vintage and contemporary postcards and stamps from around the world

29 December 2019


I love these 'road trip Australia' series.
Here we have a sideways placed stamp for a platypus and a 'road trip' to see the penguins in Australia. For an extra P the penguins live on Phillip Island. The platypus lives in freshwater streams and rivers of eastern Australia from Queensland to Tasmania.
I never had the good fortune to see a platypus, but I have seen the penguins of Phillip Island, near Melbourne. There you can see the penguin parade as the precious little guys waddle back to land at sunset.

for the final Sunday Stamps of 2019.

27 December 2019


I haven't really thought about Canadian banks in other countries, but apparently RBC has been in the Caribbean for over 100 years and is in 17 different countries. In The Bahamas, only the Freeport Branch, Port Lucaya and Settlers Way ATM are available and only the Freeport Branch is open regular hours until further notice. I've tried to find where this bank on the 2008 stamp is located but haven't had much luck. Apparently, in 2017 there was a move to a (unpopular) digital platform, so it's possible this building no longer exists as a bank.

26 December 2019

hockey forever

Today is Boxing Day ... and also the start of the World Juniors Hockey.
Canada won 6-4 over the USA
These 2017 stamps were issued as part of the History of Hockey series.
"These stamps celebrate the shared love of hockey, a game now rooted in the lore of both nations"

22 December 2019

gifts of the magi

The fun secular Christmas stamps seem to be more popular than the more serious religious ones. Above, illustrated by Michael Little, closes the gap a little, I think (my own unscientific survey).

In 1965, this stamp featuring the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh was issued.

And in 1964, the very first Christmas stamp,
showing a family looking out at the Christmas star.

Both of these early stamps were issued in 3 and 5 cent denominations with the 5 cent used for regular sealed letters and the 3 cent for unsealed Christmas cards.
for Sunday Stamps - Christmas, religious

Wishing Everyone A Happy Christmas

21 December 2019

20 December 2019

19 December 2019

17 December 2019

packing up

from Germany
I worry about these presents if that Volkswagen actually moves!

16 December 2019


I think this young girl is fashionably well protected from the snow

15 December 2019

Christmas trees

The evolution of Christmas trees from 1781 (bottom) to 1881 (top right) to 1981 (top left).
designed by Anita Kunz

The Christmas tree was introduced to French Canada by the wife of a German general working for the British. Baroness Riedesel put up the first Christmas tree in North America in their dining room on Christmas Eve 1781, at Sorel Quebec. Her husband had been sent to Canada to help put down the American Revolution, and on that Christmas they were hosting a party for British and German officers after spending two years in captivity in the US. Those decorations included fruit and the tree was lit with candles. Later, by 1881, the decorations included toys and gifts. By 1981, the tree had its own specially made ornaments. (and no lit candles!)

for Sunday Stamps - Christmas (secular)

13 December 2019


The Landmark of Chicago Hospitality
The Congress Plaza Hotel may be the most haunted building in all of Chicago.
Among the ghostly many stories, there's the elevator that is known to stop at the 8th floor even if no-one has pushed the button. On the 12th floor one of the rooms has been permanently shuttered due to its frighteningly paranormal activity.

11 December 2019

09 December 2019

the bluffs

at the east end of Toronto are the Scarboro Bluffs (should really be Scarborough, no idea why it was spelt 'wrong' in early to mid 1900s)

"The shore is extremely bold, and has the appearance of chalk cliffs,but I believe they are only white sand. They appeared so well that we talked of building a house there and calling it Scarborough"
Elizabeth Simcoe, diary 1793

08 December 2019

wooden gem

Considered one of the most beautiful wooden churches from southern Poland.
A roof detail of Saints Philip and James Church in Sekowa.  Built around 1520 from larch wood, it was extended in the 13th C with a spire and veranda. During 1914-15 some of the wood from the altar was used for trenches and firewood. There was some reconstruction done in 1918 and again in 1948 after the second world war ended. 

for Sunday Stamps - places of worship

06 December 2019

05 December 2019

04 December 2019


16 Mile Creek                Dunn and LakeshoreRd
Oakville Centennial Building        Gairloch Gardens

03 December 2019


the largest shopping mall in the world when it opened in 1964
61 stores in 1 million square feet
and Canada's first indoor mall

Several expansions later, it now has 270 stores in 1,845,725 square feet.
Good luck finding parking for your holiday shopping.

01 December 2019


The red fox, with the great name of vulpes vulpes, can be found all across the Northern Hemisphere. They are known as "wise and cunning", or alternately, as "sly and sneaky". A mature fox can weigh anywhere from 3-14kg with a luxurious tail that is one third of its body size. I live in the downtown core of a medium sized city and for a couple of years we had a three-legged fox that wandered the streets. Last year there was a litter of three born somewhere nearby and it is exciting to see two of them (there were always two together and the third off by itself) still roaming around.

for Sunday Stamps - small animals

29 November 2019

grand house

The Grand House on the North Side was the hub of Chicago's social life in the 1890s
Once the largest private residence in Chicago, demolished in 1950.
Fun fact: the exterior doors had no knobs or locks — the only way in was to ring for admittance.

28 November 2019

merchandise mart

I accidentally bought two of the same (but slightly different) card.
Opened in 1930 with 4,000,000 sq ft of space!!

27 November 2019

sticks and blades

Melbourne Museum, opened in 2000 a natural and cultural history museum
The sweeping 'blade' canopy is a signature of the architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall.

26 November 2019


The Edersee is an 11,8 sq km reservoir in Walbeck-Frankenberg, Hesse with 199.3 million sq metres of storage space. Lake Edersee is surrounded by 50 hills which are covered be a sea of beech trees over 6,000 hectares.

25 November 2019


The Orchard Road district — one of Asia's most popular shopping areas.
It is a 2.2 km long full of high end retail, upmarket restaurants, hotels, with the president's residence at the eastern end and the Botanic Gardens on the western edge.
The name comes from the nutmeg and pepper plantations that the road once led towards.

24 November 2019

Children's Day

Every year, on November 14, India celebrates Children's Day and the postal department releases a special stamp.

The elephant in this illustration is known as Gajju. He is a 'dancing golden baby elephant' mascot for the International Children's Film Festival (which is popularly known as the Golden Elephant). It is illustrated by Sigrun Srivastav.

for Sunday Stamps - children

23 November 2019


photograph by Clive Webster
This 1984 stamp (75th anniversary of the Canadian Red Cross) shows a pin that is awarded to volunteers with 10 years of "meritorious" service.
From the Canadian Red Cross website I found an article describing a similar pin they have in their archives. I could not write anything better myself, so here it is in full

For 120 years, the Canadian Red Cross has relied upon the labours of millions of volunteers whose individual names and contributions are now lost to history. This small enamel “Service” pin is the only known clue telling us that Mrs. M.S. Bradley was one of these volunteers.
The pin fits easily in the palm of one’s hand, and was created as a form of official recognition for exceptional volunteer service. It was meant to be worn on the lapel of one’s coat, suit jacket, or blouse, and would have been recognized by others in the Red Cross as a mark of honour. Mrs. Bradley’s name is engraved on the reverse, along with the year 1949 – likely the year it was awarded to her.
Until the late twentieth century it was customary for married women to be known publicly by their husband’s name or initials, so we know that Mrs. Bradley was married to M.S. Bradley, but not what her own first name was. We do not know her age, when she first began working for the Red Cross, or where she lived. In this respect she symbolizes millions of women, similarly unknown, who worked diligently for local Red Cross branches and auxiliaries through periods of war and peace.
The date 1949 does give us a clue as to what Mrs. Bradley may have been doing. The years 1946-49 were a period of transition for the Canadian Red Cross, as it wound down its Second World War (1939-45) services and opened a new period of peacetime work at home and abroad. 
She may have been an active member of a branch supporting established programs like the outpost hospitals or community health promotion. Perhaps she was a skilled local fundraiser. Alternately, she may have helped spearhead a new post-war initiative in her area, like the Swimming and Water Safety program, Blood Transfusion Service, or Sickroom Supplies Loan Cupboard. 

22 November 2019

little church

A peaceful country oasis in the middle of Manhattan.
Officially it is the Church of the Transfiguration (Episcopal), Built in 1849.
When actors were considered outcasts, a neighbouring church refused to officiate funeral services and suggested that "there is a little church around the corner where they do that sort of thing" and it has since had a longstanding association with the theatre.