Monday, September 28, 2015

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

Anyone who ever opened a bottle of wine, will have seen the cork stopper, sealing the bottle.
Cork is a natural material, that comes from the Cork Oak (Quercus Suber). There are about 2,200,000 hectares of cork forest worldwide; 32.4% in Portugal, and 22.2% in Spain. Annual production is about 300,000 tons; 52.5% from Portugal, 29.5% from Spain, 5.5% Italy.
Cork can be harvest every 9 - 10 year. So it takes up to 10 years before the Cork Oak has rebuild its trunk.The first harvest can start at the age of 25 years. A cork oak can live for 200 years, so cork can be harvest 17 to 18 times from the same three.
Other then cork stoppers, cork is used for tiles used in flooring, an some conductor's batons have a cork handle.

However, and that's why it's in my blog, in November 2007, Portugal was the first country in the world that issued a stamp on cork!

Two years later, Ecuador issued a similar stamp on cork.
This to celebrate 200 year of independence. Also a tasteful designed stamp, showing a fingerprint, a feather and 200.
Both stamps I have in mint condition. They might be very hard to find in postally used condition, because the texture of the stamps is very fragile, and the stamps might be damaged when taken off of the envelopes.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

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

You can hardly imagine the types of material can be used for stamps.
This 10th subitem is dedicated to stamps made out of wood or cork.

For the first article, I am taking you to Africa, to the republic of Djibouti.
Djibouti is a small country, in the Horn of Africa (North East).
When this part of Africa was colonised in the 19th century, the whole area was divided between the French, the Italian and the British.
The French, who claimed the most northern part of Somalia, renamed the area into Afars and Issas, until it became independent in 1977 and was renamed into Djibouti.

Stamps of Djibouti are hardly amongst the most wanted stamps in the world, (except maybe those from Afars and Issas). The ones you will find are most likely to be CTO (cancelled to order).
Nevertheless, fort this item on wooden stamps, this is a very special issue...

Djibouti block 2 - CTO
The sheet above and below are printed on a thin wooden plate (0,2 mm). At the back there is glue like a sticker, protected by a paper foil.
Although both blocks are cancelled, the paper foil at the back is not removed, which means both block were never postally used.

Djibouti block 6 - CTO
Djibouti block 6 - back side
Block 2 was issued in 1983, block 6 in 1987.
Catalogue price (Yvert) for both blocks is around € 50.

to be continued...