PostBeeld has recently acquired a large amount of Europa stamps and we feature here a selection with the theme History, all from the year 1982. The first is from Portugal, showing King Emanuel I (1469-1521) on his way to meet Pope Leo X in the year 1514.

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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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SEPACThis 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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Unusual-topicsWhat makes stamp collecting interesting for most people is the enormous, and sometimes strange, choice of topics chosen by countries/organisations when issuing stamps. Each year, the organisation PostEurop’s Stamps & Philately Working Group selects the EUROPA stamp theme. It is always very interesting to see what stamp designs for each year’s topic are printed by the participating countries’ postal authorities.

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Christmas Stamp 2014 GibraltarThis year’s Gibraltar Christmas stamps are artworks extracted from a magnificent Christmas collage created by 33 artists at the St.Bernadette Resource Centre in Gibraltar to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability in December.

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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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Jersey Europa Stamp 2014 Musical instruments - BanjoSituated fourteen miles from the coast of France and measuring only 45 square miles, the Island of Jersey is fast becoming a major venue for music performances and festivals. Local artists have plenty of opportunity to showcase their talent as they join star-studded line-ups throughout the year; audiences made up of islanders and visitors enjoy the different musical genres on offer and experience, first hand, the delights of live music. Many festivals, concerts and gigs regularly take place in Jersey and local talent is in abundance. School children are actively encouraged to learn to play a musical instrument and Islanders can continue to look forward to live events throughout the year.

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Gibraltar stamps Centenary of World War I - 12p stampTo commemorate the First World War Centenary, Gibraltar issued a stamp set of six depicting images from drafting to embarkation. World War One gave the Gibraltarians the opportunity to show their patriotism and did quite well out of the war, without the use of guns or Garrison (Spain no longer had the power or facilities to participate on the European battlefield). On the Rock of Gibraltar, the naval dockyard worked overtime, hospital ships transported the wounded to land for medical care and trade through Spain was flowing well. The Allied navies set up in Gibraltar, including the USA, and pioneered the tourist trade on the Rock, when sailors and soldiers spent time on leave in Gibraltar.

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