Friday, July 7, 2017

Odd stamps : 10 b Stamps on/in wood or cork

It has been a while, but this is my second post on wooden stamps.
So far they are still rare.
Switserland issued a stamp on wood in 2014. It's an auto-adhesive stamp, protected by a peel-off foil.

5 swiss francs - 2014 - wooden stamp

The stamp is half a milimeter thick, what allows it still to be placed on a letter for acutal use.
Unfortunately few will have been put in circulation,
The issued stamp of 5 Swiss francs, is 5 times more expensive that the stamps for regular letters.
Probably it can be found as CTO.
Catalogue Michel rates it equal for mint or postally used.

More to come :-)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Theme : 1st issues : 08b Colombia (Dept. Bolivar)

Between 1863 and 1904, the 9 states and the 3 territories have issued their own stamps. From 1904 on, all stamps are issued under 'Colombia'.
State of Bolívar - Colombia
For the state Bolívar (North Colombia), Michel mentions 73 issues.
Here the first issue of 1863 is truely a very special issue.
Colombia - state Bolívar 1863
The green version is nr. 1 - nr 2 is a 10 cents red and nr 3 is a 1 peso red.
When we have a closer look underneath the coat of arms, we see 6 stars. This indicates the cheapest (?) version of the stamp. The same stamp with 5 stars only, quadruples the catalogue value!

6 stars under the CoA - Michel 1 I
The stamp of 10 cents, measures 6 x 8 mm only and exist even cut into 2 on letters (used as 5 cents).
This makes this stamp... the smallest stamp in the world (known 2017).

Certificate of authenticity - 1974
With a catalogue value of € 750, this stamp of less then 1 cm² ... is, compared to its size, more valuable than gold.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Theme : 1st issues : 08a Colombia (Dept. Bolivar)

For the next 1 issue, a short overview of the history of Central/South America between 1819 and 1863.
The country, currently known as Colombia, was Spanish posession in 1819.
Simón Bolívar, who had concurred the remaining Spanish rulers, united the republic of Venezuela and the viceroyalty Nueva Granada (part of the kingdom of Peru) with the current Colombia, Ecuador, parts of Panama. Bolívar named it República de Colombia (later named Grand-Colombia to destinguish from the current county Colombia).
Territory of Grand-Colombia (1819)
The union only lasted till 1830, and due to internal disagreements, and Ecuador and Venezuela left the group. What remained, was named New-Granada, consisting in Colombia, Panama, parts of Venezuela, Ecuador, and even Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica.
Flag of New-Granada (1819-1830)
At the end of this era, one, then two more, later 5 more, and finally one last independent state was created
This republic, New Granada, dissolved into the Confederation Granadine, in 1858.
The States were :
Panama (1855), Antioquia and Santander (1856) - Bolívar, Boyacá, Cauca, Cundinamarca and Magdalena (1857) and Tolima (1861) - used to be in the Cundinamarca state before.
Situation in 1858
From 1863 on, we speak of the United States of Colombia (including 9 'states' and 3 territories: Caquetá Territory, San Martin Territory and Nevada and Motilones Territory.

At this point of time, the first stamps were being issued in the area....
And that will be for my next entry :-)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Odd stamps : 03e 3D stamps (moving)

Among the numerous issues on Queen Elisabeth, I have picked up a special issue featuring 3D images.
New Zealand - where QE II is still the head of State - honoured the British monarch with a solid sheet, with 3 stamps of 5 NZ$ each.
The stamps have the shape of an old style painting, and can be 'pushed out' of the sheet.
Each of the stamps has 3 different images, which can be seen alternately by flipping the stamps to the back or the front.
As it is nearly impossible to scan those images in a decent way, I took the liberty to take the images from another site : http://philatelynews.com/.

When flipped to the back, we see a photo taken in 1926, 1936 and 1947.
1926 : "Birth of a princess"
1936 : "Childhood in London"
1947 : "The royal wedding"
3D sheet NZ 2016 - flipped to the back
The normal frontal vieuw, shows pictures taken in 1949, 1963 and 1977.
1949 : "Family time with Prince Charles"
1963 : "Opening New Zealand's parliament"
1977 : "Royal visit to New Zealand"
3D sheet NZ 2016 - frontal view
Finally, flipped to the front, another 3 pictures can be seen, from 1995, 2002 and 2015.
1995 : "Royal visit to New Zealand"
2002 : "Royal visit to New Zealand"
2015 : "Attending Anzac centenary commemorations"
3D sheet NZ 2016 - flipped to the front
Not sure if many of those stamps will end on a letter or postcard from New Zealand, but for the collectors of QE II - stamps, surely a splendid addition to their collection.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Emergency Money - B 1914 - 1920 - 01 Belgium - Bruges 3

When Belgium - and Europe - was at the dawn of war in 1914, a rush on metal cash and paper money was inevitable. National institutions already knew what was going to happen, and only limited amounts of money could be redrawn from the bank.
Meanwhile a large amount of the remaining stock of banknotes, as well as the printing plates were removed from the National Bank in Brussels, first to Antwerp, and later out of the country to the Bank of London.
Some of the notes, printed in Antwerp, are quite rare - but that's another topic.

Due to this lack of papermoney, and the need to pay out millions of people in Belgium, several cities started locally to emit notes.
In my previous posts I wrote about the smaller denominations issued in Bruges, now we'll have a closer look at the 'franc values'.
Front side of 1 frank Bruges 1914
Back side of 1 frank Bruges 1914
Two 1 Frank-notes were issued in 1914. Both notes have a different 'experiation day', the day they could be exchanged for 'real' money.
On the first note it is January 15, 1915 - on the second issue, the dte is July 15, 1915.
refunable January 15, 1915

refundable July 15, 1915
Once exchanged, the notes were perforated with a starshaped perforation.
star perforation
Both 1 Frank notes were issued in the same colours. Depending on the quality, they have a catalogue value of € 15 to € 50.
Both notes were issued by the city of Bruges, and were refunable at the city as well.

More notes to follow...



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Microstates : 20 b Republic of Molossia (bogus)


Except for a territory clamed in the Pacific Ocean (Neptune Deep), and  Vesperia (claimed on Venus), the microstate 'republic of Molossia' is completely surrounded by the USA.

Among the laws in Molossia, same-sex marriage was adopted in 2002, and there is a restriction in importing tobacco into the country. Hereby Molossia is more progressive then many states in the neighbouring USA.

Border of Molossia with the USA

At the border of Molossia, USD can be exchanged for Molossian Valoras.
The coins are posted in my previous post, the banknotes (currently 4 notes in circulation) are 1, 5, 10 and 20 valoras.
The language on the notes is both English and Esperanto.

1 valora banknote
1 valora banknote - back
The Molossian notes are very nice notes. They come with an embossed seal, serial number and signature of the Minister of Finance, Miss Adrianne Baugh.

Embossed seal of Molossia

Signature of Mrs. A. Baugh

 The other notes :

5 (Kvin) Valora - President K. Baugh
5 (Kvin) Valora - back
10 (Dek) Valora - Emperor Norton I
10 (Dek) Valora - back
20 (Dudek) Valora - First Lady A. Baugh
20 (Dudek) Valora - back
Except for use within the Republic of Molossia itself - those notes can not be used elsewhere.

Besides the very limited usage of the currency above, my respect to the very fine design of the notes, and the effort that was done to create something nice.
The use of Esperanto on these notes is unique and much appreciated.
More info on : http://www.molossia.org/bank.html

to be continued...


Microstates : 20 a Republic of Molossia (bogus)

I had to look it up, but the republic of Molossia is a micronation within the state of Nevada (USA).
Flag of Molossia
The effort of his excellency Kevin Baugh to create an independent state, started in 1999.
It was based upon a childhood idea to create the "grand republic of Vuldstein"
The micro state uses English as national language, but as a tribute to world peace and equality, Esperanto is accepted as national language too.
The self-declared country has issued stamps, coins and banknotes.
I was more then excited when I saw the series of banknotes that were issued in Esperanto.

It took some diplomatic skills to contact the Ministry of Finance of Molossia, to obtain the current notes and coins.
His excellency, President Baugh, contacted me personally and sent me from the government house itself.
President Kevin Baugh
Cover from the Republic of Molossia
The coins :
Coins come in 1, 5 and 10 Valora (1 Valora is 0.75 USD)
 1 valora coin
1 valora coin - back - coat of arms
5 valora coin
5 valora coin - back - president
10 valora coin
10 valora coin - back - Emperor Norton I

There is a commemorative coin on the presidential wedding (sold out) and one commemorating the Grand Republic of Vuldstein (1977).
commemorative coin
commemorative coin - back
The coins are legal tender in the Republic of Molossia only.

More to follow

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Emergency Money - B 1914 - 1920 - 01 Belgium - Bruges 2

In the previous post on Belgian Emergency notes from Bruges, I mentionned 4 bodies were responsible for issuing emergency currency.
3 of them were local committees, the fourth one, the most important one, was the city of Bruges itself. In 1914 they issued a set of two notes with centimes denomination, and 6 notes with higher values (starting from 1 frank).

The Mayor of Bruges at that time, was Duke Amedeus Karel Lodewijk Visart de Bocaré.
Duke A. Visart (1) and King Leopold II (2) - 1907
He was mayor til 1916, when he was deposed by the Germans, in favour of baron Ernest Marie Joseph Martin Michel van Caloen.
Baron van Caloen was member of the committee of honour of the Bruges' Esperanto Association.
The picture below was taken on the occasion of the second Esperanto Congress, held in Bruges in 1910.
Baron E. van Caloen, 1910
Both mayors (the real mayor and the mayor-ad-interim) have their signatures on the emergency notes of 1914 (although the van Caloen's signature dated from 1916).

The two emergency banknotes, issued by the Bruges' city board are 5 centimes and 25 centimes.

First of all, the 5 centimes note. (VIJF CENTIEMEN : as Bruges is a Dutch speaking city)
City of Bruges : 5 Centimes "BR193"
City of Bruges : 5 Centimes (back) "BR193"
The 'Visart' signature, appears on both notes, the 'van Caloen' signature can only be found on the 25 centimes' note.
5 centimes 'de Visart'
25 centimes 'de Visart'
The second note is a 25 centimes note.
Here there are 2 versions of the note. One is similar to the 5 centimes note. (not in my collection (yet)).
The second version is with the symbol of Bruges (a bear) on the left hand side of the note.
City of Bruges : 25 Centimes "BR196"
City of Bruges : 25 Centimes (back) "BR196"
Again the text is in Dutch, as that is the local language in Bruges.
25 centimes 'van Caloen'
The catalogue mentions a signature : E. van Calve - where it has to be E. van Caloen.
Both notes have a catalogue value of more or less € 10 - depending on the quality of the note, it can be less too. The 25 centimes (as in the picture) is slightly worth more.

to be continued ...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Emergency Money - B 1914 - 1920 - 01 Belgium - Bruges 1

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.
When you read you begin with A, B, C, when you sing you begin with do, re, mi, ...
and when you talk about banknotes... you start with what you have.

Since I was born in Belgium, in the beautiful city of Bruges (yes from the movie "In Bruges"), I start my articles on Emergency Currency in that city.
Map of Belgium - Bruges in the North West
Belgium has now 10 provinces, (9 during the 1st WW) and Bruges is the capital city of West-Flanders. It is now the world most visited place, compared to the number of its citizens. For each citizen, there are 15 (!) tourists.
Just in case you wonder why Bruges is so popular...
As Bruges is a larger city in Belgium, a lot of people - also in 1914 - were living in the city or were related to the city. A lot of people from the surrounding areas were also depending on the welfare of the supporting organisations in Bruges.

3 Organisations and the city board of Bruges, issued emergency money in 1914.
1) National Committee for aid and nutrition - through a local committee in Bruges
2) Support of the distressed - through a local committee in Bruges
3) Support of the distressed - through helping the unemployed
4) city board of Bruges

The first 3 committees, emitted only values replacing coins (up to 1 franc) - the city board issued two centimes notes (5 and 25) - and 6 franc notes (1 - 2 - 5 - 20 - 50 and 100).
The higher values were not used as 'support for those who needed', but were also used as payments for staff, military, ...

In general we can say that the smaller the city, the more valuable the notes are.
High value notes are less used, so they hit higher prices in the catalogues too.
And finally the quality of the notes (as they are 100 years old) will be of influence of the value too.
Distribution of 'Notgeld' to families
more to follow ...