The man depicted on the stamp to the left, from the U.S.A., issued in 1985, is J.J. Audubon. You would never imagine the rather bland image of the man on the stamp could be linked to the wonderfully coloured works of art produced by him during his lifetime. John James Audubon was born in what was then the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) on April 26, 1785. When he was six-years-old he was sent to France, where he lived until 1803 – when he left for America. There he eventually became an ornithologist, naturalist, and painter.
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Naturally, the ease with which one can communicate with people worldwide via email and other modern instant messaging systems has its advantages, but these methods have caused a great decline in the act of physically writing a letter and sending the item to another person via a postal delivery service. The big question is if, and when, will the postage stamp as we know it cease to exist? And what, if any, effect will this have on the value of stamp collections in the future?
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As a young boy collecting stamps I was often more attracted to those with colour and shape rather than rarity. Diamond-shaped stamps from Hungary, Monaco and the Burundi particularly caught my eye.
The stamp on the left is from Hungary 1953, overprinted to celebrate a famous 6 goals to 3 victory by the national team over England at Wembley Stadium.
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PostNL issues a ‘Life in the North Sea’ commemorative stamp sheetlet today. This contains illustrations of plants and animals found in the North Sea region, drawn by four scientific illustrators from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden.
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In 2010 the Dutch stamp sheet entitled ‘Lang leve het bos!’was voted the best Netherlands stamp issue of the year. It features nature to be found in woodlands and was designed by Bart de Haas.
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A mint, never-hinged stamp pair issued by South-West Africa in 1936.
Below, five 1937 Edward VIII Coronation stamp pairs, South Africa.
2004 Football European Championship winners Greece commemorated by this set of four stamps.
From Manama 1971, stamp sheet featuring a self-portrait of the artist Modigliani and one of his seated nude paintings.
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Among the hundreds of stamps recently added to PostBeeld’s Freestampcatalogue I discovered items that took me back to a previous article published on April 29th, 2014, entitled ‘Tin Can Mail’. A wonderful lady, Betty Billingham, provided most of the information for the article and I thoroughly recommend a visit to her website, to not only read about her fascinating life history but also to view her photo gallery, as she is an extremely accomplished photographer.
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This year’s SEPAC theme is ‘Seasons’. SEPAC stands for Small European Postal Administration Co-operation and consists of the following group of small European postal administrations: Greenland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Åland, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, Malta, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican.
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Guatemala is the only country in the world with its currency named after a bird. Rather a shame that other countries haven’t followed suit. If you live in America you might have Cuckoos in your bank account, in Britain you could pay your rent in Robins, in France your shopping could cost 20 Finches and you could get your Tits out for a taxi fare in Italy.
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