World Stamps

Inside Linn’s: Latvia airmail semipostal stamps benefited wounded aviators

Sep 28, 2023, 9 AM
In Stamps of Eastern Europe in the Oct. 16 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Rick Miller profiles the airmail semipostal stamps issued by Latvia for the benefit of wounded aviators.

By Charles Snee

The Oct. 16 digital-only issue of Linn’s Stamp News will be available to subscribers Saturday, Sept. 30. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your in box, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers.

Latvia airmail semipostal stamps benefited wounded aviators

Semipostal stamps are often issued to support a particular organization or group of people. Beginning in December 1932, Latvia began issuing airmail semipostal stamps in support of aviators wounded in the line of duty. As Rick Miller explains in Stamps of Eastern Europe, these stamps “were widely condemned as exploitative by collectors of the day, but nowadays they are among the most valuable and sought-after Latvian stamps of the interwar period.” One of the more eye-catching issues is pictured here: a triangular 3-santim+53s denomination from the 1933 third set of airmail semipostal stamps. Miller notes that the swastika, which is shown below the biplane on the stamp, “was a national symbol of Latvia.”

U.S. stamps decorate a British exhibition cover

In U.S. Stamp Notes, John M. Hotchner treats readers to a most interesting cover that was mailed during the Penny Postage Jubilee Exhibition that was held in London in 1890. The exhibition celebrated 50 years of British stamps and the Universal Penny Post. The cover, mailed locally in London, is franked with a Great Britain 1887 1½-penny Queen Victoria Jubilee stamp (Scott 112) and two U.S. stamps that complement the cover’s eye appeal. You’ll need to read the column to learn the identity of the U.S. stamps.

New books: the Swiss National Exhibition 1939

Richard T. Hall, Linn’s Swiss Stamp Scene columnist, has published a massive, lavishly illustrated five-volume history of the Swiss National Exhibition held May 6-Oct. 29, 1939, in Zurich. “Collectors will want to give the first volume a particularly close review because it focuses on the stamps, postal cards, letter sheets and associated philatelic items that were produced for the exhibition,” writes Linn’s in a review of Hall’s magnum opus. All five volumes are available for purchase on the Amazon website. New books may be sent for consideration of review to Linn’s Editor, Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365. Reviews will be published on a space-available basis.

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