gingerbread coming to life. With nice Christmas postmarks from Helsinki.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Traditional Malaysian Cakes and Headwear

Postmarked at a post office in the state of Sengalor. I'm guessing the national mail center in Shah Alam. The pair of stamps on the right from 2022 feature traditional Malaysian cakes: Kuih Alok and Kuih Bakar. And the pair on the left, also from 2022, showcase traditional Malaysian male headwear: Tempok and Lavung Tepo/Dok.

Monday, December 19, 2022

North Pole, Alaska

Recent US space stamps on a cover from North Pole Alaska. Located just outside Fairbanks, North Pole is apparently known for year-round Christmas decorations but I'm sure there is more going on there than just 24/7 Christmas celebrations. Looking at the weather in North Pole AK this morning (19 December at 9AM) it is -39C. That's pretty cold for this time of year, even for central Alaska.

The stamps on the right are Moon Landing anniversary stamps from 2019. And on the lower left is the Eclipse stamp from 2017. That's the one with thermochromic ink. If you put your finger over the blacked-out moon for a few seconds the ink fades and you can see the moon beneath it. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Sevaganapalli, India

Sevaganapalli is a villiage in the north-west corner of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, just a few kilometres south-east of the city of Bengaluru. The souvenir sheet on this cover is a joint issue with Canada from 2017, celebrating Diwali: the festival of lights.

This interesting maximum card was included in the envelope. The postmark commemorates Martyrs' Day on January 30th which is the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. The stamp from 2021 commemorates the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's first visit to the Indian state of Odisha.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Greetings from Sweden

Greeting stamps from Sjöbo Sweden. The stamps are coil stamps from 2019 that were part of a set that don't commemorate anything. They're just stamps for sending mail. The stamp with the rings was probably meant for wedding invitations. I'm not sure about the clouds. Expressing condolences perhaps.

Monday, December 12, 2022

The Queen's 90th Birthday, UK

Another padded envelope, this time from the UK with "North & West Yorksire" postmarks. However the souvenir sheet, issued in 2016 to commemorate the Queen's 90th birthday, is also first-day postmarked with a postmark that was sponsored by the Royal Mint (not the official Royal Mail FD postmark).  But that postmark was not applied to the envelope. And it does not look like the stamp sheet was previously used as there are still areas of undisturbed gum on the back of it. I think that postmark was applied to the sheet in the past, cancelled to order, and the sheet was eventually used on this cover. Previously postmarked stamps were used to mail this envelope.

After 31 January 2023 the machin stamps on the right will no longer be valid for postage as the Royal Mail are moving to barcoded stamps. So this is likely the last time I will see those stamps on a cover from the UK.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Prague, Czech Republic

A small padded envelope from the Czech Republic that came to me with a few coins in it. I am pretty sure that from what I can make out of postal code on the postmark, it came through Prague. The stamp from 2010 shows the famous Alphonse Mucha "Zodiac" print, distributed by the French magazine La Plume in 1897.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Christmas Island, Nova Scotia

Christmas postmarks from Christmas Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. Christmas Island is a small community on Cape Breton Island and not actually an island itself although it's name is connected to a small island (known as Christmas Island) that is within the boundary of the municipality. I try to acquire postmarks from this post office every year. 

This was the annual holiday postcard sent to Canada Post online customers. The colour and design of each bird house matches each of the three non-secular holiday stamps issued by Canada Post this year.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany

Christmas stamps, sent to me from the town of Hessisch Lichtenau. Peaceful Christmas on the left. And on the right an Angel bringing a message of great joy, taken from the painting "Annunciation to the shepherds" by Sano di Pietro. Thank you Martin. It was good to hear from you again.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Dawson City, Yukon Territory

New postmark? Maybe. Certainly new to me. Dawson City was known for being at the center of the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890's. With over 1500 residents it is currently the second largest town in Yukon Territory. The stamp commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Summit Series which was an eight game hockey series played between Canada and the Soviet Union in 1972. Canada won. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Winsen an der Aller, Germany

Historical Postal Routes souvenir sheet from 2020 with a pair of ATM stamps and a cuckoo flower stamp to get to the international letter rate.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Posthorn Anniversary Specimen

I got this in the mail the other day from Norway Post. In the past I've received Christmas postcards and year-end greetings from postal administrations I have purchased stamps from online. Countries like Sweden and Luxembourg come to mind. But this one from Norway is a little different from what I usually receive.

This is an impref Posthorn 150th anniversary souvenir sheet that was mounted in a card with a thank-you note. It was included with a copy of their latest stamp bulletin. Specimen is overprinted across the stamp and I would have rather had an unmarked sheet or perhaps one with a handstamp on it. But no matter. It's an interesting souvenir.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Munich, Germany

A 2022 Baden Misprint stamp from Germany. This one is a single stamps from a sheet. Not the souvenir sheet that I received earlier this month. It's postmarked with a lovely Munich "Victory Gate" postmark. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Merry Christmas from Austria

A Christmas snowflake stamp first day postmarked in Vienna. The 2022 stamp on the left shows the Pilgrimage Church of Maria Straßengel near Graz

Friday, November 18, 2022

Pardubice, Czechia

Postmarked in the Czech city of Pardubice with a postmark that commemorates 100 years of organized philately. The stamp on the right I've seen on another recent cover. It show the Vlčí jámy ravine and is the bottom half of a souvenir sheet that features beautiful sites in the Czech Republic found in the Ore Mountain region. On the left is a Lily of the Valley definitive stamp from 2018. And in the middle is a Red Chateau in Lhota stamp from 2014.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Baden Misprint, Germany FDC

First day cover postmarked in Bonn. The 2022 stamp sheet commemorates a very famous and rare stamp error from 1851. The first postage stamps issued by the German state of Baden on 1 May 1851 included a 9 kreuzer green stamp that was supposed to be printed on pink paper. The green was meant to be used for 6 kreuzer stamps. There are only five known examples in existence. Only one copy is unused and was last sold at auction for over €1.3 million.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Andorra la Vella

From Andorra, sent through Spain Post. The 2021 stamp on the right shows Elderflowers. The stamp on the left, also from 2021, commemorates the annual New Years Eve foot race that starts in Sant Julià de Lòria: Sant Silvestre Sant Juliòa de Lòria.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Hidaka, Japan

From the city of Hidaka in the Saitama Prefecture, just north-west of Tokyo. The stamp on the left is from a 1973 set showing ancient wall murals from the Takamatsuzuka Tomb in Nara prefecture. The painting on this stamp is an Azure Dragon or Seiryū. This is a charity stamp and I believe proceeds went to fund the preservation of the tomb. The 2003 stamp in the middle shows a fireman's coat (Haori) from a set commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Edo Shogunate. And finally, the stamp on the right from 1965 shows Rausu Lake & Mount Rausu at Shiretoko National Park in Hokkaidō.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Borgo Maggiore, San Marino

From the town of Borgo Maggiore in San Marino. The postmark shows the cable car that takes passengers from Borgo Maggiore up to the top of Mount Treito and the City of San Marino. The stamps commemorate the centenary of the birth of Italian children's book author Gianni Rodari.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Norway Posthorn stamps: 150th Anniversary

From Stathelle, Norway. German-Norwegian architect Wilhelm von Hanno designed the first Norwegian Posthorn stamp in 1872. It is the longest running definitive stamp series. At the bottom on it's side is a 1986 International Year of Peace stamp. I like how the postmark was rotated 90 degrees to mark that stamp.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Independence of India 75th anniversary

This well organized cover was postmarked at the Ahmedabad GPO. Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav was an initiative by the Indian government to recognize and promote the 75th anniversary of India's Independence. The stamp on the right commemorates the anniversary and is also a joint issue with the UAE which celebrated it's 50th year in 2022. The round stamp is from 2018 and commemorates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. And the bottom stamp is from a 2019 series featuring Indian First World War memorials. On this particular stamp is India Gate: a war memorial in Delhi.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

World Post Day FDC, Algeria

World Post day was October 9th. This FDC from Algeria commemorates the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union. The UPU was established in 1874 making this year its 148th anniversary. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Minerals from Yokohama

A pearl and red beryl. These are self-adhesive stamps from a sheet of 10 that was issued in February of 2022. The margin from around the stamps was added to the left of the envelope. The address on this envelope was so perfectly written that it actually looked computer generated. Took me a moment to realize it was hand written.

Friday, October 28, 2022

James Webb Space Telescope FDC, USA

Launched on 25 December 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope obits the Sun approximately 1.5 million kms from the Earth. It uses it's large mirror array to capture visible to infra-red light allowing it to see further into space than any telescope before it. 

These are some of the better applications of FD postmarks I've received from the USPS. FD postmarks from the States can be quite large so I also try to keep that in mind when placing graphics on the envelopes. I always try to keep it simple. 

On the envelope above I used a NASA image of the assembled system at Northrop Grumman's facilities in Redondo Beach, California. And on the larger envelope below I added the official mission logo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Sjöbo, Sweden

Cat stamps form a 2022 series called "My Cat". The names of the cats are on the stamps with "Bengt", from Västerås, on the left and "Valiant", a shelter cat from Kalmar, on the right. I believe this stamp series is a sequel to the "My Dog" set they issued in 2020.


Monday, October 24, 2022

2012 Olympic Games from Ahmedebad, India

The stamps from 2012 commemorate the Summer Olympic Games held in London in 2012. Badminton and Volleyball. It's a very nice and tidy cover from Mr Dilip Naik and a shame I have to blur out his beautiful handwriting. This one got a bit crumpled somewhere on it's way to my mailbox but that just gives it more character.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Evansburg, Alberta. Canada

Evansburg is a small town in central Alberta, west of Edmonton. Just a piece of recent domestic mail with lots of older stamps on it. From 1975, Alphonse Desjardins, co-founder of what is now the financial services co-op known as The Desjardins Group.  And below those a stamp from 1995 that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the UN. And on the right is a 1974 block titled "Indians of the Pacific Coast".

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Solidarity with the Ukrainian People, Portugal FDC

The stamp shouldn't need much explanation. Any time I see blue and yellow now I think of Ukraine. And wheat on the first-day postmark: that reminds of Ukraine too. I believe money from the sale of this stamp in some way goes to aiding the people of Ukraine.

The 5 cent stamps are from a numismatics (study of coins) series from 2021 and show a gold coin minted between 1495 and 1521 during the reign of King Manuel I.

Thank You Pedro. A very nice cover!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Pordenone, Italy

Pordenone is a city in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the north east corner of Italy. From left to right, a 2020 stamp commemorating the bicentenary of the GP Vieusseux Science Reading Room in Florence and another 2020 stamp commemorating the G20 Italian presidency in 2021. And below that a Winter Olympic Games stamp from 2006. Biathlon. Lowest value from a sheet of nine.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Toulouse, France

A larger envelope folded down to size so not quite square. Sometimes it's hard to find envelopes that are just the right size. On the left, a 2001 stamp commemorating the 40th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to journey into space. And on the right, a 2019 stamp depicting Île Tromelin in the Indian Ocean.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Stathelle, Norway

Stathelle is a small town in the south of Norway. The postmark on this interesting cover was for a collector's fair in Stathelle that was held a couple of weeks ago on 25 September 2022.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Pony Cars FDC

A pair of stamps from a recent USPS issue featuring "Pony Cars": compact American sports cars. A 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T is on the right and a 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7 GT is on the left. An updated  version of the Challenger has been in production for a few years now. The 1980's were not kind to the Cougar. It became less sporty and was sometimes offered as a 4-door sedan or station wagon. The third stamp on this cover is a 1982 stamp that pays tribute to America's elderly population. An interesting choice to go along with stamps featuring old cars.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Colnago, Italy

This was sent to me from the village of Colnago in the municipality of Cornate d'Adda north east of Milan. Set of four stamps from 2010 featuring tourist destination in Italy. From right to left, the Termiti islands, the town of Viggiano, the town of Courmayeur and the town of Todi. Nice choice of stamps. Colourful and tidy.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Île Tromelin, TAAF

Tromelin is one of the scattered islands. It's small, windy and flat and does not support much vegetation. But it is home to crabs, birds and turtles. And a few French Meteorologist.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Schkeuditz, Germany

Briefzentrum 4 is the mail processing plant next to the Leipzig airport. It's not within the city of Leipzig but in Schkeuditz which lies between Leipzig and Halle. The stamp shows an optical illusion. The grey at the top and bottom are the same. The top just looks darker because of the black on white band in the middle. The used stamps that came to me in this cover were greatly appreciated.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Katowice, Poland

A pair of recent stamps from Poland. On the left is a stamp promoting tourism featuring the market square and city hall in the city of Zamość. And on the right is a stamp from a set titled "Polish Madonnas". This stamp depicts a fresco known as "Our Lady of Dzierżoniów". The crown was added recently.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Stanley, Falkland Islands

The stamps from 2021 feature paintings of settlements in the Falklands painted by Mike Peake. Port Louis on the left and Port Howard on the right. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Minerals from Fukushima, Japan

Red Beryl (emerald) on the left and Tanzanite on the right. Both are extremely rare. This was postmarked in "Mikami" in Fukushima prefecture. I'm not sure exactly where that is. Might refer to a district in the city of Kitakata.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Monaco's former brewery

The SEPAC theme for 2022 is local beverages. This stamp shows the former brewery in Monaco's Fontvieille district which operated from 1905 to 1972. Postmarked by the Monaco philatelic agency OETP (Office des Émissions de Timbres-Poste). There is also a Monte Carlo postmark on the back.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Discovery of Antarctica, Portugal

The stamp sheet from Portugal is from an issue that commemorates the discovery of Antarctica. The stamps on the sheet show several species of fauna that inhabit the Antarctic region, above and below the water line. Only about 10% of an iceberg rests above the surface of the water.

It took centuries to fully "find" Antarctica. Some places were even discovered multiple times and given different names due to the poor accuracy of navigational instrumentation at the time. GPS would have helped. And a way to share information, like the internet.

Thank you Pedro for this excellent cover!

Friday, August 26, 2022

Pope Francis visits Canada, Vatican City

When I sent this to the Vatican post office I requested some nice postmarks. And that's what I got. The postmark commemorates Pope Francis' recent visit to Canada July 24-30. The stamp on the left commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Inspectorate of Vatican Public Security (in 2020). In the middle is a 2022 stamp that commemorates the 1900th anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Marcian. And on the right from 2021, the 150th anniversary of the Congregation of Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Asturias, Spain

I can't make out the postmarks but I'm pretty sure it's from the Asturias region. In the middle is a 2022 stamp advertising the San Fermín festival (Pamplona, running of the bulls). And above that is a poinsettia from 2006. On the right is a 2022 stamp block showing the town of Calaceite from a set featuring charming villages. And on the left are a few King Felipe VI stamps to round out the bunch.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Viña del Mar, Chile

From the coastal city of Viña del Mar, a pair of 2019 stamps from a set of four commemorating the 100th anniversary of the University of Concepción.