Tuesday, February 21, 2017

175th Anniversary of the Postage stamp 3.9.2015

Before 1st May 1840, posting a letter was a very complicated and expensive affair. It could cost the equivalent of a days wage, and it was charged by how many sheets of paper were used and how far it had to travel. Normally the recipient had to pay the cost.

Sir Roland Hill was responsible for reforming the British postal system, and as part of this a competition was held for the public to design the world’s first adhesive postage stamp. However none of the entries were thought suitable, so instead they used the profile sketch of a then 15 year old Queen Victoria. This image was used on stamps until the end of her reign. Because the Penny Black was the first postage stamp in the world, it did not show a country of origin, and to this day British stamps are the only stamps in the world that do not state what country they are from.
Thank you Merja.

The Bialowieza Forest 26.11.2005

The Bialowieza Forest in Poland, located between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, is one of the largest forests in Europe. It is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain. The forest is home to 800 European bison, Europe's heaviest land animal. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) designated the Polish Biosphere Reserve Białowieża in 1976 and the Belarusian Biosphere Reserve Belovezhskaya Puschcha in 1993. In 2015, the Belarusian Biosphere Reserve occupied the area of 216,200 ha (2,162 km2; 835 sq mi), subdivided into transition, buffer and core zones. The forest has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an EU Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation. The World Heritage Committee by its decision of June 2014 approved the extension of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Białowieża Forest, Belarus, Poland”, which became “Białowieża Forest, Belarus, Poland”. It straddles the border between Poland (Podlaskie Voivodeship) and Belarus (Brest and Grodno voblasts), and is 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of Brest, Belarus and 62 kilometres (39 miles) southeast of Białystok, Poland. The Białowieża Forest World Heritage site covers a total area of 141,885 ha (1,418.85 km2; 547.82 sq mi). Since the border between the two countries runs through the forest, there is a border crossing available for hikers and cyclists.

Monday, February 20, 2017

France – Vatican Joint Issue 10.11.2005


Drawings by Raphael, both preserved in the Louvre Museum in Paris: "St. Catherine of Alexandria" and "Young Draped Man".  

Sports Stamps 3.6.1980

(50c) World Team Olympiad was an international bridge tournament for national teams, held once every four years. Each country of the World Bridge Federation was a member had the right to register one team in each of three categories: open, women and seniors (added in 2000). The first edition was held in 1960. The tournament has twice held in the Netherlands in 1980 in Valkenburg and Maastricht in 2000. From 2008 World Team Olympiad was continued under the name World Bridge Games .

(60+25c) The 1980 Summer Paralympics (branded as the Olympics for the Disabled) (Dutch: Paralympische Zomerspelen 1980) were the sixth Paralympic Games. They were held in Arnhem, Netherlands, from June 21 to 30, 1980.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Finland Centenary & the Finnish Flag 20.1.2017

Finland's centenary will be visible in many ways, and postage stamps are no exception. The jubilee year began with the Finnish National Flag stamps illustrated by Ossi Hiekkala.  
The Finnish flag first flew on the Reconstruction work - Finnish Flag stamp from 1941. The stamp, drawn by Signe Hammarsten Jansson, was part of a Finnish Red Cross series used to raise funds for charity.
Thank you Ella.

Monte-Carlo Magic Stars 5.9.2005

This event was started in 1985 under the aegis of HSH Prince Rainier III of Monaco and has become a flagship event recognized by all the great magic professionals around the world. Its purpose is to defend the Art of Magic and to make it better known to the general public.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Villefranche-sur-Mer 4.6.2005


This is a tourism promotion stamp. Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera.
The main activity remains tourism, with hotels and restaurants employing a sizeable portion of the population. Traditional activities, like fishing, have now given way to sea-related activities, such as sailing and deep sea diving. Some dockyard activity remains at the harbour of “la Darse” but most of it has now been moved to Antibes. Residential construction and maintenance, which provided a lot of employment in the mid 20th century, has now subsided considerably.