Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Fair Wind

1980: Kites
The swallows have left us for the year and I will miss their swooping and darting flight but perhaps these Chinese Swallow Kites will stand in for them until they return next year.   The one on the left is a Swallow Chick and on the right is Slender Swallow
  Left, Semi-Slender Swallow and on the right a Duel Swallows. 
Traditionally made from bamboo canes covered with paper and silk kite designs and construction can vary from region to region.  The swallow is a symbol of love but the designs incorporated into the kite also have auspicious meanings with  wings of flowers and fish symbolising a lucky and bountiful life.

The stamps are designed by Pan Keming (b1940) whose art has appeared on other China Post stamps on a variety of subjects.  

One thing a kite can't do without is a good wind  just like a windjammer sailing ship.
Built in Ramsey on the Isle of Man as the Euterpe (the muse of music and poetry) she started her career on the jute run from Liverpool to Calcutta which only lasted a short time but was certainly not uneventful, a mutiny, collision and a cyclone were all part of her two voyages. Shaw Saville bought Euterpe in 1871 sailing from Liverpool to New Zealand carrying emigrants to the southern hemisphere. The ship changed hands again in 1901 when the Alaska Packers Association bought her to take fishermen and supplies up to Alaska and with her holds full of canned salmon returning back to San Francisco.  The ship was re-rigged and then renamed Star of India in 1906 although the original figurehead portraying Euterpe still remains on the ship today. The Star of India was laid up in 1923 and sold three years later to the Zoological Society of San Diego to be used as a museum but the great depression and a war intervened with fund raising and it was not until 1957 that work began to restore the Star of India to her former glory and in 1976 she once more sailed on the sea and today lays claim to being the oldest active sailing ship in the world.  Now part of the San Diego Maritime Museum in California she sails every November.

The stamp paintings are by the Manx artist John Hobson Nicholson (1911-1988) who designed stamps, coins and banknotes for the island. This miniature sheet must be the last one he ever produced.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps "Anything You Wish" of which   more here

9 comments:

Lisa B said...

The kite stamps are beautiful.

Bob Scotney said...

The Chinese stamps are very eye catching but the Star of India is a star indeed.

Hawwa Ma said...

The kites on stamps are really original. At first sight I didn't know they were kites!

Postcardy said...

Old ships like that are impressive. It is great that some have been preserved so long.

viridian said...

Wow I love the sailing ship stamps and sheet! thank you for joining in this week.

Heleen said...

What an original theme! Amazing what wind power can do. And your stamps are beautiful, thank you for sharing!

agi said...

i could have stared at kite stamps for ages without realising what they represented...and i still would have thought they are beautiful :)

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I thought the kites were stylised dancers which in a way I suppose they are.

VioletSky said...

I thought I'd commented earlier, but now that've come back to read the other comments...

anyway, I also said something along the lines of thinking the kites were dancers! I'm still trying to imagine them in the air. It must be impressive!