Saturday, December 4, 2021

USA: Maggie Simpson

On 9th November I got a postcard from the USA.

It shows Maggie Simpson. Maggie Simpson is the youngest child of Marge and Homer Simpson and the younger sister of Bart and Lisa. She is usually portrayed as being not able to speak, but at some rare occasions she was talking a few words. The only time that actually comes to my mind is in the episode Lisa's First Word, when she says "Daddy" unheard by everybody else. It seems like most other occasions actually happened in Halloween episodes. 

Three of my favourite stamps of all time were used here. This set of five stamps was issued for the 20th anniversary of the Simpsons on 7th May 2009. These stamps actually turned out to be a desaster for USPS. 1billion were printed, but only 318million were sold. Reasons were most likely that way too many were printed and that these are 44 cent stamps and not Forever stamps. That resulted in the destruction of the remaining stamps when prices were increased. I have a complete set of them in mint condition and also got Bart and Lisa on a card years ago, so it is great to finally have them all on cards as well. Next up I should try to get a complete sheet or a set of FDCs. You also have to watch the episode of Exploring Stamps that Graham Beck has done about them. It was the first I had seen and it immediately got me hooked.

Thank You very much Audra!

Germany: Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover

On 9th November I visited the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover.

The Wilhelm Busch Museum opened in 1937 and after some moves it is now located in the Georgenpalais in the Herrenhausen Gardens. The museum houses the World's largest collection of works by Wilhelm Busch and also works by other artists of satirical art. This card shows a self portrait by Wilhelm Busch. As Busch is most famous for Max and Moritz and his other picture storys, it is not widely known that he also painted portraits and landscape paintings.

Canada: Burrard Bridge

On 6th November I got four postcards: one from Canada and three from Germany.

The card from Canada shows the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver. The Burrard Bridge was constructed across the False Creek between 1930 and 1932. It is one of the most famous examples of Art Deco architecture in Canada.

Three nice stamps were used here. The first one is from the annual Community Foundation series and was issued on 20th September 2021. The surcharge is used to benefit various charities across Canada. The fireflies on the stamp are said to glow under UV light, but unfortunately I do not any to test it. The next stamp is about Valour Road (issued 21-10-2021). Valour Road or originally known as Pine Street is a road in Winnipeg. It got its current name in 1925, as three residents of the street individually received the Victoria Cross for bravery during World War I. These three men were Corporal Leo Clarke, Sergeant-Major Frederick William Hall and Lieutenant Robert Shankland. Only Shankland survived the war and attended the ceremony for the renaming. The last stamp honours late actor Christopher Plummer (issued 14-10-2021) and shows him in the roles of Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Rudyard Kipling in The Man Who Would Be King, John Barrymore in Barrymore, King Lear in King Lear and Prospero in The Tempest, so two movie and three stage roles. His career spanned seven decades and he was the only Canadian to win the Triple Crown of Acting consisting of Academy, Emmy and Tony Award. The only of his movies I have actually seen are however Star Crash, 12 Monkeys and just today Knives Out.

Thank You very much Tristan!

Germany: Bad Ems

On 6th November I got four postcards: three from Germany and one from Canada.

One of the cards from Germany shows Bad Ems. Bad Ems is one of the most famous bathing resorts in Germany. It is located on the river Lahn in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate and reached its heyday in the 19th century, when many monarchs and other famous persons came to spend their time in Bad Ems. Then it was known as "Weltbad" (Bathing Resort of the World). Famous visitors were for example Richard Wagner, Nicholas I of Russia, Victor Hugo, Clara Schumann and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In 1870 King Wilhelm I of Prussia spent the summer months Bad Ems. There the French ambassador came to him to demand the waiver of the House of Hohenzollern of the Spanish throne. Otto von Bismarck was informed by an internal telegram, which he modified and reduced and which he finally released to the press. The translation of this Ems Dispatch (Emser Depesche) caused indignation in France and resulted in the Franco-Prussian War in July 1870. Six years later Emperor Alexander II of Russia signed here the Ems Ukaz, which prohibited the use of the Ukrainian language. As one of the Great Spas of Europa is Bad Ems since July 2021 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The stamp shows a residential area in Lübeck (issued 02-01-2021).

Thank You very much Marcel!

Germany: Nassau Castle

On 6th November I got four postcards: three from Germany and one from Canada.

One of the cards from Germany shows Nassau Castle. Nassau Castle was built around 1100 as the original seat of the House of Nassau, an aristocratic dynasty among whose descendants are the present-day monarchy of Luxembourg and the Netherlands. By the 20th century only ruins of the castle remained which were completely destroyed in World World II, but in the 1970s parts of the castle were reconstructed according to an etching by Matthäus Merian.

The recent Heinzelmännchen stamp from the series Sagenhaftes Deutschland (issued 07-10-2021) was used here and it got cancelled with a Covid-19 postmark from the mail sorting centre 56 in Koblenz. It is always nice to get stamps like this also on "real" (commercial) mail and not only on the philatelic cards I send to myself.

Thank You very much Marcel!

Germany: Lahneck Castle

On 6th November I got four postcards: three from Germany and one from Canada.

One of the cards from Germany shows Lahneck Castle. Lahneck Castle is a medieval fortress dating back to the 13th century and standing on a steep rock salient above the confluence of the Lahn River with the Rhine. According to legend the last 12 Templars took refuge in the castle in 1312, where they perished in a heroic fight to the death with forces of Mainz Archbishop Peter of Aspelt, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was inspired by the sight of the castle to write the poem Geistesgruß from Faust I, but best known the castle is probably for the death of the 17-year-old English tourist Idilia Dubb in 1851, who was climbing the castle's tower when the wooden stair collapsed behind her. As part of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley is the castle since 2002 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The recent Heinzelmännchen stamp from the series Sagenhaftes Deutschland (issued 07-10-2021) was used here.

Thank You very much Marcel

Japan: Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum

On 5th November I got a postcard from Japan.

It shows the Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum. The Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum is a museum in Matsuyama in the Ehime Prefecture and inspired by Ryōtarō Shiba's novel Saka no ue no kumo, a historical novel set in the Meiji Era. The museum was constructed by Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando between 2004 and 2006.

The second stamp from the French-Japanese joint issue set of two about Mailboxes (issued 08-10-2021) was used here, which shows a French mailbox. The special postmark is from Tonosho in the Kagawa Prefecture.

Thank You very much Keiko!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

My Trip to Hamburg

On 3rd November I was in Hamburg.

The first duty of the day was checking the shops at the train station for postcards and I really found a very good one for my new collection of train stations. This card however does not show the Hamburg Hauptbahnhauf, which I already have, but the former Hamburg-Altona Station. This train station was built between 1893 and 1898 by Hermann Eggert, who had already designed the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. It should be noted that at this time Altona was not yet a district of Hamburg, but an independent city in Prussia. During World War II the train station was badly damaged and rebuilt in a simplified form. In 1974 however it was demolished. 

After buying enough cards I went for a walk to the Museum am Rothenbaum, one of the largest museums of ethnology in Europa. Its full name is Museum am Rothenbaum - Cultures and Arts of the World, which leads to the German abbreviation MARKK. Known as Museum of Ethnology until 2018, it was renamed, as the old name evoked negative associations and emotions in a cosmopolitan and multicultural society. Together with the renaming the museum also underwent a content-related reorientation. This for example includes a constructive dealing with a restitution of objects to their original countries and societies. I had already visited the museum in 2020, but as I enjoyed it very much, I came for this second visit. When I was there two interesting special exhibitions were shown. The first deals with Duala king Rudolf Manga Bell and second showed artifacts from the Silk Road. These first three cards show exhibits from these two exhibitions and the third card shows a Benin Bronze from an upcoming exhibition. The other two cards are about the Día de los Muertos.

Germany: Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn

On 2nd November I got a postcard from Germany.

It shows Roman funerary goods from the collection of the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn. The Rheinisches Landesmuseum is a cultutal history museum with a focus on the Rhineland. It was opened in 1820 and thus one of the oldest German museums of its type. 

The stamp shows the most famous son of Bonn, Ludwig van Beethoven (issued 02-01-2020).

Thank You very much Marcel!

Sam-Quito's Postmark Covers of October

November went by so fast, but I have published many posts during this month. These are the covers from Sam-Quito that arrived in October, which means that I am now just one month behind with updating my blog. 

The first two covers of the month arrived on 2nd October. Three nice stamps were used on this one. On the right are two stamps about Robotics and Biomedicine from a set of five about Innovation (issued 20-08-2020) and on the left is a stamp from a set of six about National Letter Writing Week (issued 25-02-1980). This one is called Letters Lift Spirits. The postmark is about the Butterfield Days in Pottsville.

In the cover was this interesting card. The backside reads: "Prescribed burns are designed to divert smoke away from homes and roads, while thinning vegetation that could fuel a damaging wildfire. Protecting humans saftey and health are our top priorities."

On the second cover eight stamps from the Americana series were used. This was a series of definitive stamps issued between 1975 and 1981, which looked back at 200 years of US history. From left to right these eight stamps are "To Cast A Free Ballot * A Root of Democracy" (issued 08-12-1977), "Right of People Peaceably to Assemble" (issued 24-11-1975), "Lonely Beacon Protecting Those Upon the Sea", (issued 14-04-1978), "Freedom of Conscience * An American Right" (issued 08-04-1981), "American Schools * Laying Future Foundations" (issued 27-08-1979), "Liberty Depends on Freedom of the Press"(issued 13-11-1975), "Midnight Ride * One if by Land, Two if by Sea" (issued 14-11-1975) and "A Public That Reads * A Root of Democracy"(issued 08-12-1977). The postmark commemorates the 50th anniversary of USPS.

The card shows an old poster of the Petrified Forest National Park in the US State of Arizona. The Petrified Forest National Park was established in 1962. It is known for its large deposits of fossils and petrified wood.

On 5th October arrived this cover with a nice postmark about the Postmark Collectors Club. With this stamp it is no wonder that this cover is perfectly cancelled. The two stamps from the set of five about Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic (issued 06-08-2021) got the special postmark and the small stamp about Oliver Wendell Holmes (issued 08-03-1968) got a normal round date postmark.

The card shows the logo of the Route 66.

On 7th October arrived the next two covers. This one got Genome Sequencing and Solar Technology from the Innovation set, a stamp called Letters Shape Opinions from the set of National Letter Writing Week and a postmark of the Pioneer Days in Albany.

The card shows a dramatic view of the International Balloon Festival in Albuquerque.

On the second cover of the day are stamps about Clara Maass (issued 18-08-1976), an American Kestrel (issued 10-05-1995) and two stamps from a set of five called Enjoy The Great Outdoors (issued 13-06-2020). Clara Maass was an American nurse who died as a result of volunteering for medical experiments to study yellow fever. The postmark is called The Road to Boston 2026, a reference to the World Stamp Exhibition planned for the 250th anniversary of the US Independence in Boston in 2026.

In the cover was another card about the Petrified Forest National Park.

On 8th October arrived three covers which are best viewed together, as they all have butterfly postmarks from the SEAPEX Stamp Show in Seattle. Used are three smaller stamps and six stamps from a set of eight about Backyard Games (issued 12-08-2021).

The cards in all three covers show blooming flowers of the desert.

On 12th October came a cover from El Cajon with one of the popular Date Meets ZIP postmarks. The two stamps on the right are from a set of five about Tap Dancing (issued 10-07-2021) and on the left is a Christmas stamp with a Child on Rocking Horse and Christmas Tree (issued 18-10-1978).

In the cover was this card about Tequila.

The last cover of the month arrived on 25th October. Five stamps are used here. On the left are two stamps from the set about National Letter Writing Week. This one has the great name Letters Preserve Memories. The other stamp commemorate the 25th anniversary of World War II Bonds (issued 26-10-1966), the Raven Story (issued 30-07-2021) and the Heroes of 9/11 (issued 07-06-2002).

Inside was another fire card. Here the backside reads: "Smoke is drawn away from houses and roads into the center of a prescribed burn. Through a long-term program of using fire in natural areas, we can reduce the risk of damaging wildfire and the impacts of smoke to nearby communities."

Thank You very much Sam-Quito!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Germany: Hagen Monument in Worms

On 30th October I got two postcards: one from Germany and one from France.

The card from Germany shows the Hagen Monument in Worms. Hagen is a character in the legend of the Nibelungs where he is the murderer of Siegfried and who later drowns the treasure of the Nibelungs in the Rhine. This statue of him was erected in 1905 and is an early example of the revived interest in the Nibelungs at the beginning of the 20th century.

The stamp shows Siegfried and the Dragon and comes from the series Sagenhaftes Deutschland (issued 07-10-2021). The postmark I got here shows a dragon holding Worms' coat of arms.

Thank You very much Marcel for sending me the card in an envelope!

France: Pau

On 30th October I got two postcards: one from France and one from Germany.

The card from France shows various views of Pau. Pau is a commune overlooking the Pyrenees in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. From 1464 until the end of its independence in 1620, Pau was the capital of the sovereign principality of Béarn. Under the reign of Henry d'Albret it was a leading political and intellectual centre.

The card was cancelled in the philatelic shop in Pau. The stamp is from the series about handicrafts and deals with the production of objects with feathers. Issued on 27th September, the stamp is printed with a special treatment to evoke the look of a real feather. 

Thank You very much William!

Italy: Museo del Novecento

On 28th October I got a postcard from Italy.

It shows a painting by Italian Futurist artist Furtunato Depero from the collection of the Museo del Novecento in Milan. The Museo del Novecento is a museum about the art the 20th century. The biggest part of the collection comes from Italian artists and Futurist artists in particular, but there are also works of foreign artists in the museum. It was opened in 2010. 

The left stamp shows an artistic depiction of the Winged Victory Statue in Brescia (issued 21-11-2020). The stamp was issued to celebrate a finished restauration of the statue. The other stamp was issued for the Centenary of the Congress of Livorno (issued 21-01-2021), the founding event of the Communist Party of Italy. 

Thank You very much Marco!