Sunday, December 29, 2013


Hello to everyone who still happens upon this blog every now and then!

The blog I sent you to, two years ago, has now been discontinued.

So, as an update to my previous message I can now send you all to my latest blog, which deals with everything concerning stamp engravers. You'll find it by clicking HERE.

Hope to see you there!


Friday, November 18, 2011

The End

Oh dear, the title sounds rather ominous, but don't worry, it isn't really.

Yes, it does mean that this is the end of this blog. But fear not: I have been invited to start blogging for Stamp Magazine, so if you like what I've done so far, I would welcome you heartily to my new blog, which you can find here:

Or just click here.

Hope to see you there and thank you so much for having been here!

Love you all!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Roll on 2012 !

Ooh, yes, 2012 is going to be a great year for GB issues! And I haven't said that since 1999! We had already had the fantastic news about those great Olympic definitives, which will be issued on 5 January.
I love them and even though I'm anything but a sports/Olympics fan and even less of a sports/Olympics on stamps fan, I think these are absolutely great.

But it gets even better, for to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, we will get a diamond blue Machin first class stamp and an absolutely stunning miniature sheet.
It's so good and beautiful that I don't even know where to start! I'm in need of a myriad of superlatives! And all the values are first class stamps so we can actually use them on our everyday mail. The sheet will be issued on 6 February, with the Machin in various formats issued in February and March.
Life is good again!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I see green

Well well well. I only recently reported on a major change in the French definitives (see here), and here's yet another one! This is turning out to be a very nice and varied set!
I'm not totally in the know but I believe that for a long time there have been green definitives, representing a slower, surface mail rate. Now, these green definitives have become properly green.
The general definitive image has been placed into a leaf, ramming home its economic-friendly message. The publicity bumph glorifies the eco-friendly rate, as no airplanes are being used in the transport of mail franked with these stamps. Everyday users have, I believe, been grumbling for years that this rate represents mail taking ages and ages to reach its destination. But there you go.
I love the design, think it's quirky, and I like the idea behind it. And it's a perfect sideline in a collection of this set.
And what's even better: instead of the one green stamp which we used to have, the green stamp is now available for four different weight rates, in four different shades of green.
I'm a fan!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I've mentioned the ECSC before, the European Coal and Steel Community, founded in 1952 when the general idea in Europe was that economic cooperation was so much better than isolationism or even war. Among the top men involved with the foundation of the ECSC was Robert Schuman, then French Foreign Minister, after just having been French Prime Minister for some time.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the ECSC, Luxembourg issued a stamp in 1972, depicting a bronze by R. Zilli portraying Robert Schuman.

Just in case, like I did, you wonder why Luxembourg would portray him rather than "one of their own", I found out that he was actually born in Luxembourg, albeit more or less on the Lorraine border with France.
Another great item for my Peacemaking collection! Or should it go in my Engravers collection, under the B for Béquet?!


Friday, October 07, 2011

Purrfect (sorry!)

Just a short note today. I love cats and as such I've always been interested in cats on stamps. Downside? They're pretty much all horrific. I can't think of a single cat stamp I like! Until now, that is. For when I went to the Prestwick stamp fair this weekend, I finally found cat stamps I not only like but absolutely adore! They're a bit wacky, but they're so good and lifelike and great, that I had to buy them and I simply had to show them to you straightaway! (well, five days late but sometimes life gets in the way).
So here they are:

I wish I lived in Sweden! I would buy up to 1000 of that top right stamp and use nothing else on my mail for years to come!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

I believe it was the Dutch engraver Sem Hartz who once said when talking about recess-printed stamps that they are the gentlemen among stamps. And how true is that! He had just as outspoken an idea about multicoloured stamps: rubbish! In his view a well-engraved stamp only needed one colour. So he would hopefully have been pleased if he could have seen this post of mine, for it will feature nothing but monocoloured recess-printed stamps!
I'm still ploughing through the stamps I got from my friend Paulo, you see, and there's quite a few of recess-printed stamps among them. The set that I like in particular is the 1966 set to mark the Tercentenary of the Solemn Promise to Our Lady of Luxembourg. In plainer English this means that in 1666 the Mother of God was chosen as Patron Saint for the City of Luxembourg.
The stamps are engraved by abovementioned Sem Hartz and are absolute gems. He seems to have a bit of a fussy style, but there's so much to see on these, it's absolutely amazing. However, as usual, they look better in real life than in scans, but there you go.
Not being an expert at all, it is great to see that even within engraving there are different styles. Compare the two stamps shown above with the two coming up next.
These two were also issued in 1966. They seem to be very French in nature. No wonder I suppose, for they were engraved by the Frenchman René Cottet. I don't know what makes them French in style, is it the whiteness around the image, or is it maybe just the subject matter?
Yet another different style can be found in this 1980 stamp portraying Jean Monnet (yes, him again, which is why I was doubly pleased with this stamp as it fits in my Peacemaking collection!).
A very modern stamp and yet so well executed that for me it still proves good old Mr Hartz right!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forgive me but I've just received another batch of wonderful Europa stamps, from my dear friend Paulo, so I can't help myself, but I just have to show some of them to you. They make me feel so happy!

I promise I won't touch the subject again for some time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Errare humanum est
I've just finished a few features on errors in philately, so I'm probably still very much focused on that, but it's not why I bought this set. I only got it because I thought they looked nice! It is the 1952 set issued by the German Democratic Republic or DDR, marking cultural anniversaries. And it is the top value which displays the error.
The physician Avicenna was not born in 952, as inscribed on the stamp, but in 980!
The three other values mark the 150th birth anniversary of the writer Victor Hugo on the 12pf value,
the 500th birth anniversary of the artist Leonardo da Vinci on the 20pf value,
and the death centenary of the writer Nikolai Gogol.
The DDR designs became ever more communist in appearance, but in the early days they issued gems like these which is why it is such an interesting period to collect!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In dreams...
What is it with that woman? Why is it that I'm always enchanted by Victoria on stamps? Must be something Freudian! But once again I just had to give in and get the latest GB issue from Royal Mail, featuring the royals from the House of Hanover. And that meant buying low value commemoratives which are priced at over a £1 each! Which is really not done in my book but there you go. I had to because one of the top values depicts Queen Victoria.
Isn't it an absolute beauty?! She also features on the accompanying miniature sheet but I cannot get those from my post office.
When I will win the lottery, I will mosty definitely build up a Victorian collection. Mint of course! Not necessarily specialised, just one of each. Maybe even without the overprinted ones, just the crisp beautiful designs on page after page... Sigh...
Not having done that yet, I make do with a used collection of an as yet very meagre appearance. What I also plan to do is try and find an old Victorian album where I can put those in. Nearly got one on Ebay the other day but it went for over a £100 and that was really a bit too much for me.
So for the time being I'll have to be satisfied with victorian dreams...