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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I’ve long been fascinated by the incredible feats of the brave and extremely tough men who set off from Europe and Scandinavia in search of fabled lands. It’s possible that those featured in this article were preceded by unknown explorers but here we mention those whose exploits are confirmed in history.
Ferdinand Magellan (born circa 1480 – died 1521) was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, completed by the Spaniard Juan Sebastian Elcano after Magellan was killed on the island of Mactan (now part of the Philippines). He was also discoverer of what was named the Strait of Magellan, a navigable sea route in southern Chile separating mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south. The Strait is the most important natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
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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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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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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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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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Most of us have heard of Venice’s Grand Canal, seen below. But perhaps fewer people are aware of the longest canal in the world, the Grand Canal in China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.
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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.
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Well, it’s only 2,500 miles!! It is now almost 158 years ago that one man’s dedication and perseverance bore fruit. Cyrus W. Field, a retired American paper merchant, formed a company in 1854 with the intention of improving and speeding up communication between North America and Britain. The idea was to transmit telecommunication signals between those lands.
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Strangely, during the Second World War, on the remote islands of Tristan da Cunha – a British Overseas Territory and dependency of St. Helena – the islanders actually used the humble potato as a form of currency!
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