SAM_6859Two days in a row of mail – thank goodness for sunny days.  We really needed a break from the monsoonal rains so flood waters can dissipate a bit and we can all dry out somewhat.  It won’t be long before we’re slammed by another storm.

Today was more of a book and FDC day aside from my morning visit to the Phuket Philatelic Museum.  All six of the Muang Phuket Local Post covers I prepared for ASEAN Day arrived, albeit a little worse for the wear.  As the philatelic staff had closed shop here in order to attend THAIPEX up in Bangkok last week, I had to drop the covers into a pillar box at the shopping mall where my school is located.  Most of the covers were somewhat battered as a result but managed to travel the two kilometers in just one week!

Scan_20150814 (40)I’ve been fascinated by the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II for quite some time and have a nice collection of the stamps and a few covers as well.  My interest to learn more led me to seek out Ralph Mollet’s Jersey Under the Swastika after having found a copy of a Jersey War Museum pamphlet of extracts.  The copy I found which arrived today was published in 1945 and formerly a part of the Royal Philatelic Society’s library holdings.  It may be too lengthy and fragile to scan, which is my preferred method of preserving (and then reading) these older softbound works, but I will give it a go.

Scan_20150814 (39)My interest in the Channel Islands goes back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when I began corresponding with a noted maritime author who lived on Jersey for most of the year (he wintered in Alicante, Spain).  In addition to collecting the issues of Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey, I’ve also accumulated a few of the local posts from Herm and Jethou.  Thus, when I came across an old catalogue of these types of carrier labels at a price of less than a U.S. dollar I couldn’t resist.  There looks to be a lot of useful information in this one…

Scan_20150814 (41)The last book to arrive today is one that I intend to begin reading this weekend.  Well, I actually started to read Blue Mauritius: The Hunt for the World’s Most Valuable Stamps as a Kindle sample from Amazon.com a couple of months ago.  I decided that I would rather have a physical copy than an eBook to read so I tracked down a used copy.  Although I have many stamp-related books in .pdf or .epub format (including most of my stamp catalogues),  I would much rather have a tree-book instead.  This one came all the way from Belfast, Northern Ireland.  I intend to write a full review here once I finish it…

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Finally…some stamps!  I received six from the first of the King Carlos definitives released by the Portuguese administrative district of Angra.  This covered three islands in the Azores and only issued its own stamps from 1892 until 1905.  This is another “new” country for me – stamp issuer number 266, in fact.  The stamps I received were Scott #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9 – all mint hinged, except #5 which is used. 

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I now have but one outstanding stamp order – a Hawaiian provisional issue coming from a dealer in Israel.  Perhaps that will arrive tomorrow.  I’m winding down my stamp-buying somewhat in an effort to get caught up on scanning and cataloguing.  When stamps arrive in a trickle, it is fairly easy to get them done on the same day (my goal) but I’m still working on a massive lot that arrived at the end of July. 

The amount of time I have to work on stamp-related activities (including this blog) is also reduced right now as the rainy season tends to breed weekend English camps that my agency calls upon me to run.  Not only that, but I am starting work at a huge high school this coming Monday – covering classes until the end of the term (early October) because of the hasty departure of the previous teacher.  I doubt this particular school has WiFi so my blog-posting may be fairly irregular for the next couple of months.  But, stay tuned…

Happy Collecting!

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SAM_6714An odd mail day – five philatelic orders received but only one stamp amongst them.  Also, the envelope from the UK was enclosed in a clear plastic Thailand Post “body bag” as it was damaged in transit.  The left side was torn away and somebody patched it with tape – on the inside!  The result was that much of the enclosure was stuck to that tape.  Luckily, the item (a small cover) wasn’t nor were the stamps on the cover.  There was a nice variety of items – a stamp, a cover, a maximum card, an aerogramme, and a book.

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The sole stamp is a German semi-postal, Scott #B201, issued on 11 January 1942 to mark that year’s Stamp Day.  I’m starting to put together a topical collection honoring the “hobby of kings” and the Stamp Day releases by Germany, Austria, and Afghanistan provide many examples.  Looks like I need to rescan this one as it appears a bit blurry (I’ve been having a few scanner problems with latest build of Windows 10 Insider Preview).

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One of my departures from the mainstream of philately is the collection of certain local posts, particularly the carriage labels of Lundy Island in England’s Bristol Channel.  I was initially drawn to these by the many designs featuring puffins, a bird I’ve always been enamored of.  Occasionally, I’ll come across related material such as this cover bearing a British stamp – Scott #1239 – with a Lundy Island pictorial cancellation applied on the first day of issue, 17 January 1989.  The 19p stamp is the lowest value in a set of four commemorating the centenary of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the establishment of the Wild Bird Protection Act.

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Charles Lindbergh was one of my heroes when I was a boy living in rural Tennessee.  I must have read The Spirit Of St. Louis a half-dozen times in my teens and watched the movie starring Jimmy Stewart every time it was shown on local TV.  For my eleventh birthday, my mother purchased a membership in the Postal Commemorative Society and the first cover I received was the one bearing the stamp marking the 50th anniversary of his historic New York to Paris flight.  I affixed a copy of that stamp onto the title page of my paperback copy of The Spirit Of St. Louis.  Not long afterwards, my father and I embarked on one of our annual summertime motorcycle-camping trips – journeying from Kansas to Ontario and back this particular time – and made a special point of stopping at Little Falls, Lindbergh’s boyhood home in the wilds of Minnesota.

However, it’s only been relatively recently that I’ve begun seeking out stamps and other philatelic items honoring Lindbergh.  I did have all of the various issues released by the U.S. but somehow I’d neglected the many foreign stamps.  I particularly like this maximum card illustrating the famous plane; Scott #530 was part of a set of six released by St. Thomas and Prince on 21 December 1979 portraying the history of aviation (souvenir sheets in the same serious had been previously issued in mid-September).

I plan to do a full write-up of my Lindbergh-themed collection once I’ve obtained a cover flown by the Minnesotan aviator himself…

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Lately, I’ve been collecting many of the stamps issued for the British protectorate of Aden and now have about have of those listed in the Scott catalogue.  Scott doesn’t list postal stationery items for countries outside of the United States but I was happy to add this aerogramme to my collection.  Released in 1959, it was the last to be released by the colony.

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Yet another book added to my philatelic bookshelf, The Queen’s Stamps is a beautifully-illustrated history of Great Britian’s Royal Philatelic Collection and the stamps it contains.  Looking forward to reading this one but it may have to wait awhile; I’ve been buying so many books lately that there is now a significant backlog!

Happy Collecting!

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No stamps arrived in the mail today, but I did receive two additions to my slowly-expanding philatelic library.  An American History Album: The Story of the United States Told Through Stamps is a beautifully-illustrated book using stamps to explain aspects of American history and society.  Dictionary of World Stamps: Philatelic Atlas of the World is akin to a condensed version of Rossiter and Flower’s Stamp Atlas, the “dictionary” being an indexed gazetteer of the locations pinpointed on the maps in the first half of the book.  Both were obtained at steep discount and significantly reduced shipping from charitable organizations in the UK.

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My first fan mail!!  Actually, this was probably in response to my postcard-only blog and that is where I will publish a full write-up.  Must not let this go to my head…  Nah, my ego needs stoking on a rainy day such as this.  The fact that I’m receiving mail on consecutive days is all the stoking I really need, however.

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The remaining two items received today a bits of philatelic reading material.  I’ve collected paquebot covers off and on since my teens, mainly those of Cunard liners or originating from favorite ports.  I’d long been looking for a copy of Philip Cockrill’s classic Ocean Mails and at last I found one on eBay.  I’ve been buying a few of these types of older philatelic literature over the past couple of months as the price is often reasonable and shipping costs low.  I plan to scan those that are out-of-print and (probably) offer the resulting PDF’s as free downloads via Scibd if they are in the public domain.

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Last, but certainly not least, in today’s mail was a 50-page Stanley Gibbons compilation of articles published in their excellent magazine marking the 40th anniversary of Guernsey’s and Jersey’s postal independence in late 2009.  While I corresponded with a famous author who lived on Jersey in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s, I never really collected their stamps (I recall that my “penpal” sent me the Jersey presentation pack for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana but these are all I had, aside from those affixed to the numerous envelopes).  It’s only been in the last couple of years that my interest was piqued by a February 2013 article in The Philatelic Missive, by the Central Florida Stamp Club.  It concerned the German occupation of the Channel Islands and the stamps issued by Guernsey and Jersey during the occupation.

I now have a complete collection of the Jersey wartime issues and am working on those of Guernsey.  I also have a number of stamps released by each of these islands since their postal independence in 1969, as well as a few from Alderney (see my “Stamp Issuers” write-up) not to mention a few local post stamps from islands such as Herm and Jethou.  This book looks to improve my still somewhat limited knowledge on the subject.

I wonder what tomorrow’s mail will bring?

Happy Collecting!