If I were to describe Estonia based on their output of fauna stamps, I would use one word: magic. Since 2001, each year, Estonian Post issues one bird stamp called ‘aasta lind’ (English: bird of the year). Since 2002, they issue animal stamps on a yearly basis, too. These stamps describe very well the Estonian ecosystem with beautiful and clear imagery – more on that below. But they also tell the history of Estonian stamps over the course of the last 20 years: they have seen the height of the Estonian kroon and the transition to Euro. They have seen generous printruns of 500,000 copies in their first issues, but go down to 20,000 in the newest ones. Sadly, they become more difficult to find and collect – but there’s joy in each yearly apparition, that I expect eagerly.
Estonian Birds on stamp, 2001-2020
Estonian bird stamps have been issued since 2001 and continue being issued at the date of writing this article in 2020. The latest issue has just been released in April.
I couldn’t believe it when I first read the news: the renowned publisher Schwaneberger Verlag GmbH, home of the authoritative Michel Catalogues, was going to issue a special thematic catalog on comics on stamps. Finally someone takes the bold move to authenticate the needs of so many collectors I know and bring their niche interest into the mainstream!
But now I have to believe it – it’s past the level of news: it’s in my hands, on my reading table, I am browsing it, and reviewing it for you!
About: Michel Catalog – Comics – Worldwide. Order directly from here. | 1st issue, available since 07.08.2020 | 208 pages | paperback | 15.5k price notices| 2100 color illustrations| stamps from 1958 to the second quarter of 2020 cataloged | German language | Check out also the awesome Michel Online Cataloghere.
This post was made possible through the kindness of Post Greenland – the postal authorities from Greenland.
You can browse for new stamps releases and shop on the website. Additionally you can subscribe to the Greenland Collector – the subscription magazine for collectors of Greenland stamps!
Old Greenlandic banknotes (Issue #3, 21.06.2019)
For the third issue of Old Greenlandic banknotes, a series commenced in 2017, Greenland Post chose two banknotes issued in 1953. Original material from the Denmark National Bank, as well as the National Museum in Copenhagen and Post Greenland’s archives in Nuuk was used for inspiration by artist Bertil Skov Jørgensen.
The issue comprises 2 stamps, issued both as standalone and souvenir sheets.
Emoji have been with us barely 20 years and gained popularity in the 2010’s, when more and more communication systems starting introducing them in their keyboard choice. Remarkably, they caught on in all cultures, even if they originated in Japan, and became an integral part of our everyday communication – to the extent that in 2015, Oxford dictionaries named the face with tears of joy emoji (😂) the Word of the Year!
So what are emoji? Well, to understand it better, let’s look at the etymology of the word, which, of course, is Japanese – emoji (Japanese: 絵文字) is a word that really has nothing to do with emotions – they are pictograms (絵 is a drawing, while 文字 is a symbol). So they are images that stand in for words, a thing that is not dissimilar to the use of Chinese characters, where some still remind us of the original ‘form’ of the concept they describe (for example you can easily remember that 川 is a river, 山 is a mountain, or 森 is a forest). In the same way, you can easily remember that 🐣 is a hatching chick, or that 💄 is a bar of lipstick. But, unlike Chinese characters, they can gain new meanings, depending on how the users interpret them. The hatching chick can be used when seeing the truth with clarity for the first time, just like a chick that’s just been hatched, while the bar of lipstick can be used to express one keeping their cool in difficult situations.
As tomorrow is the World Emoji Day (Jul-17), I thought we’d look at the presence of emoji on stamps (which is rapidly growing, and making emoji one of the cutest topical interests there is). Why Jul-17? Well, the calendar emoji (📅) displays that date!
It is with great joy that I am writing the following article, made possible by the amability of Slovenská Pošta (Slovak Post). From the very beginning, I have to come out as a big fan of Slovak philately. Whether we are talking about the careful and artful engraving of the stamps, continuing with pride the Czechoslovak Post tradition, or about the tasteful choice of topics, I am always pleasantly surprised by Slovak stamps.
This article refers to the series entitled “Ludzie kina i teatru” (“Personalities of Cinema and Theater“), issued by the Polish Post yearly since 2012. To date, seven such series were issued. New issued are already announced in the release plans for 2019 and 2020.
The series of stamps are brought together by structure: each series contains three individual stamps, as well as a minisheet featuring the respective three stamps, but also by imagery: all stamps have a glam/vintage look that makes them really appealing. The actors and actresses chosen to illustrate the series are all pioneers of music, dance, theater, cinema, radio and TV and most of them have been active in the interwar period. Each series contains both actors and actresses (two actors and one actress in a series in five year sets, two actresses and one actor in two year sets).
What I find interesting, except for the educational potential of the many names selected for the series, is the fact that many of these personalities are not only sacred monsters of the stage, but also they have intriguing life stories: of romantic relationships, of career succes, but also of heroic merits and of mysterious life events. I tried to select some of the biographic information about each of the featured actors and actresses below.
The 2012 issue
The three personalities chosen for the first issue of 2012 were: Aleksander Żabczyński, Jadwiga Smosarska, and Eugeniusz Bodo.
On Mar-21, 2017, the Israeli Post issued a series of 12 stamps commemorating popular Israeli love songs. The songs included were composed as early as the 1920’s and as late as the early 1990’s and are Israeli evergreens, being sung oftentimes in song contests and at weddings. Many of them have been covered by more than one artist, contributing therefore to their already ‘classical’ status.
The 12 stamps were issued in a sheet format that was not novel for the Israeli post. Three other similar sheets were issued in the past, commemorating Israeli singers, songs for children, and music albums. The structure of the sheet contains a central vignette and 12 stamps set out clockwise on all four sides of the sheet. Each stamp features an illustration and a text in print or handwriting Hebrew. The text represents either the first stanza of the song, or the chorus.
This article refers to the definitive series of stamps issued by the Polish Post between 2009 and 2018, containing 14 issues (16 stamps in total), depicting flowers and fruit. As of 2018, the series is complete, no more stamps were announced for the series in the release plan of the Polish Post for 2019 or 2020. However, they can still be released, as the Polish Post reserves 10 to 15 stamps a year which are not announced in the release plan, but issued for operational needs. You can win all the stamps in the article if you participate in the contest from this article. For details, read on!
The stamps in the series are all in the same format and orientation, with 11 1/2 perforation. They were issued irregularly and have face values ranging from 0.05zł to 10zł (approx. 0.01EUR to 2.3EUR). The Polish popular name of the flower is given, as well as the Latin name. All stamps have been designed by Marzena Dąbrowska.
This post is brought to you in collaboration with Македонска Пошта (Macedonian Post), the postal services of the Republic of North Macedonia. On posta.com.mk you can find more about their stamp releases in English, Macedonian, and Albanian. Thank you for the awesome gift of the stamps and first day covers issued in 2018!
Jan-10: The 550th Anniversary of the Death of Skanderbeg
Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (in short, WOSP, in English: Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity) is the best-known Polish charity organization, aiming at the improvement of medical treatment of infants. Active since 1993, the organization rejoices the highest ranking of credibility in Poland among all non-governmental, non-profit organization, with as many as 87% interviewed Poles ascertaining its positive role in society. Organized yearly, usually on the first or second Sunday in January, the organization has raised until now USD297mil which they used for medical supplies and equipment for neonatology, oncology and palleative care. In 2019, WOSP made the news in unfortunate circumstances, as during the festivities, one of the supporters of WOSP, the mayor of the city of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, was stabbed and subsequently died.
WOSP was frequently present on stamps in the last two decades, as Polish Post used to join the charity efforts by issuing stamps, parts of the proceeds thereof going to the charity. Polish Post ceased to officially back the organization in 2017, however the story of WOSP stamps is not ready yet.
The first WOSP stamp was issued in 2004, and features the well-known logo of the foundation, a red heart with the text “Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy), for the 12th anniversary of the charity.