Superlatives on stamps
Stamps have proven to be a wonderful outlet to celebrate the spectacular nature existing in the World. Here we have a selection of stamps that not only feature people and discoveries, but also things that were the largest, fastest or most valuable at their time of issue.
We begin with the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest – and the stamps below released by India in 1953 to mark the first recorded reaching of its summit by New Zealander Edmund Hillary, and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
Can anyone help us to identify the whereabouts of what was then thought to be the world’s largest gold mine, shown on the stamp below, from South Africa 1936. We think it might be the Witwatersrand mine, but stand to be corrected.
The world’s largest man-made object is the Great Wall of China, whose official length is 21,196.18 km (13,170.7 miles). The 1929 airmail stamp below shows a biplane flying over a section of the Wall. Parts of the Wall date back more than 2,300 years.
Iceland has the oldest existing parliamentary system in the world, dating from 930 A.D. Iceland was an uninhabited island until around 870. The first settlers of Iceland were greatly influenced by their Norwegian roots when creating their own form of government and national assembly, known as the Althing (or Alþingi). The definitives below were issued in 1930 to commemorate that institution’s 1,000 years anniversary. The foundation of the Althing at Thingvellir in 930 marked the beginning of the old Icelandic Commonwealth. Althing continued to meet at Thingvellir until 1798.
Below is the current parliament building in Reykjavik.
The tallest tree is the Giant Sequoia (Giant Redwood), which occurs naturally only in groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Shown here on a 1978 stamp from the United States of America.
The amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia, thought to be the largest in the world, on 1927 stamp from Tunisia.
Widely recognised as the first motor car, Mongolia released this stamp of an 1885 Benz in 1980 as part of a set of old vehicles.
And in 1967 Guyana issued these stamps featuring the world’s rarest stamp, the British Guiana 1c Magenta. The stamp was issued in limited numbers in 1856. It features a sailing ship along with the then colony’s motto ‘Damus Petimus Que Vicissim’ (We give and expect in return).
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