Sunday 27 September 2020

Mongolian Mushrooms

1991: Fungi
The woods and wild places are full of fungi at the moment and these stamps show a few edible mushrooms that might be seen.  On the left is Scotch Bonnet or fairy ring mushrooms (Marasmius oreades)  I always find a fairy ring a delight to see but it is not always appreciated by owners of pristine lawns.  On the right is an oak mushroom or Slippery Jack (Boletus luteus).  When photographing fungi there is always a certain amount of pruning required around them so I like that the artist has painted in some grass poking up.

Next is one I had never heard of the March Mushroom (Hygrophorus marzuolus), a so called snowbank fungus because they occur adjacent or within melting snow, a fact that gave me the wow factor. In Spain it has  the same name, Seta de Marzo, but the Italians call it The Sleeping Mushroom.  On the right is the chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) a prize for the gastronomic mushroom hunter.
Next is the Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris) and the Bronze boletus (Boletus aereus),  also called the Black fungus and described as "an edible mushroom par excellence" which grows in abundance from spring to late autumn in woods in warm climates such as the southern Mediterranean.
Lastly we have Caesar's Mushroom (Amanita caesarea) which is said to be the best fungus raw, cooked or in oil.  No doubt the Roman Emperor agreed.  Make sure those gills are yellow when picking for it can be confused with the poisonous Fly Algaric (Amanita muscaria) with its white gills, you will be ill but usually not life threateningly so.
1971: Livestock Breeding

Camels are known for eating everything and anything. I wonder if that includes mushrooms.

Common Earthball


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Eastern Hemisphere - travel to See It On A Postcard



Sunday 20 September 2020

Ice Motion

1991: Inauguration of Inter-City Express (ICE)

A high speed train rushes past whoosh - its Germany's ICE train speeding its passengers onward, perhaps to

1983: Maximum Card - Ice Hockey World Championships

an Ice Hockey game.   The card shows the photo of an attack scene on which the designer based

1983: Sports Promotion Fund (Design - Professor Rothacker)  

his stamp design.  The World and European Championships were held in Germany in 1983 and the postmark shows one of the host cities - Dortmund.  The stamp was issued by West Berlin.

1955: Airmail - Winter Sports (Design - F Gal)
Today's technical sports clothing is very different from the past when it looks like you just pulled on a thick woolly jumper to play ice hockey.
1955: Winter Sports (Design - J Vertel)
Still on ice two speed skaters zoom past

1955: Airmail: Winter Sports (Design - J Vertel)
More appropriate for an airmail stamp is a ski jumper taking to the air.
1955: Winter Sports (Designn - F Gal)
or the cross country skier travelling long distances.
1988: World Speedway Championships (Design - J Fabriciuis)

Not a sport that wants either snow or ice for its high speed duels.  The stamp was issued in anticipation of the  individual speedway championships at the Vojens Speedway Centre in September 1988.

1995: Borussia Dortmund Football Champions 1995
For silky skills and fast moving feet the football kicked off here last weekend although unlike Germany we still have no spectators. 

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Motion - move on for more at See It On A Postcard



Sunday 13 September 2020



1967: British Paintings
L S Lowry was steeped in the Northern Industrial landscape and here is a scene he recollected of a Lancashire school and children leaving for the day (painted in 1927).
1995: 'Trams' Maximum Card 89
Like Lancashire Norrkoping in Sweden was known for its textile industry and its nickname was Sweden's Manchester.  When this photo was taken in 1958 the factories were starting to close.  The card manages to capture four types of transport in one urban street and still driving on the left in 1958.
1995: Trams (Design - Rolf Eriksson; Engraver - Z Jakus)
The stamp shows a scene circa 1905 of ASEA electric trams in Norrkoping.  The tram lines are only one of two city centre networks that survived the switch to right hand traffic in 1967.
1986: Norden VII - Sister Towns (Design - A Elgaard)

An escape from an urban landscape can be found on the waterside in Aalborg. 

1972: Definitive - Vancouver (Design -Reinhard Derreth)

and  in Vancouver a waterside with the bonus of a mountain view.

'Man Lying on a Wall' by LS Lowry (1957) with an initialed briefcase LSL


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Urban - visit See It On A Postcard

Sunday 6 September 2020

Black and White

2013: Butterflies (Design - Richard Lewington)

The Mabled White butterfly has a preference for purple flowers but this stamp is pure black and white.  Poets have long written of the wonder of butterflies and

2020: Romantic Poets (Design - The Chase; Illustrator - Linda Farquarson)

John Clare wrote at least two about the "Queen of insects" but for the stamp we have two lines that probably sum Clare up "For every thing I felt a love/ The weeds below the birds above".  He also came up with one of my favourite quotes "I found the poems in the field and only wrote them down".   The other stamp features  one of the Lakes poets - Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his Frost at Midnight.  Apart from his renown as a poet he is also famous for being the first 'outsider'  to climb England's highest mountain Scafell Pike and it turned out to be quite a hairy experience. 

For the stamp subject the design company The Chase were given a list of poets and the two lines to use on the stamps. They turned to print maker Linda Farquarson for the black and white linocut illustrations which she made the actual size of the stamp using traditional letter-pressing.  The type is Caslon Old Style invented by the 18th Century British engraver William Caslon which would have been a style used in the poetry books of the day.

1976 William Caxton - 500th Anniversary of British Printing (Design - Richard Gay)

One of the first books William Caxton published in 1477 was Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and he went on to to publish more of Chaucer's collections of poetry.  The Canterbury Tales is featured on one of the other stamps in the set but the stamp above is the only one that is black and white and is a woodcut from 'The Game and Playe of Chesse'. Few things are more black and white than chess.

Coleridge and Scafell on  'Romantic Poets' FDC


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Black and White -  at See It On A Postcard.