Thursday, November 26, 2015

Saint-Amand Abbey 17.9.1977

Saint-Amand Abbey (Abbaye de Saint-Amand), once known as ElnoElnon or Elnone Abbey, is a former Benedictine abbey in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, Nord, France.
 The abbey was founded sometime in the 630s in what was once a great tract of uninhabited land in the Vicoigne Forest between the Scarpe and the brook called the Elnon, from which the monastery took its first name, Elnon(e) Abbey. The founder was Saint Amand of Maastricht, under the patronage of Dagobert I. The name of the saint eventually became applied both to the abbey and the village that grew up round it.
Apart from its considerable effect on the landscape, the abbey became a major centre of study during the Carolingian Renaissance. Notable members of the community included Milo of Saint-Amand, author of aLife of Saint Amand, and his nephew, Hucbald of Saint-Amand, a noted music theorist and composer.
The abbey was totally destroyed by the Normans at the end of the 9th century. Although rebuilt, it was frequently destroyed by fire and the incidents of war, and was not completely restored until the 17th century, to an ambitious and much-admired plan implemented by Abbot Nicolas du Bois.
In 1672, Dom Mabillon discovered at the end of a manuscript of works of Gregory Nazianzen a text of the 10th century in Old German, the Ludwigslied, which commemorates the victory of the Frankish army of Louis III over the Normans on 3 August 881 at the Battle of Saucourt-en-Vimeu. This text is now considered one of the oldest written examples of the German language. The same manuscript, now held at the municipal library of Valenciennes, was found to contain one of the earliest literary texts in vernacular French, theSequence of Saint Eulalia. The Annales sancti Amandi, a set of annals of the Frankish kingdom, also originate from Saint-Amand.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Zealand Health Stamps 1947

The fountain was unveiled on 29 June 1893, and was erected in memory of Anthony Ashley-Copper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, who was recognised as one of the greatest reformers of the 19th century.  He is remembered particularly for his noble work for the abolition of child labour.  In 1833 he introduced the Factory Act which forbade employment of young children in factories.
The sculptor was Alfred Gilbert who was knighted in 1932 and who died in 1934 at the age of 80.  The model who sat for the sculptor was an 18 year old Italian youth, Angelo Colarossi, who was employed by a firm of aircraft manufacturers in England. The proceeds of the 'Health' value of these Health stamps were donated to the Children's Health Camps movement.
The details of the two stamps are:-
(1d + 1/2d printed in Green) and (2d + 1d printed in carmine)
The figure of Eros is eight feet in height, weighs nearly three hundred-weight and was cast in an alloy of aluminium.  For safe keeping the statue was removed and stored during both World War I and II.  In June 1947 the figure was cleaned, a new and stronger bow fitted and it was replaced in its position above the Fountain.  Printed in green.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Swiss - Aland Joint Issue 3.9.2015

On 3rd September 2015 sees the first joint issue between Åland Post and Swiss Post. The two stamps issued by both posts present glittering silver jewellery embellishing traditional folk dresses of the two countries.

The Åland shawl buckle is a so-called woggle in silver designed by Åland silversmith Viking Sundberg on the basis of older finds in Åland. The woggle is used to fastening the shawl and it is used with all Åland female folk dresses. The first Åland folk dresses appeared in 1908 and all 16 Åland municipalities have their own folk dress today.

The Swiss motif is a traditional Bernese Sunday costume brooch. The filigree brooch is made from delicately twisted silver threads and is one of a number of brooches worn with the folk costume. The cantonal dress has remained largely unchanged since the end of the 19th century and is still used for special occasions.

Please see my post dated 15.10.2015 for the Aland FDC.

Thank you Merja.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Poets 6.3.1978

Dimitris Theophani Lipertis (1866–1937) is a Cypriot born Greek poet and is considered as one of the most prominent poets of the island.

Vasilis Michaelides is considered by many and often referred to as the national poet of Cyprus.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bernard Buffet 4.2.1978

Bernard Buffet (10 July 1928 – 4 October 1999) was a French painter of Expressionism and a member of the anti-abstract art group "L'homme Témoin" (the Witness-Man).
At the request of the French postal administration in 1978, he designed a stamp (shown on the FDC)  depicting the Institut et le Pont des Arts – on this occasion the Post Museum arranged a retrospective of his works.
The Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts is a pedestrian bridge in Paris which crosses the River Seine. It links the Institut de France and the central square (cour carrée) of the Palais du Louvre, (which had been termed the "Palais des Arts" under the First French Empire).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ancient Coins 25.9.1972

Cyprus was, in the 6th century B.C., divided into ten kingdoms, those of Salamis, Paphos, Kourion, Kition, Lapithos, Marion, Amathus, Tamasos, Idalion and Soloi. Each kingdom had its own government with the Kings as an absolute monarch, who also had the right to strike coins. This right was continued to be held by the Kingdoms of Cyprus until the Ptolemaic conquest of the island at the end of the 4th century B.C. The most important of the kingdoms of Cyprus was that of Salamis where the first coins were struck circa 538 B.C., during the reign of King Evelthon. The remaining kingdoms struck coins in the 5th century B.C. The coins of the kingdoms of Cyprus were mainly of silver, but Salamis, Kition and Marion struck coins of gold during the 4th century B.C., most probably for economic reasons. Bronze was also used for the Cypriot coins.
The symbols on the Cypriot coins were at first of oriental origin but later in certain kingdoms they were replaced by Greek figures, mainly those of Gods Apollo and Athena. The inscriptions on the coins were at first in the Cypriot syllabary, but later from the 4th century B.C. in the Greek alphabetic writing.
During the Ptolemaic period after 294 B.C. the coins of Cyprus struck in the three Cypriot mints of Salamis, Paphos and Kition, copied the types of Ptolemaic coins of Egypt.
Of special importance were, in the Roman times, the coins of silver or bronze which had on the reverse the inscription "KOINON KYPRION" or the temple of Aphrodite and Paphos. These coins were struck in Cyprus as from the 1st century A.D.
The coins shown on the stamps are:-
(20) Silver stater of Marion
(30) Silver stater of Paphos
(40) Silver stater of Lapithos
(100) Silver stater of Idalion

Thank you Merja.

Friday, November 20, 2015


The settlement of the first Greek speaking tribes around 2000B.C. in the area occupied by Greece today is the beginning of a long period of on-going presence of Hellenism on the stage of history. During this period of 4000 years of Greek culture there were important milestones.
The Mycenaean civilization (26th 12th century B.C.) survived in the memory of future generations because of epic poetry. It was a brilliant period of strong kings and heroes, a picture that has been ascertained by archaeological excavations. The Mycenaean Greeks during their period of expansion settled in Cyprus too, another area where Hellenism appeared and continues ever since with unbreakable continuity.
Classical Greece and Athens especially of the 5th century B.C., gave the world together with the incomparable creations of art, speech and intellectualism, everlasting values like democracy, freedom and justice. The conquests of Alexander the Great brought the Greek spirit and civilization to the tour corners of the unknown world at the time.
The Byzantine civilization, the result of the mingling of Hellenism and Christianity - direct continuation of Greco-Roman antiquity - gave to modern Hellenism the basic elements which define its special mark and identity.