Friday, November 24, 2023

OSIRIS-REx sample return FDC, USA

First-Day covers I made for the US OSIRIS-REx stamp that commemorated the successful return of an asteroid sample from space. NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was launched in September 2016. It took two years to reach the half km wide Asteroid 101955 Bennu. Then spent two years orbiting and studying the asteroid. After a quick touchdown to collect a sample, it left Bennu for a 7 month trip back to Earth.

As OSIRIS-Rex flew by the Earth it released it's 80x50 cm return capsule which landed in the Utah desert at 8:52AM MDT on 24 September 2023 carrying a 70g sample of asteroid rock and dust.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Another Year or the Dragon FDC from Japan

This time it's the Yokohama first-day postmark (横浜 in the text at the bottom of the postmark). The stamps are added value lottery stamps. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Year of the Dragon FDC, Japan.

From Osaka. The Year of the Dragon starts on February 10th, 2024 and ends on January 28th, 2025. The stamps were designed by stamp artist Ayumi Yoshikawa. On the right is a toy dragon woodblock print by Japanese artist Kawasaki Kyosen. And on the left is an added value lottery stamp.

Friday, November 17, 2023

100th Anniversary of the First Planetarium Projector, FDC

The stamp commemorates 100 years since the worlds first planetarium projector was introduced. The first official public event was at the Deutsches Museum in Munich on October 21, 1923. My flatbed scanner could not capture the metallic foil finish on the stamp. But it is much more apparent in this image taken with my phone.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Vienna, Austria

A Europa 2023 stamp on the right on this cover from Austria. And seven 10c make-up stamps that feature the Bodensee (Lake Constance) lace bonnet.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Finland in NATO and Finnair

On the left is a stamp from celebrating Finland's NATO membership. The stamp was issued on September 9th which was the 350th anniversary of Finnish postal service Posti. And on the right is a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of Finnish airline Finnair on November 1st.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Traditional Music in Algeria, FDC

First-day postmarked stamps from a recent set about traditional music in Algeria. The stamp on the left shows a Ghayta which is an oboe-type instrument popular in North Africa. And the stamp on the right depicts Urar l'Khalath: ancestral female singing.

Friday, October 27, 2023

UN World Post Day in Voluntari, Romania

This was sent to me from a Postcrosser in Romania who organized a meetup event at the Voluntari Post Office outside of Bucharest, Romania. The event was held to commemorate UN World Post Day on  October 9. He had a special postmark and postcard produced for the occasion. The pair of stamps on the left are Europa 2008 "Letter Writing" stamps. And the label on the right is an image of the postcard that was included in the cover.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Otfried Preußler, Germany FDC

On this cover from Germany are stamps commemorating 100 years since the birth of famous German children's writer Otfried Preußler. The character on the stamps is "The Robber Hotzenplotz" from his popular book series of the same name. Preußler's image appears in the middle of the postmark.

Monday, October 23, 2023

180th Anniversary of the Brazilian Bull's Eye Stamps

The first postage stamps issued by Brazil on the 1st of August, 1843, had the appearance of bull's eyes. This was the second non-local stamp issue in the world with the first being the Penny Black in 1940. These 2023 stamps commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Bull's Eye stamps as part of the UPAEP joint issue for which this years theme is philately and postage stamps.

Friday, October 20, 2023

The Dresden Frauenkirche, FDC

This stamp is part of a series that shows before and after images of famous places in Germany. On this stamp is Frauenkirche in Dresden. It was destroyed by allied bombing during WW2. The stamp shows a famous image of the church ruins from 1957 on the right. And a modern image of the restored church in 2015 on the left.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Royalty in Malaysia

Postmarked at one of Malaysia's national mail centers. The stamp on the left commemorates the 2015 coronation of Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj as the the Sultan of Johor. The state of Johor is at the southern end of the Malaysian peninsula and is controlled by a constitutional monarchy. The 2017 stamps on the right commemorate the state visit of the Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Closure of the Kennedy Space Center Post Office

The contractor-operated post office at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida ceased operations on the 26th of September, 2023. There has been a post office at the KSC in one form or another since 1965. I would guess that most of its customers were space cover collectors. Near the bottom of this thread it mentions there were 663 items hand cancelled on closing day. I found out about the closure at the last minute and managed to get this cover down there for cancellation on the last day. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Montreal, Canada

From the Canadian city of Montreal. The postmark shows the Montreal skyline at the base of Mount Royal, with its cross at the top of the hill. The stamp featuring Canadian labour activist and feminist Simonne Monet-Chartrand is from a recent set commemorating famous Quebec feminists.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Saint Luigi Orione and the Year of the Ox, Argentina

A Year of the Ox lunar new year sheet on the left. And in the right corner is a stamp commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Don Luigi Orione. This was a joint issue with Italy, The Vatican and The Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The other stamps are National Park definitives with Sierra de las Quijadas National Park on the bottom and Laguna Blanca National Park in the middle.

Monday, October 9, 2023

ESA Space Mission Hugginn

On August 26th 2023, Danish ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen was part of a crew launched from Kennedy Space Center to the ISS. His six month mission, named Huginn after one of Norse god Odin’s ravens, will include a range of scientific experiments involving virtual reality, sleep and climate science.

Now that I look at it, I think August 27th would have been a better date for the postmark as that was the day the crew orbiter docked with the ISS. A second cover with a postmark from the space center would have been nice too. 

The envelope was used by Tusass Greenland for their Hugginn stamp sheet. Posta Faroe Islands put out an identical stamp with an identical FDC envelope except the text at the bottom was in Faroese instead of Greenlandic.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Bambi 100th Anniversary, Austria FDC

First-day postmarked in Grünau im Almtal, Austria. The stamp commemorates the 100th anniversary of the publication of Felix Salten's original novel "Bambi, a Life in the Woods". Salten was a famous  Austrian writer... and an avid hunter.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Last Aerogram from Japan

On October 1st, Japan Post officially discontinued the sale and acceptance of pre-paid Aerogram products  due to the rising cost of international postage. In Japan the international letter rate is currently 120 yen but the cost to send this aerogram I received from Yokohama was 90 yen.

An aerogram is a single sheet of paper that you can write a message on. It's gummed around the edges so it can be folded into an envelope and sent through the mail. The postage is pre-printed on the outside and is typically a reduced rate because the aerogram is incredibly light, being only a single sheet of paper. This aerogram from Japan came to me with an ACPC circuit inside.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Equestrian Sports in Sweden

A pair of covers from Sjöbo, Sweden with recent stamps featuring images of equestrian sports. They are from a set called "Hobby Horse to Gold Medal". The first stamp on the top cover shows hobby horses which are used in "hobby horsing" competitions. It's been very popular in Finland for the past few years and gaining popularity in other countries, like Sweden.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Marion Dufresne and the Kerguelen Islands, TAAF

Sent from the French research vessel Marion Dufresne during its second 2023 rotation through the French Austral lands. Postmarked in Port-aux-Français in the Kerguelen Islands. As is usually the case with covers sent from the Marion Dufresne, the envelope is covered with personal handstamps from some of the ship's crew and scientists going to the islands.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Rüschlikon, Switzerland

From Rüschlikon, on the western shore of lake Zürich. The three stamps from left to right are a 10 franc coin stamp from 2022, A Hydnellum caeruleum mushroom stamp from 2014, and a red fox stamp from a set featuring "Animals in the City" from 2021. 

Monday, September 25, 2023

Bogor City, Indonesia

The stamps from 2015 on this cover from Bogor City in Indonesia show the flower of an elephant foot yam and a common hill myna bird. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Preserve the Polar Regions, France

From France, with a generic "La Poste" postmark. The souvenir sheet is from 2009 and part of a joint issue that included the postal administrations of several countries to raise awareness of the harm being done to the polar regions. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Skrok and Skrins Nature Reserves, Netherlands

A pair of stamps from the "Experience Nature" stamp series from the Netherlands. These stamps are from a sheet that features flora and fauna from the Skrok and Skrins Nature Reserves. Both are bird sanctuaries in the Greidhoeke in Friesland. The bird on the right stamp is a Kemphaan. And the flowers on the stamp on the left are Goudknopje or Brass Buttons.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Bjørnøya, Norway

Bjørnøya, or Bear Island, is the southern most island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. Only a few people inhabit the island on a rotating basis, operating the weather and radio station. The 2022 stamp is from Post Norway's "Research, Innovation and Technology" stamp series. This stamp depict Hywind Tampen: the worlds first floating wind farm. There are three postmarks on this stamp. The obvious one is the Bjørnøya Arctic Loon postmark. At the bottom of the stamp is the circular Bjørnøya postmark. And at the top is an Oslo machine postmark.

Friday, September 15, 2023

São Filipe, Cape Verde

From the city of São Filipe on the island of Fogo. Cape Verde consists of a group of volcanic islands 600km west of the western tip of Africa. It was settled by the Portuguese in the 15th century and gained independence in 1975. Over half a million people live in Cape Verde. 

The stamps are 2004 Summer Olympic stamps: Gymnastics and Taekwondo. On the back of the envelope there is a handstamped postmarks from Cape Verde with a date stamp and another machine stamp from Portugal with a Lisbon postal code. Thanks for the cover Pedro. Much appreciated!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

United Nations, New York Office

United Nation flag stamps: Mongolia, Iraq, Argentina, Zimbabwe and Vanuatu. These were issued in 1987. It's was a long running series, started back in 1980 I believe. Issuing a few stamps in the series each year meant it took a while to get through all 195 member states. Or whatever it was at the time. The stamp at the lower left corner is a 1983 World Communications Year commemorative.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Bees in Montréal

From the city of Montréal. I'm not sure what the deal is with the bees on the postmark but I like it, with its honeycomb shape. Apparently urban bee keeping in Montréal has become so popular that there is an over-population of honeybees in the city. There are so many bees that there are not enough flowers to keep them all fed which has led to the decline in native bees species in the area. 

Friday, September 8, 2023

Great American Stamp Show, Cleveland Ohio. USA

The rock and roll theme of the cover likely comes from the fact Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The 2023 Great American Stamp Show was held in Cleveland on August 10 to 13, hosted by the American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association and the American First Day Cover Society. Thanks to Mark Goodman for this cover.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Blackadder Goes Forth

These stamps were issued by Royal Mail in May of 2023. Blackadder was a British comedy series from the 1980's staring Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) as Edmund Blackadder. Each of the four TV series took place in a different time period with the forth set during WWI in 1917. I didn't appreciate the forth series of Blackadder. Nor the first actually. But I loved the second and third. Maybe I should give the forth  another chance. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Leamington, Ontario. Canada

Butterflies on this postmark from Leamington, Ontario. Monarch butterflies gather there in the fall during their annual migration south to Mexico. The municipality includes Point Pelee national park which juts out into Lake Erie. It is the southern-most tip of Canada.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Trier, Germany

NAPOSTA was a national stamp exhibition held between the 20th and 23rd of July 2023 by the Trier stamp club. The structure in the postmark is the ruins of an ancient Roman bath complex in Trier. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Mutsu City, Aomori prefecture, Japan

The postmark is shaped like the top of the Shimokita Peninsula in the Aomori prefecture. This is the northern tip of Honshu: Japan's main island. In the postmark is a scallop and Mount Kamabuse. The bay to the south of Shimokita is a major source of sea scallops. And Kamabuse is a peak to the west of Mutsu City, where this postmark was applied.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Riga, Latvia

From left to right, one stamp from a 2019 set of three stamps commemorating the centenary of the Latvian Armed Forces, one stamp from a 2019 pair commemorating the centenary of the University of Latvia, a water lily stamp from 2016 and at the bottom a one cent definitive showing a common daisy.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Sofia, Bulgaria

From the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, a pair of stamps from 2020 featuring caricatures of famous Bulgarians by Bulgarian visual artist Boris Dimovski. On the left is the late Bulgarian film and stage actor Georgi Partsalev. On the right is a self-portrait of Boris Dimovski himself, who died in 2007. Thank You for the cover Pedro!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Autumn Greetings FDC, Japan

Two stamps showing fall scenes, first-day postmarked in central Tokyo on 9 August 2023. The stamps are from a pair of sheets, each with 10 different stamp designs. Some have animals. The FD postmark on the right with an image of a deer is machine stamped. The one on the left with the cute little chipmunk is hand stamped.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Hidaka, Saitama prefecture, Japan

Some older stamps on this cover from Hidaka. From left to right, cherries from Yamagata prefecture from 1999, the 50th anniversary of the Public Welfare Commission from 1967, and the 100th anniversary of the start of the Meiji Era from 1968.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

World of Art FDC, Japan

First-day cover from Osaka with a pair of stamps from Japan Post's fifth "Word of Art" stamp series. On  the left is Torajirō Kojima's "Sleeping Young Model" from 1912 and on the right is Minami Kunzô's "Girl  writing at a garden table" from 1909. The image in the postmark is from Maruyama Ōkyo's "Morning Glory and Puppies" from 1784.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Ivenacker Oaks, Germany FDC

Ivenacker oaks in Northern Germany are some of the oldest trees in Germany. The oldest is just over 1100 years old. They were declared the first National Natural Monument in Germany in 2016.

And here's another one that came a couple days later.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Chinese Idioms

An idiom is a phrase in which the literal meaning is not the same as the figurative meaning. The Chinese language is ripe with idioms with ancient origins. They are known as chengyu and usually  consist of four characters. The stamps on this cover are from the third series of "Stories of Idioms" stamps from China showcasing just a few classic Chinese idioms.

The theme of these stamps all involve respect for hard work and learning. To fully understand Chinese idioms requires an understanding of ancient Chinese culture and language which I do not possess. So all I can really do is google search and translate which does not do them justice. Across the top from left to right: 
  • 铁杵成针 Grind an iron rod into a needle : as long as people work hard, they will be successful
  • 程门立雪 Cheng Men Lixue. Stand in the snow and wait upon master Cheng respectfully: have respect for teachers, teaching and studying
  • 孺子可教 The child is worth teaching
  • 韦编三绝 Wei Bian Sanjue. Leather straps used to bind bamboo strips break three times : Confucius read the "Book of Changes" so many times that the bindings fell apart. And yet he still felt it would take several years to master the magic of the book. Another example of persistence and learning.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Gundam Manhole Cover Postmark, Japan

From the city of Odawara, in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. The postmark commemorates the second anniversary of the installation of a pair of Gundam themed manhole covers in the city : the first Gundam manhole covers in the country. There were two postmarks available: this one showing a RX-78-2 mobile suit gundam (one of the originals in the series) standing in front of Odawara castle, and another featuring a MSM-07 Z'Gok mobile suit (an amphibious suit).

Gundam themed manhole covers are new. but anime inspired manhole covers have been popular in Japan for a while now. There are Pokemon themed covers in cities across the country and finding them, photographing them, getting a card hand-stamped with a stamp from a nearby stamping station, is a hobbyist thing in Japan. An "otaku" thing. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Douglas, Isle of Man

From the capital city of Douglas on the Isle of Man. Artwork on the stamps represents the "three legs of Man". The triskelion has been a symbol of the Isle of Man since the 13th century. The Isle of Man sits in the Irish sea between England and Ireland. Offshore banking. Cats with no tails. It's a British Crown dependency, just like Guernsey and Jersey.