Sunday, 15 December 2013

United Kingdom - Manchester & Bristol

A couple of covers from England both bearing a slogan postmark. 

Finland - Tampere

One of my favourite stamps and covers to collect are the ones from Finland because of their unique shaped and colourful stamps.

The stamp on the left is from the spring blossoms set issued on March 23, 2012. The flowers are shown in six retro-styled 1st class stamps in a miniature booklet depicting the liverwort, spring pea, least gagea, lung-wort, marigold and spring corydalis.

2013 Finland Valentine's Day sheet
The other stamp on the envelope, though it might not look like it, was issued on January 21, 2013 for Valentine's day. It is one of six 1st class self-adhesive stamps that come in a booklet. In keeping with the theme for Valentine's Day, these stamps feature playful landscapes made of sweets - ice cream, lolly, chocolate etc. There are also four stickers that you can use to decorate letters or cards. They look really fun. I don't know how you can resist these stamps.

Philippines - Davao

From the Philippines comes this cover with stamps from the Marine Life issue on November 04, 2011. 

The stamps on these set show the polyclad flatworm (PHP9), oriental sweetlips (PHP20) and Kunie's chromodoris (PHP35). All stamps have a barcode on the lower left side.

[Marine Life, type JDA] [Marine Life, type JDB] [Marine Life, type JDC]

Slovenia - Borovnica

Flowers on stamps always make me smile and this one has five of them so I'm extra happy. 

From a set issued way back in 2007 (January 1) these stamps feature 17 plant species of European importance that are native to Slovenia. They have also been selected to showcase Slovenia's flora which include primrose, azalea, ladybells, orchid, sandwort, pasque flower and gladiola. With denominations ranging from EUR0.01 to EUR2 they are the country's first Euro stamps.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Canada - Rothesay, NB

I really love it when I get a letter with a miniature or souvenir sheet is used on the cover.

Issued on May 17, 2012 the souvenir sheet above was issued to celebrate 100 Years of the Calgary Stampede. It bears the permanent domestic rate stamp (CAD0.61) showing a horse with classic western riding gear and the US rate stamp (CAD1.05) showing the 2012 Calgary Stampede belt buckle.

The other stamps used to make up the postage was a block of CAD0.05 northern bumblebees from the Beneficial Insects series (issue date October 12, 2007). The first in this series, this set of low value definitives also feature the convergent ladybug, the Canada darner, the golden-eyed lacewing and the cecropia moth. 

India - Hasthampatti

A special stamp sent as an exchange on a special day - 12.12.12. 

On the cover is another miniature sheet, this time issued on October 12, 2012 to celebrate Philatelic Day. As for the other stamps, I can't seem to find any information on it so if you know when this was issued could you kindly point it out to me.

Czech Republic - Olomouc

This cover from the Czech Republic has an extra number making the date stamp I don't actually know what the extra 12 is for - perhaps this was mailed at 12 o'clock on December 12, 2012?

The stamps used on the cover were issued on November 7, 2012 featuring images from Ctyrlistek in the King's Service. Ctyrlistek is one of the most popular children's comic books first published in 1969.

To make up the postage, the sender also used a 1Kc stamp from the May 9, 2007 flowers issue. 

Estonia - Tallinn, Toompea

For lovers of trains and train stamps, a beautiful cover with a special 12.12.12 date postmark. The envelope also shows the Sindi rail - a 1928 road bridge over the Parnu River.

The stamps are from a joint issue of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia celebrating railway bridges - issued October 25, 2012. There are four stamps in the set howing the Narva Bridge in Estonia (EUR0.45 and EUR1.00), the Carnikava Bridge in Latvia (EUR1.00) and the Lyduvinai Bridge in Lithuania (EUR1.00). 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Australia - Perth, WA

Cover bearing a special postmark 12.12.12. This special date pattern, when all three numbers in a date are the same, won't occur until after 88 years.

2012 Australia stamp - Christmas
Stamp used on the envelope is from the 2012 Christmas series issued on November 1, 2012 depicting both religious and non-religious themes. The non-religious stamps show Rudolph and presents (local card rate 50c) and bells (local mail 60c) while the religious ones show The Adoration of the Magi from a wool and silk tapestry in the Art Gallery of South Australia - local card rate (55c) and international card rate ($1.60).

Canada - Christmas Island, Nova Scotia

One of the cover exchanges I joined was for a Christmas themed cover and this is what I received from Canada. The postmark of Christmas Island makes this cover more interesting and theme focused. I'm really chuffed that the sender made a special effort to have this cover postmarked at Christmas Island. 

For 2012, Canada Post issued the Permanent domestic rate stamp above on October 15, 2012. This traditional Christmas stamp features the image of the Madonna and Child in stained glass is from one of the stained glass windows at St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Kingston, Ontario. 

On the same day three other Christmas themed stamps were issued featuring gingerbread cookies for Permanent domestic, US and International rate stamps.  . 

Did you know that the stamps above are enhanced with augmented reality? You can download a free StampsAlive app, hover your phone over the domestic permanent stamp with your device and choose from several decorating ideas. A good way to entice kids to stamp collecting!

Czech Republic - Bozi Dar

This beautiful Christmas cover came from Radim. He always manages to send covers with special postmarks or from special places.

Radim used two self-adhesive permanent rate "A" stamps issued on November 7, 2012. The postmark is from Bozi Dar, a town in the Karlovy Vary Region. The name translates to Gift of God. This is one of the places known for having a Santa's Post Office.
The cover above also has a 12.12.12 postmark.
Thank you Radim.

USA - Santa Claus, Indiana

What started me on this hobby of collecting covers is discovering the varied and interesting places all over the world.

The cover below is an example of this - a Christmas themed cover with a special postmark from Santa Claus, Indiana.

Yes there is such a place as Santa Claus in the US. Apparently the town of Santa Fe, established in 1854, was denied its application for a post office since there was already a Santa Fe recorded with USPS. A town meeting was held and the townspeople elected instead to rename it as Santa Claus.
It is the only post office in the world to bear the name and as such receives thousands of letters to Santa from all over the world. Every year a Christmas pictorial postmark is chosen from designs submitted by art students from Heritage Hills High School.
On the cover are two stamp issues from October 2012. The first is a Forever stamp (45c) depicting the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. Interestingly enough, this stamp was unveiled at the Bethlehem Chapel of the Washington National Cathedral.
The second stamp is actually a composite of four self-adhesive Forever stamps featuring Santa and his sleigh circling around snow-covered rooftops.


Not a country I usually get a cover from so this one definitely belongs here.

Cyprus issued commemorative sheet (EUR0.68) and two stamps (EUR0.22 and EUR0.51) on November 14, 2012 in time for the holiday season. All the stamps depict the Virgin and Child. These icons were on exhibit at the Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop of Makarios III Foundation.
2012 Cyprus stamp - EUR0.68 Virgin and Child

Argentina - Villa Maria

Argentina issued one stamp for the Christmas season on November 17, 2012 . The ARS3 stamp illustrates the traditional Birth scene made of clay and minerals extracted from the hills of Purmamarca. The same illustration can also be seen on the envelope and the stamps have been cancelled with a special Christmas postmark which I think shows a Kolla woman and child.

The other stamp used to make up the postage is from the Argentine Culture set issued on August 30, 2000. Comprising of ten stamps ranging in denomination from 10c to ARS9.40, each of the stamps show artefacts from the different cultures that make up the people of Argentina. The one above is of a funerary urn from the Belen culture.

Croatia - Velika Gorica

On the theme of Christmas, an exchange partner from Croatia sent this cover to me.

On the cover is a stamp  (issued November 15, 2012) illustrating the star that guided the Three Wise Men to where the Holy Child was born and a New Year stamp issued on December 4, 2012. The illustration for the New Year stamp was done by Sara Saravanja, a 7th form pupil from Slavonski Brod who was one of the many students who were asked draw how they see Santa. She drew Santa lighting the star system and lots of presents as a desire for abundance in the new year.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Thailand - Yannawa, Bangkok

From Thailand, the 3D stamp on the right is one of two lenticular stamps depicting a Thai puppet show. This stamp was issued for the Philatelic Exhibition on August 9, 2009.

2009 Thailand stamp - BHT25 lenticular Thai puppet show
This is a very special cover for me because I like unusual stamps. I have shown the other stamp in this set. Also on the cover is from an April 13, 1998 issue of a wild cat - Panthera pardus.

China - Lhasa, Tibet

Postcard from Lhasa, Tibet. Peter was travelling there and had offered to send a postcard in exchange for one of mine.
I like that the postmark is the same as the temple, Gadan Songzanlin, shown in the postcard. It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Yunnan.

USA - Palatine, Illinois

The two covers here came from an exchange partner in Stampboards (

Stamps from the cover above are from the joint issue between France and USA featuring Edith Piaf and Miles Davis. Both stamps were issued on June 12, 2012, the first time since 1989 that France and USA have jointly issued stamps. And for the first time, a QR code is printed on the back of the stamps that when scanned opens to a page with the option of listening to music from Miles Davis while viewing photographs and a timeline of the lives of the two artists. 

The second cover features Disney Pixar Films on stamp issued on June 1, 2012.

Both covers are very beautiful with the added pictures printed on the envelope itself.

Czech Republic

For those who collect fauna on stamps, the one shown below would be a delight.

2009 Czech Republic stamp - Nature Protection Krivoklatsko Region 17Kc Tyto alba (Barn owl)
Issued for the Nature Protection of the Krivoklatsko Region on September 2, 2009, the pane above is one of four designs in the miniature sheet. The Krivoklatsko Region is among the UNESCO Biosphere reserves. The rest of this beautiful miniature sheet is shown here. Other animals shown are the CZK14 Bubo bubo (Eurasian eagle-owl), CZK10 Eudia pavonia (Emperor moth) and CZK12 (Red deer). 

Also on the cover is a stamp from May 27, 1998 showing Frantisek Kmoch, a Czech composer and conductor. 

Ukraine - Kharkiv

 Here is a refreshing cover from Ukraine.

2012 Ukraine Summer Flowers souvenir sheet
The sender has used two stamps from the Summer Flowers issue on September 1, 2012 - a AUH2.50 Alcea rosea and a AUH3.30 Fragaria vesca (strawberry). Other stamps on this issue (which actually comes in a miniature sheet) are AUH2.00 Cerasus vulgaris (sour cherry) and UAH2.00 French marigold.

Now if only I can read Ukrainian language so I'll know what's written on the picture on the envelope.  

Malaysia - Penang

These hexagonal shaped stamps on cover are really lovely. 

2012 Malaysia stamp - Banknote stamps miniature sheet
Malaysia issued these stamps - the second in a series - on July 16, 2012. Eight 60 sen stamps show the front and back of the new coins issued by Bank Negara Malaysia. Six new banknotes were also issued and are depicted in RM5 stamps in two separate pieces containing 3 miniature sheets each. These set of stamps are printed with hot stamp foiling and the 60sen stamps are embossed to bring out the details of the coins. The RM5.00 stamps featuring the banknotes contain silver foil hot stamping to represent the security thread on the notes. 

Malaysia - Johor

Cover showing Malaysian holidays. The envelope must have caught in the sorting machine because there is quite a bit of ink smudge in the second and third stamps.

The second in the Malaysian Festivals series, these stamps were issued on September 27, 2012. The set of stamps, all with a denomination of 60sen, depict the festivals of Hari Raya Aidiladha, Thaipusam, Moon Cake Festival, Regatta Lepa and Kaul Festival. The first three festivals are celebrated nationwide while the Regatta Lepa and the Kaul festival are celebrated only in Sarawak and Sabah respectively. The stamps have a special diffractive holographic foil. 

Russia - Chelyabinsk

Even though the postmark is a bit smudged, I thought I should still post this cover because it shows whales - one of my favourite themes on stamps.

These two stamps come from the Fauna of Russia - Cetacea series issued on February 8, 2012. The RUB15.00 stamp features the killer whale (Orcinus orca) and the RUB20.00 features the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

Canada - Rothesay, NB

This cover from Canada is franked with a minisheet to commemorate the wedding of  HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton. A really good cover apart from the spray cancel.

Canada Post issued these two stamps on April 29, 2011. The domestic PERMANENT rate stamp shows a photo of the couple when they announced their engagement while the international rate stamp (CAD1.75) features their official engagement picture.

India - Bangalore

A first day cover from India celebrating  the Festival of Lights. This is a joint issue celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations with Israel .

The stamps were issued on November 05, 2012. Both Deepavali and Hannukah mean Festival of Lights. The stamp from India shows a row of traditional earth lamps representing Deepavali and is issued in denominations of INR5 and INR100. The stamp from Israel features a menorah with a Star of David and is issued in NIS2 denomination each.

Ukraine - Sholokhove

I thought this cover had to be included here because one of the stamps used came from a minisheet (shown below) showing stamps on stamp. 

This minisheet, issued on August 13, 2012, shows postage stamps issued in 1923. The four stamps have a denomination of UAH2.00, UAH2.50, UAH4.30 and UAH4.80.

The other two stamps are from a definitive series issued on February 3, 2012 showing the European ash (Fraxinus excelsior). Other stamps in this issue were rowan or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) - UAH5.00, horse chestnut or conker tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) - UAH50.00, 
English oak (Quercus robur) - UAH2.00.


An official card from postcrossing. The sender liked Vincent Van Gogh and had sent me a postcard of one of his paintings. This was a welcome addition to my collection because I also like Van Gogh. 

Painting by Vincent Van Gogh

One of the stamps used was a Christmas themed stamp issued on October 26, 2005 and a New Year themed stamp issued on December 12, 2006. 

The other stamps were definitive stamps from a series issued on August 29, 2008. There are 15 stamps in the series with values ranging from RUB0.10 to RUB25.00. The designs on these stamps were of a rabbit, fox, lynx, moose and bear.