20 June 2018

What Do You Do with Old Postage Stamps?

Rosemary (Canada) made this postcard with some old stamps from different countries (even countries that don't exist any more!). It is a very entertaining one. A pleasure for the eyes!

19 June 2018

HitM | Streets of Paris

Another beautiful sending for the Houses in the Mail project, from Fabienne (France). The envelope was made of a page of a magazine. I guess it shows Paris? It matches perfectly with a superb stamp:

Le quai aux fleurs, Notre-Dame (1950) is the work of the Japanese-French painter Léonard Foujita reproduced on this stamp, issued on 26 January 2018.  

And still more Parisian streets inside. This postcard reproduce's Van Gogh work View form Theo's Appartment (1887). 

18 June 2018

Odd Shape

I received this postcard through the Postcrossing site, sent by Sun. It travelled 10,739 km in only 51 days. Although I don't understand what this food is, the drawing is beautiful. And, especially, the shape of the postcard fascinates me. And how it survived the postal machines!

And also the back. I never see the name of the country written in Chinese! The stamp belongs to the World Heritage Sites issue of 1998 (20 August), joint with Germany. I am happy that I received the Puning Temple in Chengde.

17 June 2018

Women on Stamps | Revolution

For the fourth consecutive year, Correos (the Spanish postal service) has held its National Stamp Design Contest. The winners of the last edition were two women: Simona Peres in the general category, and Alba Guzmán Alcalde in the children’s category. Their works appeared on stamps on February this year.

The winning stamp in the general category illustrates a dream-like female character, in shades of purple, using feathers to write words full of love: the revolution of snail mail!

I received it from Imma (PC). Along with the pictorial postcard, it seems to make part of the decoration of this hand-painted envelope. If you look closely, you can read part of this poem by Pablo Neruda.


For the new edition of Sunday Stamps-II A to Z, I have decided to show some of the stamps I have got on letters and postcards, related to one topic: women. This is the post for the letter R.

More women on stamps.

16 June 2018

Postcards for Bloomsday

Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, during which the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived. It is observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and around the world.

I should say that I haven't read the novel (yet?), but I sort of love the idea of this literary celebration. I wanted to mark it with two postcards received from my friend Laura (the UK):
Patrick Kavanagh (1904 – 1967)
The first mention of "Bloom's Day" is to be found in a letter by Joyce of 27 June 1924.

On the 50th anniversary of the events in the novel, in 1954, John Ryan (artist, critic, publican and founder of Envoy magazine) and the novelist Brian O'Nolan organised what was to be a day long pilgrimage along the Ulysses route. They were joined by Patrick Kavanagh (on the postcard above), Anthony Cronin, Tom Joyce (a dentist who, as Joyce's cousin, represented the family interest) and AJ Leventhal (a lecturer in French at Trinity College, Dublin).

The Odyssey, 1946
The trip of Homer's Ulysses (the original one, isn't he?) that I have actually read, in a different version that the one featured on the postcard.

15 June 2018

Hay Postmark

imagine the world

Royal Mail has dedicated this slogan postmark to the Hay Festival. I read here (scroll down) why. But, at first sight, it made any sense to me. Because, if you read it in Spanish, the meaning of the slogan would be 'There is festival' :D

14 June 2018

Go Slow Mailbox

Thanks to this post, I learned that in South Korea there are a special mail boxes known as Slow Mailboxes. It started in 2009, and now several slow mailboxes are disseminate around the country.

If you post a letter on one of those, the letter will be delivered between six months and one year later. The idea behind, related to the Slow Cities movement, is to maximize the analogue value of letters. Actually, it is like a capsule of time. A letter to the future.

(I wonder how many people, especially foreigners, post their postcards there by mistake...)

13 June 2018

Desire to Write and Read Letters

This stamp designed by Anette Messager* was issued par La Poste on 19 February 2018. It belongs to the série artistique ('artistic series'), that reproduces contemporain artworks depuis 1961.

Désir means 'desire, wish, lust...'. As you can read here, the designer chose that word because: 
C'est le mot le plus important pour moi. Sans désir on n'a plus le goût de vivre. Cela peut être infini, comme par exemple avoir simplement envie de faire des confitures... Désir de vivre, d'être, de faire, d'aimer, de transmettre.
('This is the most important word for me. Without desire we no longer have the taste to live. This can be infinite, for example just want to make jams ... Desire to live, to be, to do, to love, to transmit.')
And, as usual, Philippe found the best way to use it on mail art...

This big (20x17.7 cm) is just stunning. It has been painted on cardboard. Then, collaged. The letters are made of cork (!), and the tree of a page of a book/newspaper. The only complete word you can read on the tree is bonheur ('happines'), is this a coincidence?

But the best part is that same days later, the second part arrived:

Often I think of framing Philippe works!

*Messager means 'messenger'. What a great name for a stamp designer!

12 June 2018

HitM | Russian Windows

For the project of Houses of the World, Eduard (Russia) sent this postcard: these are the traditional windows in his town, Alexandrov. The pictures were taken by Eduard himself, who has runs the mail art project Windows of the World.

Windows are an important part of a house. I have been always amazed and how differently windows look around the world.

11 June 2018

Trains from Sri Lanka

Illustrated envelope sent by Ravindra (Sri Lanka), railways-themed. You can head to Discover the World on Trains (only one of his many blogs!), to discover more interesting postcards and stamps about trains. His collection is quite amazing.

10 June 2018

Women on Stamps | Queens

I receive quite a lot of stamps depicting Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand since 6 February 1952, and also of 12 countries that have become independent since her accession. Queen of Stamps, I should add, because she is probably the person who has appeared more time on stamps around the world.

The palette of colours of the traditional Machin stamps amazes me. But I am happy when I receive different stamps. Like the following, issued with the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee:

United Kingdom, 2012
(More information and complete set)

Canada, 16 January 2012
(More information)

United Kingdom, 31 May 2012
(More information about the set)
The Queen address the General Assembly of the UN in 1957

Or from exotic countries, even those that don't exist any more, like North Borneo:

1 February 1961
(With a Sambar deer)

If you are a queen or an almost-queen (ie, a princess), you are more than likely to appear on a stamp. But, besides living real queens, you can find more original ones:

Annie M.G. Schmidt, known by the series Jip and Janneke illustrated by Fiep Westendorp as many of her books, is "the queen of Dutch children's literature" (Wikipedia dixit).

Anna de France (aka Anne de Beaujeu, 1461-1522) was a French princess and regent, the eldest daughter of Louis XI. Anne was the sister of Charles VIII, for whom she acted as regent during his minority from 1483 until 1491. This oval stamp was issued on 30 June 2017. See here the beautiful sheet, dedicated to the Treaty of Picquigny.

Issue Date: 16 July 2008
And, if you need an American princess, you can take Josephine Baker (1906-1975), who was the exotic Princess Tam Tam in a French film in 1935.


For the new edition of Sunday Stamps-II A to Z, I have decided to show some of the stamps I have got on letters and postcards, related to one topic: women. This is the post for the letter Q.

More women on stamps.

09 June 2018

A Moroccan Letter

I tried to send a very Moroccan letter to Valeri (the USA). The watercolour didn't work very well on this paper (it was my first try), but still... it looks a bit like Morocco.

08 June 2018

The John Rylands Library

The University of Manchester, John Rylands Library Façade. Building designed by Basil Champneys. The library opened to the public in 1900, and was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband. The library is maintained by the University of Manchester and open for library readers and visitors.

Inside of the library: the Historic Reading Room in 2007.

And something like the inside of the inside: one of the oldest books of the library. Papyrus fragments containing lines from the Gospel of John (John 18:31; 18:37-38). From Egypt, ancient Greek language, 2nd century AD.

And just another postcard from Manchester. Because sometimes, you know, you must go out of the library...

Canal boats in Castlefield.

All postcards sent by Laura (the UK).

07 June 2018


And more postcards of imposing cathedrals...

The Cloisters Charcoal and conte on paper, by Grace Ayson
Canterbury Cathedral (the UK)

The Cologne Cathedral (Germany)

Postcards sent by Laura (the UK)

06 June 2018

The Weeping Angel of Amiens

The statue of this cherub is a work of Nicolas Blasset, and it is a part of the the funerary monument of canon Guilain Lucas who died in 1628, in the Amiens Cathedral (France). The angel’s right hand is set on an hourglass symbolizing the brevity of life. As for his left elbow, it rests on the skull of a skeleton, a symbol of death. It is widely known as l'Ange pleurer ('the Weeping Angel') of Amiens.

Beginning with the Battle of the Somme and throughout the remainder of World War I, soldiers who survived death started buying memorabilia featuring the Weeping Angel: various items, but postcards in particular. These they sent to family, fiancé(e)s, and friends throughout the Commonwealth, becoming one of the commonest postcards at that time.

These postcards were sent to me by Catherine and Fabienne (France).