maandag 29 augustus 2016

In: from the United Kingdom

Some time ago John sent me a great postcard, showing a postman in former days. And now I like to share you this new old photo of another postman in uniform. The text on the back learns that this is William Gates, pictured circa 1897. The 'good conduct' stripes on the breast of the jacket were awarded by the Post Office to individuals of long and good service.
John adds that until fairly recently uniforms were obligatory for postmen. Nowadays his current postman can only be distinguished by the fact he has a Royal Mail bag.

Also on the back side of the card a pretty stamp, showing one of the characters designed by famous Peter Rabbit illustrator Beatrix Potter.

Thank you very much, John!

zondag 14 augustus 2016

Sunday stamps: Odd shaped stamps

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Odd shaped stamps'.

A nice theme! It shows the creativity of postal companies, and fortunately the present stamp printing machines are able to vary the shape of stamps.

Recently I received two wonderful shaped stamps from two different countries, which I posted on this blog before: a dragonfly from Eva from Spain, and a bat from John from the United Kingdom.

Eva also sent me a bat on a shaped stamp, this one from Spain:

Sometimes animals simply are too large for a stamp, especially prehistoric reptiles. Not only United Kingdom's Royal Mail but also Canadian Post knew how to solve the problem: just provide a little more room, and the dino's would be satisfied.
(click to enlarge)

The fourth dino on this envelope was so happy by the purposed enlarged room that he even decided to stay within the normal shape!

Finnish Post has issued many amazingly shaped stamps, and today I'm sharing this stamp showing more than one hexagonals:

'Hexagonal' is also known as honeycumb shape, and Japanese Post issued this matching stamp:

As far as I know Dutch PostNL has issued a few triangular stamps in the past, and apart from that, only one stamp sheet showing two really special shaped stamp designs.

One of the triangular stamps has been issued already in 1933, to be used for airmail between the former Dutch Indies and Holland:

The more recent stamps were issued as a stamp stickers on one sheet, for youth philately.
The names written on the stamps form a nice wordplay: 'postzegel' means stamp, but leaving the 'z' it becomes 'post-egel, which means 'mail hedgehog'. And 'postduif' means 'mail pigeon'.

Here you can see what the stamp stickers leave behind when used.

The disadvantage of odd shaped stamps is the fact that Dutch Post not always recognizes these as real postage! I once got a letter from PostNL in which I was told to pay 'missing postage'. Fortunately they included a code, and via this code I could find a scan of my outgoing mail, which proofed sufficient stamps had been sticked. Among them this Postduif, which apparently had been new to the controling employee!..

See more extraordinarily shaped stamps on and via today's Sunday Stamps post.

woensdag 10 augustus 2016

In: from Hungary

Micu surprised me with this beautiful map card (click to enlarge), showing Lake Balaton and surroundings.

Micu has a wonderful mail art project: 'Mail a Smile'. Check her website to see how you can contribute to cause a smile on someone else's face via snail mail.

On the back side of the card Micu added stamps showing an uncommon and interesting subject: fossils.

The third stamp is issued for the 25th anniversary of the okumenikus segélyszervezet, Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA), a charity organization.

Thank you very much, Micu!

zondag 7 augustus 2016

Sunday Stamps: Lakes, rivers: the river Waal

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Lakes, rivers'.

This time I show you just one river, the river Waal (see also here).
I grew up in the city of Nijmegen, and this nice, Roman founded city is located at this river Waal.
Since 20 years I live close to my birth place Amsterdam, which is 120 kilometers north-west of Nijmegen. But every time I'm visiting my old town and when I see this river Waal, its typical 'uiterwaarden' and the bridges, I feel like 'home'. Even though the city has changed, and most of my friends have moved to other places, too.

This is a so-called personalized stamp, which has been issued, via PostNL, by Quinta Buma, photographer from Nijmegen.
She also designed this postcard, on which you see a little more of this river:

The Waal is said to have been founded because of a quarrel between two giants, two brothers.
Long time ago these brothers started to dig a river in Switzerland, the river Rhine. After hundred years of digging they arrived at Lobith, where they got a fight. Each of the brothers went his own way. The younger giant continued digging out what's named the Rhine nowadays, the older brother created the river Waal.

PostNL (then TPG Post) has issued a stamp sheet in honour of Nijmegen in 2005, on which you can see parts of the river Waal, too:

See stamps on lakes and more rivers at/via today's Sunday Stamps post.

zondag 31 juli 2016

Sunday Stamps: Horses

Two days ago my 'Horse' chaincard arrived back home. In an almost two months journey, via Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia my card gathered beautiful horse stamps.

And this Sunday Stamps theme happens to be 'Horses'! A good opportunity to share this chaincard with you:

The photos on the Dutch stamps top left have been made by Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas. These stamps are part of a ten stamps sheet named 'portraits'. On her website you can see more wonderful animal photos, and some background information about the horse on the left stamp, and about the white horse.

Of course I used stamps from this sheet also for the other chaincard participants. I scanned the other person's cards before forwarding to the next participant. And you can see some similar stamps and some different one:

Mail companies from many countries have issued horse stamps. Since a year I found myself collecting horse stamps. By 'collecting' I mean I keep them when found, even if they are folded, like this one from Germany:

In the past decennia Dutch Post has issued more stamps showing horses:

Former queen Beatrix and her late, sympathetic husband Claus riding a horse:

(their minor granddaughters were pictured without a head protection cap, too, by which they were not giving a good example to other horse riding kids)

A 'personalized stamp', created by Arnold Voordewind from and issued by PostNL, showing a Konik pony, the only type of horse living in the wild in the Netherlands:

A Dutch traditional character is Sinterklaas, aka Sint/Saint Nicolaas. On his white friendly horse Amerigo he even rides on roofs. You can see them often along with their companion Piet/Pete:

An other 'Sinterklaas' and Amerigo, pictured by late Dutch illustrator Max Velthuijs:

An other white horse, carrying Prince Siddhartha, is shown on this stamp from Sri Lanka:

Horses have inspired many artists and craftsmen:
A horse shaped flute from Latvia:

Stylised horses, also from Latvia:

A double headed, winged horse from Kazachstan:

A horse shown on an inkpot on a Ukrainian stamp:

Horses at work:

From Canada:

Horses helping delivering the mail, from the United Kingdom:

The chess horse stamps I've found I will keep for an other theme :-)

See more wonderful horses on stamps on this Sunday Stamps blog post and follow the linke mentioned there!

woensdag 27 juli 2016

In: from Spain and Japan

From Eva I received this wonderful shaped stamp from Spain, showing a dragonfly. See how delicate the wings are, emphasized by the way the stamp was cut out!
The stamp on the right is special, too: before the naked eye the king's background looks shining silver, but the scanner's eye turned this into the colours of the Spanish flag!

The stamps traveled to me, along with a kind message, on the back side of this postcard:

This Samurai cat has been designed by Hana from Japan, from whom I've received this philatelic monkey.

Thank you very much, Eva!

zondag 24 juli 2016

Sunday Stamps: Food

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is "Food".

In many Dutch houses the day starts with bread. That might be usance since ages, the painting on the stamp on the right is rather old: painted over 400 years ago (circa 1615) by Floris Claeszoon van Dijck. Usually my slice of bread (sandwich) is filled with a slice of cheese, and cheese also was present in 1615 as you can see on the original painting.
However nowadays many Dutch people take cereals (corn flakes, muesli) for breakfast, accompanied with milk or yoghurt. No worries: milk was also present ages ago, as the famous painting 'The Milkmaid' proofs, painted by Johannes Vermeer around 1660.

These excerpts are part of a larger stamp sheet issued in 2013 for the grand re-opening of the national museum, Rijksmuseum).

In the evening, the 'typical (traditional) Dutch dinner' consists of a piece of meat, vegetables and potatoes.
Vincent van Gogh painted a family who had only potatoes for dinner, the well-known 'The Potato Eaters' (1885):

Potatoes grow in the ground, and in some countries they are literally named 'earth appel' ('aardappel' in Dutch, 'pomme de terre' in French, 'sib zamini' in Persian).
The way they grow is shown on this pretty Danish stamp:

Nowadays the Dutch kitchen is influenced by many other cultures, so some of the other food you can see on this blog and the other Sunday Stamps blog posts of today you might find in the Netherlands, too.

Food starts with harvest, shown on this nice Greek stamp:

From Spain I received this gastronomic stamp (thank you, Eva!):

From Japan (the dish is named 'ramen'):

From Singapore (I love the combination with the person who eats, seen in the back of this picture):

As dessert you can choose a watermelon or cantaloupe, both great summer fruits, a healthy choice. They have been pictured on stamps more than once:

By Greek Post:

In the USA:

Finally some traditional Dutch food eaten at New Year's Eve: 'oliebollen', which you see on the stamp on the left (wikipedia shows a painting from 1652!).

Fondue (shown on the stamp on the right) is of course known in many other countries.

Enjoy more dishes at Sunday Stamps and via the links mentioned there!