Thursday, June 30, 2011

Odd stamps : 08 Stamps with special cuts - 03 a

In this next round, I am taking you to the world of diamond shaped stamps.
I do know that squares are diamonds as well, but i will only show you diamond shaped stamps, where one of the angles is pointing downwards, in order to see the design of the stamp as it was ment.
This means that I'm not turning any common square stamp to make them look like diamonds.

Let's start with some examples from Asia
Bhutan :

Mongolia :

Nepal :
China PR :
(Portuguese) Macau :
Japan :
(non officicial) Molukkan State :
... and many many more :-)

Odd stamps : 08 Stamps with special cuts - 02 g

I almost forgot to share with you, one of the most beautiful triangular stamps I have.
For this last item on 'triangular' stamps, I take you to the Baltic region, showing airmail stamps of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Where african countries use triangular stamps mainly for revenue stamps (tax); the Baltic area has this preference to use triangular stamps for airmail. At least, in a time where airmail stamps were different from regular 'land mail' stamps.

In a way the purpose was the same. One look at the letter could tell you what kind of mail it was.
As revenue stamps draw the attention in Africa, here the airmail stamps will surely have drawn the attention.

Estonia :

Latvia :

Lithuania :

A more detailed look will be posted later, when I talk about the Baltic Countries in particular.

Theme : Volkswagen Beetle - 05

The Volkswagen Beetle was surely famous in Europe.
The Swedish are known for Saab and Volvo, but the German Volkswagen had its admirers in this Scandinavian country as well.
At least, the Swedish post issued in 2009 a booklet dedicated to 'old' cars.

From top to bottom:
The Volkswagen Beetle 1200
A Volvo PV 444
A Cadillac Coupé de Ville
The Citroën DS 19
and finally a Ford Mustang Convertible.

Now to the Beetle stamp in particular
We see a nice engraved stamp, with a split-window Beelte (rare window)

It's clearly a split window, right.
Split windows were made from the beginning, until  March 1953.
Then, the window became 'oval' until August 1957.
After that time, the window became much larger, and we call those Volkswagen Beeltes, the 'standard 1200'.
However, if we look at the bottom of the stamp, we see something weird...
Indeed, not TYPE 1 is written, but the much younger model '1200'

Another thing I found was the front of the car:
As it is a spit-window, I expected the Wolfsburg-logo on the front side, unfortunatly, it's missing.
The grip is different also

The wheels of the split-window Volkswagens, were in two colours, but not on the stamp:

Finally, I very doubtfull if the split window Beetle ever was made in yellow...
I know of a cream-coloured type 82 E, the so called Kübelwagen with the body of a split window.
The wheels however of this type are for military use, and not as depicted on the stamp.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Odd stamps : 08 Stamps with special cuts - 02 f

Before leaving the triangular stamps for what they are, I can't skipp the european issues.

Small countries as Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and the Vatican City, are known to issue lots of stamps for commercial reasons. However, the quality is outstanding.
As it comes to triangular stamps, I have chosen one issue of Monaco, and two of San Marino

Other countries with triangular stamps :
The Netherlands with an issue of 1936 (mind the cancellation : ADRESSEER VOLLEDIG : meaning: write down the complete address)

The Hungarian contribution to triangular stamps :
 And finally a stamp issued by the Royal and Emperial Austrian Post ...
 ... and a more recent version of Austria

And yes, there are many many more triangular stamps, but it's time now for a new page in the world of 'odd stamps' ....

Odd stamps : 08 Stamps with special cuts - 02 e

When talking about odd stamps, triangular stamps are still drawing the attention when put on a letter.
The harvest of asian triangulars is rather small, compared to what was issued in Africa.
I 'm only showing 'some' examples of the asian stamps i found.
Mongolia issued quit a lot of triangular stamps, but as most of them are CTO, I try to avoid them in my collection.

Way better quality is this set of 4 beautiful stamps issued by the Thai postal authorities. Very refined, and with a total face value of 20 baht (+/- 0,50 €) truly a must for stamp collectors.
Just to avoid forgetting smaller countries, I'm posting two Nepales triangulars.
One to promote a philatelic exhibition.
How can a philatelic event be better promoted then by an eye catcher like this!

Dutch banknotes : Silverbons & Coin notes - 2

By the end of the Second Wold War, the fear of poorness grew among the population of Europe.
Everyone tried to 'hide' some valuables, to sell after the war.
And for those who have seen 'Allô, allô' a british comedy about the french resistance in WW II, I'm not talking about treasures as paintings by 'van Clomp'. 
The every day coins were still made out of silver, and therefor, they were kept aside by the end of the war.
Just in case, silver would at least be exchangable once peace was restored.

The need of small denominations and coins however was still there, and for the second time, the Royal Mint, issued paper versions of coins. In order to keep enough "coins" in circulation for daily use.

The first coin note represented the 1 guilder coin :

The second note came in replacement of the 2 and a half guilder coin.

Dutch banknotes : Silverbons & Coin notes - 1

A bit of history is needed to explain the following post.
Most countries use 2 kinds of 'valuables' what we call 'money'.
(stamps can be considered as a third kind of 'valuables' - since they also represent money - but here i talk about what we generally consider as 'money)

There was a time when 'swapping' was all we needed to trade with other people.
If you didn't have anything to swap at them moment of trade, you were excluded of trade.
'Money' offered a solution for that problem. Money itself has no value, you can't eat it, cant drink it, can't build a house with it, and one has to admit, it's barely big enough to make it into a wearable suit of dress...
But 'money' represented not the goods itself, it represented the 'value' of the goods. Since with the money you got from a trade, you could buy later one, goods for a similar value.

In the old days, people weren't always sure that the money they received after an exchange, would still be accepted elsewhere or would keep it's value (... thinking of that sentence, I must admit nothing has changed much :-) )
Therefor, 'money' was made in valuable metals, such as gold, silver...
Gold and silver were exchangable worldwide, and had a certain stability.

I'm skipping a big part of history now, to come to the topic of today.
During and after the first world war, european people were aware that lots of coins in circulation were still made "minted" in valuable materials, mainly silver.
To assure themselves some savings for the post-war era, those silver coins were kept in a safe place.
No matter who would rule the country after the war, and coins that could loose trade value, silver would always be silver. This resulted in a shortage of those metals for the production of coins, and due to a shortage of circulation coins, some gouvernements started to 'print' their coins.
Coins are normally 'minted' for example by the "Royal Mint" and banknotes are 'printed' for example by the "National Bank".
Due to a shortage of silver, in this case, the Dutch Royal mint, started to issue notes, representing the coins.
In a way one can speak of a paper version of a coin.

This all happened in many European countries, after the first and second world war.
The 'notes' are in fact coins.
To make that clear, the first 'note' I show here (sorry for the bad quality) shows the word 'ZILVERBON'.
This, to make clear that the note in fact was representing the formerly known 1 Guilder (silver) coin.

Let's take a closer look to the front side :
The word : zilverbon (silver bon) can be read on top

Wettig betaalmiddel = legal tender
and despites of the black fold, there's something else that can be found on the note.
The world 'EEN GULDEN' (one guilder) is printed in large letters, of which only the outlines can be seen.
For those who can't find it :

Theme : Stamps on Stamps (postal services related stamps) - 03

This is the third post, decidated to postal servic related topics.
For collectors of postal stationary, and postal service related items, it's surely a must.
Belgian post vehicles in the early days and now are shown on this sheetlet of 2009. In this set, i posted 2 similar issues (2010 and 2011)

This sheetlet has two collums of 5 stamps, showing us postal cars.
Red was, and is still the colour of Belgium's postal services.
All stamps are ment for use within Belgium (the '1' in the circle indicates that); and altough stamps were a bit cheaper in 2009, the face value went up and the shown stamps can still be used.

Most preprinted albums will require only a set of 5 stamps.
And since the stamps are repeated in the sheet, one has all stamps in double if the complete sheet wants to be collected. The design on the right side of the sheet makes it worth putting them in double in your album.
If your preprinted album however also requests the 5 single stamps separatly... you 'll need each stamp 3 times.
Once more, the passionated collector has to pay triple the price of the stamps issued, to complete the set.

Nevertheless, a very nice issue once more.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Theme : Volkswagen Beetle - 04

When talking about Italy and cars, everyone immediatly thinks of Lamborghini, Maserati ... ... Fiat ...
but never about a Volkswagen.
In fact it isn't an Italian car of course.
Still, the republic of San Marino (entirly surrounded by Italy) has issued some nice stamps where my topic, Volkswagen Beetle, appears.

In 1998, the New Beetle was introduced. For that occasion, a sheet with 4 stamps was issued in 1997.
It commemorated the old Beetle and Golf I and welcomed the New Beetle and the Golf IV.
The sheet was issued one year before the release of the New Beetle, and by buying the sheetlet, one could participate in a contest, to win a "Nuovo Beetle"

 detailed picture
As a supporter of the original Volkswagen Beetle, I still prefer the "old model" above the new one. It's not a matter of taste, it's a matter of style! ;-)

Few years later, in 2000 many countries issued stamps to say farewell to the 20th century.
Most of those series show pictures of the 20th century and the highlights that should be remembered.
Again in San Marino, such a sheet was issued.

12 nice stamps show us the hightlights of the 20th century, from the World War, the landing on the Moon, over technical evolution, to modern pollution, leisure and ... traffic jams...
One of the stamps shows indeed a view of a highway, where cars are jammed.
Not a nice aspect of the 20th century, but a closer look on the stamp, shows us why I was interested in that particular one...

Indeed, the first car on the stamp is a Volkswagen Beetle from the 70's. Being the first car in the cue, doesn't mean it responsible for the cue behind it, but it shows us, that the Volkswagen indeed was the most popular and best sold car ever!
It's true that the 'Golf' has beaten the record of being the best sold car ever, but in my opinion, a Golf I, can't be compared with a Golf V nowadays. (see previous pictures)
The 'old' Beetle remained more or less the same from start till end.
By the way, the 'New Beetle' wasn't needed for Volkswagen to have the Beetle as best sold car ever.