Sunday, January 31, 2010

#045 Germany...Thanks Gabriela

The 2 stamps on this great-looking winter cover are from German 2010 For the Welfare set issued on Jan.08,2010. The stamps are aromatic scratch and sniff.

The 45+20c stamp illustrates an apple and the 145+55c stamp shows a huckleberry.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

#044 Malaysia...Thanks Nurul!

The 1RM stamp is from Malaysian Dances set issued in 2005. It depicts Tarian Asyik which means "the dance of a lover". It is a classical Malay court dance that was popular in Kelantan (a state on the east coast of West Malaysia) and Patani (a state south of Thailand that was part of the Patani Malay Sultanate in the fifteenth century). Hikayat Patani (The Story of Patani, 1730) mentions that during the reign of Raja Kuning (a queen who ruled Patani in 1644), there were twelve asyik dancers at her court who gave performances during official ceremonies as well as at festivals and court marriages. The dancers were maids of the palace.

The dance was created on the instructions of a king who mourned for his favorite pet, a beautiful bird that had escaped its cage. The king went on a long search to find the bird, but he came back empty-handed. Brokenhearted, he asked that a dance be created that imitated the movements of the lost bird. Initially ten dancers enter the stage and sit gracefully. Then Puteri Asyik (Princess of Love) enters and the dance begins. The gracious and delicate movements of the dancers create a romantic atmosphere. The dancers wear long dresses made of silk and display jewelry on their bodies and waistbands. The musical instruments that accompany the dance include eleven types of gedombak asyik (a small drum), gambang (a xylophone-like instrument, usually made of slabs of wood or bronze), and rebab (a bowed lute). Dancers wear local flowers in their hair. Today, the dance would be performed by young girls, and it has become a dance for the common people and is usually performed at festival and cultural shows, obviously no longer a court entity.

The 50sen triangular stamp is from Cultural Instruments & Artifacts" series II, issued on 10th June 2008. It shows a "Kukur kelapa" or coconut grater which is a tool used to grate or scrape the flesh of the coconut from its shell. The traditional coconut scraper is shaped out of a piece of wood for the seat and at the end is a sharp-edged metal spur.
Creativity from the artistic Malays have resulted in the "Kukur kelapa" carved based on the design of a four-legged animal complete with the tail and other carvings of nature-inspired motives such as plants.The coconut grater was once a very important tool in every Malay household as coconut milk is an essential ingredient in Malay cooking. Although its usage by the city folk have reduced due to the preference of electric tools, this tool is still much in use in the outskirts.

#043 Canada...Thanks Craig!

The 54c stamp is from Canadian Horse set issued on May.19,2009 to honour their much-valued contributions to country’s settlement.

Canadian Horse—a strong, sturdy creature with royal lineage and a long presence in Canada. In 1665, the King of France sent several shipments of horses to the colony of New France. Straight from the King’s royal stables, these Norman and Breton steeds were of mixed origin and included Arabian, Barb and Andalusian stock. Since they developed in isolation from other breeds, these horses eventually merged into a breed of their own, now recognized as the Canadian Horse.

Because of its resilience in the face of harsh weather conditions, the Canadian Horse outworked and outlived larger breeds of horses—a feat that earned it the nickname, “The Little Iron Horse.” Though threatened with extinction in the late 19th century, efforts were made to preserve the breed. In 2002, the Government of Canada honoured the Little Iron Horse’s legacy by declaring it the national horse of Canada.

The 57c stamp is from Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games set issued on Jan.12,2010.

The Coast Salish people were the first to discover the breathtaking abundance of the Pacific Northwest thousands of years ago, when they settled in the Lower Mainland of what would become British Columbia. Much later, in 1792, Captain George Vancouver put the region on the map when he wrote of “innumerable pleasing landscapes” along the shores of the city that would later bear his name. This winter, sports fans and top athletes from around the world will have the chance to embrace the Vancouver area’s rich cultural heritage and discover its natural splendours when they unite for a celebration of human spirit and achievement, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The P stamp is Canadian Year of Tiger issue which marks the second release in a twelve-year Lunar New Year series.

Oh..The little 2c stamp illustrates a catterpillar of Monarch butterfly (Danaus Plexippus),which is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies.

What a gorgeous mixture of knowledge in this cover!

#042 Netherlands...Thanks Paul!

The stamp on this cover is from 2009 Netherlands-Brasil joint issue. It depicts a painting by Albert Eeckhout, a Afro-Brazilian men in 1641.

#041 USA...Thanks Erik!

The stamp on the left is a US Forever Stamp,featuring the Liberty Bell image and the word "forever," the stamp will be good for mailing one-ounce First-Class letters anytime in the future — regardless of price changes.

The stamp on the right is from 2009 Scenic American Landscape Series,honoring Grand Teton National Park,Wyoming.

Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park located in northwestern Wyoming, south of Yellowstone National Park. The park is named after the Grand Teton, which, at 13,770 feet (4,197 m), is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range.

The name "Tetons" originally was intended to describe several hills near the town of Arco, Idaho. They were named by a French trapper who thought that they resembled the female body. (Ergo tétons, the French word for "nipples" or "teats".) Many years later the name was mistakenly applied to the mountains of present day Grand Teton National Park due to the poor map-making and map-reading standards of the time.

Grand Teton National Park was established on February 26, 1929. The park covers 484 square miles (1,250 km2) of land and water.There are nearly 200 miles (320 km) of trails for hikers to enjoy in Grand Teton National Park.

#040 Poland...Thanks Kazimierz!

The 3 stamps on the cover are the Polish 2001 issue for the World Ski Championships in Lahti,Finland.

#039 France...Thanks Thomas

The blue stamp on the left was issued on Dec.03,2009 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Asterix.

The Adventures of Asterix (French: Astérix or Astérix le Gaulois) is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (Uderzo also took over the job of writing the series after the death of Goscinny in 1977). The series first appeared in French in the magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. As of 2009, 34 comic books in the series have been released.

The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character, Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures. In many cases, this leads them to travel to various countries around the world, though other books are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.

The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into over 100 languages, and it is popular in most European countries. Asterix is less well known in the United States and Japan.

The success of the series has led to the adaptation of several books into 11 films; eight animated, and three with live actors. There have also been a number of games based on the characters, and a theme park near Paris, Parc Astérix, is themed around the series. To date, 325 million copies of 34 Asterix books have been sold worldwide, making co-creators Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo France's bestselling authors abroad.

#038 France...Thanks Jerome!

These 2 lovely stamps were issued on Jan.11,2010 to celebrate 120th anniversary of Lanvin fashion house.

Jeanne Lanvin (b. Jeanne-Marie Lanvin, Paris, January 1, 1867–d. Paris, July 6, 1946) was a French fashion designer and the founder of the Lanvin fashion house. One of the most influential designers of the 1920s and '30s, Jeanne Lanvin's skillful use of intricate trimmings, virtuoso embroideries and beaded decorations in clear, light, floral colors became a Lanvin trademark. When Lanvin died in 1946, ownership of the firm was ceded to the designer's daughter, Marguerite di Pietro.

Friday, January 29, 2010

#037 India...Thanks Shalini!

The first 500p stamp is a commemorative on 24 January - NATIONAL GIRL CHILD DAY.
Jan 24 has been declared National Girl Child Day .The day has been chosen as it marks the assumption of office by Indira Gandhi, India’s first Prime Minister.

The 2 stamps on the right are from Spices of India issue,showing Cinnamon and Black pepper respectively.

and the 2 se-tenant stamps are 2008 Merry Christmas issue of India.

#036 USA...Thanks Craig!

The 3c stamp was issued in 1948 to commemorating the Centenary of the Formation of American Turner Society.

The American Turners is a national organization founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1848 by German immigrants.The motto, "A Sound Mind in a Sound Body", explains the purpose of the American Turners. It is a family organization, encouraging people of all ages to be mentally and physically active.

Its 54 Societies, located in 13 districts throughout the United States, participate in athletic and cultural activities. Many have gymnasiums and teach gymnastics and other sports to people of all ages.It has yearly national competitions in gymnastics, golf, bowling, softball and volleyball. In addition there are regional events in other sports.

The 6c stamp was issued in 1968 to celebrate HemisFair'68.

HemisFair '68 was the first officially designated world's fair (or international exposition) held in the southwestern United States. San Antonio, Texas hosted the fair from April 6 through October 6, 1968. More than thirty nations hosted pavilions at the fair. The fair was held in conjunction with the 250th (semiquincentennial) anniversary of the founding of San Antonio. The theme of the fair was "The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas."

The 10c stamps was from 1975 Space Issue depicting Mariner 10,Venus and Mercury.

Mariner 10 was a robotic space probe and it explored Venus and Mercury in 1974,and Mercury again in Mar.1975.

During its flyby of Venus, Mariner 10 discovered evidence of rotating clouds and a very weak magnetic field.Mariner 10 flew past Mercury three times in total.It revealed a more or less moon-like surface. It thus contributed enormously to our understanding of the planet, whose surface had not been successfully resolved through telescopic observation.

Presently, Mariner 10 is still orbiting the sun, although its on-board electronics have probably been damaged by the sun's radiation.

The 79c stamp was from 2009 Scenic American Landscapes Series,featuring a sandstone formation in the slickrock area of the Zion National Park,Utah.

Zion National Park is a national park located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (593 km2) park is Zion Canyon, 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park's unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park's four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Common plant species include cottonwood, Cactus, Datura, Juniper, Pine, Boxelder, Sagebrush, yucca , and various willows. Notable megafauna include mountain lions, mule deer, and Golden Eagles, along with reintroduced California Condors and Bighorn Sheep.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#035 U.A.E...Thanks Khalid!

These 4 stamps on the cover were issued on Apr.20,2008 depicting Traditional Souqs of the UAE as part of efforts towards heritage conservation. They are:

Spice Souq – Dubai, (1 Dhs.)
Al Arsa Souq – Sharjah, (150 Fils. )
Gold Souq – Dubai, (2 Dhs.)
Old Souq – Abu Dhabi. (3 Dhs. )

#034 Israel...Thanks Jacob!

The 5 NIS stamp is from Maritime Archeology issued on Nov.26,2009,illustrating some of the finds from sunken ships found along Israel’s shoreline and reflect the seafarers’ commercial ties and beliefs.

Remains from ancient cultures are abundant along the coastline of Eretz Israel. These remains are material evidence of the activity of the diverse civilizations which inhabited these shores over thousands of years.

Fifty years of underwater archeological research has uncovered many important sites, each with its own character and finds. The uniqueness of the finds lies in their generally good state of preservation and their rarity relative to archeological excavations on land. Every sunken ship preserves the moment of disaster as a sort of “time capsule” and contains much evidence regarding the technology of the vessel, the crew’s lifestyle and the ship’s cargo and sailing route.

#033 Australia...Thanks Secret Santa!

This festive cover features a circular stamp with traditional Chinese character "Happy New Year", Australia Christmas Island 2008 Year of Rat,2009 Year of Ox and 2010 Year of Tiger stamps on the right corner. The other 3 stamps are from 12-year circle pack. They were all issued on Jan.12,2010 to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year on Feb.14.

The Zodiac of 2010 is Tiger,the sign of courage. Tiger people are fearless leaders although somewhat unpredictable and emotional.

Monday, January 25, 2010

#032 Netherlands...Thanks Roland!

The blue stamp is one from large set of 2007 Christmas stamps.
The two other stamps are Trees of Autunm from an issue of Four Season Trees from Nederlands.

#031 Canada...Thanks Eric!

This cover features a Lest We Forget souvenir sheet issued on Oct.19,2009.

Every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadian people share a moment of silence to honour the memory of the men and women of Canada’s Armed Forces who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This tradition provides an opportunity to express collective sense of sorrow for the loss that war produces, as well as a chance to rejoice in the legacy of peace and freedom that Canadian soldiers have defended and preserved.

The 54c stamp is from 2009 International Year of Astronomy issue of Canada.

It features the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). This world-class 3.6 metre telescope is located atop the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano rising 4,200 metres above the Pacific Ocean. Opened in 1979, the highly-successful CFHT is Canada’s first partnership in an international observatory, in this case between the University of Hawaii, France’s Centre national de la recherche scientifique, and the National Research Council of Canada. The observatory is featured before the Eagle Nebula, a massive tower of cold gas and dust shaped like a mythical beast in the constellation of Serpens. Both nebulae were photographed by Jean-Charles Cuillandre with the CFHT

#030 Bulgaria...Thanks Lilia!

The 0.60 stamp showing Amethyst was issued in 2009 to celebrate the 120 anniv. of Bulgaria National Natural History Museum.

The 0.20 stamp at the left showing a Hippo was issued in 2008 to celebrate the 120 anniv. of Sofia Zoo.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

#029 Poland...Thanks Kazimierz!

The 1.55 Zt stamp was issued on Jun.15,2000 to celebrate the 1000 anniv. of Wroclaw.

Wroclaw is the chief city of the historical region of Silesia in south-western Poland, situated on the Oder river. Over the centuries the city has been part of Poland, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia, and Germany. Wrocław is the capital of Lower Silesian Voivodeship. According to official population figures for June 2009, its population is 632,240, making it the fourth largest city in Poland.

The stamp depicts the gothic Wroclaw Cathedral.

The 1.95 Zt stamp is a Polish 2009 definitive showing the fruits of cherry.

#028 India...Thanks Sameer!

This mini-sheet on the cover was issued on Oct.8th,2007 to celebrate Indian Air Force Platinum Jubilee 1932-2007.

The “BHARATIYA VAYU SENA” ( INDIAN AIR FORCE) was officially established on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the Indian empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Union of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950.The Bharatiya Vayu Sena has strength of approximately 170,000 personnel, 730 combat and 1,700 non-combat aircraft in active service, the Indian Air Force is the world’s fourth largest air force in the world.

These 4 aircrafts are:

1.ALH Dhruv,indigenously developed by HAL, seen here wearing peacock decoration of The Sarang, Helicopter acrobatic team of IAF.

2.The Beriev A-50 is the AWACs variant of the Illyushin-76 transport aircraft. India’s first A-50 aircraft equipped with the Phalcon radar arrived on 25th May 2009 and was officially inducted on the 28th May 2009( AWACs appeared on the stamp before it joined IAF). With the induction of the AWACS, India has joined a club of only six other nations - the US, Russia, Britain, Japan, Australia and Turkey - that operate such a sophisticated system.

3.The Westland Wapiti: The first plane of IAF.

4.IL-78 Transporter here seen as refueler, Refueling two SU-30 Fighters.

#027 Thailand...Thanks Apichati!

The 4 stamps on the cover were issued on 2007 to celebrate H.M.The King's 80th birthday anniversary.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

#026 Malta...Thanks Albert

The 0.09,0.19 and 0.37 euro stamps are from Malta 2009 definitive set,which tracks Malta's historical phases and milestones by depicting their related iconic images. The 3 stamps shows Phoenician & Punic Period, Byzantine Period and Norman & Hohenstaufen Period respectively.

The 0.21 euro stamp was issued in 2007 to celebrate the 100 anniv. of Malta Society Museum.

#025 Russia...Thanks Alexander!

This charming cover features a Russian counterpart s/s of the Joint Russia - North Korea issue on Sept.06,2007. It shows Gladiolus gandavensis, Iris,Rose and Water lily.

Monday, January 18, 2010

#024 India...Thanks Sauj!

This cover shows a set of se-tenant stamps issued on 2008 celebrating 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games
Held at Pune, India. And another stamp shows a mascot Shera for 19th Commonwealth Games - New Delhi, India ,which will be held in this year.

#023 France...Thanks Pazzolina!

The left stamp was issued on Oct.28,2009 to commemmorate Juliette Dodu. The postmistress, French spy, heroine of the War of 1870 and the first woman to receive the Military Medal and the Legion of Honor. Juliette Dodu was born June 15, 1848 in Saint-Denis (Reunion Island) and joined the metropolis at the age of 16. In September 1870, while working at the telegraph office in Pithiviers, she intercepted the enemy dispatches the Prussians to communicate to the French authorities and thus helped to save the lives of 40,000 soldiers. Following a denunciation, she was arrested by the Germans, sentenced to death and then pardoned and released when the armistice.

The right stamp was issued on Oct.19,2009. from the Doll Collection set. It shows a lovely bisque doll.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

#022 Croatia...Thank Tomislav!

This cover features Croatian Modern Painting 2008 issue:

The 1.65HRK stamp:Two Trees at the Foot of a Hill from 1973 by Oskar Herman.

Oskar Herman (1886 – 1974) was already in the 1920’s ranked by critics among scarce artists «consciously standing aside in an isolated row, however at the same time consecrated». He was also named an artist of «slow pace» and «a recluse». In stormy times, Herman had without even once looking back, from the beginning of 20th century, been pacing as a recluse along his individual path, always toward the same goal – to reach spiritual feeling of the world through a full freedom of painting. This recluse painter of sublimated expression and deep humanity was almost constantly in contradiction with the contemporary world. His symbolism was out of times and the style symbolism, and expressionism was not developed in his time but considerably later. Herman’s
paintings in their consistency (symbolism and expression) uninterruptedly and without any scillations perseveringly grew in the direction of a climax, ripening along with a ticking of his biological clock. In his silent world he painted as was had to, as dictated by his vision of art, without taking any notice of art streams created by new generations. From1904 to1910 Herman was one of the famous four representatives of the (Kraljeviæ, Raèiæ, Beciæ, Herman), Munich Circle. Critics always left him out and wrote favourably about the three other representatives of the Munich Circle. However Herman’s contribution was at least to say, kept secret from the public, although more precisely Herman and Raèiæ were architects of the art norm. They were the basis of Croatian contemporary art from the first half of the twentieth century. After the end of the First World War Herman returned to Munich, where with the exception of short visits to Paris and Berlin
he lived until the escalation of Nazism in 1933, when he returned to Zagreb. During his stay in Munich he regularly displayed, with quite a bit of success, his works at one man exhibitions
as well as participating at exhibitions of Munich Secession Art. In the war years (1941 – 1945), Herman joined partisan forces and was captured and confined in Calabria. After his release he joined the artists colony of Cozzano, a period marked in his life as a stand still in regard to his work as a painter and the actual come back to the artistic scene is possible to recognise in his opus as «a new creation of the world» (G. Gamulin). A painter’s vision, which has already been marked by out of the times suggestiveness, assuming ever stronger expressiveness,
he grew consistently and perseverely. Figurative compositions full to the brim with existential charge, interweaving and dramatically touching human destinies, isolated characters stroll without
any anchorage in a vast frivolousness space. A man and his inner world represent the main motives of Herman’s paintings, and a „Hermaniac“vision of a world unfolds with an unbelievable
grandeur of colours. Colour in his paintings, as Boris Kelemen explained, transfers into a «fluid, living element penetrating into a very marrow of life», and in a newly created world there
exists no chaos, only a deep melancholy, harsh tenderness and tranquillity. Just in tranquillity is the essential solution which in his artist’s vision brings a new dimension of expressionism,
not seen until Oskar Herman came onto the art scene. But also when that expressive hermanian vision unfolds in nature, without the presence of man, as seen in the painting Two Trees at the
Foot of a Hill from 1973, regardless of suppression, this composure strikes us with the force of spiritual radiation spreading from deep and sonorous harmonies of an effective colouristic game.
This small landscape, as interpreted by G. Gamulin, represents a synthetic «conclusion» of Herman’s iconography of a landscape and his deep compassionate, human, expressiveness.

The 1.80HRK stamp:Vrtujak (a scene in a park) from 1953 by Nevenka Dordevic.

Nevenka Ðorðeviæ (1898 – 1975)The creative work of painter and ceramic artist Nevenka Ðorðeviæ
has not sufficiently been recognised for a long time, although
her work has been included in all the anthologies of twentieth
century art, as an unavoidable art link of our environment.
Only the retrospective exhibition in 1999 organised in the Art
Pavilion in Zagreb reconstructed particularities of her visual
art through modernity in a wider span of time, from the end
of 1920 until the mid ‘60’s. She was born in 1899 in Rumanian
Banat, a place called Sannicolaul Mare. She was only sixteen
when in 1915 after graduating from the Girls’ Higher Learning
Academy she departed to Zagreb to study fine arts. She started
her training in the private school of Ljubo Babiæ, and in 1916
she enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts and Crafts. After graduation
in 1921, with her future husband, Ernest Tomaševiæ, she departed
to Berlin. During her two year stay in Berlin she visited numerous
ateliers and private schools, (W. Jackel and A. Archipenko),
and mostly was engaged in painting portraits. Not many portraits
executed during her stay in Berlin relate to primary positioning
that at time are close to the dominant «new reality» style,
solid and plasticized structured form, and that harsh simplicity
from which she began would markedly be incorporated in her later
art of painting After she returned to Zagreb she was more engaged
in executing works of art in ceramic, and learned about the
technique from the sculptor Hinko Juhn. The first exhibition
of her work in ceramics was at the arts and crafts exhibition
organised in 1927. On display were her ceramic sculptures and
pottery plates. Modelled clay and colouring of bounded surfaces
marked her painting, which gravitates towards gloominess, stylized
deformation of a figure with distinct contours; precise colouration
and mild ironic shift toward caricature what actually increases
her expressiveness. Her early works are mostly portraits and
still life of flowers in a vase, what determines her as an artist
of intimisme, however only in regard to the scenes she liked
to paint. Her unrestricted development of a form through broad
vehement strokes and bordered surfaces in glowing and sometimes
gloomy colours, quite early brought to surface her peculiar
and not in the least intimistic modern style. She achieved distinction
with summarines in a series of women portraits, almost regularly
with bizarre bonnets on their heads, as if accentuating concise
characterisation of the person whose portrait she painted. In
1930 she discovered on the island of Braè and in Komiža particularities
of the Dalmatian environment and it will extensively resonate
in her Mediterranean iconography. Images of stone facades of
old Dalmatian churches and palaces achieved with summarinnes,
are stripped of any decorative quality, assume a shape with
allegoric connotations. With broad and splattered spots of reduced
colour palette she developed her concise perception of Southern
towns in a unique impression. In the mentioned concise style
she painted several versions of Carrousel in a leisure park,
(printed on a stamp) from which the version from 1953 on a display
in the Modern Gallery in Zagreb, is the best version. Although
there is nothing left of the Carrousel but the bare construction
firmly centred in the fenced off space, and by its brightness
stands out against the natural environment, and this static
and concise outline of a form creates an impressive illusion
of rotation. In the fifties and sixties of the last century
she developed an original mark by isolating fragments of old
boats, transformed «protégés» fastened on the stems of boats
in an individual icon, like symbol, and by doing it procured
for her a place in a contemporary art.

The 6.50HRK stamp:Still Life from about 1925 by Ivo Rezek.

Ivo Režek (1898 – 1979) is one of the crucial figures in contemporary Croatian
Art, particularly from the first half of the twentieth century.
Thematic stratification of his native region left on his artistic
opus an irreversible mark. However, the basic formation of this
painter took place in the heart of Europe, acquiring classical
experiences and at that time current modernity, in Prague and
Paris, where he continued with his studies. He was one of the
few of our painters gaining precious knowledge of a dominant
style first hand. In direct contact with paintings of Picasso
and Derain he managed through symbiosis to connect experiences
of a prevailing contemporary magical realism with immanent feeling
for classic gesture and human philosophy of life, which gave
birth to one of the most European fine arts contributions from
the 1920’s and 1930’s. Ivo Režek was born on May 28,1898 in
Varaždin where he finished elementary and secondary school.
In 1925 he began his studies of fine art in Zagreb, and after
the war he continued his studies in Prague. He graduated in
1924 and departed to Paris where he lived with short interruptions
until1928. He exhibited with success at the Salon d’Automne
(1925.) and Salon des Tuilleries (1926.), and had one man shows
at the Montparnasse Gallery. He was very close to André Derain,
having painted in his studio, and he knew Picasso personally.
By magisterial form of accentuated plasticizm in his early formation
as an artist, he came as close as possible to this great artist
of contemporary art and his figurative compositions of women
bathers prove it. At the same time he spent a lot of time gaining
precious knowledge of his craft at the Louvre in Paris, copying
old masters, particularly Velázquez a Spanish artist. After
returning to Zagreb in1930’s, Režek simply picked up the thread
of a native tradition of engaged painting. He immersed himself
more deeply in his native milieu, revealing fatal relationships
between people and the environment. Awakened feelings of nationality
in that crucial moment bound him permanently to the motif of
his native Zagorje and hard lives of peasants. This benevolent
observer was skilled and seasoned his vision with original characteristic
humour, but harshness of impartial chronicler of reality. That
bound him to the painters of the Zemlja Group, although he never
formally joined them, he always remained free of any programmes
and ideologies. He differed from the naive narration and criticism
of the Zemlja Group by his commitment bearing his strong personal
stamp of compassionate chronicler. And while the village motif
slipped more and more into Režek’s paintings, at the same time
the lasting parallel characteristic figures of magic realism
saturated ever more the accentuated personality of the artist.
Rich chromaticism coupled with a strong feeling for material
texture were particularly prominent on portraits, landscapes
and still life. Režek’s commitment to regional iconography of
the impoverished ambient of Zagorje and his highly cultivated
style, extremely simple and genuine representation of everyday
poverty of village life or life in urban outskirts are presented
in his lesser known work Still Life. Significantly with a hand
of a true master of brush he painted bare table with two empty
glasses and half full bread basket. Everything presented in
the paintings is classically balanced and almost hipper-realistic.
By restrained art speech and selection of motives he declared
his human relationship toward reality –artistic constant – what
really brought him closer to his personal ideal. Režek’s artistic
observation will be in motion for a long time between his native
Varaždin, Zagreb’s intimate atmosphere and certain cosmopolitanism.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

#021 Malaysia...Thanks Tze!

The 15c stamp is a definitive issued by Sabah of Malaysia,showing an economically important plant:Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Its sap-like extract (known as latex) can be collected and is the primary source of natural rubber.

The Pará rubber tree initially grew only in the Amazon Rainforest. Increasing demand and the discovery of the vulcanization procedure in 1839 led to the rubber boom in that region.

These trees were used to obtain rubber by the Olmec people of Mesoamerica as early as 3600 years ago. The rubber was used, among other things, to make the balls used in the Mesoamerican ballgame. There had been an attempt made, in 1873, to grow rubber outside Brazil. Once established outside its native country, rubber was extensively propagated in the British colonies. Rubber trees were brought to the botanical gardens at Buitenzorg, Java in 1883. By 1898, a rubber plantation had been established in Malaya, and today most rubber tree plantations are in South and Southeast Asia and some also in tropical West Africa. Efforts to cultivate the tree in South America were unsatisfactory, because of blight.

The 50sen stamp is one of 16 Traditional House stamps issued on 9.July,2009. Traditional houses are a part of the valuable architectural heritage in Malaysia. There are a variety of traditional houses that can be seen throughout the different states in Malaysia. Traditional houses in Malaysia are reflected by the architectural designs that focus mainly on the styles, culture, skill, creativity, purpose and craftsmanship in building a place for shelter using the raw and organic materials that are available during the particular era.

#020 Libya...Thanks Omran!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

#019 Iran...Thanks Mahdi!

The 3R stamp on the top-right is 1983 Week of the Government issue,commemorating the 2nd death anniv. of Pres. Rajai.and Prime Minister Bahonar. They were both assassinated on August 30, 1981.

The 1200R stamp celebrates 17th Round of Book Week held during Nov.14-21,2009.The year’s motto is "Book, Sagacity, Capacity" which was ratified by the head quarter’s members.

The 650R stamp was issued on Nov.6,2008,showing a statue of Sheikh Abul-Hasan Kharaghani.

Sheikh Abul-Hasan Kharaghani is one of the great Sufis of Islam. He was born in 963 in a village called Kharaqan (today located in Semnan province of Iran, near Bustam) and died in the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram) in 1033.

He was the disciple of Shaikh Abul-Abbas Qassab Amili in tariqah but had deep spiritual relation (Uwaisi) with Bayazid Bastami, a well-known Sufi Master who died almost a century before him but had spoken about the personality and state of Abul Hassan Kharaqani.

Farid al-Din Attar, a famous Persian poet and sufi, devoted a large part of his book Tadhkiratul-Awliya (Biography of the Saints) about the personality, state and stories of Abul Hassan Kharaqani. Attar has called him as Sultān-e Salāteen-e Mashāyekh (The King of the kings of Sufi Masters), Ocean of the spiritual knowledge, Sun of the Lord, Mystery of the Lord and Qibla (focus of attention) of his people.

Abul-Hassan Kharaqani was the Master or Shaikh of the famous Persian sufi and poet, Khwajah Abdullah Ansari. Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Shah Mahmood of Ghazna, Abu-Saïd Abul-Khair and Nasir Khusraw had traveled to Kharaqan to meet him and expressed their deep admiring feelings and respect to him.

Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi (Rumi), Farid al-Din Attar, Khwajah Abdullah Ansari, Jami and others have narrated many poems about Shaikh Abul Hassan and have reported his several stories.

He was illiterate but had wide inspirational knowledge about the Quran and Hadith; his sayings and speeches are significantly magnificent due to their philosophical views. He practiced Shafi`i sect, a school of Sunnite Islam.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

#018 Czech...Thanks Radek

The stamp on the left was a portait of Master Jan Hus,from 2002 Czech for Europe series.

Jan Hus was a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague.

He is famed for having been burned at the stake by civil authorities for what the Catholic Church considered to be his heretical views on ecclesiology, as the civil authorities saw heresy as a criminal offense. Hus was a key predecessor to the Protestant movement of the 16th century, and his teachings had a strong influence on the states of Europe, most immediately in the approval for the existence of a reformist Bohemian religious denomination, and, more than a century later, on Martin Luther himself.

The stamp on the right is Czech 2005 EUROPA issue of Gastronomy.

#017 Norway...Thanks Reidar!

The 8.50KR stamp shows a Eurasian Capercaillie and the 15.50KR stamp shows a Reindeer,also known as the caribou when wild in North America, is an Arctic and Subarctic-dwelling deer, widespread and numerous across the Arctic and Subarctic.

Monday, January 11, 2010

#016 Panama...Thanks Freddy!

These lovely WWF stamps were issued on Jun.27,2007,showing Red-backed squirrel monkey. This species has a restricted range along the Pacific coast of the Puntarenas province in south-western Costa Rica, and in Chiriqui and Veraguas provinces, northwestern Panama.

This small monkey has a slender body and a tail that is longer than the body itself. The tail is not prehensile, but it does aid in balance as this monkey leaps between branches in a squirrel-like fashion. The limbs are fairly long and slender, and the thighs are shorter in relation to the lower leg than in species that clamber, such as howler monkeys. This adaptation allows squirrel monkeys to exert more force when jumping and so they can propel themselves further. This monkey’s fur is short, thick and yellow brown in colour, with the underside being a paler yellow. As its common name, the red-backed squirrel monkey suggests, this primate has red-coloured fur on its back. It also bears a distinctive crown on its head; in the black-crowned subspecies (Saimiri oerstedii oerstedii), this crown is, as the name suggests, black, whereas in the grey-crowned Central American squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii citrinellus) it is agouti in the male, and blackish-grey in the female. Males and females are similar in appearance, though males are slightly larger in size. During the breeding season males also become ‘fatted’, with a noticeable increase in size around the neck and shoulders.

In Panama, the black-crowned subspecies Saimiri oerstedii oerstedii has suffered habitat losses of 76%, and now occurs in fragmented forest areas throughout its range.

Like so many species the survival of the red-backed squirrel monkey is inextricably entwined with the future of the forests. Where there are protected reserves, there is hope for South America’s wildlife. The largest single population of the subspecies Saimiri oerstedii citrinellus occurs in the Manuel Antonio National Park in Panama. However this park is only 683 hectares in size. A recent survey (2003) did, however, indicate that the total population size for the red-backed squirrel monkey is significantly larger than had been previously estimated, numbering between 1300 and 1780 individuals. It will be extremely important to monitor and protect the remaining populations in the future, and find ways of securing their survival.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

#015 Algeria...Thanks Omar!

The 2 stamps on the left are Algerian Youth & Children set,issued on July 28, 2009.

The 2 stamps on the right,with the first day postmark, are Farming Olive Tree set,issued on Nov 25, 2009, with the 15D stamp depicting the harvest of olives and the 20D stamp depicting the pression of olives. Very nice design!

Monday, January 4, 2010

#014 Vietnam Thanks Nguyen!

The 800d and 4000d stamps were issued on Jun.3,2008,depicting Hue's Court Music (The Masterpieces of the Oral and Intagible Heritage of Humanity).

With the meaning of “elegant”, Hue’s Court music mentions the music performed in annual occasions such as ceremonies, regional anniversaries as well as enthronements, funerals or official receptions. Among the diversified types of music, Court music is the only one that owns the National scope.

The existence of Court music was strongly threatened with upheavals in the 20th century, especially the collapse of monarchy and the continual wars. Losing the imperial scene, this traditional music lost one of its original functions. Nowadays, with the assistance of the Government and the local community, some old musicians are trying to resurrect this traditional music and deliver their skills to younger generations. Some remained forms of Court music are now the inspiration for Vietnamese temporary music.

The 1500d stamp was issued on Jul.1,2009,showing a Praying Mantis. Praying Mantises or Praying Mantids are carnivorous insects that live in warm areas, camouflaging them among plants. There are about 2,000 species of mantis. Most mantises are pea green or brown. Like all insects, they have 6 jointed legs, 2 antennae, large compound eyes, a hard exoskeleton and a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen). Mantis can rotate their triangular-shaped head in almost a full circle. Most adult mantises are from 2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm) long. Females are larger than the males.

The natural life span of a Praying Mantis in the wild is about 10-12 months, but some have been known to live up to 14 months in captivity. The males sometimes die suddenly 2 or 3 weeks after mating.

Praying Mantises eat flies, aphids, moths, butterflies and many other insects (including other mantids). Praying Mantises are useful in gardens, since they control the insect population. They will only eat live insects.

The 2000d stamp was issued on Sept.1,2009,from Ornamental Fish issue. It shows Clown Loaches (Botia macracanthus),a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the Cobitidae (loach) family of Cypriniformes.

#013 Maldives...Thanks George!

#012 Italy... Thanks Alfredo!

Thanks Alberto for this nice cover with Christmas cancels!

The 0.60 euro stamp is one of Italian 2009 EUROPA issue. It shows Galileo Telescope.Galileo made his first telescope in 1609,which became his most famous invention.

The 0.23 euro stamp,showing Biathlon, is a commemorative for 2006 Winter Olympics,Turin.