Thematics: Child Welfare

The first child welfare stamp was issued in Switzerland in 1913 and became known as the Pro Juventute issues because of their Latin inscription meaning ‘for youth’. The stamp, featuring an image of the Matterhorn and Helvetia (the female national personification of Switzerland), was denominated 5 centimes but was sold for 10 centimes with theContinue reading “Thematics: Child Welfare”

Spain: A Monarchy in Profile

Any philatelist with an interest in Spain cannot ignore the changing portraits that grace the early stamp issues. The profiles belie a period of political turmoil in the country that can be traced from the first stamp issue of 1850. Modern Spain is of course a culturally rich and politically stable country and retains itsContinue reading “Spain: A Monarchy in Profile”

Denmark: Recovery of Northern Slesvig

One of the fascinating aspects of philately is discovering issues of countries that no longer exist. A little research often unveils an interesting history and a link to a region with its own unique culture. One such region is Slesvig and in this post we’ll visit it’s history and culture through the 1920 Denmark issueContinue reading “Denmark: Recovery of Northern Slesvig”

St Vincent: Island Fortifications

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the rather bizarre commission of HMS Diamond Rock, The Unsinkable ‘Stone Frigate’, as a fortification off the coast of Martinique. However, it seems that the propensity to occupy otherwise barren and hostile rocks in the Caribbean Sea for military purposes is not unique. A set ofContinue reading “St Vincent: Island Fortifications”

Greece: A Blot on Proceedings

Articulating political sentiment through postage stamps has been common theme throughout philatelic history and continues to this day. In some cases this is blatant – imperial and propaganda stamps of the early twentieth centre immediately spring to mind. In other cases, it’s more subtle as is evident in the featured image of a 2.5dr stampContinue reading “Greece: A Blot on Proceedings”

Guides: What’s it Worth?

Tune in to any one of the philatelic social media channels and the question that you’ll commonly see posted is ‘What’s it worth?’, accompanied by a photograph of a stamp or collection. Sadly, in the majority of cases the answer is, ‘don’t give up the day job just yet’ or words to that effect! EvenContinue reading “Guides: What’s it Worth?”

Martinique: Paris of the Caribbean

The featured image is of a 1947 4f stamp issued by the Caribbean island of Martinique. The design is simple, depicting a vista looking across a bay with shoreline buildings in the foreground and an impressive mountain rising up in the background. Surprisingly, the portrayed vista is the scene of one of the most devastatingContinue reading “Martinique: Paris of the Caribbean”

St Lucia: Rising from the Ashes

Built on reclaimed land and tucked away in the north west of a tropical Caribbean island, Castries is the capital and largest city of St Lucia. It lies on a flood plain but on 19 June 1948 was devastating by a fire that destroyed more than 75% of the city and led to a reconstructionContinue reading “St Lucia: Rising from the Ashes”

Imperial China: Spoilt for Choice

If you are a collector seeking a region or country with a diverse postal history then you can’t go far wrong with China. The history of China is complex – the demise of imperialism, years of internal feudal conflict, revolution, civil war and overseas occupation has resulted in a postal history that is both richContinue reading “Imperial China: Spoilt for Choice”

Cayman Islands: Tempting the Tourists

Tourism has been a predominant theme for a number of recent posts relating to Caribbean issues on this blog – notably Martinique (The Unsinkable ‘Stone Frigate’), Jamaica (Local Artist Comes to the Rescue) and St Lucia (A Case of Unfortunate Timing). In the early 1930’s, these stamp issues were unashamedly targeting a small but wealthy audienceContinue reading “Cayman Islands: Tempting the Tourists”