Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Girl with Green Eyes!!!!

Since long i have seen the photograph on internet and National Geographic site,this picture of this girl with green eyes caught my attention!!! It almost became to me the face of Afghanistan since then. So when i got a nice picture postcard featuring this girl i could not help but share this joy with you,you can see my excitement as i am writing in my blog almost after a very long time!!!

like other cards this card also have its own story to tell.. This is the picture of Sharbat Gula. She was photographed back in 1984 by Steve McCurry,which appeared as cover image of 1985 National Geographic Magazine.

Back then she was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of Soviet Union occupation of Afghanistan . Her eyes bold,straight looking to the camera was described as most " recognised photograph" in the history of NGM. McCurry made several unsuccessful attempt to locate her during 1990s, finally  in 2002 a NGM team traveled  to Afghanistan and found her. No wonder many girls claimed themselves as Sharbat and many husbands claimed their wives as her :). Finally she was identified at an age of 30 in a remote region of Afghanistan,since she went back to her native in 1992 leaving the refugee camp. She recalled being photographed . And in 2002 she first time saw her picture which was shooted way back in 1984. 

She was happy to pose with the iconic issue of the NGM in 2002.

More about her life can be found @ :
The pictures i have taken from Google and: NGM page:

Well it was quite a search isn't it?


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kayaks through stamps

Well this was planned long back,but i could not post due to lack of time and finally i was determined and thanks to some inspiring friends and finally its going to come out.

What is kayak? A kayak is a small, narrow boat  primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double-bladed paddle. The word kayak originates from the Greenlandic Inuktitut language, where it is the word 'qajaq'. In the UK the term canoe is often used when referring to a kayak .

Now the type of kayaks: "Sit on tops", as the name suggests, involve sitting on top of the kayak in an open area..."Cockpit style" involves sitting with the legs and hips inside the kayak hull with a  spray deck or "spray skirt" that creates a water resistant seal around the waist. "Inflatables" are a hybrid of the two previous configurations, these boats have an open deck, but the paddler sits below the level of the deck. "Tandems" are configured for multiple paddlers..

Ok now enough technical details...what about some stamps of kayaks?

One of my most favourite is 2011 ms of Greenland showing communication in Greenland..

 The first stamp shows a kay mail..Kay mail was the common way to transport mail
in the old days – this was, of course, as a supplement the dog sledge transport.The kay mail letters
were folded in a certain way so that they would fit into a kamik, the traditional Greenlandic boot.
A few of the kay mail letters, back from the 17th and 18th centuries, are preserved in private collec
tions today.During the 1950s and 60s, as motor boats were more common in Greenland, the need
for kay mail disappeared gradually. In 1994, POST Greenland printed a modern day kay mail letter
which was very popular. The last of these reprints were sold at POST Greenland’s booth during the fair “Frimærkeforum” in Roskilde in November 2010. I tried to find out an example of kay mail letter picture but was not successful.

Greenland issued several stamps on Kayaks in various years below are 2 of them engraved by master engraver CZ Slania..

Kayaks were very much used for fishing in northern regions.typically these kayaks shown in the stamps are "Cockpit style" . Like to share a nice postcard issued by Greenland post showing  Kayaking by a man..engraved from the painting drawn by Martin Morck in 2002

One of another stamp issued by Canada post way back in 1955 shows a man kayaking and on back ground on iceberg...the stamp itself is so cold....

When it comes to Kayaks its prominent in their mythology as well,the 2008 Nordic mythology MS
issued by GL post shows a kayak and a man and rocks.

The legend behind the myth is: The myth of the rocks,The Rocks is a less well known legend about a
kayaker’s meeting with the spirit in the rocks. The legend tells about the many adventures a traveller meets during his some times dangerous and long travels. In the legend it was urgent for the kayaker to row through two rocks before they collapsed around him. In the old days, the kayak was a very important property for a sealer in Greenland, so he could go catching or travel far. It was very important that the traveller was good at paddling and make turns with the kayak alone in order to get above water very quickly if he capsized.  If he came under water, it was
of vital importance to get above water as quickly as possible. Otherwise he would drown.Therefore it
was urgent for the kayakers to be such good kayakers that they could deal with any dangers they might meet.  When a sealer was out kayaking, he was usually alone, and therefore had nobody to help him when the danger was in sight.

Canoeing and kayaking have been featured as competition sports in the Summer Olympic Games since the 1936 Games in Berlin, although they were demonstration sports at the 1924 Games in Paris
Below is the stamp showing Kayaking as race issued by France in 1969

The MS showing coastal life of Aland showing a canoe or a Kayak?i am bit confused here.

Enlarged for close observation:

Last but not least  1981 Falkland 15p issue commemorating 25th anniversary of Duke of Edinburgh's issue shows clearly a Kayak but the Specialized Heijtz  Falkland catalogue named it as Canoeing,may be as in UK they call it as Canoeing?

Sources: Wiki,Greenland Collector Magazine

Sunday, August 31, 2014

End of era for Pick Lick & Stick?

Self Adhesive stamps!!!! I was wondering that how popular it is in the world these days!!!!In my recent visit to Scandinavia on a business trip i found it's quite popular and easy to use.When i was visiting different tourist places like Oslo,Bergen,Copenhagen wherever i went i had a plan to send covers and postcards to myself and i succeeded to do so.The all tourist information centers and postcard shops sells stamps. Though i was carrying a glue stick i never had to sue it ,as they were all self adhesives!!! This way it is easy and stamps are accessible to every common people and more popular no doubt.. And it was easy and convenient for me also to remove the paper and stick them on my covers and cards. Below is a cover from Oslo which i posted to myself.

The question in my mind was is it the end of era for traditional stamps with gum on back?Because as a stamp collector specially for used stamp collector the gum in philately is of so much importance.As i also get some covers from my friends around the world which have self adhesive stamps,i often try to soak them in water to get the used stamp sample.But i found in most of the cases it is almost impossible to remove them from cover.And complexity of removing them differed from country to country. Specially i found USA stamps are almost impossible to recover and most of the time they goes in trash and i hope you understand its of a so much pain:(..I understand its a great pleasure for post crosser or postcard collectors  or tourists who really don't care about the gum stuffs, and its honestly easy and convenient way to send cover/cards to their friends and relatives..So whats the use of traditional gummed stamps?Will they really come to an end?I wonder seeing the popularity of self adhesives  ..that the day is not so far.But to my wonder as like the above example of Norway stamp i saw some stamps we got as self Adhesives from the post office but when i bought from Philatelic bereaue they are traditional gummed ones..So may be not the end?There is hope!!!Evn online site of them dont shows the self adhesives either!!!!! Below i sent one cover to myself from Post and Telegraph museum of Copenhagen ,its a combination of both self adhesive and normal gummed one!!! The stamp showing the lady was self adhesive...

Now we just dig a little bit on the history of the Self adhesive stamps!!!!

The pioneer of Self Adhesives were produced by Sierra Leone in 1964,printed in Britain by Walsall Lithographic Co. on paper supplied by Samuel Jones & Co. The stamp shows the map of the country.

Off course by using self adhesives the health risks can be avoided.As most of collectors buy stamps from counter and immediately they lick the back side of it and stick it to the envelope,which may cause spread of bacteria .

Well USA was next in line to issue self adhesives .In 1974 they issued the christmas stamps as self adhesives and it was a great flop :( ,due to die cutting problem and adhesive damaging the design.

Though  the issue was raised in British parliament just after the issue of first self adhesives by Sierra Leone whether GB can adopt such stamps in future,and it was not accepted until  October,1993 when GB came out with their first self adhesive stamps were issued as a booklet of 20 1st class values,as shown below.

and now happily the tradition is being followed in Post and Go stamps by GB. and i think most of all countries are issuing them as a part of their stamp issues.

The problem is to remove them by water.Some tells it can be easily by hot water some says it is not.But my experience is USA stamps are worst in this case,but seems they have been designed such a way so no one can use the uncancelled stamps as new stamps again.
Some collectors of used stamps have discovered that although not readily removable by water, the self-adhesives can be removed with Bestine (a hexane solvent), Benzine (Petroleum Ether), or a natural based citrus solvent containing d-limonene (e.g., Pure Citrus Orange is an air freshener product that works for this purpose).

So what ever it is health issue or bacteria,the debate will be still on ...
So what you prefer self adhesives or traditional gummed ones?
A pain for stamp collectors or paradise for common people??

Note:The pictures of early self adhesive stamps are taken from internet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mail from Volcanic Island..

My friends here i share with you my mail from remote volcanic south Atlantic island..Tristan Di Cunha..
I was always curious of getting letter from remote islands and it would be nice if it contained bird stamps on it..and here you go a nice cover and postcard to my address and these Albatross have reached me safely.

The stamps are showing Tristan Albatross issued in 2013 as set and 1 miniature sheet and sheetlet bearing WWF symbol.

Here they go:

Note the color difference of Albatross beak ..the postcard one is yellow and stamps showing one having pink..the later one is called as Southern Royal Albatross ..

Thanks to Post Mistress of TDC post Mrs. Iris Green without her it wouldn't have been possible

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Surprise from Mongolia

Surprise and gifts make collections some time more interesting..and so i was while i got this nice cover from Mongolia..from an unknown friend.I don't remember we have communicated any where and  i have ever shared my address with some one from Mongolia..So it makes me more curious and surprised..but what ever it was it was great ..

The miniature sheet is the Mongolian version of India-Mongolia joint issue...and the 2 same stamps shows some is 1999 issue from a stone Sculpture issue showing inscription from Uigur period on stelae and it also have stamp of some God it seems.

Well as the person wanted me to publish this in my i am doing..
If you want to swap with him you can write to him..

His address:

Enkhbold Jigmid
P.OB. -122 Erdenet City
Orkhon aimag 61000

Thanks again was so nice of you..

Saturday, July 20, 2013

40th Anniversary of Isle of Man stamps

In July 1973 the Isle of Man Post Of fice became an independent
postal administration..I make my small attempt to look in to different aspects and designs of
IOM stamps which are in my collection so far..I  have just selected some stamps to show
them how unique they are in their design, beauty .The few best things i like about their stamps are

1. Mostly they have strong relevance with Island history and islandic people or Great Britain
connection .
2.The number of issues per year are very much under regulation
3. Even in the philatelic bureau also you wont find much older stock

Early History:

The first postage stamp designed especially for the Isle of Man was issued on 18 August 1958.
Local committees were formed to invite and instruct artists, and to adjudicate on the submitted designs.
For IOM , three artists were approached, Mrs A Humphreys, Miss Margaret Lockwood and John H Nicholson.
And finally  from 5th July,1973 IOM post went independent and the first set was issued was designed by John H Nicholson..

So here goes some of the finest IOM stamps in my collection.

1. To start with it is from the very first set issued in 1973 designed by John H Nicholson.
the stamp shows Port St.Mary

2. This is another stunning issue from 1985 the £5 definitive portraits the Queen.
The main charm of most of the designs that local artists and designers were given priority.
This one was designed by Colleen Collett.

3. The invasion of Norse Vikings are shown in many stamps as well here one goes from 2008 set showing the again an islandic relevance .

4. Now comes my very favorite artist Dr Jeremy Paul who is mainly a wildlife artist. IOM issued many sets designed based on wildlife paintings by him and to me and most of the stamp collectors they are just wonderful.Here goes the sheetlet of the Manx Birds  Atlas which is  designed by him and also carries his signature .

5. As I said earlier local islandic relevance is very common in designs...the 2004 Souvenir sheet shows the commemoration of 150 years of the Great Laxey wheel..Which was build way back in 1854 .
The Laxey Wheel is the largest working waterwheel in the world.
The wheel is water-powered since the Isle of Man does not have a supply of coal but does have an plenty of water resource .

Notice the left hand side of SS shows inscription designed by the Agency Limited. That is the fact that there were design agencies were formed with well known mostly local artists who used their all skills together to design together some great issues of IOM .

6. Another great issue of IOM is the 2003 issue showing Lord of Rings Triology  . The set consists of 8v and 1 SS.The stamps again designed by the Agency as mentioned above .The stamps shows the movie stills and interestingly the 27p shows John Rhys Davies ,who is a resident of the island.

7. Time to time the island issued stamps to show the Manx heritage..There are many as such they are maintained and promoted wonderfully through the stamps which helped in return generating good amount of revenue by tourism .
Below is the full set of 2004 Manx Heritage set .

8. The relation with UK and sports illustrated in different issues one of them is 2009 SS showing the Ashes series which is one of the greatest series in test cricket where two super power England and Australia plays each other..Its very much  respected series in the great game of Cricket and both countries  take amazing pride in winning it .

9. War and peace shown in many of the most beautiful and meaningful to me is the below SS from 2008 a tribute to 90 years of end of the WWI ..

10. Last but not least he participation of different international commemorative events.
The SS was issued in 2007 to make a step forward like many other countries for Global warming and celebrating the International Polar Year.Thanks to IOM post for sending me as gift.

and from the year 2007 IOM issuing stamps as a member of SEPAC(Small European Postal Administrations Corporation).It issued in 2007,2009,2011 3 stamps all are wonderful depicting beautiful corner of Europe.Among 3 stamps i chosen the 2007 one which i like a lot showing the European Vintage ploughing championship .I am waiting for this year SEPAC from them the topic is Baby Animals. )

If you like IOM stamps either you can order them from:
or you can directly order from their site:
I am sure you find them worthy enough to collect .

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best of 2012

Another year is going to be end..2012 and 2013 is approaching with new hopes of ray and probably lots of resolutions which we would take and never able to make:) but still we we philatelists have different goals may be which includes filling up missing stamps in our albums or complete some countries or to get a cover from an unknown countries...

This 2012 i also had some resolutions and some philatelic goals in some sense these were satisfied and some are not.But overall it was again a great successful year for my collections ....i have won some good deals in ebay,some wonderful stamps were issued throughout the world..and gone through some wonderful exchanges..
I was thinking of writing this blog from long time..and today i decided these is now or never..It was really a difficult choice of stamps and covers....
Here i will share my acquisitions of my 2012 in the forms of stamps/SS/Covers...
Hope you enjoy this:

The first one i like to share is 1994 India Baroda Museum setenant issue..i was eyeing this for long time but never found at good affordable price..though u see it very rare in atleast in perfect i got  a chance and i rightly grabbed the item..

And another wonderful sheet of Telegraph centenary SS issued by India in 1951..which i bought from the same dealer as the Baroda Museum stamp illustrated before..


This Wonderful cover was sent to me by my good Friend Anita Bildl's my first cover with unusual stamps on it..Over the years Austrian post issued stamps on unusual substances like polymer,with dust from a meteorite,crystal i have few of them in mint but its always pleasure to have them on postally used cover..These stamps were published in honor of Austrian embroidery industry the Green stamp was issued in 2005 and another was issued in 2008...the 2005 issue depicts Edelweiss an well known alpine flower and the 2008 issue depicts Gentian flower..Thanks Anita for this wonderful cover..


Anita's Cover was not only surprise it has  a wonderful strip of 3 stamps of Austrian polar issue i was searching this issue from way back in 2010..but i waited and finally patience paid Thanks Anita again:)


This set comprising the first issues from Australian Antarctic Territory..the stamps were issued in 1957-59 and the 5d  green stamp was issued in 1961..The 2sh shows the map of antarctica and Australian explorers..
5d brown shows Edgeworth David,Mawson and A.F. McKay (1908-09 South Pole Expedition) .8d shows Loading weasel (snow truck). 1sh, Dog team and iceberg 2sh3p  Emperor penguins and map the 5d green shows Sir Douglas Mawson it was issued to commemorate the 50th anniv. of the 1911-14 Australian Antarctic Expedition ..I thanks Richard Martin for sending out me this wonderful stamps...


The Cover from Lesotho came to me from Mr. Mike Shutts thanks for the wonderful cover i am specially thankful that u have put train stamp on my cover..


This very cold miniature sheet came from Argentina from my friend Germán Bicego took nearly 3 months to reach me i almost thought it was lost...Thanks German...


And this is the postcard  of elephant seal really posted came all the way from Falkland Island .Thanks to  Vanessa(Employee Falkland Philatelic Bereaue) who kept my request to post it and write on it...That was really wonderful..I got 4 cards this is the best one i chosen ....


And this postcard was sent to me by Mila Pikova ..Spasiba(Thanks So much)..This is Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow its structure amazes me..just love more about this @


The slot is still empty i will share the best item which i will receive till end of 2012...

Wish u happy new year 2013 and wish ur all dreams (read philatelic dream )get satisfied this year..