Franz FerdinandExactly 100 Years ago today, Austro-Hungarian archduke and heir apparent Franz-Ferdinand arrived at the station in Sarajevo for an official visit. The first activity on the programme was an inspection of the military barracks. At around 10:00 am the motorcade left the barracks and made way for the town hall. Along the route, a gang of revolutionairies, led by Danilo Ilić, had positioned six men with the aim of assassinating the archduke.

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Brandaris-lighthouse-on-stampsThe Brandaris Terschelling is a national treasure. The Brandaris, a lighthouse on the island of Terschelling, off the north coast of Holland, is the oldest in the Netherlands and is 420 years old. Holland’s PostNL had a special reason to issue a stamp recently featuring this iconic tower, as last month the lighthouse was reopened, after a five-month period of renovation. This was necessary in order to optimise guidance for shipping on the Wadden Sea.

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Taiwan-Trains-on-stampsThe souvenir sheet contains three stamps depicting the Hitachi 8-car 130 km/h tilting train. In 2008 the ROC government began electrifying the Hua-tung Railway in order to raise transportation efficiency so as to speed up economic development in Eastern Taiwan. To accommodate with this project, the government also graded it from a single track to double tracks at sections where there were bottlenecks and undertook to straighten its route. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.

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One-Cent Magenta stamp, printed in GeorgetownThe one-cent magenta from British colonial Guyana, sold for a world record US$9.5 million at a New York auction on Tuesday. It took just two minutes for an anonymous collector on the phone to seal the deal after quick-fire bidding opened at US$4.5 million in a packed room at Sotheby’s in Manhattan.

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Ireland-born artist William Mulready was the first person to illustrate postal stationery. Postal stationery is classed as a document on which the proof of advance payment is shown by the placing of a stamp or a postmark. The piece shown – a stamped, foldable letter card, appeared at the same time as the first postage stamps in 1840 in Great Britain.

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Stamp Engravers HUMPHRYS, William(See also article published on May 5th ‘First African Stamps’) William Humphrys was born in Dublin in 1794. At an early age he moved to the United States. There he studied engraving techniques under the tutelage of a Mr. George Murray in Philadelphia. In 1815 he embarked on his career as an engraver and stamp engraver for the United States government.

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Bush-BalladsThe Australian Post issued a set of four stamps in honour of writer Banjo Paterson. Poet, journalist, editor and solicitor, Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson is arguably Australia’s master balladeer. The late 19th and early 20th centuries were the peak of this popular verse form in Australia.

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