Friday, June 11, 2010

The Morton Collecton - The Stamps of Weimar Germany

The British Postal Museum & Archive posts about the famous inflationary stamps of Weimar Germany:

The Weimar Republic is the period in German history between the end of WWI and the coming to power of Hitler in 1933. Weimar society was characterised by great political instability, violence and strikes. There were eight elections in its short 15 year life span, and over 16 different political parties, including five different liberal parties, standing for parliament.

To read the full article go here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Top Five Famous Stamp Collectors

I came across an article the other day revealing that French president Sarkozy has become an avid stamp collector.  It seems that he's even the sponsor of a stamp club called the Elysée Philatelist Club named after France's presidential palace. 

This got me thinking about other famous people who've been stamp collectors.  Here's my list of the top five most famous stamp collectors - based purely on my own somewhat subjective criteria.  By 'famous stamp collectors' I mean famous people who are stamp collectors, not famous stamp collectors.  In other words, their fame is due entirely to something other than their stamp collection.

  • Anatoly Karpov - Former world Chess champion.  He's a topical collector of Olympic stamps and, of course, stamps featuring Chess themes.

  • John Lennon - Former Beatle.  Lennon collected stamps as a child and his album is currently housed in the National Postal Museum.

  • Franklin Roosevelt - US President.  A lifelong collector, FDR took his large collection with him in wooden trunks as he traveled the world during his presidency.  One of the last things Roosevelt did before he passed away in 1945 was to spend an hour or so with his collection.

  • King George V - British Monarch.  Also an avid collector, George V spent as much as three afternoons a week on his collection.  His extensive collection was housed in 328 red albums, each about 60 pages.  These later became the basis for The Royal Philatelic Collection which was continued by George VI and the present monarch, Elizabeth II.
Who would be on your list of the top five? 

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Canadian Stamp Subjects: Fathers of Confederation


    "Fathers of Confederation" was a large (8 X 13 feet) oil painting commissioned by the Canadian government in 1883. The painting featured the men involved in the creation of Canada in 1867 and was painted by the artist Robert Harris.

    Many of Canada's most influential early citizens appear in the painting such as Sir John Macdonald and Thomas D'Arcy McGee - both of whom have been honored individually on Canadian postage stamps as well.

    The painting has been reproduced on two different Canadian stamps, Scott #135:

    And Scott #142:

    Both feature beautiful renditions of Harris' painting. However, if you look closely, you'll notice that eight people are missing in the Scott #135 version but they reappear in #142. Sadly, the original painting was destroyed by fire when the Canadian Parliament building burned in 1916. However, Toronto artist Rex Woods later produce a copy for the centennial celebration in 1967 which still exists today and is displayed in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - the location of the original conference commemorated by the painting.