Thursday, April 30, 2009

Preserve The Polar Regions and Glaciers

IPY Stamps: “Preserve The Polar Regions and Glaciers”

“Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers”:
A major philatelic event for the closing of IPY in March 2009

Last Saturday September 20t 2008, at the “Austria Center Vienna”, a few steps from the UN Headquarter in Vienna, have been officially presented the major philatelic event concerning the “International Polar Year 2007-2009”.

To pay tribute to all the efforts made during this fourth “International Polar Year” 2007-2009 and to deliver a strong message aimed at the whole world, the postal administrations of around 40 countries have decided to joint to produce a common stamp issue concerning the problem of the Global Warming and featuring the slogan “Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers”.

Started with a common agreement between Finland and Chile and launched in May 2007 during the state visit in Finland made by Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, it’s today 40 postal operators who have joined the project. The Finnish Philatelic Center’s Director, Markku Penttinen, is acting as the leader of this campaign.

Most of the Nordic Countries (Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway …) who issued a common block of stamps in March 2007 for the IPY’s opening are involved in this issue, as well as the countries pretending claims in Antarctica (like Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand …) or having stations on the White Continent (Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Ecuador, India, Japan, South Africa, Uruguay).

Some other countries having temporary research programs in the Polar Regions are also joining the stamp issue (like Estonia, Hungary or Switzerland for example). The program is still open to other goodwill countries involved in polar matters.

As Director Markku Pertinnen says, “A stamp is a receipt for postage paid but it is also a media … Millions of people all over the world will see this message and its appeal”.

Each country will be free to decide the theme and illustration for the issue, solely a common campaign symbol will be shared. The design – a “protected” ice crystal - has been created by Saku Heinänen a Finnish graphic designer and Master of Arts but also a keen amateur naturalist. The projects of some postal administrations are illustrated below.

The “International Association for Polar Philately/Association Internationale de Philatelie Polaire” (contact : who realized several philatelic exhibitions and postal events in relation with the IPY 2007-2009 will strongly support the “Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers” Stamps Program.

Dear friends

I am interested for any MINT stamp , official fdc , souvenir sheet (s/s) - miniature sheet on this subject “Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers”. So I accept your offers.


If someone is interested for the above greek miniature sheet please let me know on time as there is a very small number of them and there is big demand from all over the world.

Instead of currency you can send complete mint stamp sets from your country of equal value after you contact me through snail mail or through an e-mail sending to me. This offer valid till the end of May or till the time I can get the items through post office.

Save money while building your collection

Figure 1. Specializing in one collecting area can focus a collection and reduce stamp purchases. Shown here are stamps from the United States and Ireland, and a first-day cover from Sweden, each expressing the theme of love.

Figure 2. Bargain purchases include country lots from stamp dealers and auctions. Inexpensive lots can help fill the gaps in an existing collection or help to start a new one.

Stamp collecting is one of the few hobbies that you can enjoy for free by saving the stamps on your daily mail. Some collectors multiply their free stamp sources by arranging with nearby businesses to pick up envelopes from incoming mail that would otherwise be discarded.

Still, many collectors are looking for stamps that they aren't likely to find through these methods. When it comes time to buy the stamps you need, there are ways to save that you can watch for.

Narrowing your collecting choices can help you reduce the amount of money you spend on stamps.

Settle on a well-defined and limited collecting area and stick to your choice.

That means you don’t have to get every stamp from whatever country interests you. Completing a collection is not really the point. Creating the collection is what matters.

You may be a collector of United States stamps, but does that mean you plan to collect them all? Probably not. Some U.S. stamps are only known with one or two available examples, and those can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you have a basic interest in U.S. stamps, focus that interest onto an era or subject that you want to collect and limit your stamp purchases to that area.

If you limit your U.S. collection, say, to the stamps issued from the 1922 definitive series up to the 1965 Prominent Americans definitive series (that's Scott 551 through 1276), you'll be building a reasonable collection of more than 700 different postage stamps with line-engraved designs covering more than 40 years.

Collecting stamps by topic is another way to enjoy the hobby without the constant pressure to fill all the empty spaces on a stamp album page. For most topics there are no preprinted albums, so the collector gets to decide exactly what he wants to collect and how he wants to collect it.

A collector interested in the theme of love on stamps, for example, will find that the items he needs generally cost less than classic U.S. rarities, and he's likely to be pleasantly surprised from time to time by finding reasonably priced stamps fitting his topic that he didn't know existed.

Figure 1 shows stamps sharing a theme of love from the United States and Ireland, as well as a first-day cover from Sweden for its nondenominated Love booklet stamps issued in 2000.

Many stamp dealers carry partial collections that have been sold to them by former collectors. If a dealer has a surplus of such collections, they may be available at bargain prices.

The example shown in Figure 2 contains several pages from a collection of good quality Danish stamps, priced far below the total catalog value of the stamps in the lot.

Each of these album pages bears a number of different stamps, providing a solid (and inexpensive) starting point for the collection, with plenty of collecting fun to build upon.

Stamp mixtures and packets also can help you develop your collection inexpensively. You may wind up with a number of duplicate stamps, but you can trade those with other collectors for additional stamps that you need.

If you don't know other collectors, you can meet them at your local stamp club. Joining a stamp club has several advantages besides opening opportunities for stamp trades.

Collectors talking with one another about the hobby share helpful information, such as which stamp dealer provides the best deals, how to order stamps cheaply through the mail or from overseas, where nearby stamp shows are taking place and much more.

Stamp shows provide the collector with an opportunity to do some real comparison shopping, comparing not only stamp quality and prices for individual items but also the inventories and expertise of the dealers present.

Information about stamp shows taking place in your area appears each week in the Stamp Events Calendar in Linn's Stamp News.

You can also click here to check the Stamp Events Calendar online.

— Michael Baadke, editor, Linn's Stamp News


Linn's Stamp News Newsletter


World postmark primer: how to decipher dates

By Rick Miller

Postmarks have been around since before the invention of stamps.

Figure 1. The date of this Bishop's mark postmark is June 13, not April 13. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 2. The May 7, 1937, postmark date on this 1¢ Jones and Barry stamp is impossible to misinterpret. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 3. This 1-penny lilac Queen Victoria stamp was postmarked June 11, 1897, in Dundee, Scotland. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 4. This Mexican 25-centavo Eagle airmail stamp bears a Tamalin, April 20, 1930, postmark. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 5. This Saar 60-centime Colliery Shafthead stamp bears a Sulzbach, Dec. 2, 1932, postmark. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 6. This Polish 30-groszy Sobieski Statue at Lvov stamp bears a Mikolov, Feb. 1, 1932, postmark. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 7. This Danish 10-ore orange late fee stamp bears an Aarhus, Nov. 23, 1935, postmark. The stamp is shown sideways, oriented to the postmark. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 8. This Hungarian 30-filler Palace at Budapest stamp bears a Kondoros, June 27, 1930, postmark. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 9. The Jan. 8, 1915, Julian date in the postmark on this Russian 3-kopek Tsar Alexander III stamp equates to Jan. 21, 1915, Gregorian. Click on image to enlarge.
Figure 10. The "40.11.3" date on this Japanese 10-yen Cherry Blossom stamp equates to Nov. 3, 1965. Click on image to enlarge.

Generally speaking, the purpose of the postmark is to indicate the date and place of mailing. A postmark can also serve as a cancellation if it is applied by intent or happenstance to a stamp.

One of the earliest postal markings is the Bishop's mark, which is the first postal datestamp.

In 1661, Henry Bishop, postmaster general of Britain and namesake of the marking, devised the postmark to prevent patrons from claiming that a letter had been presented for delivery earlier than it really had and blaming the post office for slow delivery.

Bishop was in charge of the mail that traveled to and from London over the six main post roads of Bristol, Chester, Kent, North, Western and Yarmouth.

If the letter was mailed in London, a Bishop's mark was used as a postmark. If London was the destination, it was used as a receiving mark.

Originally, the Bishop's mark was a bisected circle with a two-letter abbreviation for the month in the top half and the day of the month in the bottom half. The year was not given in the postmark because it was not considered necessary.

Including the year in a postmark date did not become standard until about 1860.

In 1713, the day and month switched positions so that the month was on the bottom.

Simple enough, right? But look at the tracing of the Bishop's mark shown in Figure 1, given as "13 IV." Common sense tells us that the date is April 13, with the month given in Roman numerals.

But common sense would be wrong. The date is June 13. The two-letter month abbreviation is given in Latin capital letters in which "J" is written as "I" and "U" is written as "V."

Some postmark dates are absolutely straightforward and impossible to misconstrue, such as the May 7, 1937, Newark, N.J., postmark on the United States 1¢ green John Paul Jones and John Barry stamp shown in Figure 2.

The date is given in month-day-year order, which is standard on U.S. postmarks, and the month is spelled out, precluding any chance of misunderstanding.

The date "JU 11 97" is also given in month-day-year order in the Dundee, Scotland, postmark on the 1-penny lilac Queen Victoria stamp shown in Figure 3. But the month abbreviation "JU" is ambiguous. Does it stand for June or July? By comparing it with other British postmarks, we learn that in Britain, June is abbreviated "JU" and July is normally abbreviated "JY," so June 11, 1897, it is.

While month-day-year-order postmarks are common for the United States and for older Great Britain and British colonies postmarks, they are relatively rare in much of the rest of the world.

The Mexican 25-centavo Eagle airmail stamp shown in Figure 4 bears a "Tamalin, 20 ABR 30" day-month-year order postmark. The day-month-year order postmark is probably the most common format in use in the world today.

The three-letter month abbreviation is also a much used format. Fortunately, the three-letter abbreviations for the months are relatively similar in many languages.

Even if your knowledge of Spanish is minimal, it

doesn't take too much imagination to conclude that "ABR" is the abbreviation for April, giving the date April 20, 1930, for this postmark.

If you have a question about a foreign month abbreviation, the answer is usually as close as the reference section of your local library or a Google-search on the Internet.

Many postmarks do not use month abbreviations. Instead they give the date as five or six digits. Knowing that day-month-year order is standard in most of Europe and much of the rest of the world means the "SULZBACH, 2 12 32" postmark on the Saar 60-centime Colliery Shafthead stamp shown in Figure 5 refers to Dec. 2, 1932, rather than Feb. 12, 1932.

Many postmarks use day-month-year order but give the month in Roman numerals rather than in Arabic numbers.

Most of us learned our Roman numerals in grade school and can still read them up to XII with little problem. However, the Roman numeral for February (II) is often misread as the Arabic number for November (11).

The key in distinguishing between them is to look for serifs on the Arabic "11." February in Roman numerals is usually shown with two capital "I" letters or two sans-serif "I" letters, as in the Mikolov, Feb. 1, 1932, postmark on the Polish 30-groszy Sobieski Statue at Lvov stamp shown in Figure 6.

Compare the Roman numeral for February in that postmark with the Arabic number in the Aarhus, Nov. 23, 1935, postmark on the Danish 10-ore orange late fee stamp shown in Figure 7. The stamp is shown sideways, oriented to the postmark.

A less frequently encountered format for postmark dates is year-month-day order. Postmarks with this date order are normally found on Hungarian stamps, such as the "KONDOROS, 930 JUN 27" postmark on the 30-filler emerald Palace at Budapest stamp shown in Figure 8. The stamp is shown upside down, oriented to the postmark.

Note that 20th-century Hungarian postmarks usually omit the initial "1" from the year date. Nineteenth century Hungarian postmarks usually show only the last two digits of the year date.

Nowadays, we pretty much take it for granted that, if today is Feb. 23 in the United States of America, it is also Feb. 23 (with allowances for time zones and the International Date Line) in most of the rest of the world.

It wasn't always that way.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed a revision to the Julian calendar to better align the calendar with the solar year. The Julian calendar and the sun were 10 days out of sync at the time. This modification to the Julian calendar (named after Julius Caesar) is known as the Gregorian calendar.

The Gregorian calendar was immediately adopted in the Italian states, Spain, Portugal and Poland. The calendar was brought in line with the solar year in these countries by skipping 10 days. In 1582, people in these countries went to bed on the evening of Oct. 4 and got up on the morning of Oct. 15.

The Gregorian calendar was soon adopted by most Roman Catholic countries, but it was shunned for hundreds of years in many Protestant and Eastern Orthodox countries.

Postal historians trying to decipher international postal routes and delivery times have to be aware of when each country made the transition. Also, there could be interesting postal markings on letters mailed around the time of the transition in each country.

A table showing the conversion dates for most countries is available at

The longer a country waited to change to the Gregorian calendar, the further out of sync it got with the solar year and the rest of the world: 11 days by the time Great Britain made the transition in 1752, and 13 days by the time most Eastern Orthodox countries switched in the early 20th century.

When Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar, it skipped from Sept. 2 to Sept. 14, 1752. There were protests and disturbances as some bewildered Englishmen demanded the return of their lost 11 days.

Last to change, during or shortly after World War I, were the Orthodox Christian countries of Eastern Europe. That's why the Russian team missed most of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and why it was already November in most of the rest of the world when the October Revolution happened in Russia.

Calendar collectors are collectors who try to find stamps with legible dates for every day in a given range of time: anywhere from a single year from 1860 to the present.

Stamps with Julian date postmarks, such as the Russian 3-kopek Tsar Alexander III stamp postmarked Jan. 8, 1915, shown in Figure 9, can be a problem for calendar collectors. The Julian date of the cancel equates to Jan. 21 in the Gregorian calendar.

Most calendar collectors prefer to convert the date to its Gregorian equivalent and mount the stamp in that space on their calendar. Some simply pass up stamps with Julian date cancels. Others mount the date as it reads, figuring that all's fair in love and calendar collecting. Some collectors have separate Julian date calendar collections.

Even when all agree on the month and day, there can be disagreement over the year.

Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1873, but it numbers the years based on the ascension of the emperor to the throne. Year 1 begins at the death of the old emperor and ends on Dec. 31.

For example, Emperor Hirohito came to the throne on Dec. 25, 1926. On a Japanese postmark, normally given in year-month-day order that date would read "1 12 25." Year 1 of Hirohito's reign was only seven days long.

Because other years in which an emperor died and a new emperor ascended to the throne (1868, 1912, 1926 and 1989) start over as year 1 after the ascension, you have to know when the stamp was in use to figure out the date.

For example, the Japanese 10-yen Cherry Blossoms stamp shown sideways in Figure 10 was issued in 1961. Therefore, the "40.11.3" postmark has to date from the reign of the Emperor Hirohito (1926-89), making the date Nov. 3, 1965.

There are still other dating systems to puzzle out including Hebrew, Arabic, Ottoman and Thai, but this should get you through the great majority of postmark dates that you are likely to encounter.

If calendar collecting intrigues you, you will want to join the Bullseye Cancel Collectors Club. Annual membership is $15 and includes a subscription to BCCC Bulletin.

For membership, write to from Stan Vernon, 2749 Pine Knoll Drive, No. 4, Walnut Creek, CA 94595-2044. A free perpetual calendar and sample issue of the bulletin are available on request.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This is a First Day Cover which was official sealed during the ceremony of the final day
on August 29, 2004.

This is one of ten enveloppes that were ONLY sealed on that day having this stamp.



AB PHILEA - QUALITY AUCTION (No. 276) on May 16th, 2009

I have received through e-mail the following invitation and I am passing you the info in case you are interested.

Welcome to our QUALITY AUCTION (No. 276) on May 16th, 2009. It will take place simultaneously at Sjöfartshotellet, Katarinavägen 26, Stockholm as well as in our Gothenburg office (Nordostpassagen 61B, Gothenburg). Floor bidders can submit bids in both places.

Viewing takes place in Gothenburg on May 6-7 and in Stockholm on May 13-15, all days from 10am to 6pm. Also auction day viewing in Stockholm from 9am.

The auction is fully presented at

The mail bidding deadline is the day before the first auction day.

The auction offers comprehensive Scandinavian and International material with many interesting items.

This is the catalog of the previous auction which I have announced you on April 28th , 2009

It is a really intresting catalog

Thank you for the catalog


Thank you Liz




Bronze tsun [wine container) with dragon

design and decorated with tigers.

Shang Dynasty (l6 th – 11th) Funan, Anhwei



en-us-Palau.ogg /pəˈlaʊ/ , officially the Republic of Palau (Palauan: Beluu er a Belau), is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo. Having emerged from United Nations trusteeship (administered by the United States) in 1994, it is one of the world's youngest and smallest nations. In English, the name is currently sometimes spelled phonetically in accordance with the native pronunciation Belau. It was formerly also spelled Pelew[1].

Palau's most populous islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror, and Peleliu. The latter three lie together within the same barrier reef, while Angaur is an oceanic island several miles to the south. About two-thirds of the population live on Koror. The coral atoll of Kayangel is situated north of these islands, while the uninhabited Rock Islands (about 200) are situated to the west of the main island group. A remote group of six islands, known as the Southwest Islands, some 375 miles (600 km) from the main islands, are also part of the country and make up the states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol.

Early Palauans may have come from Australia, Polynesia and Asia. Depending on the thread of the family, Palauans may indeed represent many parts of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. However, it is traditionally not considered to be Micronesian. According to geneticists, there are two distinctive strains of Melanesian bloodlines: one is associated with indigenous Australians/Papua New Guineans and the other is known to have originated in Asia. There has not been any link established between the two.

In the European and Australian world Belau/Pelew is better known by the name of "The Black Islands". Vintage maps and village drawings can be found at the Australian library online, as well as photos of the tattooed and pierced Ibedul of Koror and Ludee.

Carbon dating and recent archaeological discoveries have brought new attention to the archipelago. Cemeteries uncovered in islands have shown Palau has the oldest burial ceremony known to Oceania. Prior to this there has been much dispute as to whether Palau was established during 2500 BC or 1000 BC. New studies seem to dispute both of these findings. Moreover, Palau's ancient trading partner, Java, has also come under close scrutiny since Homo floresiensis was found. Like Flores, remains of small-bodied humans have been found in Palau.[2]

For thousands of years, Palauans have had a well established matrilineal society, believed to have descended from Javanese precedents. Traditionally, land, money, and titles passed through the female line. Clan lands continue to be passed through titled women and first daughters[3] but there is also a modern patrilineal sentiment introduced by imperial Japan. The Japanese government attempted to confiscate and redistribute tribal land into personal ownership during World War II, and there has been little attempt to restore the old order. Legal entanglements continue amongst the various clans.[4]

Palau gained its independence October 1, 1994, when the Compact of Free Association with the United States came into force. Palau was the last portion of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to gain its independence. Under the Compact, the U.S. remains responsible for Palau's defense for 50 years, and Palauans are allowed to serve in the U.S. military without having to possess permanent residency in the U.S.

The New Capitol in Palau