Egypt: Dating by Country Denotation

In 1958 Egypt and Syria formed the United Arb Republic (UAR) to protect common interests in the Middle East. From that year, postage stamps issued by the union countries carried the letters ‘UAR’ as well as the country where the stamps were issued. These denotations were to change in the following years and, in theContinue reading “Egypt: Dating by Country Denotation”

Australia: A Tale of Hell and Paradise

Norfolk Island is a remote island located in the Tasman Sea, mid-way between Australia and New Zealand and is named after Captain Cook’s patron, the Duke of Norfolk. Cook had discovered the island in 1774 during a voyage of discovery to the Pacific and Australia. The island has high cliffs and reefs and the landingContinue reading “Australia: A Tale of Hell and Paradise”

Egypt: Writing Home

The featured image is of an envelope posted in Cairo on 24 February 1936 to an address in Canterbury, England and carries a red prepaid postage stamp. On the back of the envelope is a 1 piastre letter seal beneath the emblem of the Royal Horse Artillery, an arm of the Royal Regiment of Artillery thatContinue reading “Egypt: Writing Home”

Pitcairn Islands: Mutiny on the Bounty

The Mutiny on the Bounty is a well know tale of insurrection on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty in the South Pacific on 28th April 1789. The mutineers seized control of the ship from their captain, Lieutenant William Bligh, setting him adrift in a launch with 18 loyalists. The story of Bligh’s navigation moreContinue reading “Pitcairn Islands: Mutiny on the Bounty”

Sudan: A Conflict Remembered

An extended 19th Century conflict between the Sudan and Egypt is remembered in the postal issues that supported vital military communications channels and subsequently commemorated the conflict and its protagonists including General Gordon, the British Army officer and former Governor-General of the Sudan. In the 19th Century, the Khedivate of Egypt was officially a provinceContinue reading “Sudan: A Conflict Remembered”

Sarawak: Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak – a life story worthy of film

Sarawak – a place name that has an exotic ring to it and its history is none the less interesting. British trading rights had been established in countries such as India and Malaysia and by the beginning of the nineteenth century, Singapore had become a major trading port. However, further east the influence was lessContinue reading “Sarawak: Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak – a life story worthy of film”

Papua New Guinea: A Pantomime Tale

The East Indies were first visited by Europeans in 1606 when the explorer Luiz Vaz de Torres passed through the Straits that now carry his name, between New Guinea and Australia. The native inhabitants of New Guinea consisted of numerous close-knit tribes that were wild, feudal and cannibalistic. The island was and still is coveredContinue reading “Papua New Guinea: A Pantomime Tale”

Egypt: Reflections of an Ancient Civilisation

Few countries can boast a history quite like that of Egypt – built on the foundations of an ancient civilisation at that. Central to this civilisation was the River Nile that rises in eastern Africa and runs for thousands of miles before traversing Egypt and emptying into the Mediterranean. This was a powerful nation longContinue reading “Egypt: Reflections of an Ancient Civilisation”

Egypt: Nationalisation of the Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is synonymous with Egypt as it lies completely within Egyptian territory. For centuries the early Egyptians had visions of joining the Nile to the Red Sea, creating a sea route between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Early proposals included the canal construction from Suez (at the Gulf of Suez in theContinue reading “Egypt: Nationalisation of the Suez Canal”

Papal States: Deciphering Postal History

This folded letter was sent from Perugia, the capital of the Papal State of Umbria to the Vatican City in the mid-1800’s. The cover features two hand stamps dated 4th and 9th of June (‘GIU’, Giugno). However, the years are difficult to decipher, one suggesting 1852 and the other 1862. Perugia is mid-way between FlorenceContinue reading “Papal States: Deciphering Postal History”