Sunday, 21 February 2021

Delta Greens

1955: Fauna of the Danube Delta (Design - Aida Tasgan; Engraver - Ion Dumitrana)

Europe's largest wetland is where the mighty Danube River meets the Black Sea.  The delta is home to a massive congregation of waterbirds such as the Great Egret, above, but also home to many varieties of freshwater fish

1994: Environmental Protection of the Danube Delta (Design - Simona Bucan)

which include four species of sturgeon, the stamp features the Beluga (Huso huso). The map shows another of the deltas iconic bird species, the pelican.  There are also ancient woods

1958: Mushrooms (Design - Harald Meschendorter)

so there must be fungi.  Whether there is saffron milk cap, probably not, as it likes pine forests and I think in the Delta there are oaks and willows.  For the birder winter time is a good time to visit as there will be hundreds of wintering birds (and no mosquitos), warm clothing essential.

1994: Winter Olympics (Design - M Vamasesu)

Although it will be icy only the oldest inhabitants can remember that in the past (70 years ago) you could skate on the river.  Since the second half of the 20th Century it is rarely thick enough because of the rising water and winter temperatures.

1967: Definitive 'Diesel Train' (Design - Ion Druga)

This must be one of the unique places to dream about traveling to while locked down.  It may be a pale imitation but 1,500 kilometer of  its channels and roads can be seen virtually on Google Maps (a short film clip here)

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Green - see how green it is on - See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 14 February 2021

All Hearts


1995: Greeting Stamps (Design - Bridget Finn)  

A Tree of Hearts rustles in the breeze and they are ready to be given away

1986: Greetings Stamps; Children's Paintings (Brigid Teehan)

and sometimes delivered by post.  A heart can be always given to a dog.   Perhaps there is also a sonnet on the way to a loved one

1989: Greeting Stamps
or given in person.  The Sonnet by William Mulready (1786-1863) is one of his most popular paintings and is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  Today he is probably more famous in postal circles for his Mulready envelopes. and while not wanting to put a downer on the day has a rather fabulously ornate tomb

1999: Christmas Seals 'Sign of the Hearts

These are Denmark Post's Christmas Seals but also I think perfect for Valentines Day.  They issued them in a heart shaped sheet. 

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Romance - It will be romantic at -  See It On A Postcard

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Woves in Winter


In Scotland it was minus 22 degrees Celsius yesterday, it was only minus 2 where I live.   Wouldn't it be nice to grow a fur coat like these for the winter months.  No wolves in the UK of course but here they are roaming in |Finland where February is usually the coldest month and it is -16 in Helsinki. 

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Year of the Ox

1999: Lunar New Year Cycle (Design - Kao Tai-kung)

 I only have one Year of the Ox stamp which as I was born in the year of the ox is rather an oversight on my part, no wonder this ox is looking quizzical.  The Ox is on the earthly branch of the Chinese zodiac and this year is the Year of the Metal Ox so

1973: Centenary of Nordic Museum (Design - Nils P Blix; Engraver - Cz Slania)

happily this stamp combines both elements of earth and metal with the lone ox leading the plow.

1959: 1st World Agriculture Fair, New Delhi
Two working in tandem in India
1938-1952: Definitive 'Sugar Industry'
I wonder if these two chew on the sugar cane or prefer something more healthy.  It is said that oxen are good for the soil for they are soft footed and nimble so don't impact the soil like tractors and heavy machinery and they also come with their own supply of fertilizer.

Happy Lunar New Year

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - animals of lunar new year - See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 31 January 2021



1926-1930: Definitive 'Views'
The Saar Basin (Saargbeit) is a border region which has been contested by France and Germany.  After WW1 it was occupied by France and administered under  the League of Nations for 15 years.  The definitives of views of the area had appeared over several years with differing decorative borders.  The stamp of course shows a colliery shaft-head

and  the cancel is appropriate, in that Quierschieb was a coal mining town.  Saar Post required 60c stamps so revalued the 80c postage stamp first with an overprint in March 1930, then a few weeks later this stamp appeared.  After a plebiscite in 1935 Saar rejoined Germany.  Yes you know what happens next.  After WW2 the territory was autonomous under French protection.

1952: Red Cross Week (Design - Hossfield; Engraver - Pierre Munier)

The stamp shows the Red Cross and refugees.  1952 was also the year of the Helsinki Olympic Summer Games and Saar sent a team but did not medal.  Alas I do not have that stamp and the ones I show here are my complete Saarland 'collection'.

1955: Red Cross Week (Design - Fritz Ludwig Schmidt)

Another Red Cross Week but this time a more optimistic mother and baby and then

1956: Red Cross Week (Design - Herman Mees)

a look back in history to a Red Cross Casualty Station in the city of  Saarbrucken  during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71.  The Saar seems to have been defined by war.  Of course their coal mines would be a prize for any belligerent.  In the year of this stamp, 1956, another plebiscite was held and the Saarlanders once again voted to return to Germany.  The stamps issued from 1957 were under the auspices of the German Federal Republic until the adoption of German currency in July 1959 and German stamps have been used there since.  The return of Saarland is sometimes referred to as the 'little reunification' as opposed to the larger one that happened when the Berlin Wall came down.

1957: Int Correspondence Week

Anglophone stamp collectors always refer to this ex country as Saar whereas German speakers refer to it as Saarland..  My ancient school history atlas refers to it as the Saar Basin (its official name after the Treaty of Versailles was - Territory of the Saar Basin).

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Country names that no longer exist - I'm interpenetrating that theme with some laxity but in mitigation you have a choice of three - the name of the game is - See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 24 January 2021


2013: Nobel Prize - Tomas Tranströmer (Design - (Hans Cogne)

In the year  Tomas Trastömer (1931-2015) won the Nobel Prize for literature Sweden issued this miniature sheet with its winter view.  The writer Andrew Brown describes his poetry as "Pure cold Swedish without the frills.  His descriptions of nature were as sparse and alive as a Japanese painting".  Indeed in later life he wrote Haiku in Swedish.  His works have been translated into 50 languages but in 1990 he suffered a stroke and lost the power of speech but continued to write poetry and play the piano with his left hand.  The Nobel Diploma is illustrated on the stamp and features notes from Schubert's Piano sonata in the blue and white of the Baltic where the poet grew up.  An explanation on the Philatelic Database can be seen here

1973: British Explorers (Design - Marjorie Seynor)

In contrast here is the dashing Sir Walter Raleigh, adventurer, explorer and poet and one of Queen Elizabeth's favourites until he married one of her ladies in waiting in secret and both were sent to the Tower of London.  Eventually released he regained Elizabeth's favour with a raid on the Spanish at Cadiz and was appointed governor of the Isle of Jersey in 1600

2019: Sir Walter Raleigh (Design - True North)

Jersey issued a set of stamps remembering this tenure.  The words "When we have wandered all our ways" is from his 'Epitaph on his owne death' written before his execution in 1618 on order of James I.  Raleigh is credited with bringing potatoes and tobacco to the British Isles following his travels to America.  In 1810 an obelisk (depicted on the stamp), was erected at Killua Castle in County Westmeath, Ireland, to mark the position where Raleigh planted some of the potatoes that he first imported.

1999: 250th Birth Anniversary Goethe 


 "One ought every day at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see fine pictures and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words" Goethe

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Poets - for more verse makers - See It On A Postcard

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Danish Women


2000: The 20th Century. Issue 1 (Design - Keith Bassford)
Keep spreading the news
women have got the vote - in Denmark, when King Christian signed the revised constitution on 5th June 1915.
Another constitutional amendment in 1953 did away with gender bias to who inherited the Danish throne and as the eldest child Margrethe succeeded her father on his death in 1972;  the first female monarch since her namesake Margrethe I in the 14th Century.  During her long reign Margrethe II has been portrayed in a multitude of stamps.  The ones I show above are the 4.75 from the 1990-96 definitives and the later 2000-09 issue.  Of course she gets special occasion stamps as well
1997: 25th Anniversary Reign of Queen Margrethe

such as the 25th anniversary of her reign which shows her with her consort Prince Henrik, then with her son Crown Price Henrik, her New Year's speech and lastly meeting the people.

1971: Centenary Women's Association (Design - C Linck after a photo; Engraver - Cz Slania)

For Mathilde Fibiger (1830-1872) a Danish feminist, the vote for women would have been but a dream.  Her debut novel 'Cara Raphael 'had a great influence on the women's movement but her writing, although well regarded, did not make much money so she turned to painting porcelain, dressmaking and translating German novels for income.  She then trained as a Telegraph Operator in 1866 and became the first female official of Danish State Telegraph.  The Danish Women's Association's Mathilde Prize is named after her  as an advocate of women's rights and is awarded to women, men, companies and organisations who are working for full legal and factual equality between men and women.

1988: Europa - Transport and communications


Perhaps if Mathilde had been born in the 20th Century she might have become a postie like this one.


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Women - for the female of the species -  See It On A Postcard