It’s that time of year again and history tells us that the often-repeated message churned out during the Christmas holiday period, wishing for ‘Peace on Earth’, will never happen. My negativity was aroused when searching for appropriate stamps for this article, whereby I thought I’d take a look back at some of the earlier Christmas stamps. I came across the two Spanish stamp sheets seen above which were issued in 1941 to commemorate the second anniversary of the liberation of Barcelona by General Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War.

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Among the thousands of stamps recently added to PostBeeld’s ever-increasing stock are some nice stamps for the thematic collector interested in railway stamps and, in particular, stamps featuring railway stations.

This stamp is the station at Maryborough, Victoria – built in 1890 of red brick with stucco edging and an attractive clock tower. This magnificent station boasts one of the longest platforms in the southern hemisphere and still provides freight and passenger services. American author Mark Twain visited Maryborough in 1895 and was most impressed by the town’s grand railway station. 

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There’s no doubt of the attraction of young animals and the ability of many a young mammal to draw an ‘Ooo’ or ‘Aaah’ from the human being. It can also be the subject of interest to the stamp collector as images of young animals are often printed on postage stamps.

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Mary WollstonecroftIn 1792 a book written by the lady whose portrait adorns the above stamp issued by Great Britain in 2009 became the first book to be published in the English language on the subject of what we now might call feminism.

That lady was Mary Wollstonecroft, whose book “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” could possibly have been influenced by Frenchwoman Olympe de Gouges whose pamphlet “Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne” (Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the [Female] Citizen), was published in France in 1791. This was written in response to the 1789 document known as the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the (Male) Citizen” (Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen). Gouges’s manifesto asserted that women are equal to men in society and, as such, entitled to the same citizenship rights.

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This stamp is part of a  sheet issued by Australia in 2005 was spookily entitled “Creatures of the Slime” and focussed on the world’s first animals – multicellular organisms, some probably related to worms, jellyfish, and snails, dating back some 560 million years. Known as Ediacaran fossils – predating dinosaurs by millions of years – these creatures have a particular connection to Australia. They are named after the Ediacaran Hills of the Flinders Ranges World Heritage site in South Australia.

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If you’re wondering what this photograph has to do with philately keep reading!

Australia has hundreds of abandoned grain silos dotted around the country. Many people think they are a bit of a blot on the landscape but the boring appearance of some of these monuments has been transformed by artists who may have previously practised their skills on city walls.

Consequently another subject for the stamp collector has been created by Australia Post, which has issued a set of stamps to recognise the incredible feats of the artists dedicated to brightening up the often scruffy look of the silos.

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applesThen these stamps from Australia are for you!! Recently issued by Australia Post, they feature labels that were placed on fruit boxes from the 1920s until the 1970s. The attractive,colourful paper labels displayed information on the produce and its associated growers, shippers and exporters and were pasted onto the ends of wooden fruit cases as a means of identification and promotion.

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Smiler stampsThe “Smilers” sheet was first introduced in Great Britain in May 2000 at the International Stamp Show 2000. The design of a set of Royal Mail Greetings stamps, first issued in 1990, was made available in sheet format (A4 paper size) with a label attached to each stamp.

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War is over newspaper heading Washington TimesThe 11th of November marks a special day in World history. It was at 11 a.m. on that day 96 years ago that an agreement came into force that officially ended the First World War. The agreement, which was signed in a railway carriage, was called the Armistice of Compiègne, after the location in France where leaders of the warring parties had gathered to put an end to the fighting that had caused so much death and devastation since the start of hostilities in 1914.

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Franz FerdinandExactly 100 Years ago today, Austro-Hungarian archduke and heir apparent Franz-Ferdinand arrived at the station in Sarajevo for an official visit. The first activity on the programme was an inspection of the military barracks. At around 10:00 am the motorcade left the barracks and made way for the town hall. Along the route, a gang of revolutionairies, led by Danilo Ilić, had positioned six men with the aim of assassinating the archduke.

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