In 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 14.

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SperatiContinuing the story of Giovanni (Jean) de Sperati, Italy-born master forger of postage stamps. In this second, and final, instalment we move forward to the third decade of the 20th Century.

By 1930 Jean de Sperati was earning enough to become a full-time stamp forger. He was so good that he was acting as a dealer but producing and selling copies of rare stamps to unknowing reputable dealers in Europe.

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kopjeGreat Britain’s Royal Mail has issued commemorative stamps to mark 50 years of one of the world’s most popular bands, Pink Floyd. The set of 10 stamps features album covers and live performance photos to mark 1966 – the year the band went professional, having formed in 1965.

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applesThen these stamps from Australia are for you!! Recently issued by Australia Post, they feature labels that were placed on fruit boxes from the 1920s until the 1970s. The attractive,colourful paper labels displayed information on the produce and its associated growers, shippers and exporters and were pasted onto the ends of wooden fruit cases as a means of identification and promotion.

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pluto-stampThe US Postal Service has made history after a stamp which they placed on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft travelled a mind-boggling 5,250,843,896 km (3,262,723,132 miles) – all the way to the planet Pluto.

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stamp collectors handbookIn 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 13 – Edward Pemberton.

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Michel catalogue Every year, at different times, new stamp catalogues are issued. Not only from Michel but also Yvert, the latter with new geographical classification. Besides these big world catalogues, appearing this year are the Facit (featuring Nordic countries) and Sakura (Japan-specific) catalogues. This year Michel also publishes its Overseas catalogues (published every few years). You are assured of many new additions. Michel’s annual Europe catalogues have naturally incorporated all new issues. Additionally, Michel has also this year a variety of Motif catalogues.

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1Most of us have heard of Venice’s Grand Canal, seen below. But perhaps fewer people are aware of the longest canal in the world, the Grand Canal in China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

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Muhammad Ali postage stampThree times heavyweights world champion boxing Muhammad Ali died last week at age 74. With 56 winnings out of 61 matches, he is considered to be the greatest boxer of all time by many people. Ali was also famous for his quotes that were everything but modest.

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Jambo The Gentle GiantAs a silverback gorilla was recently the subject of great controversy after an incident in an American zoo, my mind went back to 1986 and the English Channel island of Jersey. In August of that year at the island’s Durrell Wildlife Park (formerly Jersey Zoo), a five-year-old boy fell into a concrete ditch in the enclosure housing silverback gorillas – including the then 25-year-old Jambo.

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