Germany: Holy Land

The featured stamp commemorates the 50th anniversary of the cession of Heligoland to Germany. The significance of this anniversary is indicated by the date of issue 1940 and the inscription ‘Deutsches Reich’ – an issue of the German national state during World War II. The stamp is an historical example of postage stamp propaganda andContinue reading Germany: Holy Land

United Kingdom: Commonwealth Games

Monday 8th August will be the last day of the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, England. The featured image is of a stamp from an issue commemorating the sixth running of the event, then referred to as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games held in Cardiff, Wales in 1958. The Commonwealth Games is aContinue reading “United Kingdom: Commonwealth Games”

Egypt: Egyptian Ports

In the nineteenth century, international trade relied heavily on ships and so ports became important places through which that trade flowed. Strong trade links required effective communication systems and with telephony and radio still to be discovered and electrical telegraphy still in its infancy, this demand fell to the postal system. Established trading nations suchContinue reading “Egypt: Egyptian Ports”

Greece: Lord Byron

A 1924 Greek stamp issue commemorates the death centenary of Lord Byron, the quintessentially English poet – why would Greece wish to commemorate an English poet specifically? The answer reveals the interesting history of one of the first international celebrities, a political influencer and an individual with a complex and sometimes troubled personality. Lord ByronContinue reading “Greece: Lord Byron”

Thematics: UK Postmark (Cancellation) Slogans

From the earliest adoption of adhesive postage stamps, postmarks have been used as an indication that the postage costs have been paid. Once postmarked, the postage stamp was ‘cancelled’ and could not therefore be reused. The use of postmarks to convey messages and slogans was initially reserved for the use of national institutions such asContinue reading “Thematics: UK Postmark (Cancellation) Slogans”

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”

Martinique: The Unsinkable ‘Stone Frigate’

The feature image depicts a stamp issued in 1970 by the Republic of France with the Caribbean island of ‘MARTINIQUE’ clearly identified in the top left. The scene is one of tranquility – a fishing boat is pulled up on the shore of the Caribbean island, the nets are drying in a breeze and theContinue reading “Martinique: The Unsinkable ‘Stone Frigate’”

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”