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.
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…
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.
The 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”.
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.
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.