World Stamps

Inside Linn’s: An enduring symbol of East Germany

Aug 10, 2023, 8 AM
In the Aug. 28 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Stamps of Eastern Europe columnist Rick Miller recalls the philatelic legacy of East Germany’s Trabant, a car for the masses.

By Charles Snee

The Aug. 28 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Aug. 14. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Aug. 12. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

The Trabant, an enduring symbol of East Germany

In Stamps of Eastern Europe, Rick Miller introduces readers to the automobile known as the Trabant (or Trabi), which “was a series of small cars produced by the East German manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau from 1957 to 1991,” he explains. Among the eight stamps and covers Miller uses to illustrate his history of this workhorse car is the stamp shown above, which Germany issued in 1994 for the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall. In the design, a line of Trabis can be seen driving through a hole the wall.

Researching recent cachetmakers is a challenge

“Exhibitors and collectors of a specific issue often seek information about the cachets produced for that issue,” writes Lloyd de Vries in First-Day Covers. “You would think that would be easier for more recent issues than the ones from the early and middle 20th century, but the opposite is true.” He goes on to outline a number of factors that make such research difficult, such as important reference works that are now out of print and tough to locate. De Vries also discusses a subspecialty of first-day cover collecting that presents intriguing possibilities for those who decide to pursue it. You’ll have to read his column to learn more.

Kitchen Table Philately: mostly 1980s-2010 stamps

In each weekly issue of Linn’s, either E. Rawolik VI or E. Rawolik VII dissects the contents of a stamp mixture offered to collectors. E. Rawolik is a pseudonym that is also the word “kiloware” (a stamp mixture) spelled backward. This week, E. Rawolik VII pores over a 76-stamp sample from a $10 assortment advertised as containing “mostly 1980s-2010” stamps and “many topicals.” Rawolik highlights the oldest and most recent stamps in the sample, which came from Iran and Belgium, respectively, and states that the reviewed stamps “were well-distributed across 38 countries.” Enjoy the full review in this week’s issue of Linn’s.

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