17 December 2014

Old Toys – Europa2015 Theme




Date of Issue : 8 May 2015

I am sharing here few stamps to be released by European Countries in 2015 on “old traditional” Toys. The theme of Europa 2015 is old Toys. Europa stamps will feature popular traditional old toys of the respective countries.  Stamp from Aland features  “Monkey with drum”. This toy was very popular few decades ago all over the world . Pulling toys were also favorites of little children and will be featured on stamps from Denmark. Building Blocks have  always been  very popular among children and these will appear on stamps from Denmark.


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Date of Issue : 2 January 2015


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Date of Issue : 4 May 2015


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Date of Issue : 30th April 2015

View : Complete list of Europa 2015 stamps


The meaning of toys as we know it today being exclusively playthings for children was not commonly used until the nineteenth century. Before then and even into the early 1800’s the word toy was used to describe anything from an adult bauble of little or no value to a very expensive miniature (like handcrafted pieces of silver furniture handmade by the best craftsmen). The word toy comes from an old English world meaning tool.

Ancient toys from excavations of Egyptian ruins show that children had a variety: painted wood balls or glazed papyrus and reeds; spinning tops of wood, papyrus, or stone; pull toys and dolls crafts of wood, ivory, gold, bronze and clay. Some wooden animals had moveable parts, like the jaws of tigers and crocodiles.

Both in Greek and Roman times there were lots of different children’s playthings. They played with clay spinning tops (some propelled with a piece of thread on the end of a stick), balls, terracotta animals and dolls with moving arms and legs, baby toys including animal shaped rattles. Roman children had dolls, wooden toy hoops, spinning tops, drums, draughts, and wooden animals.  Children's games like naughts and crosses, knucklebones and blind man's bluff existed. Wood horses for both these eras were also favourites, including models of the Trojan horse. Many in this period were designed to develop physical fitness. Some, like the hoop, were used by both children and adults. Kites were another old plaything enjoyed by young and old. The Chinese, who invented kites over 3000 years ago, developed many variations and also used them to send signals. The Chinese or Japanese invented the whipped top at an early date. These became so popular and all different types spread throughout Asia and the Middle East. In the English 1500’s toys were popular. For example a Tudor Christmas was a special celebration full of fun and also pomp. The celebrations took place in halls and a Lord of Misrule rode in on a hobby horse, Mummers were actors, Jesters kept everyone happy and Merrymakers (ordinary people) wore costumes and heads of strange monsters! The musicians would have played with pipes, drums, lutes and whistles from a gallery.

As long as toys have existed they have reflected the cultures that produced them. They reflect popular styles of clothing, activities, occupations, social standards and conditions. For example boats, wheeled vehicles and planes of transportation all show the styles of the period in which they were made. Doll makers and craft toys often reflect period styles and clothing.

The Europa 2015 stamps will feature old traditional toys .

Club News

"ITS Stamp News"and completes 17 years of publication


The Indian Thematic Society has issued a new issue no.68 December 2014 of its quarterly magazine "ITS Stamp News" ( Editor – Suraj Jaitly ) and completed 17 years of its regular publication without any break or combined issue. Many many congratulations to Mr Suraj Jaitly.The issue has been despatched to its regular subscribers if you are not its subscriber Please contact :

Suraj Jaitly  email :   indianthematicsociety@gmail.com

Mobile: +91 98728 51244
MIG # 3464, Phase Two, Dugri Road, Ludhiana - 141 013 INDIA

Press Clippings

Finding music in stamps and coins


Gandikota Sriramarao has 250 coins and 93 musical currency notes, apart from over 4,000 stamps from around the world, collected over 24 years. Photo: R. Ravindran – The Hindu

There is music in these postage stamps. They are not just pieces of paper with images on them but contain music that you can listen to,’ says retired Commander Gandikota Sriramarao, as he shows off his collection of gramophone record/CD/DVD stamps from Bhutan and North Korea that can actually be played.

The Visakhapatnam-based philatelist is exhibiting his collection of currency notes, coins and pictorial cancellations related to music at the Tag Listening and Viewing Archives at The Music Academy.

An avid interest in music and singing led Mr. Sriramarao to learn music after he retired from the Indian Navy.

“Collecting stamps, coins and currency have been my passion from childhood. But when I started learning music, I decided to collect things connected to music. I have been doing it for 24 years now and have 250 coins and 93 musical currency notes apart from over 4,000 stamps from around the world,” says the 74-year-old who spends half his pension on this.

A walking encyclopaedia on stamps and currency, he says, “There are 76 musical post offices in 13 countries. They are named after musicians.”

At the exhibition, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. till Saturday, one can see coins shaped like guitars and those embedded with Swarovski crystals, or even gold and silver.

Mr. Sriramarao’s wife, Ramalakshmi Gandikota, herself a musician, and son Vijai Gandikota too share his passion for stamps and are at hand to explain the significance of the collection to visitors at the exhibition.

The Hindu  - 17 December 2014

- Mahesh Parekh - Chennai

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