Sunday, 22 October 2017


2013: Tour de France 100th edition
The 100th edition of the Tour de France was celebrated by Luxembourg with this commemorative sheet by the Belgian graphic designer and Luxembourg resident Jean-Philippe Janus. He has chosen two images for the stamp which sports fans always look forward to, the mountains of the Pyrenees and the finish in Paris after all those long grueling kilometres using the international shorthand for Paris - the Arch de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.  The portraits of the riders are constructed from the letters of their names.  They are, from left to right - Francois Faber (1887-1915) who was the first foreign winner of the tour in 1909 although really he was a dual national as his father was a Luxembourger and his mother French. As you might guess from his dates he died fighting for France in World War One at Arras.  Our next winner had a much longer life, Nicolas Frantz (1899-1985), who was one of the elite band who have worn the yellow jersey from the first to last day which he achieved in 1928 despite his bike frame breaking at one point and having to borrow a woman's small bike. Next is Charly Gaul (1932-2005) called 'the angel of the mountains' who was at his best riding in cold wet weather. Lastly we come to the modern era with Andy Schleck whose win was bitter sweet as he was awarded it retrospectively after Contador was disqualified for doping so did not get his day on the podium in 2010. He had to retire in 2014 due to a knee problem and now runs a bike shop in a renovated barn in in Itzig, just outside Luxembourg City.
1927: Definitive provisional stamp
Another legend but this time of a tree, the Cedar of Lebanon, which I will show from different eras, mainly because I only have four stamps in total from Lebanon. The stamps of the Ottoman Empire were used in Lebanon and then after the war French stamps but this is one of the provisional independent stamps of Lebanon overprinted with 'Republic Libernaise' and with the 'Grand Liban' crossed out.
1937: Definitive
 The cedar is of course Lebanon's symbol and appears on their flag so it occurs a lot on the stamps too but I especially like this one.
1961: Definitive
Lastly here is a whole grove of trees, 'Les Cedres'  which look quite idyllic. In the 1940s Lebanon reverted back to the French word for the country (Liban) on their stamps.

At this point I was running out of country Ls but as a last resort turned to my father's old 'Everyland Postage Stamp Album' from his youth, yes that is where I inherited my stamp addition from.
1919: Liberation of Courland
Here we have a warrior fighting a legendary beast, a dragon.  Latvia was much fought over in World War 1 and after the conflict Courland or Kurzeme became one of the five provinces of the newly formed country of Latvia.  The country's infrastructure and resources were mostly destroyed so paper to print stamps was in short supply however they came up with an inventive solution.  They did have lots of maps and occupation currency left behind by the German army so that is what they used. Some stamps have the maps on the reverse however this particular set of stamps were issued on woven paper in December 1919 but it exhausted the supply.  The story of "The Money Stamps" can be found here

Sunday Stamps II prompt is the Letter L - here for Luxembourg, Lebanon, Latvia, Legends and Liberation - leap to See It On A Postcard for more.


FinnBadger said...

Great L stamps. I am not sure I've ever seen any from Lebanon before.

Heleen said...

All beautiful stamp designs!
I love trees, also on stamps, and especially the green stamp seems to be a nice place to have a walk.
The dragon stamp reminded me of Saint George (Saint Joris in Dutch, Juris in Latvian, according to wikipedia), but I am not sure if this dragon fighter is him.

Eva A. said...

The first one seems to me a very international stamp...
The green stamp from Liban, I think, is my favourite here. I've never received a stamp from that country.

Eva A. said...

Oh, me too, I assumed that it was Saint Georges on the last stamp, until I read Heleen's comment...

Joy said...

Yes Eva and Heleen my first thought was St George too but couldn't find a connection however there are many dragon slayers. See title for the story of the stamp.

Eva A. said...

Thanks for the link, Joy!

Bob Scotney said...

There is no mistaking the cedar for anywhere other than Lebanon.