LATEST STORIES

Mark SBD  |  Sep 28, 2017  |  0 comments

Occupation Octagonals Produced for use by an occupying army which was already in full retreat, Thessaly’s one and only issue comprised the world’s first octagonal stamps Report by Adrian Keppel Thessaly 1898 20pa rose, one of five values in an issue which was distinctive but short-lived Thessaly may be close to the centre of modern Greece, but it has a chequered history, not all of it Hellenic.

Originally known as Aeolia, and mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, it has been part of the Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

Even after the Greeks regained their independence in 1830, they had to wait more than 50 years before they could incorporate Thessaly into the country, in 1881.

Mark SBD  |  Sep 18, 2017  |  0 comments

Educational Reading For Generations Of Kids On September 14 Royal Mail will issue a set of eight stamps celebrating Ladybird books, which have had a huge influence on generations of British children.

The Loughborough-based stationery firm Wills & Hepworth registered the Ladybird name in 1915, and published the first of its small-format children’s books bearing the Ladybird logo in 1940.

With wartime paper rationing in force, it concocted a format in which a 56-page book could be printed from a single sheet of paper.

Mark SBD  |  Jul 28, 2017  |  0 comments

Champlain celebration Canada 1908 Quebec Tercentenary ½c sepia, portraying the Prince and Princess of Wales 1908 was a champagne moment in Canada’s history, and the Tercentenary of Quebec was celebrated by a fine recess-printed set of portrait and pictorial stamps.

The first successful European colony in mainland Canada had been established in 1608, when the French navigator Samuel de Champlain retraced the voyages of discovery made more than 70 years earlier by his fellow countryman Jacques Cartier.

A small settlement at the confluence of the St Lawrence and St Charles rivers, initially simply named l’Habitation, would eventually grow into Quebec City.

Mark SBD  |  Jun 08, 2017  |  0 comments

Workshops wound by wind and water The Windmills & Watermills set, to be issued on June 20, will salute an endearing and important part of Britain’s industrial archaeology, the mechanisms which harnessed natural energy in the days before steam, coal and petrol engines, and cheap electricity.

Water power, harnessed by a waterwheel in fast-flowing water, was initially used for grinding grain and fulling cloth, and later for driving processing machinery in metal and textile factories.

Wind power, harnessed by sails mounted high in the air flow, was primarily used for grinding corn, especially in areas where flowing water was less easily available.

Mark SBD  |  May 15, 2017  |  0 comments

The Machin Definitive Birthday celebrations for a very familiar face Royal Mail’s celebration of 50 years of the Machin definitive comprises two miniature sheets to be released on June 5, the precise anniversary of the first issue.

The Machin Definitive - 50 Years of a Design Icon One, subtitled 50 Years Of A Design Icon, has six new 1st class stamps, each with the familiar Machin portrait in use since 1967 alongside a preliminary design concept dating from the development of the series during 1966.

The other, subtitled Golden Anniversary Celebration, has seven stamps, six of which are reprints of original decimal issues from between 1971 and 2013, and the other a new £1 value.

Guy Thomas  |  May 03, 2017  |  0 comments

A set of 10 stamps to be issued on May 4 will feature Songbirds, the wildlife that is equally familiar to British eyes and ears.

Birdsong builds to a peak between January and May each year, and is the soundtrack to the spring and early summer in our woodland, parkland and gardens.

Some of the featured birds are very familiar, some less well-known and seldom seen.

Guy Thomas  |  Apr 03, 2017  |  0 comments

The Racehorse Legends issue, released on April 6, honours eight equine legends of flat racing and national hunt racing in Britain.

Illustrated by Michael Heslop, each stamp shows a famous horse in action during one of its most celebrated races, with five different racecourses featured in all.

The horses selected are among the most popular and successful in racing history, from the mid 1960s to the present day.

Guy Thomas  |  Mar 08, 2017  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a set of stamps on March 14 honouring David Bowie, one of the most influential figures in modern music.

Issued in the year of what would have been his 70th birthday, and marking 50 years since he released his first album, it comprises six self-adhesive stamps reproducing some of his most famous album covers, and a gummed miniature sheet of four based on photographs of Bowie performing live, in tours spanning four decades.

The self-adhesives have free-form edges showing the arc of the vinyl record protruding from the side, in a style used previously in 2010 (for the Classic Album Covers set which included his 1972 album The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars) and 2016.

Guy Thomas  |  Feb 08, 2017  |  0 comments

A set of six stamps and a miniature sheet to be issued on February 15 will feature one of Britain’s most recognisable historic landmarks, Windsor Castle.

Founded by William the Conqueror in around 1080, Windsor is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.

Originally it was simply part of a chain of fortifications established around London following the Norman Conquest, but King Henry I began to turn it into a royal palace as early as the early 12th century, and it remains an important royal residence today.

Guy Thomas  |  Jan 10, 2017  |  0 comments

The Ancient Britain set, to be issued by Royal Mail on January 17, comprises eight stamps depicting four important sites and four exceptional artefacts from prehistoric times.

Photographs of the locations and the objects are overlaid with black or white illustrations to bring them to life, suggesting how ancient people probably worked in them and used them.

Overall, the set spans almost 10,000 years of history, from the late Stone Age (also known as Neolithic) period, through the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, to the time when the Romans made their first incursion into Britain.

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