vintage and contemporary postcards and stamps from around the world

30 June 2019

Sunday Stamps - S

2014, Japan — Agriculture & Food  (food & cooking) — SUSHI

The date may say 2015, but this sushi stamp - and it's mate, tempura - were issued on October 30th, 2014 as a temporary Special Stamp for International Airmail Postcards due to a 'consumption tax rise'.
The key ingredient of sushi is a vinegared rice with a variety of fillings, toppings and condiments (usually seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits). Sushi is traditionally eaten with your fingers, and is turned over to dip into the soy sauce so only the topping is flavoured.

For the letter S — sushi, special stamp

28 June 2019


artist: Michael Sowa

The German for lightbulb is Gluhbirne. birne = pear gluh = glowing
I love this even more now!

27 June 2019


photographed in 1903
Nez Perce tribe of Oregon

26 June 2019

terraced vineyards

A World Heritage Site since 2007
Lavaux, Vineyards Terraces stretch for 30 kms along Lake Geneva can be traced back to the 11th C when Benedictine and Cistercian monateries controlled the area.

24 June 2019


no two number plates are exactly the same font, yet all look pretty much the same size

from Netherlands

23 June 2019

Sunday Stamps - R

2003, US, Arctic Tundra
designer: Ethel Kessler
artist:  John D Dawson

It took some sleuthing to find information on this raven stamp as it is actually part of a sheet for the Nature of America series which were issued from 1999-2010. You can see the whole sheet here.
The other arctic animals are: a gyrfalcon, grizzly, vole, grey wolf, ptarmigan, grayling, ground squirrel, musk ox, and caribou.
The common raven can live for up to 21 years in the wild. It is also a highly intelligent bird and is revered as a spiritual figure in indigenous cultures of North America.

for the letter R - raven

22 June 2019

avoid fakes

Chocolat Menier was founded in 1819
 They began using advertising posters in 1893 featuring a pigtailed girl writing 'chocolat graffiti' using a piece of Menier chocolate

21 June 2019


Berlin 1933
Die Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtniskirsche from before WWII. 
Right, the Romanesque Cafe, famous meeting point of literary and intellectuals
in the background, the Zoological Garden
and back left, the Bahnhof Zoo

19 June 2019

a riviera

The Riviera Hotel and Casino closed in 2015 after 60 years. Its storied past included mobsters, bankruptcies, embezzlements, expansions, and finally, implosions.

18 June 2019

gateway to muskoka

Sadly, this gateway is gone
the current sign (2016)
which replaced this from 2003

16 June 2019

Sunday Stamps - Q

1967 Rwanda, Quelea quelea
designer: J Van Noten

Although it's French name is travailleur a bec rouge, the Latin name is Quelea quelea, given by Linnaeus and no-one quite knows why. They can be found in most sub Saharan countries and is apparently the world's most common non-domesticate bird species with a population of 1.5 billion. Probably why they have a conservation status of 'least concern'.  This is another beautiful illustration by the great Belgian illustrator Jean Van Noten.

for the letter Q - quelea

15 June 2019

ruby star

One of the five luminescent Kremlin stars seen in the daytime.

14 June 2019

old town

The history of Old Town of Corfu is tied more to Venice than to Greece. 
The architecture is of Venetian origin.

13 June 2019


This is a brilliant rerendering of Brussels' famous Atomium for a Postcrossing meetup card.

12 June 2019

90 years

On June 12th, 1929 it was possible to wake up in a $2 per night room in the tallest building in the British Empire. The night before was the social event of the year with the opening gala of the Canadian Pacific Railway's most grand hotel. It had 28 floors, 10 elevators, and 1,048 rooms. There was also a 12 bed hospital, a radio station, and a bank inside. Today, rooms start at $379 per night.

11 June 2019

piercing the sky

a postcard from before the current construction boom showing the 'CN Tower' and 'SkyDome'

10 June 2019

from jellies to sharks

Continuing on with yesterday's stamp, here is another jellyfish (as well as a shark).  These postcards are available at the Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto (a must see destination for anyone who is interested, or needs to become interested, in marine life.)  It is unfortunate that the 'correspondence' side of the postcard has already been filled in with a description and advertising for the aquarium.

09 June 2019

Sunday Stamps - P

2007, Canada, International Polar Year
designed by Gildo Martino

Eight countries issued stamps for International Polar Year in 2007.  The left stamp shows a male eider duck, while the right stamp shows a jellyfish.  In the centre is a cutout maple leaf.  Each stamp is 40mm X 30mm and the jelly fish is an actual size (apparently about the size of an average thumb!)  It had only recently been discovered on a subarctic polar expedition. The eider duck's migratory pattern was being studied as part of the 2007 IPY. It is considered circumpolar and is native to Greenland, Canada and Alaska.

for the letter P - Polar

08 June 2019


First published in June 1908
Set in Prince Edward Island 1876-81

05 June 2019

Spadina House

"The magnificent 1866 mansion of Toronto financier James Austin contains elegant Canadian furnishings and fine art, spanning the lifetime of three generations. Landscaped grounds. 
Open daily year round."

04 June 2019

two plays

The Testament of Mary (a solo performance play by Colm Toibin)

Soulpepper Theatre Company (Toronto)     2016

The 39 Steps (a parody play by Patrick Barlow)

03 June 2019

US 66

If you ever plan to motor west
Travel my way, take the highway that's best
Get your kicks on Route 66
It travels from Chicago to LA
More than 2000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66

02 June 2019

Sunday Stamps - O

2007, Czech Republic
Nature Protection of the White Carpathian Mountains and Orchid Meadows
This is part of a souvenir sheet I received, but the rest of it was cut off by the sender.

Ophrys holosericea are pollinated by bees
Anacamptsis pyramidalis is a pyramid shaped orchid. as the stamp suggests, it is pollinated by butterflies and moths
Ophrys apisfera also known as the bee orchid. it is exclusively self pollinated

for the letter O - orchids

01 June 2019

drawing rooms

Dundurn Castle, Hamilton (home of Sir Alan McNab)

Spadina House Toronto (home of James Austin)
The Austin family's Drawing Room contains matching walnut upholstered furniture in the Renaissance Revival Style. Original gasoliers, oriental carpets, and a Steinway grand piano exemplify the elegance of this prominent Toronto family.