Italian Anna Magnani Postage Stamp – 1997

Nobody living in Italy could have failed to notice that 2008 is the centenary year of the birth of one of Italy’s greatest and best loved actresses, Anna Magnani, with numerous television documentaries, exhibitions, DVD releases and book publications accompanying the event. Sadly, Nannarella as she was affectionately known in Italy, died in 1973 but […]

1959 Ceylon – Institution of Pirivena Universities

This commemorative stamp from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was issued in 1959 to celebrate the Institution of the Pirivena Universities, distinguished Buddhist centres of learning, which had been given university status following the University Act No 45 of 1958, namely Vidyodaya Pirivena, at Maligakanda, Colombo, and the Vidyalankara Pirivena in Kelaniya. The stamp depicts the […]

Winston Churchill at Race Track

World leaders have always been an obvious choice as subjects on commemorative stamps but this stamp issued on 25 November, 1974 by Dominica on the occasional of the Centenary of Winston Churchill’s birth on 30th November, 1874 is unusual in the informality of the setting. The one-half cent issue pictures Winston Churchill at the Race […]

Amphibian philately!

Did you know that 2008 is The Year of the Frog? Zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums around the globe are joining in a massive public awareness campaign to highlight the amphibian extinction crisis. This 1974 North Korean postage stamp illustrates the Rana catesbeiana … better known as the Bullfrog! It was part of a set […]

1964 CCCP stamp celebrating Tokyo Olympics

This 1964 stamp featuring the equestrian sport of show jumping was issued by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (CCCP) on the occasion of the Tokyo Summer Olympics (the Games of the XVIII Olympiad). Tokyo had won the rights to hold the games in 1958, having previously been awarded the games in 1940 then eventually […]

Abraham Lincoln 1965 US stamp

It probably won’t come as a surprise that I have a particular liking for small stamps that have the feel of the very first stamp – the Penny Black! This 4 cent US postage stamp featuring President Abraham Lincoln was issued on 19 November, 1965 as part of the Prominent Americans Issue between 1965 -1978 […]

Sima Guang ‘Breaking the Vat’ on Chinese stamps

Here’s a great example of why it’s nice to get international snail-mail now and again! My writer friend Adam Williams sent me some documents from China a couple of years ago in a large envelope covered with commemorative stamps. The large block of twenty stamps on the right depicts an anecdote about the early life […]

Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy on the moon!

The recent space shuttle mission reminded me of this set of stamps, although I waited till the crew got home safely before posting this! Issued by Saint Lucia in 1979 – The International Year of the Child – the set of seven stamps was issued on the 10th Anniversary of the Moonwalk and features several […]

Italian Post Office Entertainment Celebrities

More Italian stamps! This time a brand new souvenir sheet issued on 18 October 2007 with a print run of 2 million. I picked this up at the Poste Italiane stand at the Rome Film Festival. The set was designed by R Fantini and depicts three anniversaries of celebrated entertainment figures on three separate 60 […]

50th Anniversary of Italian Cycling Championships

I’ve lived in Italy since 1994 so I thought it was time that I listed some Italian stamps. I picked up this 1967 Italian First Day Cover at an antiques market at Piazza Cola di Rienzo in Rome; Primo Giorno di Emissione (first day of issue) is printed in red. It celebrates the 50th anniversary […]

Extinct Birds on 1974 Cuban Stamps

This 1974 set of Cuban Postage Stamps featured five notable examples of extinct bird species – namely the Dodo (1c), Macaw (3c), Passenger Pigeon (8c), Moa (10c) and Great Auk (13c). The Dodo – This meter-high flightless bird was found on Mauritius. It is one of the world’s most infamous examples of how man’s impact […]

Japanese Mandarin Duck

This 5 yen Japanese Mandarin duck (or in Japanese oshidori) postage stamp was in use from 1952 – 1968. By no means rare – it sells by the bag-full on eBay – I’ve always found this little postage stamp extremely attractive. Photo: philspics

Vietnam & the Tay Son Rebellion

1971 Postage Stamp issued in North Vietnam to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Tay Son Rebellion led by the Tay Son Brothers in 1771.

Dutch Elvis Stamps – 6 June 2006

2007 has seen a series of anniversaries and celebrations – the pilgrimage to Memphis by Elvis fans from around the world on the 30th anniversary of his death and the concert held at Wembley Stadium to celebrate Princess Diana’s birthday in the year of the 10th anniversary of her passing were major media events. Last […]