cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Simpsons ... on stamps

Hello, my wife just got back from a trip to New York.. and brought me back a present. Nice to have, I have to admit :-)

Thought I would show a sheet ( as in double booklet) if you haven't seen them.

Enjoy your stamps and have a great weekend ............. Michael

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kew - Royal Botanic Gardens

Hello, some really lovely stamps tonight. Well in my view that is.

Kew Gardens is just such a magical place to visit. Rumours that my place here in Australia is a model copy are largely exaggerated. My green house is 1000th times smaller than the Kew greenhouse, although just as hot!!! As for the rest of the place I have wallabies destroying anything planted but not protected by electrified fences :-) hee hee.. Seriously though, lovely as this is it could be my last GB M/S showing as I have cancelled my order. Just too many issues now. I am collecting Fiji pre 1966 far more interesting as I see it and guess what.. cheaper :-) Will surely show you some in due course.

best wishes ...enjoy your stamps. ............... Michael

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fence and Post ( ha ha ha ha... think about it )

Hello, what a great day ..... finally, with some brilliant help from a friend got another paddock fencing completed.
Nothing to do with stamps, but I found this and thought how appropriate....... my fence lines are much cleaner I have to say.
Oh and the electrified lines works...... damn it! it hurts when you touch it :-) Enjoy your stamps ... Michael

Monday, May 25, 2009

Unused no Gum .... derrgghh....

Unused, no gum... actually I am rather bored reading that expression. What about you? What exactly is the seller telling you?

Basically that the stamp was on an envelope or some such package and went through the mail but was not postally franked. They, or someone, has soaked it and is now representing it as mint stamp, albeit with no gum.

Ok, so is the stamp unused? No, I don't think so. So why not say, "used but not franked by the postal authorities"

Well for a starter it would be honest, and god forbid we should expect that from some auction sellers. After all, the Auction sites don't police the quality and authenticity of what is being offered.. and why should they ( my answer is another 5 pages so I wont go there :-)

Morale: Do read between the lines when you are looking at stamps on auction sites.

Here is one of my favourites from recent viewings. Unused stamps maybe :-)

Yet .. there is a bid on this.. described as 20 vintage postage stamps.......... well my maths was honed many years ago at the University of Toronto and I cannot see 20 stamps, and this is the only page in the listing, and if vintage is used as an adjective..... I don't think so ........... and if used as a noun, well no, sorry!!!! Who is trying to sell this rubbish..... rhetorical question..... I doubt there is even a perforation or watermark variety there.

Enjoy your stamps, and please don't be one of those people who fall into the "buyer beware" trap.

Best wishes .. Michael

Footnote: if you ever want to bid on a lot and are unsure.. write me. I am a Director of the IPDA ( ) and if I don't know I think one of my fellow Directors will, or will know where to go to get an informed opinion.

a new value GB Machin

Hello, well I think it is a new value as I have not seen one before on a letter. Not that I get that much mail :-) Lovely... pity the left hand bottom corner perf is short. But still ok for my collection. Thanks Mum for the birthday card :-)

Enjoy your stamps..... however you get them ............ Michael

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Montenegro.. and for serious stamps.. Fiji

Hello, How is everyone? Well I hope. Been busy with stamps? I have. Had a wonderful weekend, sorted a few Fiji, bid on an auction site for others to fill some gaps - resuklts pending in next 7 hours so please don't compete :-) made up my free Children's Corner packets and mailed them out and, well, just had a good time.

I did have a look at some more ITA 2009 Stamps. Cannot resist showing you these. No need for me to tell you what I think of them. But hey, everyone to their own I guess. They will appeal to children I think and if that gets children interested in stamp collecting then that is all for the better.

Now about Fiji, anyone want to trade their Fiji - used in nice condition please - with some GB maybe. I am entertaining myself with Fiji these days.

As for Children's Corner, my box of spare spare stamps has got quite low. If anyone wants to donate please feel free to do so. I would be most pleased to acknowledge your contribution.

Best wishes.. Enjoy your stamps................. Michael

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Real genuine authentic honest relevant.............

Hello, not written for a few days.. again been busy. nearly end of May...where does time go?

I have been reading eBay, looking for some Fiji to fill a few gaps. Then I browsed the A38o stamp related material.. Oh my god. - I better be careful what I say, hadn't I - there is some "stuff" there. I am resigned to the fact that anyone can sell anything and whether it has any value or even close proximity relevance to what the topic is about, is irrelavant it seems....... get my point, read it again slowly.

So hey I listed a cover - yes a real flown first flight cover from a real inaugural flight with real and correctly dated post marks on it and really flown by me...... well some of the way :-) see 250428923355 then look at some of the others if you search A380 - Stamps. How else can I get the message across to all those poor bunnies out there who bid on this other "stuff". I won't write what I want to for fear I will be in court, but I have written to the seller with some probing questions. I cannot wait for the answers. If you are on my side I may share with you.

Hope you are enjoying your stamps and if you have any Fiji pre 1969 that you don't want, or want to trade for GB.. send me an email at

Best wishes.. Michael ........... what are you waiting for, ebay............. lot 250428923355

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Darwin Royal mail M/S February 2009

Hello, staying with GB, but something issued February 12th this year. A rather nice M/S - the Darwin issue. Not content to issue 6 stamps for the commemorative issue Royal Mail have to issue a M/S with 4 additional stamps. Even though, it is a very nice one in my view.

I collect M/S. Well I did. Until I realised that Royal Mail were issuing them more and more just because I collect them.. ha ha.. only joking.. well actually not quite. I have cancelled my M/S order. It is getting too farcial, their stamp issuing policy. I will wait 5 years and pick everything up at an auction somewhere for half the face value. I mean seriously...... how many of these will you ever see postally used? None because even mine are not franked.

Anyway, a dear friend sent this to me...... how kind..... thinking it would be nice to have a postally used copy. Well this is postally used but only if I keep it on the envelope that shows it went through the mail - see red lines...

I wrote last night about Royal Mail not franking stamps, and introducing non soluble gums to stop people reusing the stamps. How can they miss franking something as large as this M/S? Do you want to know my view. They don't care. They really don't. It is all revenue from stamp collectors if you ask me. This example is a classic case. Ignorant a view as that may be..... it certainly doesn't seem any other way. And I end up with a lovely M/S not really postally franked.

I've resurrected my Fiji collection. Time to go and enjoy those. Did I tell you it was my birthday next week :-) no need to send me GB commemoratives. Fiji pre 1969 will be just fine.. used of course :-) Any duplicates you have :-) I'll trade. Just email me at

Enjoy your stamps .......... Michael

Friday, May 15, 2009

GB - The GV Seahorse issue

Hello. Tonight something on GB. Why? because today I received my copy of one of the newsletter type publications Stanley Gibbons send to me (I subscribe actually, I think). Don't know whether you receive these but they are very informative and enjoyable. Although the down side is I cannot affort the beautiful stamps they show. Todays piece was about the GB GV Seahorse issues. A lovely stamp design I think. SG state that the design was in fact the first British stamp with a pictorial illustration. I did not realise that.

Anyway this one is SG 403, perfectly centred and unmounted mint, with an asking price of £4500. If that is a bit much for you, maybe this one. Another stunning copy of SG 403 but this time used.

But look at the postal franking, beautifully centred, and very light, not distracting from the stamp itself. This has an asking price of £1250. You may well have GV Seahorse stamps in your collection, but check the postal franking. I'd be surprised if you have anything of this quality. One reason is that the Post Office staff of the day were reminded to cancel the stamps thoroughly because there was a fear the postal frank ink could be cleaned away and the stamps reused.

Now here we are, nearly 100 years later, not worrying about removing ink from stamps so as to reuse them but because the Post Office does not frank them on occassions and so we have non soluable gums. However I digress. Lovely stamp design. Hope you enjoyed seeing these two. And, I acknowledge the SG email to me as the source of these pictures. One day I might own one or two like this :-)

Enjoy your stamps ..... Michael

Thursday, May 14, 2009

fine engraving .........

Hello, back to fine engraving tonight. I found this while looking through some more old material today.

Lovely stamp - well in its day. Pity my copy has short corner perfs.
This was issued in September 1895 to commemorate the introduction the "penny post" in South Africa.
Thought you might enjoy seeing this. Hope the scan is ok for you to appreciate the artwork.

Enjoy your stamps ........... Michael

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Hello, This from Natal. A third design in the QV reign. see previous writing for two other designs. Similar but with a different style for value tablet. Again, how lovely is this. And in this particular case, dated December 24th (18)97. Christmas eve. What a lovely cancellation as well. Something else we don't see much of today. :-) whinge whinge.. yes I know.. :-) I am laughing to myself as I write this..... don't take me too seriously, but do enjoy your stamps.......... Michael


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poles and Glaciers .... and more

Hello, well this will make someone happy :-) I was talking on the email to one of my readers last night. They are collecting the world issues of the Poles and Glacier issues. This obviously from Australia. A rather pleasant MS. I showed the stamps some weeks back if I recall correctly. I hadn't seen the MS but by request I managed to find a copy today. So before I mail it I thought I would show to you all.

Interesting how stamp designs have changed when you look at the stamps I have shown over previous evenings. I prefer the "old" designs I think.

Call me old fashioned, but many of the current day commemoratives just leave one gasping. To make my point, have a look at this. Received on some mail today. Ghastly. I don't know who should be chastised first, the designer, or the Post Office for allowing such juvenile artistry to be placed on a stamp :-)

Of course one could be even more cynical I suppose, not that I would, would I :-)

This, one of 5 stamps to commemorate inventive Australia (in the back yard!!!) ... yes seriously.. you think they would have kept quiet on the subject. I won't dare tell you the other inventions commemorated in this issue.... OK, I will if you insist.. the roller garage door and a Ute, the Victa rotary lawn mower (high tech Australia :-), the esky and a wine cask, that is, as in wine in a platic bag in a cardboard box... the mind boggles at the inventiveness, speedos (swimming trunks) and zinc cream (Merv, Shane and the boys, what would you have done without it) . Brilliant stuff, but for stamps .. I think not..

but whatever, enjoy your stamps :-) .. Michael

Sunday, May 10, 2009

the importance of quality

Hello, last night I showed you a lovely copy of a QV issue from the Bahamas. Tonight a not so lovely copy from the Straits Settlement. Which is a pity because a copy of this stamp in fine condition used is catalogued by SG at £65. So how disappointed am I to find this. Still it is a lovely stamp, if we also forget the cut perfs and the fact it is a perfin.

If this is a new term to you. A perfin (a contraction of 'PERForated INitials'), also called SPIFS (a contraction of 'Stamps Perforated by Initials of Firms and Societies'), is a pattern of tiny holes punched through a postage stamp. You can see these holes in this stamp. Organizations used perforating machines to make perforations forming letters or designs in postage stamps they purchased, often in bulk, with the purpose of discouraging pilferage. Great Britain was the first country to use perfins in 1868.

A number of countries perforated stamps as a means to denote official mail although the initials on this stamp suggest a company use.

Of course the telling point is this, many people consider these damaged stamps, including me. However they are collectable and whether this one has value to anyone is open to question because of the cut perfs along the top margin. The perfin I hear you ask.. well this is a scan of the reverse of the stamp.. you can see the letters HSB Anyone know what this could represent? A company initials?

Oh well, It will make a space filler, if nothing else and hopefully is a good example to show you cut perfs and Perfins.

But sad about those cut perforation ............ Enjoy your stamps ......Michael

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The importance of colour

Hello, a change again in topic tonight as I was looking through some stamps and found this. Quite nice I think you will agree. A few short perfs bottom right, but a lovely frank and in nice condition. It is after all nearly 115 years old, being postmarked in 1894.
Why am I using it as an example here on the subject of colour. Well, it is SG 52 and has a catalogue value of £2.25 being the ultramarine shade. It it were the blue shade it would be SG 51 with an SG catalogue value of £7, but if it was the dull blue shade it would be SG 50 with a catalogue value of £18.

But wait, there is more :-) for SG 52 there is a copy with a "sloping" 2 and it is catalogued at £70, and, if the watermark is inverted the cat value is £85.
So when you find these old stamps please remember how important the colour / shade / watermark and any variety can be in determining what you actually have and what the stamp is actually worth.
Always check carefully. As I did and found it was not a high value stamp. Oh well such is life, but the enjoyment of study was worth it.
Have a great weekend and enjoy your stamps ….. Michael

Friday, May 08, 2009

Malta Europa IYA 2009

Hello, another week just shot past. Where does the time go? I did find time to review the Malta issue for Europa IYA 2009. And I like these. Similar to many others I have shown in design concept but interesting I think.
These two will be issued on 9th May. and you can view what I think is a good Malta Post web site with more details at Malta Post

What I found interesting is that the stamps are printed on Maltese Crosses watermarked paper. I don't often see watermarked paper these days. Do you?

The Euro 0.37 stamp features a portrait of Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) by Francesco Boschi and one of Galileo’s sketches of the moon set against a starry background including the constellation Orion. The stamp also commemorates the 40 year anniversary of the first manned lunar landing by featuring the Apollo 11 lunar module “Eagle”. (You will remember the Isle of Man stamps featured this as well).

The Euro 1.19 stamp shows the great telescope of William Lassell, set up in Malta between 1861 and 1865, against a background of stars showing Nebula M42, which Lassell himself observed on various occasions from Malta.

Enjoy your stamps... Michael

Thursday, May 07, 2009

IYA 2009 issues yet again............

Hello, well back to IYA issues tonight. You may have seen The listing of Europa IYA issues is well documented there, but please don't let that stop you from visiting here :-)

I posted Korea last I recall. A few issues around Kazakstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein and Lithuania worth a mention but I am going back to I for Italy because I have seen these and thought these were a rather different design that were worthy of a mention.

I rather like these. A "modernistic" style if I can use that expression. And Luxembourg, this one of two issued, is again a "today" design, rather than a design with Galileo and science as the theme. Not that I have anything against that design style, But I do think some are executed better than others. ( eg Latvia - postively Disney!!!) so am not showing, sorry.

What are your views on the designs?

Enjoy your stamps ............ Michael

PS... ref previous writing - Treaties of Versailles, February 1783 -However for the purists it was The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, that formally ended the American Revolutionary War between the UK and the USA and for which France and Spain in particular had a seperate Treaty - the Treaties of Versailles, over Gibralter in this case ... I think :-) all very confusing :-)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

will get to IYA soon.. I promise

I am missing showing next IYA set only because I saw these today and just had to tell you about them :-)

It is my mischievous nature I guess..

After all Gibralter does actually have some history...yes it does... for example the first siege of Gibralter took place 700 years ago in 1309 when King Ferdinand IV of Castile was sent to capture the town, and according to records, he did. Reading the history of Gibralter could be thought to be quite boring (unless you are interested in sieges :-) because by 1779 there had been 14 sieges of Gibralter. And as we all know the rest is history. The French and Spanish forces lost to the British. Of course it was not as quick as that. Apparently the attacks went on for a few years until February 1783 . Long siege you may be thinking. Lots of stamps I would think could be issued. Australia has done something similar.. trends setters eh!!!.. oops I digress...... but what amuses me more than anything is the fact the when the siege was over the treaty that was signed was the Treaty of ....................xxxxxx ... shucks.. I have fogotten.. or have I.. :-)

ironic really, the name of the treaty..... not Westminster, or London, or Dover, or Bath, etc etc

What was it..... 100 GB Machins to the 3rd correct answer. :-)

Enjoy your stamps.. oh, did I forget about the stamps I showed and that started this rambling.. seems i did... :-)

Michael... and for aviation and aerophilately... and a far more serious discussion on stamps see

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Are you sure I am in the right class.........

I was thinking I would ask for the best caption to this picture......
I have a few ideas myself I must admit.
Being there in person this afternoon certainly gave me a few thoughts.

I have just spent the weekend well, much of it anyway, as a Cross Country event judge At the Sydney International Equestrian Centre at a FEI World Cup Qualifier. And how interesting and exciting. Hope you like these pictures - a few I was able to take.

The showjumping also was stunning. Just seeing the course being walked and knowing these people were mostly, well lets just say, not too short, certainly makes you glad you are watching, ........... so you tell me a caption. I'll find a prize to whoever makes me laugh the most to the first picture
And I have these Australian stamps so thought I'd show you them as they are also lovely horses and lovely stamps.

Enjoy your stamps..and maybe horses as well.. Michael
Email me at and PS, for any purists amoungst you, the time stamp on my camera is 2 hours ahead of itself, as it was set when I was overseas.

Click to zoom in on my visitor map!
Click to zoom in on my visitor map!