Friday, February 27, 2009

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has revealed that he likes to indulge in what has been called the hobby of kings - stamp collecting

(I thought the "Hobby of Kings" was coin collecting? - A.C. Dwyer)

Apparently he has been a stamp collector since he was a young boy and his collection is growing into one of the most impressive in the world. He now has the help of international leaders in filling his albums.

It's not the first time that a head of state has revealed a passion for philately. American president Franklin D Roosevelt was a stamp buff, as were a host of royals - England's King George V, King Farouk of Egypt, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and King Carol II of Romania.

And there have been a few celebrities, too - John Lennon and Freddie Mercury. Not a very rock 'n roll pastime, but it appears that for them it was a childhood hobby.

It is interesting that Mr Sarkozy has chosen to reveal this insight into his character, because stamp collecting is not a hobby that people generally readily own up to, says Geoff Anandappa, investment portfolio manager at philatelic auctioneers Stanley Gibbons.

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, for one, regretted letting on that she enjoyed poring over albums.

In reply to a question by a journalist: "You're a stamp collector then?" she laughed and said "Oh God, stop. Everyone's calling me a dork now."

But Mr Sarkozy and his wife obviously . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Civil Rights Pioneers Honored on Stamps

Stamps highlight NAACP’s 100th Anniversary

NEW YORK CITY — The sacrifices of 12 civil rights pioneers were immortalized on postage today during the NAACP’s annual meeting in New York City. The Civil Rights Pioneers stamp sheet, bearing six 42-cent First-Class commemorative stamps, are available nationwide today. They were dedicated by U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors member Thurgood Marshall Jr. The stamps honor the achievements of Ella Baker, Daisy Gatson Bates, J.R. Clifford, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Charles Hamilton Houston, Ruby Hurley, Mary White Ovington, Joel Elias Spingarn, Mary Church Terrell, Oswald Garrison Villard and Walter White.

“For more than 100 years, the NAACP has . . .

Full story at: Link

U.S. Postal Service 2009 Price-Change Stamps Unveiled

New Forever Personalized Stamp Envelope Introduced
WASHINGTON — A noted author, a philanthropist and a racehorse champion are among the subjects featured on the Postal Service’s 2009 price-change stamps. In addition, a new Forever personalized stamped envelope is being introduced.

“The stamps we are issuing cover a variety of subjects and will have wide appeal across many audiences,” said David Failor, manager, Stamp Services. “We are especially pleased to introduce a new Forever personalized stamped envelope. It will make quite an impression.” Most of these stamps will be issued on or before the May 11 stamp price change, Failor noted.

With this . . .

Full story at: Link

Lincoln’s Life Chronicled on U.S. Postage Stamps

WASHINGTON —The U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), who rose from humble, frontier origins to become a prominent lawyer and politician and ultimately President of the United States. The four First-Class commemorative 42-cent stamps, available nationwide today, were dedicated at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, IL, by Postmaster General John Potter and Assistant Majority Leader Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).

“When Americans are asked to pick our greatest president, two names are always at the top of the list: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln,” explained Potter. “In Washington, DC, that opinion is carved in stone. The Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the United States Capitol stand out in single file along the National Mall. They are . . .

Full story at: Link

New U.S. Postage Stamp Honoring Medgar Evers Released

NEW YORK - A U.S. postage stamp with the likeness of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers has been officially released.

The 42-cent Evers stamp now goes on sale nationwide. He's one of a dozen civil rights pioneers taking their places of honor on six new U.S. postage stamps.

Marking the occasion, his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond held a . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nicole Kidman goes postal

Academy winning actors Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush, Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett will be immortalised into postage stamps in their home country Australia.
The four actors have been named legends of the year by the post office of Australia, 'Hello' magazine reported.

The special Australian stamps featuring these actors can be bought online.

Kidman is pictured in a scene from 'Moulin Rouge', Crowe's stamp shows him in 'Gladiator', Rush's photo is taken from his film 'Shine' and Cate Blanchett's from 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age'.

The four Australian Oscar winners have each received a . . .

Full story at: Link

Kiwis cranky over Australian Russell Crowe postage stamp

The decision by Australia Post to include Russell Crowe in a special series of stamps to mark Australia Day has rubbed New Zealanders the wrong way.

Some Kiwis - already cranky about Phar Lap and Pavlova - believe it is another case of Australians claiming what is not rightfully theirs.

Now Australia Post has added salt to the wound, naming . . .

Full story at: Link

Academy award winners are stamped as 2009 Legends on postage stamps

Four of Australia's most celebrated actors Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman AC and Geoffrey Rush will be immortalised on postage stamps released today in the lead up to Australia Day.

The four Academy Award winners have been named the 2009 Australia Post Australian Legends in recognition of the outstanding contribution they have made to Australian entertainment and culture.

Australia Post Managing Director Graeme John said the 2009 Australia Post Legends were admired for their achievements by Australians across all walks of life.

"Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman AC and Geoffrey Rush are already household names. The stamps will be a constant reminder of the indelible mark they have made on Australia’s identity and culture," Mr John said.

"These four outstanding Australians have captured the imagination of millions of people in Australia and around the world with their award-winning performances."

The Legends will be honoured at . . .

Full story at: Link

Cate Blanchett: 'I'm going to be licked by millions of Australians and I can't wait.'

Aussie actress Cate Blanchett will be joining a special cabal of Australians who have enjoyed the pleasure of having their backs licked – her image will be part of a new set of stamps for release on Australia day.

Joining Cate will be Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush who have all been named Australia Post Australian Legends in the lead-up to January 26.

Blanchett was . . .

Full story at: Link

Money in stamps

Stamp collecting is more than a lucrative hobby for Steven Tan.

STEVEN Tan is a man who believes in efficiency. The moment we stepped into his office, the 70-year-old promptly produced a newspaper cutting of a past interview so that we would not ask him the same questions.

He also gave us a thick catalogue on stamps to study.

The philatelic community is a close knit one, and newcomers like us stick out like a sore thumb.

While not necessarily a hobby for the elite, stamp collecting required an eye for detail, pointed out Tan.

For a start, a piece is usually scrutinised in such detail, that even the way it is perforated is taken into account.

There are, as Tan’s catalogue states, no less than seven types of roulettes in the perforations ranging from ordinary serrated lines to serpentine loops.

Another feature is the watermark behind the miniature sheets. Patterns may vary from crowns, rosettes, checks and scrolled ‘S’s.

Then, there is the antiquity factor . . .

Full story at: Link

Monday, February 2, 2009

American Art on Postage Stamps: Telling the Story of a Nation

From the first stamps issued by the United States in 1847 to the present day, many American postage stamps have featured important fine art produced by famous American artists. The transformation and adaption of these works to the format of a postage stamp is one of the many fascinating, yet often overlooked stories, about U.S. stamps.
( - The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum’s award-winning Web site Arago presents another featured collection titled “American Art on Postage Stamps: Telling the Story of a Nation,” which can be viewed at

From the first stamps issued by the United States in 1847 to the present day, many American postage stamps have featured important fine art produced by famous American artists. The transformation and adaption of these works to the format of a postage stamp is one of the many fascinating, yet often overlooked stories, about U.S. stamps. This featured collection showcases a wide array of postage stamps in which the works of many artists, including Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper, and photographers, such as Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, have been adapted by stamp designers.
[Exhibit includes stamp honoring George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Gilbert Stuart, John Trumbull, Norman Rockwell, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Grant Wood, etc.]

“Many famous works of . . .

Full story at: Link

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Canadian stamp honors Delaware native Abraham Doras Shadd

Canada today is issuing a postage stamp that honors one of the 19th century's most distinguished black leaders, born in Delaware, active in West Chester, Pa., and now honored in Canada. Abraham Doras Shadd -- whose name is also sometimes spelled Shad or Schadd -- was a leader in the fight against slavery and racism, served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and became the first black person to serve in a Canadian public office.

The Canadian stamp depicts Shadd holding a lantern with refugees in the background, highlighting his efforts to help former slaves reach freedom. For Black History Month, Canada Post is also honoring with a postage stamp the accomplishments of Rosemary Brown, a 20th century fighter for women and minorities. In 1972 she became the first black woman elected to public office in Canada, serving 14 years as a member of the British Columbia Legislature. She died in 2003.

Shadd is not as well known and honored as such other African-American pioneers who lived in Delaware as . . .

Full story at: Link

Delegation supports stamp for Kennedy

Civil-rights advocate and former Hagerstown resident Thomas Kennedy might be gone, but he has not been forgotten.

Kennedy successfully fought to allow Jewish people to serve elected office in Maryland in 1826, and now a local group of state lawmakers and an Anne Arundel County official want Kennedy honored in a postage stamp.

In a Jan. 20 letter, seven local House of Delegates and state Senate members, along with Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, asked the . . .

Full story at: Link

Presidential stamp collector awaits Inauguration

The excitement is mounting for many as Barack Obama prepares to become the nation's 44th president.

In just two days, the president-elect will be sworn into office. It's a historic moment many will no doubt remember for years to come, but maybe not the way one valley man will. News 3'sAnita Roman introduces you to a man who has a connection to the first Inauguration.

It's a small piece of history, but significant nonetheless. And soon, George Coleman - along with the rest of the nation - will hold another piece of history just like it in his hands. As George turns the pages of his very own history book, this valley resident marvels at the memorabilia he has collected over the years.

George's stamp collection, which once belonged to his mother-in-law, includes stamps that commemorate the Inaugurations of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and JFK.

"I've got . . .

Full story at: Link

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