Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Provincial Emblems of Indonesia

Indonesia currently has 33 provinces.  Each province has its own local government, headed by a governor, and its own legislative body.  POS Indonesia issued three sets of 11 stamps in 2008, 2009 and 2010 illustrating the emblems of each of the 33 Indonesian Provinces.

The two stamps, of the 2010 series (issue date: 13 December), on this nice cover from Malang feature the emblems of the provinces of Jambi (top right) and of Bangka Belitung Islands (top left), both located in the West of the Indonesian archipelago.

The two other stamps are from the 2011 Fish Consumption Promotion Movement set (Rp2000) and the Landmark set (Rp 2500), the last stamp showing Fort Rotterdam in Makasar City, South Sulawesi.

Thank you very much Irene for these nice stamps! :)

Mailing date: 18 November 2011
Delivery date: -2 December 2011

Monday, July 30, 2012

Villages of Liechtenstein

Here's another nice mail from Vaduz.  He used two stamps from the 1996 and 1999 'Villages' series, illustrating the villages of Eschen (CHF 10) and Ruggell (CHF 80) respectively, both in the north of the Principality.

Vural completed his postage with another stamp from the WWF set issued in 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of the organisation.  So after the Hobby, here comes the Wryneck (Jynx torquilla).  This bird got its English name from its ability to turn its head almost 180° when it feels itself threatened. This odd behaviour lead to it being used in witchcraft to put a "jinx" on someone.

Thanks Vural! :) 

Mailing date: 22 NOV 2011
Delivery date: 09 DEC 2011

Sunday, July 29, 2012

13.12.11 Postcard from China

An interesting item to show you today...  13.12.11 happens only once in a century.  So Wei seized this unique occasion to  mail me this postcard from Suzhou.  Thank you so much! :D  It shows the different types of letter boxes and pillar boxes used by China Post.

Wonderful postage by Wei!  He affixed the 'South China Tiger' set (2004-19) issued on August 23, 2004.  The South China Tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis), also known as the Xiamen Tiger, is a critically endangered sub-species of tiger.  No official or biologist has seen a wild South China tiger since the early 1970s.

Mailing date: 13.12.11
Delivery date: 30.12.11

Saturday, July 28, 2012

10th Anniversary of Standard Chartered Bank in Mauritius

The Mauritius Post Ltd. released on May 15, 2012 a Special Commemorative Cover to mark the 10th anniversary of the Standard Chartered Bank in Mauritius.

Standard Chartered Bank (Mauritius) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC, was established in 2002 in Mauritius.  It is one of the leading and dynamic international banks in Mauritius.  With a strong banking franchise and cross-border capabilities across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, it is well-positioned to support the development and growth of the country.

The Bank employs more than 70 staff locally and is committed to employee diversity.  Sustainability efforts is integral to the Bank.  It provides three days employee volunteering paid leave that supports various community efforts in Mauritius including supporting environment conservation; underprivileged children; creating awareness on HIV/ AIDS; and a nation-wide vision screening campaign with primary school children.

With over 150 years banking legacy, Standard Chartered Bank today employs more than 87,000 staff worldwide and has an extensive network of branches and outlets in 70 countries.  The Bank is listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.  

Standard Chartered Bank also sponsors the Liverpool Football Club since 2010.

Technical Details:
Event: 10th Anniversary of Standard Chartered Bank in Mauritius
Release date: May 15, 2012
Cover illustration:  View of the Caudan Waterfront, in Port Louis
Stamp: Rs8 (fish repopulation; artificial reefs 1980) of the Ecology issue (2006)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Games of the XXX Olympiad start today!

As from today and till the 12th of August, London will be the centre of the World. Indeed, the 2012 London Olympics start today.  Over 10,000 athletes from 204 countries, or rather National Olympic Committees, are expected to compete in this event, considered to be the world's foremost sports event.

Thank you Nigel for these nice Olympic stamps issued on 27 July 2011.  The concept of the Royal Mail was to issue 30 stamps (10 in 2009, 10 in 2010 and 10 last year) to mark the 30th Olympiad.  The above stamps illustrate, from left to right: Paralympic Games Sailing, Athletics Field and Beach Volleyball.

Mauritius is taking part in six sports, namely: athletics, boxing, judo, road cycling, triathlon and beach volleyball.

Good luck to all the participating sportsmen and women!

Faster, Higher, Stronger!

Mailing date: 13 February 2012
Delivery date: 22 February 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Paris and its marvels...

Paris is known the world around as the most romantic city. Well, it is also one of the most charming!  This nice postcard shows, from left to right and from top to bottom : The Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, The Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the Champs Elysées.

Original customised stamps were used to frank this card.  Thank you Li Sien! :D

Mailing date: 08 December 2011
Delivery date: 15 December 2011

Railway Branch Lines in Taiwan

Chunghwa Post released a set of five stamps on 12 November 2011 to mark the construction of new branch lines, following the reopening of some railway lines as heritage railways.  The above stamps illustrate:
NT$5 (right) - Shalun Branch Line
NT$5 (middle) - Jiji Branch Line
NT$12 (left) - Neiwan Branch Line

The last two stamps of this set represent Liujia Branch Line (NT$12) and Pingxi Branch Line (NT$15).

For further information on these stamps and these railway branch lines, click here.

Nice rubber stamps were also applied on the verso of this cover at Taipei Songshan Airport (臺北松山機場), officially known as Taipei International Airport.

Thank you very much James!

Mailing date: 21 NOV 2011
Delivery date: 30 NOV 2011

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Postcard from Patong Beach, Thailand

A 'sunny' post for today! :)  Patong Beach (หาด ป่า ตอง) is a famous town on the west coast of Phuket, Thailand's most touristic island.  Patong is renowned for its nightlife, inexpensive shopping and 3,5 km beach.  Part of this beach is shown on this postcard which I sent to myself while visiting Thailand.

The stamp is a view of Hat Pattaya, another highly touristic place in Thailand.  I'm very glad since this is my first philatelic material ever from Thailand! :)

Mailing date: 05 January 2012
Delivery date: 25 January 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

50th Anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK

To mark the 50th anniversary of the name change of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Ltd., the Royal Mail released on 12 April 2011 a set of 6 stamps and a miniature sheet.  The aim of the organisation - now known as the Royal Shakespeare Company - has been, since its foundation in 1875, to connect people with Shakespeare's plays. 

The 6 stamps  represent iconic RSC productions of Shakespeare's plays.  Nigel affixed the 1st class stamp on his mail; it shows former Dr. Who David Tennant as Hamlet in 2008, with the legendary phrase: "To be or not to be, that is the question" featured.  The other stamps designs and denominations are as follows:
○The Tempest - 66p
○Henry VI - 68p
○King Lear - 76p
○A Midsummer Night's Dream - £1.00
○Romeo and Juliet - £1.10

The second stamp (76p) on the envelope was to commemorate King George IV (1762-1830) , from the House of Hanover series.

Thank you very much Nigel! :)  This cover was sent from Leeds Mail Centre where a slogan postmark is applied: "Please remember to write the postcode clearly.  www.royalmail.com".

Mailing date: 29 October 2011
Delivery date: 10 November 2011

Monday, July 23, 2012

Les Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris

The Battalion of Paris firefighters was founded on 18 September 1811 by Emperor Napoleon I, following a devastating fire at the Austrian Embassy, where a ball was being held, which killed a hundred people.  The Battalion is now known as the Brigade des Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris (acronym: BSSP/ English: Paris Fire Brigade).  The mission of the BSSP ranges from containing fires in Paris to dispensing first aid following accidents.

To commemorate the bicentenary of the BSSP and the remarkable work accomplished by its, La Poste released for general sale on September 19, 2011, a souvenir sheet consisting of 10 €0,60 stamps. Part of this S/S was used to frank the mail above. The stamps represent a firefighter holding a water cannon (left) and two others embarking an injured person in one of their emergency vehicles (right).

Thank you Daniel for your great cover and for these cards too! :)  The above one features a stamp issued by La Poste to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse or High Speed Rail in English), with First Day Cancellation (27 September 2011).

Postcard showing how the Truffade - an Auvergne speciality - is cooked.

Mailing date: 05.12.2011
Delivery date: 09.12.2011

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Native Animals in Germany

Deutsche Post issued on 8 June 2006 a set of 5 postage stamps, designed by Gerhard Lienemeyer and depicting Native Animals of Germany. The Pine marten (Martes martes) and the Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) are illustrated on the above mail.

Thank you very much Martin! :) Again another nice cover from Hessisch Lichtenau.

Mailing date: 23 November 2011
Delivery date: 30 November 2011

Saturday, July 21, 2012

50th Anniversary of the UN in Denmark

Lars sent me this cover with perfect cancellations from Sydjyllands Postcenter, Fredericia, Denmark.  Thank you! :)  It took this cover 8 months to reach my address!

The first stamp, on the left, was released in 1995 to celebrate the 50 years of the United Nations Organisation (1945-1955). It portrays the logo of this milestone and the letters FN, which stand for Forenede Nationer - United Nations in Danish.

The stamp on the right (face value: 5.50 DKK) is from the "Winter Tales" series issued on 26 October 2010. It depicts a girl on a bench with two ducks in front of her and snow all around.

Mailing date: 30 March 2011
Delivery date: 09 November 2011 (yeah!)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Banjo on Hong Kong Postcard

Kun mailed me this lovely postcard from the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.  It portrays a lady dressed in traditional Chinese costume, playing what looks like a banjo, with a traditional garden in the background.  Thanks a lot Kun! =)

Kun used the $2.40 stamp from the 'Centenary of the Xinhai Revolution' series, with a newspaper-like layout and released on October 10, 2011.  The 1911 nationwide Xinhai Revolution overthrew China's last  imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, bringing an end to thousands of years of dynastic rule in China.  The Republic of China was thus established.

Kun also affixed two stamps from the 2006 Birds definitive set: 10¢ White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) and 50¢ Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus).

Mailing date: 02 DEC 2011
Delivery date: 13 DEC 2011

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Queen Victoria in the UK

The last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne died on 1 August 1714 without issue.  Her German second cousin, George I, of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, daughter of James VI, succeeded her.   George I was succeeded by George II, George III, George IV, William IV and Victoria.  Kings George IV and William IV passed away without surviving any legitimate children, thus leaving the throne to the only legitimate child of the Duke of Kent, Victoria, the last monarch of the House of Hanover.

To commemorate these monarchs, the Royal Mail issued a set of six stamps and a miniature sheet on September 15, 2011, covering the Hanoverian era from 1714 to 1901. The last stamp (face value £1.10) of this series, depicting Queen Victoria (1837-1901), is featured on the cover above.

The second stamp (1st class) is from the 'Crown Jewels' series - issued on 23 August 2011 - and represents St. Edward's Crown.

Thank you very much Nigel! :)

Mailing date: October 7, 2011
Delivery date: October 13, 2011

Celebrating 40 Years of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Mauritius & the People's Republic of China

The Mauritius Post issued on May 17, 2012 a set of ten Special Commemorative Covers to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Mauritius and the People's Republic of China.

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Mauritius and the PRC were formally established on 15 April 1712.  During his historic visit to China in 1972, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR), the then-Prime Minister of Mauritius, signed a Joint communiqué with Chinese Premier, Zhou Enlai, that opened a new and decisive chapter in the relations between the two countries.

Since the formalisation of the relations, China has been steadfastly supporting Mauritius as its very close and trusted friend and development partner.  China has indeed extended to Mauritius substantial development cooperation package in the form of preferential loans, in addition to technical assistance, capacity-building and training opportunities and a wide range of ad hoc sponsorships and support in various socio-economic initiatives.

This excellent and special relationship has been constantly nurtured by regular exchanges of high-level visits.  Dr. Navin Ramgoolam, the present Prime Minister of Mauritius undertook official visits to China in 1997 and 2007.  Mauritius was greatly honoured by the landmark state visit of His Excellency, Mr. Hu Jintao, President of the PRC, in Mauritius in February 2009.

Mauritius is very proud that an economically dynamic and culturally vibrant section of its population is of Chinese descent and contributes significantly o the human and cultural diversity that make up the Mauritian population which annually celebrates the Chinese Spring Festival.

China Post also released two Commemorative covers on April 15, 2012 (exactly 40 years after the establishment of the diplomatic ties).

Forty years of relations, built on the principles of sovereign equality of states, peace, cooperation and mutual respect and mutual benefit, are an irreversible sign of the healthiness and maturity of such relations.  More importantly, they are a solid foundation for elevating them to higher planes.

Information card in Chinese.

Special date stamp showing the Mauritian Tortoise. 

Special date stamp (Beijing) showing the Chinese Red-crowned Cane.

In this Year of the Dragon, it could not be more auspicious and fitting fro Mauritius and China to celebrate the joyous and historical event of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them.

Long Live the Abiding Mauritius-China Friendship!

Techincal Details:
Event: 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Mauritius and China
Release date:  15 April 2012 (China Post)
                      17 May 2012 (Mauritius Post)
Cover illustration:  Coats of Arms of Mauritius and China + 1972 40 2012
Stamps:  Rs5 (Crinum mauritianum) of the Indigenous Flowers series (2009)
              1.20元 flower stamps with butterflies vignettes

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Women's World Cup 2011 in Germany

The sixth FIFA Women's World Cup was held from 26 June to 17 July 2011 in Germany.  Sixteen teams took part in this competition held at 9 different venues all around Germany.  Japan won the final against the United States on penalty shoot-out, and became the first Asian team to win a FIFA World Cup.

To mark this event, Deutsche Post issued on April 17, 2011 two stamps of 45 and 55 cents.  The stamps were designed by Henning Wagenbreth and form part of the 2011 edition of the yearly sports series.

Martin sent me those 2 nice stamps on the cover above from Hessisch Lichtenau, a small town in central Germany.  Thank you very much! :)

Mailing date:  27 OCT 2011
Delivery date: 04 NOV 2011

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Centennial of Scouts of China in Taiwan

Chunghwa Post commemorated the Centennial of Scouts of China by releasing a set of 2 stamps on November 1, 2011.

Organised scouting in the Republic of China began in 1912 under the leadership of Rev. Yen Chia-Lin of the Boone Memorial School in Wuchang, Hubei.  The movement later spread nationwide.  On November 1, 1934, the General Association of the Boy Scouts of China(changed in 1997 to the General Association of the Scouts of China, GASC) was formally established and admitted to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement in 1937.

In 1990, the Association registered in the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of China on Taiwan as a civic organisation.

NT$5 - The stamp features silhouettes of boy scouts saluting, doing social work or helping others.  These images of scouts showing concern for society demonstrate the scout pledge "to practise a good turn everyday".  The city skyline in the background shows the advanced development of Taiwan.

NT$12 - To demonstrate how scouts learn and build character through fun activities, the stamp features the image of a boy scout, a tent and a watchtower in in an outdoor setting that is typical of camping.  With forest and the main peak of Mount Jade depicted in silhouette in the background, the stamp conveys the magnificence of Taiwan's mountains and forests.

The emblem of the GASC is featured on the upper left-corners of both stamps and on the First Day Cancellation.  The second first day cancellation - on the left - represents the three-finger salute and a scouting knot.

Thanks a lot James for this very nice FDC from Taipei! :D

Mailing date:  -1 NOV 2011
Delivery date: -9 NOV 2011

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sister Peaks on Chinese Postcard

Thank you very much Xu for this nice postcard, sent from the eastern city of Suzhou. Jiangsu Province.  It shows the sister peaks Yulong (玉龙雪山 - 5596 m), also known as the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, near Lijiang, southwestern China, and Matterhorn (马特峰 - 4478 m), also called Mont Cervin in French or Monte Cervino in Italian, in Zermatt, Switzerland.

The two mountains were designated as sister peaks in 2001.  In 2005, the Switzerland Matterhorn Dreamland was founded at the foot of Yulong Snow Mountain to honour the relationship and to display the commonalities of coexisting approaches for humans and nature in the two places.

Mailing date: 04 DEC 2011
Delivery date: 16 DEC 2011

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Endangered Hobby in Liechtenstein

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WWF, Philatelie Liechtenstein issued on 9 September 2011, eight se-tenant hexagonal stamps (face value CHF 1.00) each depicitng an endangered bird species of Liechtenstein.  Vural franked his cover with the stamp depicting the Hobby (Falco subbuteo), a fast-flyer bird of prey.  It has long sharply-pointed wings, blue-black upper parts and feeds on other birds and large insects, especially dragonflies (the hobby eats the insects on the wing).

Vural also used a stamp (CHF 0.20) of the 'Brand Liechtenstein' definitive set, showing the Community Lifestyle Museum and released in 2009, and another one (CHF 0.70) of the 'Views of Villages' set issued in 2001, showing the village of Schellenberg, northern Liechtenstein.

Thank you Vural for this cover mailed from Vaduz, the capital city of the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Mailing date:  19 OCT 2011
Delivery date: 25 OCT 2011

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Prominent People in Indonesia

Thank you Irene for this nice cover from the city of Malang.  She used two stamps released on August 17, 2011 and depicting two prominent Indonesian personalities. 

- Dr. Mohammad Natsir [1/2 - left]
Dr Mohammad Natsir (1908-1993) is a Indonesian leader in the arena of politics and state affairs.  The peak of Natsir's political career occurred when he was appointed as Prime Minister of Indonesia.  In the New Order era, Natsir helped in the process of restoring diplomatic relationships with Malaysia, Japan, and several countries in the Middle East.

- Sutomo (Bung Tomo) [2/2 - right]
Sutomo (1920-1981) also known as Bung Tomo is best known for his role as an Indonesian military leader during the Indonesian National Revolution against The Netherlands.  He Played a central role in the Battle of Surabaya when the British attacked the city in October and November 1945.

Irene also franked her letter with a stamp released on August 14, 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Indonesian Scouts.  The stamp (1/3) features the artwork of the Class A Winner of the 2010 Indonesia Stamp Design Contest.

Mailing date: 29 SEP 2011
Delivery date: 22 OCT 2011

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mechanical Lacework from France

La Poste issued on October 8, 2011 an innovative series of four souvenir sheets which include pieces of real mechanical lace...  The piece of lace was hot-glued on a paper that, after having been cut, was stuck on each stamp of the four sheets with a denomination of 2,50.

Merci beaucoup Daniel for this nice FDC from the commune of Le-Puy-en-Velay, in the Haute-Loire department, south-central France.  The Bobbin lace teaching centre is located there.

Postcard showing ladies waving lace.
Description on the back of the card.

The bobbin lace from Le-Puy-en-Velay is primarily made from linen and consists of geometric patterns (such as the partitioned diamonds on the stamp above).

Three other souvenir sheets, each depicting another type of mechanical lacework, were issued besides this one, 

Mailing date: 08 OCT 2011
Delivery date: 18 OCT 2011