Monday, January 10, 2022

South Korea: National Museum of Korea

Last Monday I got my first postcard of 2022. It came from South Korea.

The card shows the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. The National Museum of Korea was established in 1945 and is the most important museum about Korean art and history. Since its opening the museum moved several times. It is located at its current location since 2005 and since then it turned into one of the most visited museums in the World. What a great start for the new year!

The card was sent with a stamp about the Year of the Tiger (issued 07-12-2021) and its First Day Special Postmark. It is from a set of two and all the elements on the card are embossed.

Thank You very much Park!

Friday, December 31, 2021

Stamp Order from New Zealand

On 30th December I got my stamp order from New Zealand.

One of the main reasons to order the stamps was the new set about the Year of the Tiger (issued 01-12-2021). I like the colours of these and it is nice to see that they used the same art style as last year.

Of course I also ordered the stamps about the 20th anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring (issued 01-09-2021), the first installment in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have just seen that for this year a set is already announced for the 20th anniversary of the second movie, The Two Towers. Beside the mint souvenir sheets I also bought this set of maxicards.

Unlike most other postal administrations New Zealand Post used real stamps to send the envelope. Beside two definitives there is even a commemorative stamp about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (issued 07-10-2020), which of course were not held until 2021. 

Italy: Como

On 29th December I got a postcard from Italy.

It shows a view of Como. Como is a city in Lombardy on the shores of Lake Como. Known primarily as tourist destination, it was also the birthplace of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger, the famous Roman authors. At this time the city was however called Novum Comum.

The card was cancelled in the philatelic shop in Como and the stamp commemorates the Centenary of Sirti (issued 21-11-2021), a telecommunication company.

Thank You very much William!

Austria: Christkindl

On 24th December I got a postcard from Austria.

It shows an illustration of Christkindl. Christkindl is a village in the Austrian State of Upper Austria. It is known for its pilgrimage church and Christmas post office, which answers the letters of children since 1950. Every year it processes nearly 2million letters. 

I have already got a few cards sent with special postmarks from Christkindl, but this is the first time that I got a "Über Postamt Christkindl" (Via post office Christkindl) label. If affixed to a piece of mail it is sent first to Christkindl and then forwarded to the address on the mail. They can be bought directly from the Austrian mail for the prize of a national letter and a new one is issued every year. This is the version of 2020. The stamp used here celebrates the Birth Centenary of Reinhold Stecher (issued 19-11-2021). Reinhold Stecher was Bishop of Innsbruck, artist and stamp collector.

Thank You very much Anna!

Italy: Vercelli

On 23rd December I got a postcard from Italy.

It shows various views of Vercelli. Vercelli is a city in Piedmont. Inhabited for circa 3000 years, it flourished in the Middle Ages due to its strategic position at an alpine pass. Nowadays it is an important centre for rice cultivation and trade.

The stamp commemorates the Centenary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (issued 19-10-2021). It was originally cancelled in the philatelic shop in Vercelli, but was later double cancelled.

Thank You very much William!

cover from Italy

On 21st December I got five covers including two from Italy.

This one was sent with three stamps. They commemorate the Centenary of the Congress of Livorno (issued 21-01-2021), the 40th anniversary of the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces (issued 15-01-2021) and Girolamo Minervini (issued 19-11-2020). Girolamo Minervini was an Italian magistrate who was assassinated by the Red Brigades in 1980.

In the cover was this sheet about Italian Melodrama and Lyric Theater (issued 27-01-2001). It has to be mentioned that this sheet is printed with a dual currency, Lira and Euro.

Also in the cover was this greeting card of Santa Clause. It reminds me a bit of A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Thank You very much Marco!

cover from Italy

On 21st December I got five covers including two from Italy.

One of them is a FDC of this year's Italian EUROPA stamps (issued 15-11-2021).

Thank You very much William!

cover from the Netherlands

On 21st December I got five covers including one from the Netherlands.

This psychodelic stamp is from a set of six about Caleidoscopes (issued 14-09-2020).

Thank You very much William!

covers from the USA

On 21st December I got five covers including two from the USA.

Both covers from the USA travelled very long. This one was postmarked on 30th July. Used on this one were stamps about Bart, Maggie and Lisa Simpson (issued 07-05-2009). I said it before and will say it again, but these are among my favourite stamps of all time. The postmark is from the Westpex Stamp Exhibition in California. 

The card in the cover shows the De Vargas Street House in Santa Fe. The De Vargas Street House is said to be one of the oldest buildings in the USA, but most likely just dates to the 17th century or younger. 

Homer and Marge used here complete the Simpsons set. The other stamp shows Cal Farley (issued 26-04-1996), a professional wrestler and businessman. The postmark is about Rodeos in Fortuna.

The card shows a scene of traditional bread making.

Thank You very much Sam-Quito!

cover from Russia

On 20th December I got a cover from Russia.

It was sent with the cute Russian Christmas stamp (issued 09-12-2021) and its First Day Special Postmark.

In the cover was this card of a monastery or church. I assume it is in Russia, but unfortunately the photo function of Google Translate only emits nonsense when I used it on the text on the front side. 

Also in the cover was this beautiful set about Modern Russian Trains (issued 02-08-2021).

Thank You very much Elena!

Germany: Childhood Heroes

On 2nd December the new stamps in the series Childhood Heroes were issued and on 18th December my cards with these stamps arrived.

The postcard value stamp shows Bibi and Tina. Bibi Blocksberg is the name of a young witch created by Elfie Donnelly in 1980. Until today over 140 episodes of the original audio drama were released and the character appeared also in TV shows and movies. Since 1991 there are also audio dramas released under the title Bibi and Tina, which deal with the adventures that Bibi experiences in her holidays together with her friend Tina on an equestrian farm. By now there are also over 100 episodes of this series, a TV show, movies and live performances. The first card I bought on Redbubble and turned into a maxicard, the second card was released by the German Post.

The letter value stamp deals with Die drei ??? (spoken: Die drei Fragezeichen, the three question marks). Die drei ??? was originally created in book form in the USA in 1964 under the title Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, although Hitchcock's name was just a bait. He was not really connected to the stories. In Germany the series became very popular in book and even more audio format and was continued after 1993 when no more US stories were released. Part of the German success of the series were the cover designs by Aiga Rasch. Shown on the stamp are her covers for the first book and the first audio drama. The first card I bought on Redbubble and the second one is actually a flyer for an exhibition at the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover, which I turned into a postcard.

cover from Germany

On 18th December I got not only four postcards but also a cover from Germany.

On the cover I used the first four values of the new definitive stamp series World of Letters (issued 02-12-2021). These are the new values for letters in the most common weight classes plus a 5ct stamp that can be used to add older stamps to the new values. Despite the matrixcode I like these stamps.

Christmas Mail from Me

Like every year I have once again send some Christmas cards to myself to collect the special postmarks. I sent them all out on 10th December.

The first card returned one week later on 17th December. It shows this cute illustration of forest animals sending mail. 

This card is however not from Germany, but arrived from Switzerland. I really like the Swiss Christmas stamps (issued 11-11-2021), ordered some online and saw that it is possible to get a Swiss Christmas postmark. So of course I had to take the chance. I was really suprised that this was the first card to arrive. Within one week it travelled from Germany to Switzerland, was perfectly postmarked and came back. That is true Swiss efficiency!

The first German card arrived on 21st December and it is the most hilarious Christmas card I have seen in the shops this year. Kloß is the German word for dumpling, so the card plays with the fact that Kloß sounds a bit like Clause and shows a dumpling with a Santa's hat.

On this card I got a postmark from the Christmas Market in Erfurt. The market as such I think was cancelled last-minute due to Covid-19, but as the stalls were already set up, they were allowed to remain and some could even sell their goods.

The second German card arrived on the same day and it shows an illustration similar to the first card.

Actually I was not planning to get this postmark for myself, but I was a bit absent-minded and put the card in the wrong cover. This is from Engelskirchen.

The last card took a day longer and arrived on 22nd December. I chose this card to get the postmark I actually wanted when I realised my mistake with the other card just on time.

Here is the postmark from St. Nikolaus that I get every year. It is a bit special this year, as on 6th December 2011 I got my first stamp album, so a personal jubilee for me.

cover from the USA

On 16th December I got a cover from the USA.

Five nice stamps were used here. The four stamps on the right form a complete set called Message Monsters (issued 24-09-2021). The sheet comes with small stickers that can be used to decorate the stamps and although I personally like them, they were not very well received by many other stamp collectors. In the online Linn's 2021 U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll they are currently in the lead for Worst Design and Least Necessary among the commemorative stamps. The other stamp commemorates the 500th birth anniversary of Martin Luther (issued 10-11-1983).

In the cover were six postcards: four maxicards from the United Nations and two other cards.

This card is the most special, as it is my first from the United Nations in Geneva. Shown on it is a view of the Palais des Nations. It was originally built between 1929 and 1938 to serve as headquarters of the League of Nations and since 1946 it houses one of the four main offices of the United Nations. Every year roughly 8000 smaller and bigger international meetings take place there. The stamp was issued in 1991 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Postal Administration, the body that is responsible for the UN stamps used in the three offices in Geneva, New York and Vienna.

The next card shows an exterior view of the United Nations Headquarters in New York and a very interesting stamp was used on it. Although the postmark is just from 2019, the stamp is actually from the first UN stamp set ever. Together with five other definitive stamps it was issued on 24th October 1951. It is interesting to notice that this stamp is inscribed in Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. These were at the time the five official languages of the United Nations. Arabic was added as official language in 1973. Nowadays however the UN stamps are incribed in French, English and German on the stamps for the offices in Geneva, New York and Vienna respectively. Official stamps for the offices in Geneva and Vienna by the way followed much later than the stamps from New York. I still wonder whether there is a possibility for stamps from the UN office in Nairobi in the near future.

The second card was also turned into a maxicard with the same stamp. This card shows the chamber of the United Nations Trusteeship Council, one of the six principal organs of the organisation established to help ensure that trust territories were administered in the best interests of their inhabitants and of international peace and security. The trust territories were mostly former mandates of the League of Nations or territories taken from nations defeated at the end of World War II and by 1994 have all attained self-government or independence. The organ is thus not really needed anymore and is inactive for over 25 years. It is however not eliminated, as that would require a revision of the UN Charter.

Although it looks similar to the long-running Endangered Species series, this maxicard from Geneva is actually from a seperate issue about Tropical Rainforests. This stamp from Geneva shows Orangutans, New York shows a Jaguar and Vienna chose the Ocelot. The card reminded me of a TED-Ed video I recently watched called "How smart are orangutans?". It is rather short, but you should check it out.

The other two cards show a view of Canada's Yukon and Carnival in Mexico.

Thank You very much Sam-Quito!