newsPapua New Guinea surcharges appear in 2014-15 for new rates
February 03, 2016 01:26 PMIn early January 2014, Papua New Guinea’s Post PNG decided to increase the supply of its 1.30-kina local rate postage stamps by revaluing obsolete 1.20k stamps. While there were 5-toea and 10t stamps from previous issues, some post offices had already run out of these denominations due to previous increases, thus the decision to surcharge stamps.
newsMonkey King to shine on Canada Lunar New Year stamps
February 03, 2016 01:26 PMThe Year of the Monkey is the eighth issue in Canada Post’s current 12-year Lunar New Year series, which began with Year of the Ox stamps in 2009 (Scott 2296-2297). The 2016 Year of the Monkey issue has two separate release dates: Jan. 11 for the permanent domestic letter-rate stamp (85¢), and Feb. 1 for the $2.50 international-rate stamp.
insightsIdentifying Belgium’s first stamp issue: the Epaulettes of 1849
January 30, 2016 09:04 AMIn the December 21, 2015, Linn’s monthly, I mentioned determined officials in London — early exponents of the adage “what is good for business is good for the country” — who put through a bold and astonishing postal reform that brought down rates, sometimes as high as 16 pence, uniformly to a single penny.
newsCamels on stamps of the classic era fun to collect
January 28, 2016 11:16 AMKnown as “ships of the desert,” camels have provided transportation, food, and fuel for people living in desert regions for more than 3,000 years, and their importance has long been recognized on postage stamps. In the classic era of postage stamps, 1840-1940, more than 30 postal entities issued stamps that picture camels, according to the American Topical Association’s checklist of camels and dromedaries.
newsCuba 1910 Patriots set marked return to home rule
January 28, 2016 09:22 AMHome rule returned to Cuba on Jan. 28, 1909, and a new set of portrait stamps was issued Feb. 1, 1910. Their designs closely resemble the single issue of 1907, Scott 238, which portrays Maj. Gen. Jose Antonio Maceo y Grajales, who was killed in the 1895-98 revolution and is considered by many historians to be the greatest Cuban war general.
newsClassic France: from republic to empire and back again
January 28, 2016 08:30 AMThe stamps of France reflect the dichotomy of French history. The French have been innovators in the arts and sciences, and people around the world enjoy the results of French creativity in food, wine, and fashion. Yet in modern times, the French polity has been in a near-constant state of turmoil until recently.
newsTip of the week: Portuguese Guinea Local Scenes souvenir sheet
January 27, 2016 04:07 PMWhen collectors of classic stamps think of beautiful colonial issues, British and French colonies often come first to mind. But Portugal possessed an empire that was older, as widespread and almost as vast as the British and French imperial powers. Many Portuguese colonial issues are just as attractive as their French and British contemporaries.
newsGreenland stamps show seasons, regional costumes, and child
January 26, 2016 08:30 AMGreenland issued seven stamps Jan. 18 featuring the seasons, national costumes and children’s rights. The Seasons stamps are part of the Sepac (Small European Postal Administration Cooperation) multination series for 2016. Sepac’s themes for previous years include scenery, animals, flowers, and culture.
newsThe quest for information about 1911 Glasgow Exhibition labels
January 25, 2016 08:00 PMA friend gave me the label shown nearby. He knew nothing about its origin, and thought I might like to write an article about it. Because I had never seen it before, I did a Google search on “1911 Glasgow Exhibition.” Information from various Internet sites told me that in 1911 there was an exhibition held in Glasgow called the Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry.
newsNew Zealand overprints for Pacific Islands began in early 20th century
January 22, 2016 09:36 AMOverprinted stamps of New Zealand were used by Pacific islands beginning in the early years of the 20th century. At that time, several of the British protectorate islands were annexed to New Zealand.
newsGood time to buy China Guan Yu’s Battle souvenir sheet
January 21, 2016 03:39 PMCurrently, most China stamp sets are selling at 55 percent to 65 percent of Scott catalog value. One item that has held its value well under these conditions is the 3-yuan Guan Yu’s Battle through the Five Passes souvenir sheet (Scott 2180) from the 1988 Literary Masterpieces set.
newsSwedish stamps celebrate nature
January 17, 2016 10:15 AMA new stamp from Sweden has a United States connection. It shows a reconstruction of a 75-million-year-old fossil found in the United States, according to the press release from Postnord, the company established in 2009 through the merger of Sweden’s Posten AB and Post Danmark.
insightsTwo pivotal years in Polish history and the colorful stamps behind them
January 15, 2016 12:29 AMWho’s up and who’s down in the politics of a nation is often reflected in the choices made for the subject matter of commemorative stamps. This dynamic is particularly evident in stamps issued in Poland in 1980 and again in 1990.
newsTwo baby monkeys pictured on China’s new stamp
January 14, 2016 08:27 PMChina issued three different stamps in January welcoming the new year and recognizing the Year of the Monkey as identified in the traditional Chinese zodiac. Something that’s caught the attention of collectors and international news reporters, however, is the fact that one of the stamps portrays an adult monkey holding two baby monkeys who are each giving the adult a kiss on the cheek.
insightsPhonograph Records first-day covers: Bhutan to Canada, via the Bahamas
January 14, 2016 08:00 PMMy story (Linn’s, Nov. 30, 2015) about a registered cover from Qatar bearing a set of Sheik Ahmad gold-foil stamps that sold for more than $1,100 on eBay precipitated some fascinating feedback from readers. One of the more engrossing of these replies came from Canada dealer and specialist John Jamieson of Saskatoon Stamp Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
newsStamps galore, exhibits, seminars, more await at World Stamp Show-NY 2016
January 14, 2016 10:00 AMWorld Stamp Show-NY 2016 opens May 28, and now is the time to start getting ready to attend the largest international philatelic exhibition in the United States since the Washington 2006 exhibition 10 years ago. Hundreds of dealers, thousands of exhibit pages, dozens of stamp societies and postal administrations, and more await you.
insightsCanada 1946 Peace issue postal history in new book
January 14, 2016 08:01 AMStamps and mail of the post-World War II era are an abiding interest because even issues you don’t collect can help you learn what to look for and where to focus. That’s why I enjoyed the handbook The Rates and Postal History of Canada’s Peace Issue 1946-1952 by H.M. (Mike) Street of Ancaster, Ontario, published in 2015 by the British North America Philatelic Society.
insightsTip of the week: Switzerland 1961 Four Evangelists set
January 13, 2016 02:35 PMOn Sept. 18, 1961, Switzerland issued a set of four stamps (Scott 406-409) commemorating the authors of the four Gospels in the Christian New Testament. The designs featuring St. Matthew and an angel, St. Mark and a winged lion, St. Luke and a winged ox, and St. John and an eagle were based on 15th-century wood carvings from St. Oswald’s Church in Zug.
newsFlemish paintings, Hieronymus Bosch, circus poster art on new stamps
January 11, 2016 08:00 AMThree postal administrations began the new year by issuing stamps related to art. Romania pictures Flemish paintings, the Netherlands shows a work by Hieronymus Bosch, and Monaco features examples of circus poster art.
newsStamps from UN, France salute climate conference
January 10, 2016 08:00 AMThe United Nations Postal Administration and France’s La Poste participated in a joint issue late last year to commemorate the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Le Bourget, France. The UNPA issued three stamps Nov. 24 to honor the conference, and La Poste issued a single stamp on that date. All of the stamps are round, representing the planet Earth.
insightsCyprus 1928 50th Anniversary of British Rule set good buy at $350 never hinged
January 09, 2016 10:45 AMOne of the most attractive British Empire sets ever issued is Cyprus’ 1928 set of 10 (Scott 114-123) commemorating the 50th anniversary of British rule. This is the key set of Cyprus stamps for British Empire collectors, and many of the stamps have topical appeal for collectors of archaeology, religion, architecture and coins on stamps.
insightsJulian Volio Llorente stamp is an affordable classic favorite
January 08, 2016 10:59 AMFor some reason, the 20-centimo stamp of Costa Rica’s 1910 Portrait issue (Scott 74) strikes a chord with me, and I find it extremely attractive. It was printed by the American Bank Note Co., as part of a set of eight stamps issued in 1910 (Scott 69-76), even though the stamps themselves say 1909 in the right-hand ribbon beneath the bust.
insightsEast Germany’s ‘blocked values’ and the APS ‘Black Blot’ program
January 07, 2016 10:59 AMAlthough East Germany’s implementation of its philatelic distribution system was unique, controlled dissemination of special stamp issues for collectors is almost as old as the hobby itself. Let’s consider a few notable precedents.
insightsNostradamus is surging with topical collectors
January 06, 2016 10:58 AMPopular in his time, Nostradamus enjoys an even wider following today. His prophetic works remain widely read because they were set in what was for him the far distant future and because they are specific enough to tantalize, yet vague enough that virtually anything can be read into them. On July 2, 2003, the 437th anniversary of his death, Romania issued a se-tenant pair of Nostradamus stamps (Scott 4592). These stamps fit well in topical collections of medicine, astrology and the occult.
insightsNorway North Cape issues show natural wonder at Europe’s tip
January 05, 2016 08:00 AMThe northernmost point of the European mainland is the Nordkapp — the North Cape — in Norway. I have never had the pleasure of visiting this most interesting place, but my wife has. On a cruise along Norway’s Atlantic coastline, her ship docked at Honningsvag, and the passengers were then taken by bus to the North Cape. Due north is the Arctic Sea. My wife tells me that they visited the cape on a day with windy, wet and misty weather. This is apparently the kind of weather visitors can expect. The North Cape has attracted thousands of tourists each year for more than a century.
insightsTip of the week: Kazakhstan 1999 Environmental Protection souvenir sheet
January 02, 2016 10:55 AMIn 1999, Kazakhstan issued an Environmental Protection souvenir sheet of three (Scott 283). One of the stamps commemorates the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on Aug. 29, 1991. The other two stamps promote saving the ozone layer and protecting nature, respectively. The large rainbow pictured in the selvage runs through two of the stamps.