Actually, this covers the past two weeks or so as my mail has been trickling in a piece or so at a time. In that period, I’ve only added 33 stamps to my collections from six different countries, two of which are new to my A Stamp From Everywhere project – Bermuda and The Roman States. I did receive two books I’d ordered, The German Occupation of Jersey (1940-1945) and the indispensible reference work that is Stamp Atlas. Rounding out the recent arrivals were several items for yet another thematic mini-collection based around my family history.
Let’s start with the A’s: I’ve become enamored with the engraved issues of Aden Protectorate and have been obtaining a few here and there, with 22mostly used values arriving recently – seven of the 1937 dhows issue (a couple duplicates of which are damaged) and the remainder covering the period between 1938 and 1959.
Next up are five stamps from Bermuda – beautifully engraved bi-colors which I just love. It’s going to be difficult to choose one stamp to represent the island in the ASFEW collection. The final British Commonwealth stamp in this batch is Scott #96 from Gibraltar, issued in 1931.
My Roman States stamp is a used copy – with a thin at the top – of Scott #4c, 1 bajocchi black on yellow buff paper, issued in 1852. Next to my Penny Black, I believe this is the oldest stamp currently in my possession. Catalogue value would be US $50 if the condition was much better than this space-filler for which I paid one cent.
A trio of stamps from the Straits Settlements also arrived. I’m really interested in this region with the Straits Settlements and Penang State stamps being particular favorites.
One of my mini-topical collections revolves around my family history including usages of my surname which was originally spelt Joachim. Long ago, I became interested in the mining community of Joachimsthal in the mountains of the Bohemian Erzebirge and currently known by its Czech name of Jáchymov. Czechoslovakia issued a stamp (Scott #1413) in 1966 calling the town the “Cradle of the Atomic Age” due as this was where pitchblende was first discovered. Marie Curie discovered the element radium in pitchblende ore and Joachimsthal was the world’s only source until the First World War.
Other items received this month on the Joachim theme include a couple of covers – one posted from Stiedra Stedra in Austria in April 1890 and backstamped Joachimsthal, the other featuring a commemorative cancellation during the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia during World War II – plus a poster stamp featuring the arms of another town called Joachimsthal that is situated north of Berlin.
Another area of interest is the German occupation of the Channel Islands during the Second World War and I’ve started purchasing a few non-stamp items including a small booklet published by the Jersey War Museum in the 1950’s.
I’d been perusing the Stamp Atlas section on the Sandafayre auction site for quite some time and so was positively thrilled when I found a good used copy on eBay for an excellent price and very low shipping cost. It’s much better than the Sandafayre excerpts and will be a much-treasured part of my slowly-expanding research library.
Finally, as I was putting the finishing touched on this article, a cover arrived from Eckerö in the Åland Islands. I’d recently met a collector from Åland in a Facebook group and was thrilled when he offered to correspond via snail mail…