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Friday, 17 August 2018 00:00

The Beatles collection

The first postage stamps to bear Lennon's portrait appeared in 1988. In that year Britain and Australia produced a joint issue highlighting aspects of common culture, and thus it was that a 34p and a $1 respectively portrayed William Shakespeare and John Lennon. Released on June 21, they were pipped at the post by a set of four youth stamps issued by Germany on April 14, with the theme of pop music. Place of honour on the top value (80+40pf) was reserved for John Lennon.

On August 22, 1991, St. Vincent issued a sheetlet of nine stamps, reproducing photographs of John. In 1995 St Vincent produced a sheetlet of nine $1 stamps, each reproducing a portrait of John. The accompanying $6 miniature sheet portrayed John and Yoko Ono.

On December 8, 1995 IGPC released an omnibus marking the 15th anniversary of Lennon's death. A number of countries, released sheets of 16.

Collectors of British philatelic mementoes of the Beatles have had to content themselves with the pictorial postmark of January 16, 1997 incorporating portraits of the Fab Four.

part from the US 'Celebrate the Century' 33c stamp, the Fab Four were portrayed on one of the Millennium stamps issued by Belgium.

Published in Thematics
Friday, 17 August 2018 00:00

Birds on stamps

Birds on Stamps' is a popular subject for thematic collecting. Looking at birds shown on stamps issued during the 19th century. Their total number is only a tiny fraction, and the range of different species is very small.

The world's first two bird stamps appeared in Switzerland, in the 1840s, for Geneva and Basel. Geneva's first issue, consisted of joined pairs of 5 centimes values. Inside the arms of Geneva is an impression of an eagle.

The Basel 'town post' stamps show a dove. Many collectors see this as the first true bird stamp.

At least one more bird stamp was released during the 1840s. This rarity is among the 'Postmasters' provisional issues', and was for use in Annapolis, Maryland.

Published in Thematics
Friday, 17 August 2018 00:00

Buses on stamps

A set of six issued by West Berlin in 1973 showed a horse-bus, trolley-bus and motor buses from 1907 onwards. In 1965 Cuba issued a set of eight stamps depicting buses and returned to this theme in 1977.

Guernsey produced a set of four in 1979 devoted to public transport. In 1998, Jersey celebrated the 75th anniversary of its Motor Transport Company with a set of six . Malta released a set of four showing buses in 1996.

By far the best coverage of public transport has been by the Isle of Man which issued a set of four stamps in 1976 and included a horse bus of 1895. In June 1999 a set of six depicting island buses over the past 70 odd years were issued.

Published in Thematics
Friday, 17 August 2018 00:00

Cats & Dogs on stamps

Although it wasn’t until 1930 that the first stamp to depict a cat was issued, dogs featured on stamps as far back as 1887. In February that year Newfoundland introduced a half cent stamp and chose the head of the Newfoundland dog. Originally printed in rose-red it was re-issued in black in 1894 and two years later appeared in orange-vermilion. A full length portrait of a Newfoundland dog appeared on the 14c definitive of 1932 – the same motif being used for Coronation series of 1937.

A Newfoundland dog was the subject of the entire series of 1932, while the set of 1972 showed a shipwreck scene with a dog going to the rescue. In the Christmas stamp of 1998 Santa’s sleigh was drawn by a Newfoundland dog.

Newfoundland’s 15c airmail of 1931 showed a dog-team hauling a sledge in wintertime, while the St. Pierre’s definitive series of 1938 showed huskies being harnessed.

It was equally significant that the earliest cat stamp should allude to a symbol of good luck. A one peseta air stamp was released in October 1930 the Spirit of St. Louis with a black cat seated in one corner. Jersey, Iceland and Britain’s greetings booklet of 1991 included three stamps showing black cats.

Published in Thematics
Friday, 17 August 2018 00:00

Fairy Tales on stamps

Over the last 20 some years many of the world’s favourite stories have been illustrated and recognised by various countries on their postage stamps including many from Great Britain. Most of all these have appeared on issues of Walt Disney Postage Stamps, which today covers 37 different countries across the world.

The earliest set to be issued was San Marino which had 10 values, nine of which portrayed Mickey and friends and 220 lire value showed Mogli from Jungle Book with Mr. Walt Disney himself. The first truly dedicated issue was in 1980 when the Maldives released the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ set of nine values and a souvenir sheet of the ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’. This was updated in 1987 by Grenada, with a sheet on nine values showing clips from the animated film and a souvenir sheet with Alice in a tree.

Aladdin is one of the most popular stories and evokes the magic of the mystical east – it was magnificently portrayed in the 1994 issue of Guyana. The set of 26 stamps in two sheets of nine and one of eight each show an individual still from the animated film, from Aladdin finding the lamp $7.65 to $65 face value Aladdin & Jasmine in Love with fireworks in the background. The four souvenir sheets show highlight clip and encapsulate the ‘star on the stamps’.

Published in Thematics
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