The man in the photograph above features in the Guinness Book of Records more than once! He was responsible for producing the artwork for more than 1,000 stamps for many countries, an incredible amount considering the time and precision demanded for every single engraving.

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Now and then we focus on the incredible variety of subjects that can be found on postage stamps, some being very unusual. And today I came across some such stamps. Those in question feature a sport whose participants must not only have a considerable amount of stamina but also excellent navigational skills. The sport, orienteering, began in Sweden in the late 19th Century and involved the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass.

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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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Investigating the origin of the English-language term “Gordon Bennett”, once commonly used as an expression of surprise, I came to the conclusion that there does not seem to be a definitive explanation. Various theories abound. What is certain is that a motor car race held in Ireland in 1903, and a hot-air balloon race first held in 1906, was named after a certain Gordon Bennett. In tracing the origins of Gordon Bennett, I discovered that there were two famous Gordon Bennetts who might have been the source.

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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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It’s happened before and it will happen again – postage stamps being used as a medium for propaganda. Recently, North Korea exercised “The month of the fight against American imperialism” and also commemorated the beginning of the Korean War (1950-53).

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Below are some examples of the hundreds of stamps recently added to PostBeeld’s vast stock.

A few attractive booklets from the Channel Islands including this from Guernsey:

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Jacqueline (Jackie) Cochran (1906-1980), was an American pilot who held more speed, distance, and altitude records than any other flyer during her career.

In 1935 Cochran became the first woman to enter the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race but had to drop out due to mechanical problems. In 1937 she finished third, and in 1938 she won the Bendix Trophy, flying a civilian version of the Seversky P-35 fighter aircraft. Below is a Marshall Islands stamp from 2000, showing a P-35 in battle action.

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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.

World Wildlife Fund stamps issued by Malawi in 1978.

Butterflies, Mozambique, 2002 and 2000.

From Manama 1971, stamp sheet featuring a self-portrait of the artist Modigliani and one of his seated nude paintings.

1963, Poland, featuring reptiles.And Polish airmail definitives from 1957.

Baseball stamps issued by Curacao 2013. This is just a small selection from the hundreds of stamps added to the postbeeld.com website daily.

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