On behalf of the management and staff at postbeeld.com I would like to wish a Happy and Healthy New Year to all readers of the Freestampmagazine and indeed all of PostBeeld’s customers wherever you may be in the world.

February 16 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and with it a plethora of related postage stamp issues from countries around the world.

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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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In 1955 Hungary became the first country in the world to issue a “metal” stamp. And below you see an example. Aluminium foil glued to paper was used in the production process.

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There’s a philatelic link between the author Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond spy character 007 and a historic bridge in Turkey.

In 2014 the Channel Island Alderney issued a set of stamps entitled “The Life of Ian Fleming”.

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If you are a regular visitor to the magazine you will know that every now and then we feature what might be considered to be an unusual subject for a postage stamp. This brief article concerns what many people think is a very important British institution – the Public House, more commonly known as the pub.

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Italy has for many years promoted tourism by way of beautifully illustrated postage stamps. In this second article we feature some of the later stamps with the theme of tourism.

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Long before the days of kids spending hours glued to their Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox computer gaming consoles, stamp collecting was an extremely popular hobby for children. Postage stamp issuing authorities around the World constantly release stamps aimed at the young or young at heart.

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In the first edition of the German magazine ‘Das Magazin für Briefmarken-Sammler’ from May 1863, there was an advertisement which announced the appearance of the “Briefmarken-Polka für das Pianoforte” (The Postage Stamp Polka for the Pianoforte) by J. V. Hamm, with images of 42 colourful stamps, published by C.F.W. Siegel in Leipzig.

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In June a modern German rarity that was not supposed to exist was auctioned by the firm Christoph Gaertner in Berlin. Incredibly, the stamp was sold for 150,060 euros! Only four single examples are known to exist. The 5-stamp set shown top featuring film stars Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe and Jean Gabin was issued the German Bundespost in 2001. But the set originally printed included a stamp with a publicity shot of Audrey Hepburn, taken to advertise the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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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 22.

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