Sunday, 16 July 2017

Ancient Statues

Definitives issued 1914-1922
The mysterious Great Sphinx of Giza, in Arabic Abū al-Haul, which translates as The Terrifying One believed to have been created circa 2558–2532 BC. Photographs of the Sphinx from all its giant angles can be seen here.   A mythical creature with the head of a man and the body of a lion. So what about seeing some lions
1950s: Official Stamps
which at 7ft (2.15m) are small in comparison to the sphinx but this once stood on a tall pillar in Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh) and this polished sandstone capitol is now in the museum there.  It is the most important of many lion columns that were put up by Ashoka and the most elaborate, there are four lions which symbolise the four noble truths of Buddhism.  Today it is also a national emblem of India
1984: Parthenon Marbles
Next we have a human statue although not quite for this is Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest or more particularly wine, but also madness, vegetation and the theatre
1959: Ancient Greek Theatre
where this fellow would perform because this 3rd Century statuette portrays an actor.

An entry to Sunday Stamps II theme - Statues or Monuments -  at See It On A Postcard
 
    

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Smolny Cathedral

The Smolny Cathedral in St Petersburg was originally built to be the central church of a monastery and with the other churches in the complex forms a cross.  Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, started to build a convent just before here 40th birthday for 120 young women with herself as prioress; I don't know if she was going to install her lovers here as well.  It did not look possible that she would ever rule Russia but after a coup by the royal guards, carried out with her involvement, she quickly decided that the religious life was not for her and accepted the offer of the Russian throne.  The rest, as they say, is history.

The architect is the famous Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli who created many of the iconic buildings in St Petersburg including the Winter Palace in the same baroque confection.  Thousands of people were involved in the construction but Elizabeth died in 1761 with the cathedral still unfinished, it was finally completed in 1835 but closed in 1923 after the Russian revolution and used as a storage facility when much of the original interior was destroyed . In 1990 it was made into a concert hall although I read it is presently undergoing refurbishment. 


Postcard for the Weekend theme - Places of Worship - pray visit Connections to the World

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Aerial Views

2008: Gorgeous Australia
The spectacular Grose River Gorge in the Blue Mountains of Australia, a labyrinths of gorges and and canyons which the Grose River has carved out over the millennia leaving these sheer sandstone cliffs.
2013: National Parks
A different terrain on one of Finland's attractive series of National Parks stamps, in this case a beautiful aerial view of Nuuksion National Park whose green forests and rocky crags are within easy access of those wanting to walk through nature from Helsinki.
1935/6- George V Definitives - Landscapes
I love a port so would enjoy sailing into this one because Colombo is one of the busiest ports in the world.
1963: 40th Anniversary of Sabina Airline
An aerial view requires an aircraft (or a drone) so here is an aeroplane  from what was Belgium's national airline flying over Brussels in a stamp celebrating its 40th anniversary.   Sabena went into liquidation in 2001 so didn't reach its centenary. 
1962|: Space Research (2nd Series)
For an even better aerial view lets take a rocket into space



An entry to Sunday Stamps II theme - Aerial Views - for the overview See It On A Postcard

Friday, 16 June 2017

Pass the Post

Postbox LA8 39, Levens, near the Strickland Arms, Cumbria
The arrow of the coast to coast National Cycle Route 70 from Walney Island (the Irish Sea) to the Wear (the North Sea)  points the rider onward.  The perfect opportunity to post postcards in the wall box on the way past.

The Postal Picture will be quiet for a few week as I'm heading to an island of green postboxes, taking pictures and twirling the postcard carousels.   

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Gardens and Forests

2016: Landscape Gardens
In 2016 Royal Mail celebrated the 300th anniversary of Lancelet 'Capability' Brown's birth with some of the significant landscape gardens he created.  Nicknamed Capability Brown because he used to say to those wishing to employ him that their garden or land had "great capability for improvement".  He completely changed the gardens in the 18th Century from the formal French style into the artifice of what looked like a natural landscape.
He worked as Head Gardner at Stowe (bottom left stamp above) and created the Grecian Valley for Lord Cobham and from there everyone wanted to employ him on their estates. Creating lakes, serpentine rivers, bridges, woods and hills on country estates something triggered in the English psyche and we continue to love them.   
150 of  the 250 sites he designed survive today and the National Trust highlight some of them here
2011: Europa - Forests
 But lets head into the woodland of Luxembourg.  The stamps were created by the artist and naturalist Alan Johnston and painted outdoors to "capture the climatic, ecological and geological characteristics of the environment".
2016: Visiting Card From Finland
I love the misty landscape of woods and water on this FDC, it is almost as if one were a bird flying over it.
The 'visiting card' title of this duo  is of course because these are the stamps used on international postcards. The one on the left is  Nuuksio National Park in Southern Finland ("a hikers paradise") and the other is the fresh green leaves of a birch tree in sunlight.



An entry to Sunday Stamps II them - Gardens or Forests - wander and wonder at  See It On A Postcard

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Three Dragons

Flag of Wales – Y Ddraig Goch
Although the dragon on the green and white background only became the official flag of Wales in the 20th Century as the card says on the back "Since the time of Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, the dragon has been used on the Standards of the Welsh Kings. It was believed that the dragon protected his own and inspired terror in the enemy".

The dragon stamp on the maximum card is from the "Celebrating Wales" miniature sheet issued in 2009, one of a series of miniature sheets celebrating the countries that make up the United Kingdom.
Conwy Castle Ramparts

Here are couple of welsh flags I saw flying on the ramparts of Conwy Castle in the gloom of a rainy day.


Postcards for the Weekend theme - Flags - flying at Connections to the World 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Lettering

2008: Europe - The Letter
What better way to start than to say 'Hello'.  The illustrator Edward Fulglø has chosen the informal Hey (pronounced 'huhy' in Faroese).  The stamp is one of two issued for the 2008 Europa theme "The Letter".  I like how he combines the @ sign with a posthorn. Fulglø's  website contains all his stamp designs each with a little exposition on the subject matter and in this case  "Letters and Haste".
1983: Festival of Rebirth
There is a whole lot going on in this stamp and it is a personal favourite, not only for the tractor /cow vibe but that wonderful serpentine khmer alphabet  and of course we have all the other fonts as well.
2013: Traditional Rituals and Customs (Designer - Simion Zamşa)
A nice spiky font and another festival, this time 'Paparuda' - a ritual to summon the rain which takes place in spring. I don't think anyone will be trying this one in lee of the Atlantic weather system in Britain.
1900-1916: Definitive
Browsing my stamps I noticed some of the pre 1945 Hungarian designs have some interesting fonts, for instance this Magyar Kir Posta (Hungarian Royal Post).  This country name fits itself around the flying bird which is the Tural, a mythical bird of the Magyars seen here hovering above the Crown of St Stephen.
1978: PRAGA 78 International Stamp Exhibition, Prague Town Hall
Lastly a lovely ornate country name on this stamp set featuring the Prague Town Hall Astronomical Clock which dates from medieval times (1410) although the detail on the stamp is part of the calendar dial of 1865 by Josef Mánes which features zodiac signs and as shown on the stamp above - Prague city arms.




An entry to Sunday Stamps II theme - Interesting Fonts - See It On A Postcard