The Hanseatic League, or Hanse, was formed as a northern European trading organisation, founded in the middle of the twelfth century in the north German city of Lubeck and continued as a powerful force for around 500 years. It grew to comprise a network of around 200 trading cities as far apart as London, England, in the west and Viliky Novgorod, Russia, in the east and during its lifetime had to protect its interests from interfering rulers, pirates and rival traders. The type of ship on the stamp above issued in 1977 is a Cog and it was the ship of choice for most Hanseatic League traders.

The Hanseatic League influenced the economic, political and cultural life in Europe for nearly four centuries.

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Coffee is second only to oil as the most-traded commodity in the world.

 

As mentioned in the previous article, Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world. Coffee is also an important agricultural product for the economy of many Central and South American countries and various islands in the Caribbean. The Costa Rica definitive stamp set below includes three values – the 45 and 80 Centimos and 10 Colones – showing a female coffee bean picker.

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In the above photo (acc. Agljones) is Irishman Michael Dunlop (see at bottom of article), and continuing with the theme of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle races, the four riders shown on the stamps issued by Ireland in 1996 were all born on the Emerald Isle. The 32c stamp features 10-time TT race winner Stanley Woods (1903-1993), while the 44c stamp shows Artie Bell (1914-1972) winner of two TTs. His promising career was cut short after a heavy accident in the 1950 Belgian Grand Prix.

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