The Story of the French Spy Stamps

French 50 Centimes Stamp

              (The original French stamps are on the left, the British counterparts are on the right) Most philatelist know the part that stamps have played in making — and remaking — the history of the world.   They have started wars and celebrated peace; they have inflamed slumbering animosities into bloody outbreaks, ridiculed political leaders, and they have played a most important part in the waging of war. In recent times, stamps perhaps played no more important role than they did in helping the French underground, the famed Maquis, in their life and death struggle with…

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100th Anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leaf Stamp

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Canada Post issued this souvenir sheet in 2017 depicting a hockey sweater.  The actual stamp has a denomination of $5 and bears an embroidered maple leaf in the centre of the stamp. According to the Canada Post presentation folder: “In celebration of the team’s proud history, the centennial sweater sports a redesigned Maple Leafs’ logo with 17 veins for the year the franchise was founded and 31 points in the opening of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931.   The 13 veins in the top part of the Leafs logo mark the…

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Austrian Tree-shaped stamp

Austrian Tree Stamp

  In 2017, Austria issued the first tree-shaped wooden stamp printed on real wood from an oak tree.  Austrian Post claims they are unbreakable.  The stamp is created using laser cutting and laser branding and has a denomination of 6.90 Euros. Image curtesy of Ebay seller starlightcity 99 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/AUSTRIA-2017-OAK-TREE-SHAPED-REAL-OAK-WOOD-SOUVENIR-SHEET-OF-1-STAMP-MINT-MNH/302745508912?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D50999%26meid%3D1d79e7a7f1764fcbba7c80eb1e5a6b31%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D272825323882%26itm%3D302745508912&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851) Description by nsns72

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British Owls from the Royal Mail

Owl stamps from Royal Mail

Canadian Stamp News have an article about #Owls this week. The Royal Mail have released an interesting set of 10 stamps with British Owls. See here. “From the mostly nocturnal barn owl to the short-eared owl that hunts in the daylight, the stamps depict five species of owls that breed in the U.K. Issued on May 11, the stamps feature adult and juvenile images of the barn owl (Tyto alba); little owl (Athene noctua); tawny owl (Strix aluco); short-eared owl (Asio flammeus); and long-eared owl (Asio otus).” Read more in the Canada Stamp News article here    

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A First for the Faeroe Islands

Fish Skin Stamp

On September 26, 2016, the Faeroe Islands Postal Service issued a stamp featuring a small piece of Atlantic cod fish skin attached to it.  The stamps were produced in France using skins from cod that had been caught in Faeroese waters and then tanned in Iceland.  The stamps have a face value of 50 DKK (Danish Krone) and no two stamps will be identical due to the variations in the scales patterns of any fish. Atlantic cod can grow to 2 metres in length and can weigh up to almost 100 kilos.  Although tanning of fish skin has not been…

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Commemorating the Norman Conquest

Bayeux Tapestry Stamp

The Bayeux Tapestry or Bayeux Embroidery is an embroidered cloth nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long and 50 centimetres (20 in) tall, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. The tapestry consists of some fifty scenes with Latin tituli, embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns. It is likely that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s half-brother, and made in England—not Bayeux—in the 1070s.  In 1729 the hanging was rediscovered by scholars at…

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David Bowie stamps

David Bowie

Royal Mail in the UK have released David Bowie stamps: http://shop.royalmail.com/issue-by-issue/david-bowie/icat/davidbowie The set of 10 stamps, which go on sale on 14 March, will celebrate four of the Bowie’s tours and six of his albums. Album covers from Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Heroes, Let’s Dance, Earthling and Blackstar are featured.    

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First DVD stamps

N Korea 2008 Beijing Olympics DVD Rom Version 1

These two octagonal (8-sided) stamps were issued in January 2009 by North Korea to commemorate the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games.  It is unusual in that they consist of two playable DVDs with values of 300 Won and 500 Won, respectively.   The DVDs are enclosed in a package and contain Korean songs and dances. “The First Digital Versatile Disc Stamp of the world” is mentioned on the package label. Subsequent to their release, North Korea issued a second version with round CDs.  The phrase on the package label was changed to “The first Compact Disc video stamp of the World”. Even…

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Paraguayan 1985 Playable Record and stamp

Paraguayan 1985 record stamp

In 1985, Paraguay issued a souvenir sheet commemorating Luis Alberto del Paraná (1926 – 1974) and the “Galopera”.    Luis Alberto del Paraná was a popular Paraguayan singer and guitarist.   During the fifties, sixties and early seventies, he traveled extensively around the globe with his group Los Paraguayos, popularizing Paraguayan music.   He is the best-selling Paraguayan musician ever sharing the stage with The Beatles and recorded with The Rolling Stones. Luis Alberto del Paraná and “Los Paraguayos” sold more than 30,000,000 records, more than 650,000 tape cassettes, and traveled more than 1,000,000 kilometers during their tours.  Tragically, in 1974, at the…

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Glass stamp another first for Austria

austrian-glass-stamp

    In 2014, Austria issued the first stamp made of ceramic and in 2015, they issued the first stamp printed on leather. (Please see my earlier post to our club website: http://northshorenumismaticsociety.org/category/stamps/) In June 2016, Austria issued the first postage stamp printed on glass. With this glass stamp Austrian Post is presenting a very special, exclusive stamp and once again showing a great deal of innovative spirit when it comes to stamp design – to date no stamp valid for franking has ever been made out of glass anywhere in the world. The glass stamp shows one of the famous “Sandlbilder”:…

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Bluenose

Bluenose stamp

Bluenose was a celebrated fishing and racing schooner built in 1921 in Nova Scotia, Canada. it features on the 1929 50c which many consider to be the most beautiful stamp in the world. Bluenose is Canada #158 VFNH 1929 50c Thank you All Nations Stamp and Coin for image This stamp is in the Noon Saturday auction on 6th August 2016

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Innovative New Stamp

Leather Stamp

In 2015, Austria issued the first postage stamp made of leather. It is in the shape of a pair of lederhosen and has 6 Swarovski crystals embedded in it. The combination of Swarovski crystals and a pair of lederhosen is actually obvious. Both are a kind of symbol of the Alpine world and are often associated with Austria. For instance, lederhosen are part of the basic wardrobe for many a Tyrolean. They are usually made out of deerskin, sewn by hand and short for daily wear or in the form of knickerbockers for special occasions. Braces serve to ensure that…

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The World’s First Christmas Stamp

Canada issued the world’s first Christmas stamp in 1898. It features a map with the British Empire in red and the words “We hold a vaster Empire than has been”. This a line from an ode written by welsh William Morriss for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee called “A Song of Empire” It was to be 66 years before Canada issued another Christmas stamp in 1964. Thank you All Nations Stamp & Coin for the image.

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Micronesia $8 Stamp

Micronesia $8 Stamp

In 2012, the Federated States of Micronesia issued this $8 stamp.  What is unusual is that rather than being printed on paper, it is embroidered.  This cloth stamp is quite large measuring 67 mm x 42 mm and the design is a stylized dragon in red.   The back of the stamp has a paper covering that protects the gum.  To use the stamp, you would peel away the paper exposing the gum and press the stamp onto the envelope. Image courtesy of W4 Stamps Collectibles (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Micronesia-2012-MNH-Year-of-Dragon-1v-Embroidered-Stamp-Chinese-Lunar-New-Year-/271833842022)          

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New Caledonia Emergency Postage Stamp Money

New_Caledonia-25_Centimes_(1914-23)

       Here are two examples of unusual paper money from New Caledonia. Between 1914 and 1923, New Caledonia postage stamps were used to make emergency issue currency. The first issues were pieces of cardboard to which stamps were affixed in denominations of 25 and 50 centimes, 1 and 2 francs, with the 50 centime denominations made from either a single 50 centime stamp or a 15 and a 35 centime stamp.  The reverse of the cardboard is handstamped with “TRESORIER PAYEUR DE LA NOUVELLE CALEDONIE”, roughly translated as: “PAYABLE BY THE TREASURER OF NEW CALEDONIA”.  This item is listed…

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Singapore 2008 $5 Beaded Stamp

Singapore Beaded Stamp

This colourful stamp sheet was issued by Singapore in 2008.  The stamp itself with the design of the deer is intricately pasted by hand with ‘caviar beads’.  The stamp was inspired by the exquisite beadwork which is a distinctive aspect of the Peranakan culture.  The Peranakan were descendants of Chinese that immigrated to Indonesia and Malaya in the 15th and 16th Century.  Reputed for their creativity, the Peranakans used brilliantly-coloured miniscule glass beads to create intricate designs on anything from slippers to tobacco pouches. This text and image by North Shore Numismatic Society is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.…

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Italy 2010 Magnetic Stamp

Italy 2010 Magnetic Stamp

Post Italiane issued of a stamp in the “Made in Italy” series, dedicated to Federacciai, on the centenary of the inauguration of the complete continuous iron and steel casting plant in Bagnoli, the first in Italy. The stamp shows the Federacciai logo with the name standing out at the top on a grey background. At the bottom, a series of geometric and chiaroscuro effects appear to create a block of steel. The words “MADE IN ITALY”, “ITALIA”, and the denomination “€ 3,30” complete the stamp The stamp is printed with special metallic ink and can be picked up with a…

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Austria 2014 Ceramic Stamp

This stamp was issued by Austria in 2014 and it is the first official porcelain (ceramic) stamp in the world. The stamp is made of fine porcelain and was created in cooperation with the porcelain manufacturer Augarten in Vienna.  It was not printed but made in an elaborate, specially developed process. The white ceramic base was fired for 24 hours at 960 degrees, then glazed and cured at higher temperatures.  Only then was the “Viennese Rose” design, the country name and the denomination added.  It was then baked at 820 degrees in a further operation to ensure the color fastness. Thank…

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Bluenose Man on the Mast variant

Bluenose ManOnMast

Brian Grant-Duff > “An example of the desirable Man on the Mast Variety … The Bluenose variant was popularized in the Canadian Film Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveler.” Thank you All Nations Stamp & Coin for image http://www.allnationsstampandcoin.com/images/A1029_image_pages/44.html

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Stamps: Bhutanese playable records

One of the most unusual set of stamps ever issued is this set from Bhutan. It was issued in 1973 and each of the seven stamps is a plastic record that can be played on a phonograph. Each record contains folk songs and folk tales. The stamp denominations are: 9 Ngultrums (Yellow Stamp) 8 Ngultrums (White Stamp) 7 Ngultrums (Black Stamp) 3 Ngulturms (Purple Stamp) 1.25 Ngultrums (Blue Stamp) 10 Chetrums (Red Stamp) 25 Chetrums (Green Stamp) A complete unused set sells for between US$400 and US$600 on Ebay. Record stamps that have been postally used and cancelled on envelopes…

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