23 September 2018
16 September 2018
designer: Mari Kaarma
Over the past 20 years, the tiny country of Estonia puts out an excellent, and exhaustive, array of stamps for folk costumes of its various regions. these are all done by Mari Kaarma, whose mother was a fashion designer and his father a furniture designer.
for the letter E - Estonia
(I am still away on holidays, so please excuse my absence to your posts until I return next week!)
09 September 2018
These are also known as parasol mushrooms and are found in all kinds of wooded areas with subspecies in Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa. Apparently it is very tasty. But, only the caps are edible.
for the letter D - Djbouti
02 September 2018
2014, Czech Republic, My Own Stamps
Z = international rate
designers: Jaroslav and Michal Weigel
Jara Cimrman ... creator of the world's first round stamp
according to Ceska Post:
As a teacher in the Galician village of Nipple, Jara Cimrman met a local postmaster's daughter, Erika, T. who soon became his girlfriend and also the recorder of his ideas and principles. We know from Erika T's records that Jara Cimrman presented to the Austrian Imperial and Royal Post Office his plan of using field artillery for delivery of express mail. This innovative plan had the benefit of delivery within seconds to a given address. The disadvantage was that it also reduced the number of addresses. The plan was cancelled at the request of the Galician people. Inspired by the round postmark, Cimrman also designed a round postage stamp for these express consignments.
This is obviously not true as Jara Cimrman is a fictional character who spent his life in tireless pursuit of many disciplines. He is described as a "universal genius, inventor, sportsman, philosopher, criminologist, writer and philosopher". He first made an appearance on a radio show in 1966 and became an immensely popular Czech national hero.
His wikipedia page (which records some of his exploits) is here
for the letter C - Czech Republic, Cimrman
26 August 2018
19 August 2018
artist: Elise Martinson
The first bush babies series of stamps featured marsupials. He is sitting with a backdrop of golden wattle, waratah (a protea type plant that is also the emblem of NSW) and flowering gums. His flying friend is a cicada (which have certainly been sending a loud chorus around my neighbourhood these last few weeks!)
for the letter A - Australia
12 August 2018
engraved by Claude Durrens
Emile Zola was a French novelist, critic and political activist. In 1898 he wrote a letter to a newspaper under the headline 'J'Accuse' where he accused the French Army of covering up its mistaken conviction of Alfred Dreyfus and acquitting Ferdinand Esterhazy on the orders of the Ministry of War. He gained a few enemies in the sharply divided country over the Dreyfus Affair and on his death by carbon monoxide poisoning was considered suspicious. (read about it here)
for the letter Z - Zola
05 August 2018
This 1¢ Grassland Finch was the first of 17 definitives issued in 1979. They have been found in Barbados since around 1960 and are known locally as Grass Canaries. Its colouring ranges from bright yellow underparts to olive yellow upperparts (males) to dull yellow underparts and pale brown upperparts (females). They are protected by law in Barbados, yet are still poached for pets.
for the letter Y - yellow
29 July 2018
designer: Edward R.C. Bethune
Expo 70, held in Osaka Japan, was Asia's first World Exposition. Canada had four pavilions - Governments of Canada, British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario. This stamp shows the white garden lily which was the floral emblem of Quebec until 1999 when it was replaced with an iris. The other stamps in this set showed the trillium for Ontario and the dogwood for British Columbia. The Canada stamp had the Expo 67 logo. The Expo 70 logo was designed by Yusaku Kamekura. It is a stylized cherry blossom with five petals representing the five continents. The circle in the centre represents Japan.
for the letter X - EXPO
22 July 2018
David Livingstone was the first European to set eyes on these waterfalls of the Zambezi River which he named after Queen Victoria. Until the railroad was built in 1905, very few other Europeans visited the area. By 1955, it was possible to fly over the falls. Livingstone can be seen in the foreground being carried by his servants. During the wet season, the width of the falls can grow to almost 1 mile wide. It is divided into five separate falls: Devils Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls, and the Eastern Cataract.
for the letter W - waterfalls
15 July 2018
artist Katsushika Hokusai
Red Mt Fuji at Dawn, around 1830 by Ukiyo-e artist Hokusai who was by then in his 70s. Ukiyo-e artists were well known for their wood block prints during the Edo period (1600-1868). This stamp shows one of the '36 views of Mt Fuji', a series that shows Mt Fuji from different locations and in different seasons and weather. Mt Fuji is on the island of Honshu and last erupted in 1708.
for the letter V - volcano
08 July 2018
designer: Ronald Maddox
The stamp on the left shows Bush House at the docks on the Avon River in Bristol built in the 1830s as a warehouse for an iron foundry and later for tea. In the 1970s it was converted into an art gallery and performing arts centre and is now known as the Arnolfini. On the right, is a view of Commercial Street at the River Tay in Perth where architects have taken care to create a new housing development that harmonizes with the traditional, historical building style in the neighbourhood.
for the letter U - urban renewal
01 July 2018
Wildschwein, or wild boar, is one of the widest ranging mammals in the world and has become an invasive species in many places. They are strong, intelligent and highly adaptable and can become quite the pests while damaging crops, eating birds eggs, and scaring of cattle. These tierkinder stamps are an ongoing series since 2014.
for the letter T - tierkinder
24 June 2018
The Kursiu Nerija, or Curonian Spit, has the largest rolling sand dunes in Europe. It is 98 km long and varies from 400 metres to 4 kms wide with the Curonian Lagoon on east side and the Baltic Sea on the west. It has been a UNESCO Heritage Site since 2000 shared by Lithuania and Russia.
for the letter S - sand dunes, spit
17 June 2018
Jean-Paul Riopelle died in 2002 after a successful career as a modernist painter and sculpture. This is one of seven stamps of details of his Hommage de Rosa Luxembourg painted in 1992. It is a huge fresco (40 metres) made entirely by aerosol spray paint incorporating a succession of images of animals and nature.
for the letter R - Riopelle
10 June 2018
The Sessile Oak is the national tree of the Republic of Ireland. It can grow up to 130' (40 metres) and is native to most of Europe. Apart from being a good source of wood fuel, the timber is also used for building, cabinetmaking and veneers. The acorns are used to fatten grazing animals in the autumn.
for the letter Q - Quercus
03 June 2018
designer: John A Crosby
engraver: Silas Robert Allen
As one of the ten stamps issued for the National Wildlife series (1953-57) this polar bear is of the lowest value. They are the largest animals in the world. The scientific name is Ursus maritimus (sea bear) and the Inuktitut name is Nanuq (Nanuk). Two thirds of the population live in Canada, but they can also be found in Greenland, Russia, Alaska and Norway (on the Svalbard archipelago)
for the letter P - polar bear
27 May 2018
20 May 2018
Issued for the 360th anniversary of Isaac Newtons birth. Newton developed three laws of motion, of which the second law is shown in the equation on the stamp. Also shown is his experiment where he refracts white light with a prism into its constituent colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.
for the letter N - Newton
13 May 2018
designed by Reinhard Derreth
based on a photograph by Harry Rowed
These bighorn sheep live in the Canadian Rockies. These are rams, as can be seen by their massive curled horns which can be as long as 125cm and together can weigh up to 13kg.
for the letter M - mountain sheep
06 May 2018
illustrator: Robert-Ralph Carmichael
The Common Loon is characterized by its large size and sharply pointed bill (unlike those of ducks and geese). Their legs are positioned far back on their bodies which makes them strong propellers in the water but also makes it difficult for walking on land. They spend almost all of their time on water, except to nest and even then, the nests are very close to water. Usually two eggs are laid in early June with an incubation period of around four weeks.
for the letter L - loon
29 April 2018
engraver - Martin Morck
The Hvidbjornen was crushed by an iceberg after being trapped in some cliffs near Nunarsuit, an island in Greenland, in 1895. Greenland is the world's largest island (that is not a continent) and has only around 57,000 inhabitants. Denmark has sovereignty over the country and Greenlandic and Danish are its official languages. Kalaallit is Greenlandic for the name of the native Inuit people.
for the letter K - Kalaallit Nunaat, krone
4 krone would be 0.84 CAD, or 0.47 GBP, or 0.54 euros today
22 April 2018
illustrated by Lou Nolan from a painting by Peter Furst
A silver and turquoise squash blossom necklace with Naja pendant. The Naja is an inverted crescent believed to be based on colonial Spanish bridle designs that were in turn based on Moorish crescent design. For the Navajo it is decorative rather than spiritual yet is still held in high esteem. The squash blossom is based on a Spanish-Mexican ornament that was a stylized pomegranate blossom. The necklace shown on this stamp was made in the 1940s.
for the letter J - jewellery (or, if you prefer, 'jewelry')
15 April 2018
artwork: Dick Findlay
David Findlay (b 1928) is a prolific ornithological artist and has produced over 30 stamps of birds of Ciskei from 1981-1991. This ibis lives in Sub Saharan Africa and has an extremely loud, and boisterous call - the name Ingangane is onomatopoeic in Zulu, resembling its cry. In English it is known as hadeda ibis.
for the letter I - ibis, ingangane
08 April 2018
designer: James Simpkins
engraver: Silas Robert Allen
Issued in 1956 to honour the skill of Canada's amateur hockey players and the prestige they earned for international competition.
In memory of the Humboldt Junior Hockey Team who were involved in a bus crash which killed 16 and injured 14 as they were en route to a semi-final playoff game in Saskatchewan.
for the letter H - Hockey, Humboldt
01 April 2018
1986 - Canada Birds of Canada series
This stamp, with a painting of the Snow Goose in flight by Jean-Luc Grondin, was issued in 1986 during the year Canada hosted the XIX Ornithological Congress. Co-incidentally, the Congress will be again be hosted by Canada this year, for only the second time since 1884. The Snow Goose breeds in the high Arctic and migrate south for the winter in flocks of thousands.
for the letter G - goose
25 March 2018
18 March 2018
11 March 2018
This 1700s vase was featured as part of a 5 series of stamps for Mooi Nederland (Beautiful Netherlands).
Delftware is a tin-glazed earthenware (also called faience and majolica). The opaque glaze is added to the fired piece and then fired a second time. The potting industry in Delft began after the brewers left the town with several abandoned buildings and polluted canal water. Around the same time war in China put an end to the making of their blue and white porcelain and Delft deftly picked up the trade.
for the letter D - Delft
04 March 2018
Russia and Slovenia issued this stamp to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Russian Chapel below Vrsic. In 1915, a Prisoner of War camp was opened near the present borders of Slovenia, Austria and Italy. Most of the POWs were Russian soldiers who were given the job of building a road across the Vrsic Pass. On March 12, 1916 a group of prisoners were clearing the road of snow when an avalanche killed more than 500 people. Local Slovenians buried the dead in a mass grave and to honour them, the remaining prisoners built a small wooden chapel at the site.
for the letter C - chapel, commemorative, centenary,
25 February 2018
This badger stamp is from a series of "The Red Book of Mammals of Belarus" which is a collection of animals that are rare and/or endangered. The book is updated every 10 years with the latest edition being in 2015. Badgers have been on the endangered list for 25 years.
The M on the stamp designates it as airmail postcard abroad.
for the letter B - Belarus, badger (barsuk in Russian)
18 February 2018
Clara Hughes is the most decorated female Canadian Olympian and competed in both Summer (cycling) - Atlanta ('96), Sydney ('00) Salt Lake City ('02) London ('12) and Winter Games (long-track speed skating) - Salt Lake City ('02), Turin ('06) and Vancouver ('10)
Sonja Gaudet was the first wheelchair curler to win multiple Paralympic gold medals at Turin ('06), Vancouver ('10) and Sochi ('14)
Nancy Green won gold and silver at downhill skiing in Grenoble ('68) and was named Canadian female athlete of the century in 1999.
Shirley and Sharon Firth were twins who are the only female Canadian (cross country) skiers who competed in four consecutive Olympics (Sapporo ('72), Innsbruck ('76), Lake Placid ('80) and Sarajevo ('84)
for our new round of stamps by alphabet
A - athletes
for our new round of stamps by alphabet
A - athletes
11 February 2018
illustration: Meimei Mao
calligraphy: Albert Ng
The Year of the Dog begins on February 16, 2018 and ends on February 4th, 2019. People born under the sign of the Dog are said to be loyal, trustworthy and easy going. (full disclosure: me!) This stamp features an eager looking little dog in front of a Chinese lantern with the traditional red and gold colour scheme.
for the Lunar New Year in China, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong
04 February 2018
Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa bordering eight other countries. The name comes from the Zambezi River which may mean 'River of God'. Before independence in 1964 it was known as Northern Rhodesia. About half the population are under 16 years of age. UNICEF is vital in helping with education, poverty, and widespread AID/HIV as well as malaria.
for the letter Z - Zambia
28 January 2018
Under Apartheid, Ciskei was designated as one of the 'homelands' for the Xhosa speaking people of South Africa. The Maxronyx capensis, or Cape longclaw, is found in coastal and mountain grasslands of Southern Africa and can often be found standing on top of stones or clumps of grass. This stamp shows a male with his bright orange throat and yellow underparts.
for the letter Y - yellow
21 January 2018
112 countries participated in 18 sports at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City from October 12-27, 1968. This stamp features the Mexican flag on the right and an Aztec calendar stone on the left. As an extra X, the first Aztec calendar was called the Xiuhpohualli, the counting of years (18 months of 20 days, plus 5 'unlucky' days when disasters may happen). There is also a second calendar on the stone for the days - each week had 13 days. It was carved from solidified lava in the 15th C, but somehow was lost for 300 years, later found buried in the central square of Mexico City.
for the letter X - Mexico, Xiuhpohualli
20 January 2018
Wacker Drive runs along the south side of the main branch (and east side of the south branch) of the Chicago River in the downtown area of Chicago called the Loop. It's a double decker road with the upper level for local traffic and the lower level for through traffic and service trucks. It was named for businessman and city planner Charles Whacker.
14 January 2018
For International Stamp Week, this set of stamps on the 30th anniversary of Disney's first appearance of Winnie the Pooh was issued.
Walt Disney acquired the rights in 1961 and Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree came out in 1966 (voiced by Sterling Holloway).
Originally from White River in northern Ontario, Winnie was named after Lt Colebourne's hometown of Winnipeg.
for the letter W -
Winnie-the-Pooh, White River, Walt Disney