Thursday, March 28, 2013


Postcard of Haghartsin Monastery complex (Հաղարծին) in central Armenia. It was built between the tenth and fourteenth centuries under the patronage of the Amenian royal family. Many thanks to Marina for helping add this country to my collection!

Two stamps from the definitive series featuring Tigranes the Great, who ruled Armenia from 95–55 BC and expanded the Armenian Kingdom over huge swaths of modern-day Turkey and the Near East. Of note is the unusually large cancellation stamp that seems to be used in Armenia.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hong Kong III

Postcard showing view of Central District on Hong Kong Island in the 1920s. The streetscape looks decidedly different nowadays; I doubt a single building from this photo is still extant, although the tram tracks in the centre of the street do still exist and host the world's largest collection of double-decker trams that ply the streets with frequency all day long.

Stamp commemorating a stamp! The first stamp was issued in Hong Kong in 1862 and features Queen Victoria. Commemorative cancellation mark as well from the territory's central post office.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Canada – Ontario III

Skyline view of my hometown of Toronto, with the CN Tower – world's tallest freestanding structure for a great many years until recently out-scaled by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – in the background and the Royal Ontario Museum in the foreground with its controversial addition, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, engulfing the original Beaux Arts building. The museum is one of the largest in North America, hosting more than one million visitors per year, and is particularly well-known for its collections of fossils and East Asian art.

Stamp on the left from the 2012 Christmas series featuring Christmas cookies. Stamp on the right is from the ongoing Art Canada series. The 2012 release features the work of Joe Fafard, a Saskatchewan-based sculptor whose work often deals with the Prairie environment.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Canada – Ontario II

Postcard showing the a section of the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa, with Canadian Parliament Hill and Château Laurier in the background. The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution against war with the United States leading to closure of the Saint Laurence River. Most of its original structures remain intact and it is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. In 2007, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When it freezes over in winter, the canal becomes the world's longest skating rink and, since it goes right past many important government buildings, is used by many as a way to commute to work. 

International rate stamp issued this year commemorating the Year of the Dragon.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


WOOOHOOO!!! Just a few days after complaining about getting several cards in a row from countries that "didn't count" for my every country goal, I get a card from a place I thought, quite frankly, I would never get a card from: Kurdistan! It is a semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq that's taken increasing steps towards full independence following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, who was very hostile towards the Kurdish people. Postcard shows the Citadel of Erbil, in the eponymous capital city. Evidence of human habitation goes back to 4,000 BC and may even go as far back as the Neolithic Period, making the Citadel one of the oldest continually occupied sites in the world. Part of the Erbil Citadel site on the Tentative World Heritage List that was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2014. The first card displayed here to move from the tentative list to inscription.

My super-duper huge enormous high-five and bear hug thanks to Oliver for send this to me. 

As Kurdistan has become more (semi-) autonomous, it's begun doing a bunch of State-like things such as issuing own stamps that are recognised for international mailing (unlike other most other breakaway States  – I'm looking at you Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria) and stamping passports at borders (photo). Information about Kurdistani stamps is understandably pretty sparse. On the left, as you can see, a stamp issued in 2010 for the Post Festival Erbil with the logo of the Universal Postal Union. On the right, a coat of arms, but not the national coat of arms, which is different.