cddstamps on stamps

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

flown A380 cover inaugural Sinagpore Paris

3 hours to go before this auction closes on eBAY
lot A380 FFC
signed by some of the crew, 1 of 20 produced so limited number.

Thanks for looking.. Michael

Machin positioning !!!!

Hello, a digression tonight because in my mail today - lots of mail I might add and all philatelic related - I had this envelope. It is really quite surprising to me.

I do a Childrens Corner (free stamps to children) as some of you may know and I get quite a few letters from kids around the world on a regular basis. I send them free stamps. (am running low by the way so any donations gladly accepted).

Anyway, today I got this letter from a very young schoolboy in the UK. Lovely positioning of the Machin don't you think - I have had some very stange positioning of stamps on envelopes I might add - but how good of the Royal Mail person to frank it the way they did. This is a personal franking, not a machine franking. Just thought you would enjoy seeing it.

Best wishes, enjoy your stamps ....Michael

Monday, June 29, 2009

Machins, Train Spotting and the Age of Steam

Trains seems to attract people and I am sure there are so many more collectors out there who collect trains on stamps, yet how do I reach them? :-) How do any of us tell each other about other great blogs and stamp related readings etc? This is one way.

One of my favourite blogs is Machin Mania - I assume you all know this. Apart from the fact that a rather cool guy called Roy hee hee :-) started it and he has a really knowledgable Machin expert (Larry) writing with him, plus a few other very good writers... well it is just such a good blog; and then there is this particular page would you believe Machins, Train Spotting and the Age of Steam

I just spent 30 minutes trying to find some of these GB Booklets..... I must have these somewhere but cannot find them. Am going out of my mind wondering where they are now.
Thanks Roy :-)

Best wishes .. enjoy your stamps.. Michael

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stamps on Trains... Rhodesia

Hello, A friend said to me the other day how small the English engine locomotives were compared to say the US locomotives, well at least talking about the steam locomotives of their day. How true. Here is a classic I think. And how large was this?

Issued 1969 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Biera to Salisbury railway. I would like to read more on this engine and the railway but dinner is being served.. oops gotta go.

have a great weekend ... Michael

Thursday, June 25, 2009

maybe the first train on a stamp, stamp

Hello again, I saw this.. seems like an early issue. Was it the first stamp to feature a train on a stamp?

I honestly don't know but I am sure someone out there will know. Maybe a prize for best reply.

Other prizes to be announced over coming days.

Best wishes, enjoy your stamps ........... Michael

Monday, June 22, 2009

Trains on stamps Part III

Hello again, here is an issue from Fiji from 1975.. interesting I hope, as they are certainly of a different train, Sugar Train. So many ideas to write about on "Sugar Train" but I decided I would just leave it at stamps.

Enjoy... Michael

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trains on stamps Part II

Hello, Hope you enjoyed last nights piece. Seems I did not make the questions hard enough :-) Tonight a Presentation Pack I found.

It has been on my desk here with many others for weeks.. not sure why.. but this will be a prize.. if you email me the correct answer to the following; How many coaches did the locomotive in the video pull and what was the Firemans name. Hope you enjoy the video as well as the stamps. I am so enjoying this :-)

Winners will be announced in next few days.
Best wishes.. Michael

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trains on stamps

Hello, this thematic by popular request.... over next few days / week depending on available time, I'll try to show some trains on stamps. Hope you enjoy.

The first set is from Great Britain, Royal Mail, issued in 1985. Quite a nice design in my view.

These were issued to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Great Western Railway Company. Nostalgia for me, as growing up I saw many GWR steam trains, and I will admit I have been to the Didcot Railway Centre home page also, FYI you might enjoy reading this Didcot Railway Centre just click back arrow to return to the blog.

One cover you might enjoy seeing as well was produced by my friends at Buckingham Covers to celebrate the 85th Anniversay of the Flying Scotsman. A train (London to Edinburgh) I travelled on many times as a very young boy.

Having shown these stamps and links I just cannot resist a quiz :-) so for some stamps with trains on them.... I have not sorted them yet so it will be a big surprise to me as well as the winner.. Cannot offer all of the ones above as they are my only copy, sorry.. here is a three part question... 5th correct answer - email me at - and I just feel I have to make it somewhat hard as the research is easy as well as enjoyable :-)


part I..... what Class is the locomotive shown on the Buckingham Cover- full description required
part II... what is the name given to the 4 stacked exhaust nozzles found on this locomotive, and why
part III... What is significant about this ( see below) locomotive and why

now this is just general knowledge right :-) ....... stamp collecting is so interesting isn't it.

Have a great weekend ... Michael

Thursday, June 18, 2009

GB GV Downey Heads Part IV

Hello, This will be last part to the GB GV Downey Head series.. I could write forever on these stamps but I think the basics are covered. I promised a photo……. here it is.

Some essential items you need for study of stamps. Especially, lets say, pre 1970 stamps, GB and British Commonwealth in particular, when watermarks and shades were more the norm , and anyway, the stamps were, in my humble view, more interesting and worthy of study :-)
I have annotated some of what is on the table, Hope you find it interesting.
To conclude this piece I just want to add that it is worth having a good perforation gauge and a good magnifying glass. I would even go so far as to suggest a digital microscope. I have one but it not in this picture – it is hooked up to the computer – and it is really good to help study the stamps for varieties as well as take pictures I can load and show you :-) These GB GV stamps do have different perforations and as I have said, apart from the obvious Die differences, there are many catalogued varieties. Depending on how serious you want to get, a copy of the SG Specialised Stamp Catalogue, Volume 2 - it covers Edward VII to George VI - is a worthwhile investment.
Finally, if you want to see more stamps – and these are the 1/2d Downey Head from a collection I put together for a GBPS exhibition a few years back, please have a look at only 16 pages of 1/2d green stamps but you will see some examples of the catalogued varieties.
Enjoy your stamps, Best wishes … Michael

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

GB GV Downey Heads Part III

Hello, I finally made time today to get some scans for you of the two Die varieties of the 1d Downey Head. And a picture from the SG catalogue. I think the stamp scans show the variety the best but thought I'd show both for completeness.

It is now time to start having a look at some of your GV Downey Heads if you have not already done so. You have the watermarks I showed a few nights ago. Now the Die varieties.

I mentioned differences in watermarks. Well that is because you may find inverted, sideways or inverted reveresed watermarks. For the latter you need a mirror. Well not so much need one as it helps. Well it helps me. If you see a wtaermark that just doesn't look right hold the stamp to a mirror and see if that makes the watermark legible. For my final piece tomorrow I am going to show a photograph of my desk... you'll see the mirror I use. Clever :-) ..... read tomorrow to find out :-)

Enjoy your stamps.. Best wishes .. Michael

Monday, June 15, 2009

GB GV Downey Heads Part II

Hello, well judging by the enormous (Not) email response this may not be a hot topic :-) but I will continue anyway.

First the stamps shown last night. There were 8 different stamps. Some poeple have suggested to me that it must surely be boring collecting only two stamps. One green one (the 1/2d) and one red one (the 1d). But I find this issue so interesting. So stay with me :-) but if you do think it boring write me and I'll talk about something different OK. ( I do collect other stamps but this is my speciality)

First the watermarks, there are three; - Imperial Crown, Simple Cypher and Multiple Cypher.

How important are these. Well just look at SG 327, SG 329 and SG 336. (see last nights posting for actual stamps) Using my SG Concise for 2007 (latest I have) you would be happy to find a SG 336 in a Downey Head lot I would think. I know there are different Dies and other varieties but at this stage I am trying to keep it simple for my less experienced readers

Next, tomorrow or as soon as I can, the varieties including watermark varieties, and the dies.
Enjoy your stamps .. Best wishes .............. Michael

Sunday, June 14, 2009

GB GV Downey Heads

Hello, I just spent a few very relaxing hours this afternoon / evening sorting a few hundred GB GV Downey Heads. I received one from a stamp friend the other day. She does not collect these or know much about them and knew these were an interest of mine. ( Thanks .. you know who you are I expect :-) That motivated me to study some I had in envelopes, along with the one she sent - which was a nice copy but not anything that will make either of us rich :-)

I've really only just started. Sorting by watermark and die and a few of the more obvious colour shades. I still have the more detailed study to do, of shades and plate flaws. One never knows what one will find. So far I have found some very nice stamps including a few inverted watermarks and one inverted and reversed watermark.

But to the stamps. I wrote a piece about the Fiji GVI recently and pointed out how important it was to check perforations. Well with the GB GV Downeys the watermark, and what are termed "Dies", are important. All the stamps might look alike but they may well not be.

How many different stamps are there in this scan :-) I'll explain over the coming week.

Hope you enjoy this series and if you have any Downey Heads do have a careful look at them. You never know what you will find. I will help you know what to look for and talk about these stamps over the coming week.

Best wishes ............ Michael

Thursday, June 11, 2009

more on IYA - this time Serbia issue

Hello, some weeks ago I was writing on IYA 2009 and showing an issue a day or every few days, in alphabetical order. I digressed from that after a while..... got bored I guess..... and there are other sites / blogs out there listing the stamps..... boring as hell mind you as they just list the issues.... but hey, why repeat I thought.

Anyway today in the mail I received, from a collector in Serbia, this lovely cover. Thank you.. if you are reading you know who you are. I really appreciate the stamps and cards and this cover. So kind of you. And so I am showing it because I think it worth showing. To me stamps are not just stamps to be looked at. They have to say something meaningful and hopefully not too trival.

These stamps are brilliant. If you study them or read them you will understand why, and full credit to the Serbia Postal Authority for such a brilliant design, including the Cover design. The 46 din stamp shows the goddess Urania, she is the protector of astronomy, along with Galileo's telescope and the Milky Way in the background. The 50 din stamp shows the nebula Horse's Head in the background and the radio telescope. How interesting and how well portrayed. Well I think so. Your view?

Or perhaps you prefer the style of the Isle of Man stamps I wrote about. Hey, we are all different :-) Still waiting to see the GB issue.... :-)

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

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

perforations... why they may be important

Hello, something different tonight. I have been putting together a Fiji collection - well to 1966 at least, as after that life as we know it just went downhill didn't it :-)

So what about these two stamps. Apart from the wonderful engraving and design they are really nothing other than half penny values. Right? Wrong. I bought a few lots on an auction site recently and as I usually do, I check what I think I have bought.

This issue is from 1938, and has a ½d value with Perf 13 ½ and, a Perf 14. So what you may ask............ well the Perf 13 ½ has a cat value ( mint I am talking here) of 20p (GB) while the Perf 14 has a cat value of £20

Now how pleased was I when I studied the stamps received to find a Perf 14.

Always check the perforations on these older GB Commonwealth issues, well for any issues for that matter as there can often be variations and to assume low value could be a costly assumption.

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

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