Thursday, 5 July 2018

On the Move

1997: Water Sports and Activities
I am away for a few weeks and who knows I might be diving off a boat like this, well probably not, my water based skills are negligible.
but riding a bicycle that is a different matter and this looks the perfect place to take a break, what a beautiful summer potager.  This is an Inge Löök postcard, her elves and old ladies are off making mischief elsewhere so we have an oasis of calm.  Although can one always trust a cat?

Sunday, 1 July 2018


1959: Living in Tunisia (Design- Yahia Turki)
Time to pitch ones tent and in the Tunisian stamp the tent is on the outskirts of the city of Kairouoan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The painter is Yahia Turki (1903-1969)  a modernist artist who has been called the 'father of Tunisian painting' and whose artistic life Tunisia celebrated in 2003 issuing a stamp for his birth date.  Apart from the camel the site seems deserted
2007: Europa - 100th Anniversary of Scouting (Design - Matjaž Učakar)
but there is a full camp here with this happy group enjoying life together around a scout camp fire.
1983: 75th Anniversary of the Scout Movement
Tents and fire also make an appearance on this Spanish stamp. I rather like the Scout flag and scarf forming a 75.
And this looks the perfect spot to set up camp.
1978: 50th Anniversary of Girl Guides (Design - TF Johannesen)
Or here under a full moon.
not to forget the numerous guiding songs to be sung around a fire and that does look like a very fancy fire indeed in the photo.  No way are you going to be able to swing a billy can over that
2007: Europa - 100th Anniversary of Scouting
although one may be able to lash something together. I notice from the postmark the stamp above has travelled from Haute-Savoir region of France, another great place for outdoor adventure.
1974: Rural America (Design - John Falter)
But for a large gathering of people you need a really big tent. The stamp celebrates the centenary of Chautauqua, a movement that brought together entertainment and education for the people, a section of which travelled around the country. The artist, John Falter, remembered as a boy going to the Chautauqua with his mother when it came to his home town of Falls City, Nebraska. He incorporated part of his Falls City home and the nearby water tower in the background of the stamp.

Sunday Stamps II prompt this week of the Letter T - for Tents and Tunisia - pitch up at See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 24 June 2018


1958: World Soccer Championship (Design - T Hultgren Engraver - S Ewert)

Last week in my Sunday Stamps the USSR team were setting off for the World Cup in Sweden and here is Sweden's stamp to welcome them.  The championships were played between 8th and 29th of June 1958 in 12 Swedish towns.
The match of the postmark date of 11th June in Göteborg was between 
1966: World Cup Football Championships (Design - David Gentlemen)
England and
2006: World Cup Winners (Design - Madelaine Bennet)
Brazil which resulted in a 0-0 draw.  This resulted in a tied second place in Group G so we played an extra match against the USSR to see who would go through to the next round and lost 1-0. The English team
1961: 10th Anniversary of Scandinavian Airline Systems (Design - Ph von Schantz;  Engraver - A Wallhorn)
were on the plane home although first they would have to travel to Stockholm because Gothenburg didn't have an international airport at the time.
Perhaps they travelled like this cover from Bromma Stockholm airport.
1970: 7th Anniversary of the Swiss Football Federation (Design - Bernard Schorderet)
Switzerland were one of the seven founding members of the international footballing association FIFA and are making their 11th appearance at a World Cup final this year and having a cracking tournament but they didn't make it to Sweden in 1958.

Lastly for those whom football leaves cold here is something we all love, the postal service
1987: 50th Anniversary of Mobile Post Offices (Design - Karl Tanner)
and a mobile post office that come to you.
CHS89-3153 Rüschegg Gambach BE Advertising Postmark 10 April 1989
The cover has a sporting connection for its advertising cancel is inviting one to spend time in Rüshegg Gambach for 'recreation and sport' and it even might be a possibility that the village of Gambach had a travelling post office.

The Sunday Stamps II prompt of the letter S - for Soccer, Sweden, Switzerland, Scandinavian and Sport - scoot over to See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Riding the Rails

1958: World Cup Football in Sweden (Design - R. Zhitkov)
The centre of the the footballing world for the next month will be in Russia but in these stamps the USSR team (at the time Olympic champions) were heading for Sweden and their first world cup. For those foreign football fans in Russia at the moment their tickets for the matches include free rail travel, what a perfect combination.
1958: All-Union Industrial Exhibition (Design- E. Bulanova)
Maybe they will have time for train spotting perhaps to see freight trains which I always enjoy and wonder what they are carrying, this one looks to be hauling petroleum.  What they won't see this summer is snow and steam trains so
1985: Famous Trains (Design - Terence Cuneo)
here are Terence Cuneo's superb paintings of locos riding the rails
full steam ahead and
whizzing out of tunnels.
2013: London Underground
A trip on the Moscow metro with its chandeliers and marble will be a fans destination and although Russia has celebrated it in many stamps sadly I have none.  In an alternative lets travel to London and the opening of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863, the stamp shows an original lithograph featuring the rails near Paddington.
2011: UN Headquarters definitive (Design - Scott Soberg)
Another international venue but not as sporting is the United Nations in Vienna. Scott Soberg painted aerial and ground views of the three international buildings in New York, Geneva and Vienna for this stamp set.

Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the letter R - for Russia, rails and railways - travel to See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 10 June 2018


Umm Al-Qiwain became part of the United Arab Emirates in 1973 and at that time the UAE stamps replaced their own. The smallest of the emirates its main economic activities are fishing and dates according to the Stamp World History site.  It also seems in the 1970s the other economic activity was producing lots of stamps not many of which were meant for postage.  I'm guessing these two birds are long eared owls.  I try to link a theme to a country but with only one stamp to choose from I discovered no owl names begin with Q, grrr.  Happily moulted flight feathers of owls were used for quills
1981: 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Albert Anker
although this one being gripped by teeth looks like the more familiar goose feather.  The painting created in 1875 is called 'Der Germeindeschreiber' or The Secretary of the Commune (a person whose job would include control of finances and keeping the civil register). What a busy desk it portrays although it looks as though he may like to contemplate with a smoke of his pipe.  The artist Albert Anker painted 19th Century Swiss village life and for that reason is called Switzerland's national painter (a few of his paintings can be seen here). This painting is in the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne but don't go there because its closed until 2019 when it will open in flash new premises (a converted locomotive shed) but more than 200 of  its paintings (including this one) have been put on their website. The cancel on the card is from the Swiss village of Ins located in the Bernese Lakeland where he was born and spent most of his life although he liked to travel to Paris for the winter. His studio is preserved as a museum.
1973: Centenary of Swiss Association of Commercial Employees (Design - Gebrüder Lenz)
I think this organisation is a trade union. I always enjoy seeing what symbols stamp designers come up with for a rather abstract concept.
1987: Russian Postal History (Design - Yury Artsimenov)
Nothing abstract about the post for here we have a 17-19th Century horse drawn sledge with a 17th Century Postman and the pen of choice for the period at the bottom - a quill. 

Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the Letter Q - for Qiwain and Quills - move quickly to  See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 3 June 2018


1935: Sights (Design - L Sowinski; Engraving - M R Polak)
The Belweder Palace in Polish or Belvedere Palace (Italian for beautiful sight or view). In the 20th Century it was the home of the Presidents of Poland.
1931: Marshal Jósef Pilsudski
The first of whom was Jósef Pilsudski (1867-1935) although his title uniquely was more grand - Chief of State and First Marshall of Poland, it was his home from 1926 to 1935 and where he died. The neo-classical palace was one of the few structures to survive World War 2 in Warsaw.
1927: Royal Palace
This one didn't. The first palace built on the site in the 13th Century was completely destroyed when liberating Buda from the Turks and replaced
1926: Royal Palace
in the 18th Century by the baroque version above which was badly damaged in World War 2 and rebuilt in the Neo Baroque style using many original parts. It now houses the Hungarian National Gallery. 
1967: Paintings in the National Gallery, Budapest (2nd Series)
where one may gaze at Samuel Lányi (1792-1860) cartographer, water engineer and artist. This self portrait with a Jacobin or phrygian cap is one of his most famous.  By chance that revolutionary cap ties in nicely with the next stamp
1946-48: Views
Another palace that houses an art gallery is the Palais de Luxembourg although technically it is in the Orangery which they don't tell you, no wonder we spent a long time prowling around the palace to find the way in.
1961: Tourist Publicity
A place on my 'must see' list, Knossos on Crete abandoned for reasons unknown in 1380-1100 BC.
1956: Views of Peking (Designer - Shao Bolin)
Another of my 'must sees' is the Forbidden City in Beijing although possibly most unlikely I will ever get there but here is the Tai Ho Palace or as it is more commonly known the Hall of Supreme Harmony.
2010: 300th Anniversary of the Foundation of Tsarkoe Selo (Designer - A Drobyshev)
The Russians know how to build opulent palaces and here is the Alexander Palace in Tsarkoe Selo, 15 miles south of St Petersburg and today part of the town of Pushkin.  This was the last Russian imperial family's favourite palace and is where they were ultimately imprisoned.  The stamp is from an attractive miniature sheet seen here.

I will finish with a palace in London that still has a royal family in occupation
2014: Buckingham Palace (Design - Howard Brown)
   and a stamp set
that shows Buckingham Palace through the ages.

This week's Sunday Stamps II prompt is the letter P - here for Poland, Portrait, Phrygian, Pilsudski and Palaces - promenade over to See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Ornate Objects

2001: Al-Khanjar A'suri
The Omani dagger or khanjar not only appears on stamps of Oman but also their banknotes, is part of the national flag and printed on all official documents.  It is worn on ceremonial occasions and can be made of gold, silver, copper or brass. One has to be wealthy opt for the gold and silver and the time it can take to make can vary from a few weeks to several months depending on the material used.  An ornate national symbol.    
1989: 300th Anniversary of Arp Schnitger Organ
Of course if one wanted to see something really ornate then the era to turn to would be the baroque and above is the largest surviving baroque organ in northern Europe which can be heard every Sunday in St James Church, Hamburg making full use of its 3000 pipes and 60 registers.
1982: National Postal Museum Card Series of Post House Signs
Post office signs were just as ornate. This one is owned by the Museum for Post and Communication (the renamed National Postal Museum) in  Frankfurt am Main,  The museum gets rave reviews on Trip Advisor.
1975: Stamp Day
The stamp like the card shows a Post House sign of the Royal Prussian Establishment for Transport. At the time the different post house companies delivered mail to specific countries and a register was available to look up where to hand over ones post for the different destinations. How much easier it is today to just pop a letter in
1977: Stamp Day
a postbox.  This is a Belgian pillar box from 1852. The old Belgium pillar boxes are among my favourites although the earliest I've seen is this one.

The Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the letter O - here for Oman, Ornate and Organ - more Os over at See It On A Postcard