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.

Scan_20150727 (7)

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).

Scan_20150727 (8)

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.

Scan_20150727 (9)

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…

Scan_20150727 (11)Scan_20150727 (12)

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.

Scan_20150727

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!

SAM_6707

After a week or so of the barest of trickles, the floodwaters opened today and once again a nice-sized stack of mail awaited my return from work.  It was a bit of a card-oriented day – only one short set of “real” stamps and a couple of souvenir folders of local post issues from Lundy Island – and Great Britain dominated the senders’ countries.  In all, five pieces of mail from the UK, one from France, and two parcels from the U.S.

Scan_20150723 (11)

The Qu’aiti State in Hadhramaut counts as a “new” country in my A Stamp From Everywhere collection as the sheikdom in Aden Protectorate had changed its name from the Qu’aiti State of Shihr and Mukalla.  These four stamps are the lowest values (Scott #29-32)  in a set of twelve released on 1 September 1955, the first with the new name inscribed. 

Scan_20150723 (37)

Lundy Island is probably my favorite of the local posts that I collect.  The island itself is quite interesting and I particularly like the stamps portraying puffins which is also the “currency” used.  Some of the earlier issues portrayed the number of puffins equal to the stamp’s denomination.  Today, I received two similar souvenir folders – this one has the complete 1982 definitive set while the other has the three-stamp issue marking Winston Churchill’s death in 1965.

Scan_20150723 (16)

Here we have a maxi-card bearing the lovely stamp issued by Monaco in 1977 marking the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic, an addition to my “Pioneers of American Aviation” topical collection.

Scan_20150723 (33)

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the world’s first stamp, the famed Penny Black.  A number of countries have issued stamps commemorating this anniversary but I have yet to obtain a single one (I celebrated by purchasing an 1840 Penny Black with my initials – MJ – as the control letters).  However, I just received this souvenir card issued at London’s Europhilex stamp show a couple of months ago.  It illustrates Sir Rowland Hill’s original sketches for what became the Penny Black.

Scan_20150723 (19)

Although I am adopted, I am proud of my adoptive family’s name and wish that more was known of its early history.  The story that I remembering hearing as a child was that the “a” in Joachim was dropped when my grandfather emigrated to the United States (I believe through Ellis Island).  So I am always on the lookout for philatelic items bearing either of the spellings.  This card is one of a lot of posted-on-board items from Danish ferries.  I will write about them in some detail – starting with the M/F Prins Joachim, of course – on my postcard blog in the near future.

SAM_6710

Finally, I received three new rubber stamps for my own little local post – Muang Phuket LP.  The one on the left was intended as a first day of issue postmark for the ASEAN Day issue (8 August) but I ordered the 2-inch size which is too big; I’ll probably use it as a cachet instead and “cancel” the stamps using my generic “wave” postmark.  A tuk-tuk is a local mode of transportation; my rubber stamp supplier had a buy-one get-one for free promotion which is why I have two sizes of that…

Scan_20150723 (9)

Happy Collecting!

20150708-001o

Another day, another mail delivery, another new country.  I’m really enjoying the current streak of receiving at least one piece of mail each day.  Gives me something to look forward to on the bus journey home from work.  I’ve noticed that eBay sellers from certain countries such as India, Israel, anywhere in Eastern Europe, etc. don’t get bid on as much as those in the United States, the UK, Germany, or Australia.  I don’t know if that’s out of fear the items won’t arrive or some other reason but I’ve picked up stamps at a steal by looking for these sellers.  I’ve never had one go astray…

This was my first auction won from India and the stamps arrived in less than two weeks, nicely packaged.  The best part is that the seller didn’t try to make the stamps even more secure by enclosing the glassine envelopes or stock cards with copious amounts of tape.  This seems to be the habit of far too many dealers and I’m always afraid that I will damage the stamps when attempting to peel or cut away the tape.  At any rate, I’ll be bidding on this seller’s auctions again very soon.

20150708-000-300dpi

Seven stamps arrived – three from Cambodia released on 12 April 1986 showing Angkor-style ruins.  They are the three low values (Scott #677-679) from a set of seven promoting Khmer culture and are set for inclusion in a thematic collection I’m calling “My Life in Stamps”, specifically in a section of stamps portraying places I’ve visited.

The remaining four stamps are my first from the People’s Republic of Congo and were issued on 17 December 1993 to mark the 90th anniversary of manned flight.  Scott numbers 1049 to 1052 feature the Wright Brothers and the Model B Flyer in flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  They are, of course, additions to my “Pioneers of Aviation” topical collection so I’ll have to so I’ll have to find another PR of Congo stamp to add to the ASFEW album…

Happy Collecting!

20150703-001

It’s not often that I receive mail on two consecutive days but here we are on the 4th of July and the letter carrier brought me two orders, one I’d thought long lost.  As you can see, the envelope above was posted in Spokane, Washington, on 26th May and so took some 38 days to arrive in (rainy) Phuket.  The country name of “Thailand” seems to have been added after posting; unfortunately, there are no other postal markings to indicate what circuitous route it travelled to get here.

US-C91_92The envelope contained a pair of U.S. Air Mail stamps – Scott #C91 and C92 – issued on 23 September 1978 to mark the historic first flight of the Wright Brothers’ Flyer A at Kill Devil Hill in North Carolina.  Interestingly, the 19 December 1903 flight and other early ascents were completely ignored by the press at the time and the feat wasn’t heralded until several years afterwards.

I’m currently reading David McCullough’s excellent 2015 biography of the Wright Brothers which, along with Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927 has rekindled an interest in early aeronautics and prompted me to start a topical collection along the lines of “American Aviation Pioneers”.

20150704-001

The second envelope was mailed from my former home of Albuquerque, New Mexico on 24 June and thus took but ten days to arrive which is very close to a record for U.S.-posted mail these days!  It contained two stamps from the short-lived French mandate of Alexandretta which, like Alaouites, was located in the northern part of Syria and bordered Turkey.  The territory released just 31 stamps, all in 1938 – the first were issued 14 April and comprised nine overprinted stamps of Syria for general use, eight for airmail and six for postage due; three additional general issue stamps were released on 2 September and the final five appeared 10 November.

Alexandretta001Alexandretta002

The stamps received today were a used copy of Scott #7, the 4-piaster yellow orange, and Scott #J1, the 50-centime Postage Due stamp in brown on yellow paper.  Both feature the overprint in black; J1 also exists with a red overprint.  Alexandretta is country number 236 in my A Stamp From Everywhere collection.  In late 1938, the stamps were replaced by those of the newly-renamed territory of Hatay.

Happy Collecting!