Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! Bonne Année! Feliz Año Nuevo! 新年快乐!

I wish all of you around the globe a very happy New Year!  May 2011 be even more prosperous and cheerful than 2010! :)  Take care ...  and see you all next year!  ><

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bicentenary of Mahebourg

The MPL issued a set of 4 postage stamps on February 4th, 2006 to mark the bicentenary of Mahebourg, a village in the South East of Mauritius.

Rs2 - The Market
The stamp depicts the old African-style market, now demolished, and the new one with its elegant pastel shades and slender pillars.  People of the region flock to this market renowned for its butchery products; the place is moreover a bustling meeting centre where shopping goes with socialising.

Rs7 - Regattas
The stamp features the regattas, old and new, a very particular feature of the seaside village.  This activity was created, among others, to draw popular attention to Mahebourg, in the 19th century, at a time where it was losing some of its attraction to the profit of inland towns.

Rs8 - Le Lavoir
The stamp shows the picturesque lavoir or washing place, one of the rare specimen of the kind to be still in use.  Dating from the French period, that is the early days of the creation of Mahebourg, it is situated close to La Rivière La Chaux.  The iron rings fixed in the cut stones recall that horses were tied here while the washing was being done.

Rs16 - Pointe des Régates
The stamp illustrates the Pointe des Régates, past and present.  This is the place where boat racing started.  La Montagne du Lion, a mountain that takes its name from the shape of a lion's head at its summit, can be seen in the background.  

A souvenir sheet was also released.  The s/s consists of 2 stamps with the left one portraying Mahé de Laboudonnais, French Governor of Isle de France (1735-1740) and whose name was given to Mahebourg, and on the left, the successor of Laboudonnais (1803-1810): Isidore Decaen, who created Mahebourg.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Postcard from the University of Cambridge

On December 22, I received this wonderful card sent on December 6 from the renowned University of Cambridge.  :)  The University is the 2nd oldest one in both England and the English-speaking world and the 7th oldest university globally.  Academically, Cambridge now ranks first in the world according to the QS University rankings, ahead of Harvard and Yale.

This postcard forms part of a collection of over 150 pastel paintings of Cambridge by K. J. Lewis.

Monday, December 27, 2010

1999 World Post Day

To mark the 1999 World Post day, the MPS issued a Special Commemorative Cover on October 9th, 1999.

40cs - Train ('Inland Transport' series of 1998)

60cs - Wheelwright saron ('Petits Métiers' series of 1997)

Rs7 - Dutch map of Mauritius 1870 ('400th Anniversary of Dutch Landing' series of 1998)

Rs8 - Landing fleet ('400th Anniversary of Dutch Landing' series of 1998)

The SCC was also issued to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union, which, you all know, was founded on October 9, 1874.  The SCC also features the 20cs stamp issued by Mauritius in 1974 to commemorate the 100 years of the UPU.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Musical Instruments

Many thanks to Emilio for this awesome cover sent from Madrid on November 26th.  Both stamps depict woodwind instruments: the tenor saxophone (€0,45) and the trumpet (€0,34).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Old Chimneys of Mauritius

On September17, 1999, the Mauritius Postal Services issued a set of 4 postage stamps on the theme "Old Chimneys of Mauritius".

Re1 - Alma chimney

Rs2 - Antoinette chimney

Rs5 - Belle Mare chimney

Rs7 - Grande Rosalie chimney

The FDC features the Beau Séjour chimney.

A splendid miniature sheet including the 4 stamps was also issued.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

On December 18th I received this nice cover from Wales (my first from the United Kingdom).  It has lovely Christmas stamps affixed on it.  Thank you very much Dean!  ^^/
I take this opportunity to wish to everyone who contributed, in one way or another, to running this blog, a merry Christmas. 

Merry Christmas to you all !!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

French Gastronomy

The menu today: a gastronomic journey through France。  Thanks Eric for this cover from Lyon, sent on November 22。 This  miniature sheet features the Quenelles from Rhones-Alpes, the Escalope normande which comes from Haute-Normandie,the Maroilles which originates from Nord-Pas-de-Palais and the Clafoutis from Limousin.   Miam-miam !!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Local Artists

The Mauritius Postal Services issued a set of 4 postage stamps on June 18th, 1999 on Local Artists.

Re1 - Les lavandières (Hervé Masson)

Rs3 - Le casino (Gaëtan de Rosnay)

Rs4 - Les quatre éléments (André Poilly)

Rs6 - Sortie de messe (Xavier Le Juge de Segrais)

The FDC pictures the famous Malcom de Chazal's Le dodo bleu

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas in Fance

Nice Christmas cover received from France to share with you!  The sender's identity problem was finally solved! :)  Thank you very much Santa Claus Eric!! 


Monday, December 20, 2010

2009 Anniversaries & Events

The Mauritius Post issued a set of 4 postage stamps on November 30, 2009 on the theme "Anniversaries and Events".  

Rs7 - Centenary Celebration of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, founded on 8th December 1908.

Rs14 - Birth Centenary of Dr. Kissoonsingh Hazareesingh (1909-1993), an accomplished intellectual.

Rs20 - Bicentenary of the Capture of Rodrigues Island by the British (1809-2009).  Rodrigues was officially proclaimed a British possession by Lt Colonel Henry Keating on the 5th of August 1809.

Rs21 - Birth Centenary of Teeluckpersad Callychurn,  former Postmaster General.

The FDC illustrates an ox-driven cart transporting sugar canes in the early 19 century.  Paul Edmond Icery (1824-1883), a great Mauritian scientist is universally recognised for having devised the process of converting raw sugar with the addition of mono sulfate of lime.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou

The Humble Administrator's Garden (拙政园) is one of the 4 great Chinese gardens.  It is the largest garden in Suzhou and considered the finest one of Southern China.  In 1997, the Humble Administrator's Garden, along with other classical gardens of Suzhou was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This awesome postcard was sent from Shanghai on 14 November and arrived on 6 December.  谢谢王嘉轶 !!  :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Serie A Winners

Here is my first cover from Italy (my 15th country/ territory), sent on November 22 and which travelled for 10 days.  Thanks a lot Ivan for this 'sporty' cover with awesome stamps showing the Champions of Italy for the seasons 2001-02 (Juventus FC) and 2009-10 (FC Internazionale Milano) of the Serie A.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Anthuriums of Mauritius

The Mauritius Post issued on 1st December 2004 a set of 4 postage stamps on the anthuriums of Mauritius.

The 4 varieties pictured here are of Dutch origin and are of the varieties mostly sold on international markets and, as such, a subsequent share of exports of Mauritius.

Rs2 - Anthurium andreanum var acropolis

Rs8 - Anthurium andreanum var tropical

Rs10 - Anthurium andreanum var paradisio

Rs25 - Anthurium andreanum var fantasia

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My First Card from Vietnam

I'm so glad to show you my first postcard from Vietnam!  Merci beacoup Dao  :)

The card shows the women Red Dzao, an ethnic group living in the region of Sapa where this card was sent.  They are called Red Dzao as they always use red to decorate the clothes they wear.  There are 2 curiosities about this tribe:  the first one is that you can know how rich a woman is simply by the size of her hat and the second is that the local canon of beauty says women have to shave their eyebrows and hair...

The first stamp, on the right, was issued in 2009 to celebrate the death centenary of Nguyen Khuyen (1835-1909), a famous Vietnamese poet and teacher.  The second one depicts the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), an endangered species due to its dependency on wetlands and also because of human over-exploitation of local fish stocks.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rodrigues Regional Assembly

The Mauritius Post issued on October 12th, 2004 a set of 4 postage stamps to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly.  Rodrigues is a dependency of Mauritius and is 560km east of Mauritius, its capital city being Port Mathurin.  In 2006. Rodrigues had 40,000 inhabitants.

Rs2 - Plaine Corail Airport

Rs7 - Eco tourism

Rs8 - Agricultural products

Rs10 - The coat of arms of Rodrigues

The FDC illustrates the birds on Ile aux Cocos which is a designated bird sanctuary.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santiago de Compostela: World Heritage Site

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in Spain. and the cathedral is the main attraction in the city.  In 1985 the city's Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Two nice stamps on the verso of the postcard:  the large one shows the National Park of Picos de Europa which forms part of Spain's natural areas, and the other one portrays Ildefons Cerdà, a Catalan urban planner who designed the extension of Barcelona called "Enlargement" or "Eixample".
Muchas gracias José Luis!  :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another Swiss Mail!

Here's my first cover from Geuensee, Switzerland.  It was sent on November 10 and arrived on November 27.  Thank you very much Vural!  :)  It's quite nice to see the famous mouse Jimmy Flitz, creation of the renown Swiss novelist and songwriter Roland Zoss, on one of the stamps...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Windmills of France

Another nice cover from France to share with you!  Daniel sent it to me on October 22, and it arrived only on November 29, after traveling around the globe for more than 1 month!  It has 2 beautiful windmill stamps affixed on it with the right one depicting the Moulin de Daudet Fontvieille and the other stamp illustrating the Moulin de Montbrun-Lauragais.  Thanks a lot Daniel!!  :)

As I mentioned above, this cover made a detour to Saudi Arabia by mistake...  It's interesting to note the mention 'Miss sent to Saudi Arabia' made by Saudi Post so as to notify the error.

When the cover arrived at the Office of Exchange, located at the Plaisance Airport, the Mauritius Post notified that the envelope was received with tape which is not visible on the photograph and which was used to consolidate the flap.  The Office of Exchange postmark is not very legible, but I deduce it is dated 26 November 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Successful Flight of the First Manned Shenzhou Spaceship of China

Shenzhou is a spacecraft designed by the People's Republic of China to support its manned spaceflight program.

On October 15, 2003, an indigenous Long March 2F launch vehicle sent China's first manned Shenzhou spaceship into a projected orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia.  To mark this event, the China National Philatelic Corporation issued a commemorative cover.

After orbital entry of the Shenzhou spaceship, china's first astronaut conduced various planned scientific experiments successfully.

After completing various planned experiments, the return module of the Shenzhou spaceship landed safely in a predetermined area in Siziwang Banner (County) of Inner Mongolia in October 2003, and the first astronaut of China returned to the ground in good conditions.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My First Cover from Switzerland

This cover was sent from Lausanne on November 9th last.  Thank you very much David for this nice souvenir from Switzerland! :)  The stamp depicts Gustave Moynier (1826 - 1910) and Henry Dunant (1828 - 1910)

Gustave Moynier was the co-founder of the "International Committee for Relief to the Wounded", which became the International Committee of the Red Cross after 1876.  In 1864 he took over the position of President of the committee from Guillaume Henry Dufour, until his death in 1910.

Henry Dunant on his part was a businessman and social activist.  He recorded his memories in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.  In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frédéric Passy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Textile Industry of Mauritius

The Mauritius Postal Services issued a set of 4 postage stamps on 10th January 2001 to highlight the contribution of the textile industry in the economic development of Mauritius.

Re1 - Finished Pullover

Mauritius is one of the world leaders in the export of pullovers.  The export market targets mainly to Europe and more recently the USA.  Wool is mainly used for producing pullovers and cardigans.

Rs3 - Computer Aided Machinery

The textile industry of Mauritius has made judicious use of technology to add value to its product and at the same time bring a touch of professionalism to the finished product.

Rs6 - T-Shirt Folding

Although the textile industry is a labour intensive one, yet many of its facets are mechanised.  The T-shirt folding machine shown on the stamp has a capacity of folding 400 T-shirt per hour.

Rs10 - Embroidery Machine

Embroidery on children's clothes and other apparel is a high profile product of the textile industry.  The machine portrayed on the stamp has a capacity of 800 stitches of points per minute.  The number of points required for a T-shirt ranges from 20,000 to 30,000 stitches.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My First Cover from Jersey

Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France.  The UK is constitutionally responsible for the defence of Jersey, which is not part of the European Union.  The capital of Jersey is Saint Helier and its official languages are English and French.

Thanks a lot James who managed to send me this awesome cover from this island! ;-)  Unfortunately, there is no cancellation cachet applied on the stamps, hence I don't know exactly when it was sent., but it arrived on November 25.  The stamps depict the Diana and the St Patrick (III)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Qiuci Grotto Murals

The Beijing Stamp Company issued a folder for a set of 4 stamps, entitled 'Qiuci Grotto Murals'.

The Qiuci Grotto is one of the world's largest greatest ancient grotto complexes devoted to Bhuddist art in terms of conservation, scale and academic value.

Customised French Stamps

Well, the 'stamps' on this cover are really bizarre: no face value, but only the mention: "Lettre Prioritaire 20g"... 0.o   That's what they call "customized stamps" in France.  Personally, I've still not understood how it works -_-   

From right to left:

1. Brie de Meaux, a soft dough crust cheese,
2. Marché International de Rungis, the principal market of Paris and the largest wholesale food market in the world,
3. Basilique de St. Denis, a large abbey church in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris,
4. Château de Versailles, the renowned palace which was home to the monarchs of France.

Thank you Eric ...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bicentenary of the British Conquest of Mauritius

The Mauritius Post issued today 3rd December 2010 a set of 2 postage stamps on the theme: 'Bicentenary of the British Conquest of Isle de France (1810 - 2010).  This issue fits into the 'Bicentenary of the Battle of Grand-Port' issue of August of this year.

So, after being defeated by the French at Grand-Port, the British decided to conquer Mauritius again.  They landed their troops on the northern coast of the island, between Grand Baie and Poudre d'Or, at noon on the 29th November 1810. 

After a skirmish with some opposing French soldiers in the region of Montagne Longue and elsewhere, the British forces continued their march towards Port Louis.  On learning that other British forces were about to land, Isidore Decaen, Governor and Commander in Chief of Isle de France, delegated his men to negotiate for a cessation of hostilities.

The French acknowledged defeat and the 'Acte de Capitulation' was signed on the early hours of the morning on the 3rd December 1810 in the British camp in the outskirts of the Pamplemousses district.

The Rs7 stamp portrays the onward march of the British towards Port Louis, while the Rs2 stamp shows the 'Acte de Capitulation' signed by the French.  The FDC features a map of Mauritius illustrating the itineraries (dark arrows) of the triumphant march of the British forces.

It should also be noted that an unbelievable flaw occurred while printing the Rs2 stamp.  In fact, the Rs2 should have been Rs21 (which is the local fee for registered mails)...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

World Expo Shanghai 2010 in Monaco

David sent me this splendid souvenir sheet from Monte Carlo, Monaco, with the Office des Emissions de Timbres Postes postmark dated 12 November 2010.  The cover arrived 8 days later...

This miniature sheet was issued to mark the World Expo in Shanghai, with the 1,00€ stamp depicting a profile view of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and the  current ruler of the Principality of Monaco.  The miniature sheet illustrates the different facets of China, with the Sampan boat, the misty mountains of the provinces of China and the famous TV Tower and skyscrapers of Shanghai.

Thank you very much David! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Laboudonnais: un château dans la nature

Récemment, le Château de Labourdonnais a rouvert ses portes au public après des mois de rénovations.  Ce château, appartenant à la famille Wiehe et situé au coeur d'un verger centenaire à Mapou, au nord du pays, propose un voyage enchanteur dans l'Histoire et l'art de vivre de l'Ile Maurice du XIXe siècle.  Une expérience touristique unique qui vous fera découvrir les multiples facettes et richesses de l'île. 

La Mauritius Post a ainsi émis, le 30 octobre dernier, une Enveloppe Souvenir avec un timbre de la série Anthurium (2004) pour marquer cet événement.

Le château dans toute sa splendeur