Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Theme : Zodiac signs 11l

12/12 Year of the Rat (2008)

My first, my last, my everything ...

The Rat is the first animal in the zodiac cycle.
But since the special sheets started in 1997, we started this set of articles with the second animal.

The first animal on the last sheet, and maybe the most spectacular one of them all...

2008 sheet - Year of the Rat
The corners of the sheet are cut in a special way, following the decoration on the sheet.

corner of the sheet
embossed decoration
In this sheet, the stamp is not a rectangle, but in the shape of a barrel.

one decoration and one stamp
twice an embossed rat
stamp in the shape of a barrel
Almost the whole sheet is embossed, the rats (both on stamp and decoration), but also all other animal of the zodiac cycle, that are placed around the stamp of the rat.
The decoration (corner and outline) are also embossed.

nearly complete embossed sheet

embossed animals, barrel shaped stamp
Finally, as seen previously on other sheets, also this sheet has a label with the bar code, attached to the side of the sheet.
tab with bar code
The Rat type is very sociable. Such people are full of charm and vivacity, and love being surrounded by people. In case of something not goes like planed they are able to quickly assess both the hindrances and the new chances, and while others are wondering how to react and what to do, these people have already seen and taken advantage of the opportunity that lies there. They are usually strong-willed and ambitious. On the other hand they should be careful not to force their ideas on other people. Generally these people enjoy all forms of social interaction, and no party is complete without their lively wit and humor.  

Some Famous Rats: Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, Marlon Brando, Doris Day, Clark Gable, Hugh Grant, Charlton Heston, Gene Kelly, Glenda Jackson, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Lineker, Sean Penn, Burt Reynolds, Olivia Newton-John, Tommy Steele, Donna Summer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kim Wilde.

Years of the Rat : 1912 - 1924 - 1936 - 1948 - 1960 - 1972 - 1984 - 1996 - 2008 - 2020 - 2032

After this sign, we go back to the Ox

Theme : Zodiac signs 11k

We are reaching the end of the Zodiac series, issued by Canadian post.

11/12 Year of the Pig (2007)

The second last sheet, issued in 2007, is for the year of the Pig (Boar).
This is the last animal in the cycle, but as we started with the second one, there is still the 'first' animal that will be explained in my next post.

The Boar type is usually an honest, straightforward and patient person. Such man is a modest, shy character who prefers to work quietly behind the scenes and when others disappear he/she is often there to offer support. This type of people is reserved with those who they know not too well, but as time passes and they gain confidence those around may discover a lively and warm-hearted person behind that mask of aloofness. In spite the fact that those who born in the year of pig have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, they have only few close friends who understand them and share their inner thoughts and feelings. It is easy to put trust in pig type; he/she won't let you down and will never even try to. Such people simply want to do everything right according to the social control. 

11th sheet - year of the Pig
The sheet is rather modest,  but has a nice, unusual cut.
The stamp in the sheet is also modest, an embossed rectangle.

We see a second pic on top of the stamp, but that's similar to the other sheets, just for decoration.
detail - sheet year of the Pig
To see the effect of the embossed image, we better flip the sheet again.
2 embossed pigs, one stamp, one decoration
Some Famous Pigs: Bryan Adams, Woody Allen, Julie Andrews, Fred Astaire, Richard Attenborough, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss, Farrah Fawcett, Ernest Hemingway, Barry Gibb, Alfred Hitchcock, Elton John, Kevin Kline, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dudley Moore, Marie Osmond, Michael Parkinson, Lee Remick, Ginger Rogers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg, Emma Thompson. 

Years of the Pig : 1911 - 1923 - 1935 - 1947 - 1959 - 1971 - 1983 - 1995 - 2007 - 2019 - 2031
Next : Rat

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Brazil : 03c Early issues - Republic issues

After the Crux-stamps, a new stamp was issued in 1891.

This new stamp symbolises 'liberty' after the era with the Emperor.
The image of 'Liberty' is very similar to the French "Marianne" stamps, and other liberty-images.

First the stamp(s) :

The stamp was issued in 2 colour variations and can be determinated quite easily.
Both variations have the same value in most catalogues.
Perforation vary from 12.5 to 14.

Liberty issue 1
Liberty issue 2

When we look at the bonnet of the Libery woman, we see similarities with the French Marianne :

French "Marianne" on a 1992 coin

Liberty (Marianne) - painted by E. Delacroix

Thistory of the red bonnet, and the special shape of the bonnet, is older then the Brazilian stamp (1891) or even the French Revolution (1789).

The story goes that the mythical King Midas was the first who wore the cap.
King Midas - the king in Greek mythology who turned everything he touched into gold - was one of the last kings in the dynasty of Phrygia (now Western Anatolia, in Turkey).
One day, the Greek mountain god Tmolos organised a competition between Apollon and Pan, to decide who was the best panflute player. Apollon - god of music - was given the victory, but King Midas disagreed and claimed that Pan was a better player.
As usual in Greek mythology, it's never smart to insult the gods, so Tmolos condamned Midas. As Midas was not worth having human ears, he was given donkey ears.
To hide his ears, he wore a so called Phrygian cap.

Phrygian cap, as worn by King Midas

We can encounter this Phrygian cap also in the national symbol of Argentina:
coat of arms of Argentina

But even in Brazil self, the cap is not unknown. However in another background.
In Brazilian folklore, the "Saci" is known, as a little gnome.
He has only one leg, smokes a pipe, and ... wears a similar cap.

Brazilian "Saci" with phrygian cap
a naughty one legged gnome
He's responsible for small incidents and accidents in and around the house.
Taking his cap, is also taking his power.

Finally, and maybe I'm too far away from the original idea, but as we are talking about gnomes...
The Belgian Smurfs might be related to them too... at least Papa Smurf has a red cap and is a kind of gnome (but a good one).
And isn't Papa Smurf fighting for liberty for his little smurfs ...

Papa Smurf - with red phrygian cap...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Theme : Zodiac signs 11j

10/12 Year of the Dog (2006)

The 10th sheet in the series of Zodiac signs, is reserved for the year of the Dog.

The Dog is the most likeable sign in the Chinese zodiac. Like his animal namesake, he is loyal with a capital "L". He is the one, who people are most likely to turn to when they need help, and the dog person will come through every time. That is because the dog person is sensitive to others and empathizes with them, particularly if someone has suffered an injustice, reacting quickly with the same feeling, as though he/she had been personally offended. Friends value these qualities, and know that they can rely upon their dog friend to keep a promise or remain cool in a crisis. Dog types are honest, intelligent and straightforward. They will take on any responsibility that is given to them and you can be sure that they will do their job conscientiously and well.

Dog people are often born old and get younger as they age. They take everything very serious. You may hear the Dog complains a lot about street lamps, about traffic, or about weather, but as he gets older, the less he takes his own criticisms seriously. 

year of the Dog sheet (2006)
The sheet is simply beautiful again. And so is the stamp on the sheet :

This year's issue is rather 'modest' but the sheet is still impressive.
The dog is embossed again, and we see that when we flip the sheet again:
Also the dog on the sheet (next to the stamp) is embossed, as well as 2 squares.

Some famous dogs are : Pluto, Lassie, Snowie, Laïka, Scooby-doo, Snoopy, Gromit ... (joke)

Some Famous Dogs: Brigitte Bardot, Candice Bergen, David Bowie, Kate Bush, Naomi Campbell, Cher, Petula Clark, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sally Field, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ava Gardner, Michael Jackson, Sophie Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, David Niven, Sydney Pollack, Elvis Presley, Prince, Sade, Claudia Schiffer, Slyvester Stallone, Sharon Stone

Years of the Dog : 1910 - 1922 - 1934 - 1946 - 1958 - 1970 - 1982 - 1994 - 2006 - 2018 - 2030
Next : Pig

Theme : Zodiac signs 11i

9/12 Year of the Rooster (2005)

Canada's 9th sheet in the series of Zodiac signs, is dedicated to the Year of the Rooster.

The rooster is the 10th sign in the cycle.

People born in the year of Rooster are very usually observant. Most of the time, they are very accurate and precise with their observation. These people certainly love find themselves in the spotlight, they love entertaining friends and adore meeting new people, and even unexpected and uncertain circumstances are not a barrier for them. It is almost impossible to find someone born in this year looking dowdy or untidy. The fact is that these people are usually one of the best dressed and groomed of all other people. They are actively interested in clothes, colours, and accessories, and usually are very critical about their own appearance as well as about appearance of those they are surrounded by. People born in the year of rooster like to be noticed and flattered. Such person might dress a little flashily with this in mind, but in his heart, he/she is completely conservative. Roosters - type always appear attractive and beautifully turned out. They are sociable and love to receive attention. Others may criticize them for being exhibitionists but the fact that they are a compassionate, wise and have a brave nature which comes to the fore when others need their help makes up that deficiency. 

fan shaped sheet with 'normal' stamp
bar code label at the bottom
This year's issue is rather 'modest' but the sheet is still impressive.
The sheet is printed in gray colours, and the stamp itself is breight, with golden feathers on the rooster.
stamp from the sheet
 Parts of the stamp and two squares on the sheet are embossed.

embossed image of the rooster
embossed squares (top right side)
Some Famous Roosters: Dirk Bogarde, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michael Caine, Eric Clapton, Joan Collins, Errol Flynn, Melanie Griffith, Richard Harris, Goldie Hawn, Katherine Hepburn, Diane Keaton, Jayne Mansfield, Steve Martin, James Mason, Somerset Maugham, Bette Midler, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Kim Novak, Yoko Ono, Dolly Parton, Michelle Pfeiffer, George Segal, Peter Ustinov. 

Years of the Rooster : 1909 - 1921 - 1933 - 1945 - 1957 - 1969 - 1981 - 1993 - 2005 - 2017 - 2029
Next : Dog

Friday, October 26, 2012

Brazil : 03b Early issues - Republic issues

After my introduction to the 'Southern Cross' in my previous article, now to the real reason why I posted it.

The southern cross is not only present on the flag of Brazil, it was a topic of the first stamps that were issued after the republic was declared in Brazil.

There are 8 stamps with the 'Crux' issued in 1890.

1890 issue
One stamp, emitted in 1887 has this cross too, but the stars are way bigger.
1887 issue with big stars

A stamp similar to the set of 8 bares the name 'Brazil' in stead of 'E.U. do Brazil' - emitted in 1889.
This 100 réis stamp with "Brazil" in stead of "E.U. do Brazil", is rare. (not in my collection)

"Brazil" in stead of "E.U. do Brazil"

So roughly said, there are 10 different 'Cruzeiros'.

The 8 stamps of the 1890 set, consist of the following values :
20, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 700 and 1000 réis.
The highest values are also the most valuable stamps.
However, these stamps were issued in various perforations:

Most common is perf 13-14
A second type is perforated 11-11.5 (here the 1000 réis is inexpensive)
The 100 réis in this type will be in my next post, as it’s has many plate errors.
The third set of perforations is mixed : 11-11.5 x 13-14 (500 réis as most expensive).

Type 1 : perf 13 - 14

T1 - 50 réis
T1 - 100 réis
T1 - 200 réis
T1 - 300 réis

T1 - 500 réis
T1 - 1000 réis

Type 2 : perf 11-11.5

T2 - 20 réis
T2 - 50 réis
T2 - 200 réis

Type 3 : mixed perforations 11-11.5 x 13-14
rare and more expensive

to be continued...