Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Odd stamps : 03g 3D stamps (moving)

The Star Wars Saga is like a never ending story.
So far 8 episodes have been made so far (2018).

The story starts with episode 3... It was released in May 1977 already.
A time where space exploration was still more or less 'science fiction'. In the late 70's there was still hope, so 'a new hope' was warmly welcomed.
In May 1980, the empire strikes back, with a second movie, part 4 in the saga.
3 years later, again in May, the Jedi returns with episode 5.
Then the fans have to wait till ... May 1999 when a prequel (episode 1) comes to the theaters.

This 'first' episode was not a phantom menace to all movies that were made in 1999. With over one billion USD in revenue, it whipped out all other movies that year.
In 2002 (guess what ... in May) the clones attacked us again with a fifth movie. This movie was the second of the prequel series.
In ... May 2005, the prequel was completed with a 6th (of sith) revenge.

In 2015, the forces awakened again, and a third trilogy started, this time ... in December.
This movie had over 2 billion USD in revenues!
Two years later,George Lucas found a last Jedi to make the 2nd movie of the sequel-trilogy.
The movie came out in December as well...
Now it's waiting till (December) 2019 (?) for the ninth movie, to complete the trilogy-trilogy.

Many postal services took their part in the huge commercial succes of George Lucas' movies.
For this blog, I limit myself to 'odd' stamps on this topic.
Spain 3D sheet - Star Wars
Spain issued a 3D sheet, with 6 'stamps' depicting characters from the movie,
but only one out of the six stamps is actuallly a stamp.
Dart Vader on a 3D stamp Spain
The other 5 look similar but have no country name, nore a value.
The labels depict : A storm trooper - Chewbacca - R2-D2 - Yoda and C-3PO

It's not the best issue Spain made so far, and it's not a superb 3D-sheet either, but I guess it's a must have for all die hard fans ... but that's another movie.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Odd stamps : 03f 3D stamps (moving)

At the occasion of the 2010 Fifa World cup, the republic of Slovakia issued a sheet with two identical lenticular stamps.
On the stamp, a football (soccer) player is kicking a ball toward the goal on the opposite site of the field.
In the last 'image' the ball is out of sight, but the player cheers, as if he scored.

Slovakia - Lenticular stamp 2010
 The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa.
Slovakia survived two rounds, but got kicked out before reaching the quarter finals, by the Netherlands. The Netherlands became second in the end.
Slovakia 3D - 2010
Slovakia 3D - 2010
On the back side of the sheet, all 32 participating countries are mentionned, each in it's own group.

For the record .... Spain won the world cup in 2010 -  Germany became third.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Odd stamps : 10 b Stamps on/in wood or cork

It has been a while, but this is my second post on wooden stamps.
So far they are still rare.
Switserland issued a stamp on wood in 2014. It's an auto-adhesive stamp, protected by a peel-off foil.

5 swiss francs - 2014 - wooden stamp

The stamp is half a milimeter thick, what allows it still to be placed on a letter for acutal use.
Unfortunately few will have been put in circulation,
The issued stamp of 5 Swiss francs, is 5 times more expensive that the stamps for regular letters.
Probably it can be found as CTO.
Catalogue Michel rates it equal for mint or postally used.

More to come :-)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Theme : 1st issues : 08b Colombia (Dept. Bolivar)

Between 1863 and 1904, the 9 states and the 3 territories have issued their own stamps. From 1904 on, all stamps are issued under 'Colombia'.
State of Bolívar - Colombia
For the state Bolívar (North Colombia), Michel mentions 73 issues.
Here the first issue of 1863 is truely a very special issue.
Colombia - state Bolívar 1863
The green version is nr. 1 - nr 2 is a 10 cents red and nr 3 is a 1 peso red.
When we have a closer look underneath the coat of arms, we see 6 stars. This indicates the cheapest (?) version of the stamp. The same stamp with 5 stars only, quadruples the catalogue value!

6 stars under the CoA - Michel 1 I
The stamp of 10 cents, measures 6 x 8 mm only and exist even cut into 2 on letters (used as 5 cents).
This makes this stamp... the smallest stamp in the world (known 2017).

Certificate of authenticity - 1974
With a catalogue value of € 750, this stamp of less then 1 cm² ... is, compared to its size, more valuable than gold.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Theme : 1st issues : 08a Colombia (Dept. Bolivar)

For the next 1 issue, a short overview of the history of Central/South America between 1819 and 1863.
The country, currently known as Colombia, was Spanish posession in 1819.
Simón Bolívar, who had concurred the remaining Spanish rulers, united the republic of Venezuela and the viceroyalty Nueva Granada (part of the kingdom of Peru) with the current Colombia, Ecuador, parts of Panama. Bolívar named it República de Colombia (later named Grand-Colombia to destinguish from the current county Colombia).
Territory of Grand-Colombia (1819)
The union only lasted till 1830, and due to internal disagreements, and Ecuador and Venezuela left the group. What remained, was named New-Granada, consisting in Colombia, Panama, parts of Venezuela, Ecuador, and even Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica.
Flag of New-Granada (1819-1830)
At the end of this era, one, then two more, later 5 more, and finally one last independent state was created
This republic, New Granada, dissolved into the Confederation Granadine, in 1858.
The States were :
Panama (1855), Antioquia and Santander (1856) - Bolívar, Boyacá, Cauca, Cundinamarca and Magdalena (1857) and Tolima (1861) - used to be in the Cundinamarca state before.
Situation in 1858
From 1863 on, we speak of the United States of Colombia (including 9 'states' and 3 territories: Caquetá Territory, San Martin Territory and Nevada and Motilones Territory.

At this point of time, the first stamps were being issued in the area....
And that will be for my next entry :-)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Odd stamps : 03e 3D stamps (moving)

Among the numerous issues on Queen Elisabeth, I have picked up a special issue featuring 3D images.
New Zealand - where QE II is still the head of State - honoured the British monarch with a solid sheet, with 3 stamps of 5 NZ$ each.
The stamps have the shape of an old style painting, and can be 'pushed out' of the sheet.
Each of the stamps has 3 different images, which can be seen alternately by flipping the stamps to the back or the front.
As it is nearly impossible to scan those images in a decent way, I took the liberty to take the images from another site :

When flipped to the back, we see a photo taken in 1926, 1936 and 1947.
1926 : "Birth of a princess"
1936 : "Childhood in London"
1947 : "The royal wedding"
3D sheet NZ 2016 - flipped to the back
The normal frontal vieuw, shows pictures taken in 1949, 1963 and 1977.
1949 : "Family time with Prince Charles"
1963 : "Opening New Zealand's parliament"
1977 : "Royal visit to New Zealand"
3D sheet NZ 2016 - frontal view
Finally, flipped to the front, another 3 pictures can be seen, from 1995, 2002 and 2015.
1995 : "Royal visit to New Zealand"
2002 : "Royal visit to New Zealand"
2015 : "Attending Anzac centenary commemorations"
3D sheet NZ 2016 - flipped to the front
Not sure if many of those stamps will end on a letter or postcard from New Zealand, but for the collectors of QE II - stamps, surely a splendid addition to their collection.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Emergency Money - B 1914 - 1920 - 01 Belgium - Bruges 3

When Belgium - and Europe - was at the dawn of war in 1914, a rush on metal cash and paper money was inevitable. National institutions already knew what was going to happen, and only limited amounts of money could be redrawn from the bank.
Meanwhile a large amount of the remaining stock of banknotes, as well as the printing plates were removed from the National Bank in Brussels, first to Antwerp, and later out of the country to the Bank of London.
Some of the notes, printed in Antwerp, are quite rare - but that's another topic.

Due to this lack of papermoney, and the need to pay out millions of people in Belgium, several cities started locally to emit notes.
In my previous posts I wrote about the smaller denominations issued in Bruges, now we'll have a closer look at the 'franc values'.
Front side of 1 frank Bruges 1914
Back side of 1 frank Bruges 1914
Two 1 Frank-notes were issued in 1914. Both notes have a different 'experiation day', the day they could be exchanged for 'real' money.
On the first note it is January 15, 1915 - on the second issue, the dte is July 15, 1915.
refunable January 15, 1915

refundable July 15, 1915
Once exchanged, the notes were perforated with a starshaped perforation.
star perforation
Both 1 Frank notes were issued in the same colours. Depending on the quality, they have a catalogue value of € 15 to € 50.
Both notes were issued by the city of Bruges, and were refunable at the city as well.

More notes to follow...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Microstates : 20 b Republic of Molossia (bogus)

Except for a territory clamed in the Pacific Ocean (Neptune Deep), and  Vesperia (claimed on Venus), the microstate 'republic of Molossia' is completely surrounded by the USA.

Among the laws in Molossia, same-sex marriage was adopted in 2002, and there is a restriction in importing tobacco into the country. Hereby Molossia is more progressive then many states in the neighbouring USA.

Border of Molossia with the USA

At the border of Molossia, USD can be exchanged for Molossian Valoras.
The coins are posted in my previous post, the banknotes (currently 4 notes in circulation) are 1, 5, 10 and 20 valoras.
The language on the notes is both English and Esperanto.

1 valora banknote
1 valora banknote - back
The Molossian notes are very nice notes. They come with an embossed seal, serial number and signature of the Minister of Finance, Miss Adrianne Baugh.

Embossed seal of Molossia

Signature of Mrs. A. Baugh

 The other notes :

5 (Kvin) Valora - President K. Baugh
5 (Kvin) Valora - back
10 (Dek) Valora - Emperor Norton I
10 (Dek) Valora - back
20 (Dudek) Valora - First Lady A. Baugh
20 (Dudek) Valora - back
Except for use within the Republic of Molossia itself - those notes can not be used elsewhere.

Besides the very limited usage of the currency above, my respect to the very fine design of the notes, and the effort that was done to create something nice.
The use of Esperanto on these notes is unique and much appreciated.
More info on :

to be continued...

Microstates : 20 a Republic of Molossia (bogus)

I had to look it up, but the republic of Molossia is a micronation within the state of Nevada (USA).
Flag of Molossia
The effort of his excellency Kevin Baugh to create an independent state, started in 1999.
It was based upon a childhood idea to create the "grand republic of Vuldstein"
The micro state uses English as national language, but as a tribute to world peace and equality, Esperanto is accepted as national language too.
The self-declared country has issued stamps, coins and banknotes.
I was more then excited when I saw the series of banknotes that were issued in Esperanto.

It took some diplomatic skills to contact the Ministry of Finance of Molossia, to obtain the current notes and coins.
His excellency, President Baugh, contacted me personally and sent me from the government house itself.
President Kevin Baugh
Cover from the Republic of Molossia
The coins :
Coins come in 1, 5 and 10 Valora (1 Valora is 0.75 USD)
 1 valora coin
1 valora coin - back - coat of arms
5 valora coin
5 valora coin - back - president
10 valora coin
10 valora coin - back - Emperor Norton I

There is a commemorative coin on the presidential wedding (sold out) and one commemorating the Grand Republic of Vuldstein (1977).
commemorative coin
commemorative coin - back
The coins are legal tender in the Republic of Molossia only.

More to follow

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Emergency Money - B 1914 - 1920 - 01 Belgium - Bruges 2

In the previous post on Belgian Emergency notes from Bruges, I mentionned 4 bodies were responsible for issuing emergency currency.
3 of them were local committees, the fourth one, the most important one, was the city of Bruges itself. In 1914 they issued a set of two notes with centimes denomination, and 6 notes with higher values (starting from 1 frank).

The Mayor of Bruges at that time, was Duke Amedeus Karel Lodewijk Visart de Bocaré.
Duke A. Visart (1) and King Leopold II (2) - 1907
He was mayor til 1916, when he was deposed by the Germans, in favour of baron Ernest Marie Joseph Martin Michel van Caloen.
Baron van Caloen was member of the committee of honour of the Bruges' Esperanto Association.
The picture below was taken on the occasion of the second Esperanto Congress, held in Bruges in 1910.
Baron E. van Caloen, 1910
Both mayors (the real mayor and the mayor-ad-interim) have their signatures on the emergency notes of 1914 (although the van Caloen's signature dated from 1916).

The two emergency banknotes, issued by the Bruges' city board are 5 centimes and 25 centimes.

First of all, the 5 centimes note. (VIJF CENTIEMEN : as Bruges is a Dutch speaking city)
City of Bruges : 5 Centimes "BR193"
City of Bruges : 5 Centimes (back) "BR193"
The 'Visart' signature, appears on both notes, the 'van Caloen' signature can only be found on the 25 centimes' note.
5 centimes 'de Visart'
25 centimes 'de Visart'
The second note is a 25 centimes note.
Here there are 2 versions of the note. One is similar to the 5 centimes note. (not in my collection (yet)).
The second version is with the symbol of Bruges (a bear) on the left hand side of the note.
City of Bruges : 25 Centimes "BR196"
City of Bruges : 25 Centimes (back) "BR196"
Again the text is in Dutch, as that is the local language in Bruges.
25 centimes 'van Caloen'
The catalogue mentions a signature : E. van Calve - where it has to be E. van Caloen.
Both notes have a catalogue value of more or less € 10 - depending on the quality of the note, it can be less too. The 25 centimes (as in the picture) is slightly worth more.

to be continued ...