CancellationsThe steady decline of mail sent in the Netherlands has lead PostNL to a new “innovation”: the withdrawal of rubber stamps at postal service desks as of 1 January 2017. This does not affect regular mail, but only registered mail and parcels, which are almost always paid for at the desks or through a franking machine.

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1In this series, we have already seen that the stamp collecting virus had spread quickly in 1862 in Europe. But had the virus reached the Netherlands? The answer is yes, but not until the end of that year. The first philatelic article appeared in the Netherlands in October 1862 in ‘Het Nederlandsch Jaarboekje der Posterijen’ (the Netherlands Postal Yearbook). The Schiedam postmaster S. Gille Heringa had translated articles from the Magasin Pittoresque (see episode 7) written by Natalis Rondot, and entitled them: ‘Postage Stamps by Natalis Rondot, freely translated’. The series continued in the yearbooks from 1863 and 1864.

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2017On behalf of all authors of Freestampmagazine and PostBeeld’s staff we wish you a happy new year. Make it a good one!

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kopjeThe unique Snaefell Mountain Railway, built during 1895, is located on the eastern coast of the Isle of Man, running from the village of Laxey to the summit of Snaefell, the only mountain on the Island. The line still operates with the majority of its original Victorian rolling stock in daily seasonal use.

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Stamp from JapanThe Aso National Park, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, was designated a national park in December, 1934. After extension in the year 1986, it was renamed Aso-Kuju National Park. The stamps above were issued in 1939, featuring park landscapes.

The Aso-san is the largest active volcano group in Japan and is among the largest in the world. It is situated within the Aso-Kuju National Park. Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan and is among the largest in the world.

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Do you recognise the young man above? He is someone who has already been recognised in the world of postage stamps for his achievements. Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, still only 26 years old, is a three-time World Champion of chess. He won his first world title in 2013, becoming the second-youngest ever to win that competition.

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1In the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 17 – Germany in 1862.

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Stamp ChinaPostBeeld owner Rob Smit is constantly busy seeking out opportunities to add stamps to the enormously varied stock held at the four PostBeeld stores dotted around Holland. Always on the lookout to buy-in interesting collections at auction houses or directly from people wishing to sell, he fervently strives to provide what his customers might be looking for.

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earthquake stampsOne can only imagine the horror of experiencing an earthquake. And millions of people live in areas where the possibility of having that experience is great. The recent ‘quakes in New Zealand prompted us to seek out stamps on the subject. Let us not forget that the city of Christchurch, in the region of Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island, was devastated by an earthquake which killed 185 people in February 2011. The stamp sheet below depicts a cathedral ruined by the event. Incredibly, 4,558 earthquakes were recorded in the Canterbury region above magnitude 3.0 on the Richter measuring scale, from 4 September 2010 to 3 September 2014!

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minivanOn July 14, 1956 the company Clípol was founded in Andorra, the tiny independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. It’s known for its ski resorts and for its tax-haven status that encourages duty-free shopping. The company’s name came from a combination of the names of the owners: Clement Travesset and brothers John and Henry Pol. They previously ran a taxi service, but then decided to start a bus service. To begin, they bought three Mercedes ‘minibus’ vehicles, which quickly became icons in the Principality.

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