Earlier this month, my teaching agency asked me to substitute teach in a large high school for the seven weeks remaining in the term. As a result, my workload increased to the point that I’ve had very little time to devote to working on my collections or writing about them. Unfortunately, the school doesn’t even have an Internet connection so articles here will be few and far between until early October.
In fact, I’ve only received one philatelic item in the mail over the course of the past two weeks – this unused copy of the one-cent green Hawaii stamp featuring Princess Likelike, Scott #55, issued in 1893 with a red Provisional Government overprint.
I did receive a trickle of Postcrossing postcards over the past few days – one from the Ukraine, one from Russia and my first piece of mail from Turkey. A card also arrived from my sister who had been vacationing along the California Pacific coast. Her card from Avila Beach featured several stamps from the Harry Potter booklet – again, sadly they missed cancellation. I will (eventually) write about these and a few other recently-arrived cards on “Please, Mr. Postman!”
I had been winding-down my online stamp purchases but that has picked up a bit in the past few days. I picked up a nice set of classic Mauritius stamps, inspired by my current reading of Helen Morgan’s fascinating Blue Mauritius: The Hunt for the World’s Most Valuable Stamps. I also picked up a few more countries under the letter “A” – Alsace and Lorraine, Alexandria, Annam & Tonkin, and Antigua & Barbuda amongst them. However, I was outbid for a pair from La Aguera in the last seconds of an eBay auction. That particular stamp-issuer is proving rather elusive!
Of course, you will see these stamps once they arrive in my mailbox – probably in around a month’s time.
Another rainy week of no mail deliveries (better than receiving soaked mail) and a national holiday on Wednesday for HM the Queen’s birthday (celebrated as Thai Mothers’ Day), brought a welcome – albeit small – stack of mail this afternoon. Three eBay wins brought seven stamps, including a thought-lost order from Slovakia which took almost two months to arrive as well as stamps from the 265th country in my collections – Tasmania.
The stamp arriving from Bratislava is a nice Austria Scott #45, 20 kreuzer gray issued in 1883. But the reason I purchased this particular stamp was the very nice Joachimstal postmark (applied upside down), an addition to a loose collection based on my surname. From the German Democratic Republic, I now have Scott #91 – 12 pfennig deep blue stamp picturing a father and his children with their stamp collection, issued on 28 October 1951 to mark Stamp Day (Tag der Briefmarke).
Tasmania is a “new” country for me and I received five examples from the pictorial series which had eight different designs but were printed using several different printing methods (engraving, lithography and typography), perforation gauges and watermarks between 1899 and 1911, plus one surcharge in 1912. I have tentatively identified my additions as Scott #88, the 2p violet picturing Hobart issued engraved in 1899; Scott #94, ½p green picturing Lake Marion printed by lithography and issued in 1902-03; Scott #95, 1p carmine, Scott #96, 1p dull red, both portraying Mount Wellington and issued in 1902-1903 – the carmine stamp is lithographed and the dull red is printed by typography; and Scott #97, another 2p violet with a view of Hobart, printed in lithography. I think… (I seem to have misplaced my perforation gauge this evening…)
Finally, I received two postcards – one from my sister who was vacationing in California earlier this month and a Postcrossing card from Russia. The stamps on each are of interest in that each country has different approaches to postmarking nowadays. Most mail that I receive from the United States are festooned with what I find to be very ugly ink jet spray-on markings. Often the stamps aren’t cancelled at all as in the case of the trio of Jimi Hendrix stamps (Scott #4880, issued in 2014) on the card from my sister. She recently told me that she’d requested a postal clerk to handstamp a letter to me but was told that they “don’t do that anymore.” The card from Russia, on the other hand, received two nice handstamps on the four stamps (three from a 2009 set of icebreakers and one 2008 stamp showing a bridge in Moscow).
I’ll write about these postcards very soon on “Please, Mr. Postman!” – my blog about postcards and the subjects they portray.