27 February 2019

Portugal China Joint Issue

Date of Issue : 8 February 2019

2019 marks 40 years of official diplomatic relations between the Portuguese Republic and the People’s Republic of China (on 8 February 1979, the two countries reached an agreement on the establishment of diplomatic relations). The historical relations and direct friendship between the people of China and Portugal began as early as the 16th century, after Portuguese navigators managed to join the Cape Route with the Maritime Silk Road, which had hitherto been used by large Chinese ships, under the command of Admiral Zheng He, to reach the coast of East Africa. Thus began the globalisation of the modern aera, for the first time joining, with a direct and continuous shipping route, the four main continents, from Europe to Africa, America and Asia. Since then, understanding and reciprocal influence between the two peoples have grown, both in terms of knowledge and technology and on a cultural level.

Today Portugal and China develop relations of deep mutual respect and friendship in multiple areas of political, economic, social and cultural activity, namely participating in the Chinese initiative One Belt, One Road, in the more global context of Portugal’s European and international relations.

26 February 2019

Mahatma Gandhi on new Serbian Stamp

150 Years since the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi

Date of Issue : 28 February 2019

Serbia Post will issue a commemorative stamp on 28th February to mark 150 years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the leader of the Indian independence movement. With his unusual, yet powerful political instruments of Satyagraha and non-violent protest, Mahatma Gandhi inspired political leaders and human rights and freedom movements all over the world. 

Mahatma Gandhi was born in a wealthy Hindu family in Porbandar (Gujarat). Even in his childhood he was acquainted with the learning about tolerance, non-hurting other people and vegetarianism. He studied law at the University in Bombay and later in London. With his family, wife and children, he spent 20 years in South Africa as an employee at a branch of an Indian company, fighting against discrimination of the Indians in Africa. As a founder of philosophy named Satyagraha – a resistance through mass, non-violent civil disobedience, he became one of the greatest political and spiritual leaders of his time.

His main goal was the fight for the independence of India which was a British colony at the time. He strived to reduce poverty, liberate women and eradicate discrimination, with the ultimate goal of India becoming an independent country. His efforts paid off when Great Britain finally declared Indian independence on 15 August 1947. Opponents of Indian independence murdered him on 30 January 1948.

The fight of Mahatma Gandhi for freedom and peace inspired human rights movements all around the world, and the United Nations established 2 October, Gandhi’s birthday, as the International Day of Non-Violence which, through education and raising of public conscience, helps spreading the message of non-violence and the wish to secure the culture of peace, tolerance and understanding.
Motif on the stamp: a portrait of Gandhi with symbolic display of the lotus flower in the background.
Motif on the vignette: charkha – a wheel for weaving cotton, a symbol of the passive resistance in India. 
Artistic realization: MA Boban Savić, academic painter.

 - Andjelka Djokic,

   PE Post of Serbia 

25 February 2019

Europa 2019 : National Birds

National Bird of Gibraltar :The Barbary Partridge 

Date of Issue : 5 February 2019

 The Barbary Partridge, Alectoris Barbara, belongs to the family Phasianidae, and is distinguished from other partridges by its blue-grey bib framed with chestnut brown. It is described as having ‘a brown crown/ventral nape which shows up well on raising, resembling a Mohican haircut’. The partridge’s plump body and short bill are typical of Gallinaceous birds, which include pheasants and grouse. Gibraltar’s Barbary Partridge will never be prized for its song which is described as a ‘series of shrill, broken monosyllable clucks with interposed double notes’ (scan the stamp with the Cee-app to listen to the bird). Its meat however might be a little more appealing to some, and that is possibly how the birds originally came to the Rock.

Predominantly a North African species, Gibraltar is the only mainland European location for a self sustaining wild population (they are also found off shore in the Canaries and Sardinia).

It is unclear whether the birds were imported during the Moorish occupation of the Rock, brought over by the British in the mid 1700s as part of a consignment of ‘game from Barbary’ or if the population is indigenous. Possibly the answer lies with a combination of all three. Fossil remains of Alectoris partridges dating from the late Pleistocene epock ( 1.6 to 0.01 million years ago) have been found on the Rock, but it is possible that these birds were ancestors of the red-legged partridge. Alectoris rifa, which is common in Spain but not found in Gibraltar.

Genetic Research as part of the programme agreed with ASC Systems is planned to try to determine whether the Gibraltarian Barbary Partridges are genetically different from the population in North Africa and elsewhere and this should establish their origins. The first record of Barbary Partridges on the Rock was noted by the Reverend John White in 1771 and at this time they were well established in the open scrub of the Upper Rock which was kept clear by grazing goats.

Their range and number have dwindled in recent years as a result of several factors. The first is loss of open vegetation due to the growth of dense scrub and woodland on the Rock. This denies the birds their preferred low scrub for nesting and open ground for foraging. Disturbances, illegal catching of young and heavy predation by feral cats has worsened the situation even further to the point that perhaps only 30 pairs remain.

Source : Gibraltar Stamps

24 February 2019

New Stamps from India

Centenary of IIT BHU , Varanasi

Date of Issue : 19 February 2019

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi released a commemorative stamp on Centenary Year of IIT BHU.

12th Aero India International Show
20-24 Feb 2019, Bengaluru

Celebrating Women in Aviation

Date of Issue : 23 February 2019

SIKKIMPEX 2019, Sikkim Philatelic Exhibition, Gangtok

Two day Philatelic Exhibition  SIKKIMPEX 2019 (Feb 21-22) was held at Modern Senior Secondary School, Gangtok. Two Special Covers were released on the occasion. The event was organised by Sikkim Postal Department.

Special Cover on Pakyong Airport that was the 100th Operational Airport of India was released on the inaugural day by Ramtanu Shah, Airport Director, Pakyong. Royal Coronation throne of Norbugang, Yuksom was featured on a special cover was released on the next day by Dr. Anira Phipon Lepcha, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Sikkim University. Both the covers were designed by Singtam based philatelist Roshan Prasad.

Philatelic exhibition was held at Sikkim after ten years. Twenty one philatelists from different parts of Sikkim, Darjeeling and Siliguri had participated at the exhibition. Those philatelists were members of Sikkim Philatelic and Numismatic Society.  Souvik Roy and Eeshita Basu Roy from Kolkata were among the invited philatelist.
Eighty Six frames of philatelic materials were displayed that included rare postage stamps and other postal stationeries. Also displayed on the philatelic frames was International award winning exhibits on Cricket, National award winning exhibits on Music, a rare 14 frame exhibits on Buddhism of Souvik Roy and other popular exhibits.
List of participants included Ganesh Pradhan, CP Raya, Shital Pradhan, Deepen Pradhan, Vivek Yonzone, Padam Parajuli, Sushil Karthak, Sunita Gurung, Sishir Pradhan, Sheila Rai, Sanskriti Sharma, Tejeswani Neopane and others.

The other major highlight of the two day event was a book released on dictionary of stamps. ‘The Stamp Collectors' Dictionary’ written by Roshan Prasad and published by Sikkim Postal Department was released on the first day. Vivek Yonzone from Darjeeling conducted philatelic workshop that was appreciated by students and crowds present. There were Quiz competition, Letter writing competitions and drawing competitions was organised for the school students.

The list of participating schools included Holy Cross School, St. Xavier’s School, Deorali Girls Senior Secondary School, Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School, West Point Sr. Secondary School, Tathangchen School, Modern Senior Secondary School, Rongneyk Jr. High School, Enchey Senior Secondary School and Manjushree School.
- Shital Pradhan

Club News

News from Jaipur Philatelic Society

Jaipur Philatelic Society, Jaipur

Registered office:”Saket”HouseNo.1282, Sector 1 Malviya Nagar, Jaipur 302017.

Meeting of the Jaipur Philatelic Society, Jaipur was held on 17th February 2019 at the residence of Mr. Arun Mehta and chaired by President Shri Jatan Mal Dhor.



1. Mr.  Jatan mal Dhor.
2 Mr. Shanti Prashad Jain.

President : Mr. Kailash Narain Mathur.

Vice Presidents
1.       Mr. A.K. Gupta.
2.       Mr.Arun Mehta
3.       Dr. Rakesh Thapar.

General Secretary :  Mr. K.K. Bhatia.
Secretary  Mr. Ajay Mathur.
Treasurer Mr. Brij Behari Sharma

Executive Members

Mr Kedar Nath Soni.
Mr. Madhav Ramchandani
Mr. Narendra Bairathi.
Mr. Nawal Kishore Tatiwala.
Mr. R.K. Agarwal.
Mr. S.R. Bafna
Mr. Vikas Sharma

Regional Co-coordinators

Mr. Vikas Jain
Mr. Arvind Jain
Fatehpur Shekhwati
Mr. Pramod Kumar Jain.
Mr. M.R. Bhandari
After this charge was handed over to new Executive team.
Out Going President Mr. J.M. Dhor thanked all the members for their cooperation extended in his 10 years tenure. He also wished new executive team every success and assured his full support.

Newly elected President Mr. K.N.Mathur gave vote of thanks to all the members for their support. He assured new team will take Philately to new heights and add some new members and to promote philately in other parts of Rajasthan.

To promote Philately new student members will be added and Rs.100 /- per annum will be charged.

For new members Rs. 300/- per Anum will be charged. And it will be made available for only one year.

 Life Membership will be Rs.1500/- It will be one time charge.

Society will be issuing Life Members card on Payment and it will be processed in coming months.

Ajay Mathur
Jaipur Philatelic Society , Jaipur

21 February 2019

My Recent Covers

Special Covers : Kumbh Mela

Many Thanks to Mr Rahul Ganguli of Allahabad and Prayag Philatelic Society for these special Covers on Kumbh Mela.

Cover from Latvia

The First Stamp of Latvia - 100 years

Many Thanks to Mr EN Limanski from Riga, Latvia for this wonderful cover.

19 February 2019

European roe deer - 2019 Animal of the year in Germany

On March 10th 2019   a new pictorial postmark will be available  in 74072 Heilbronn.
The postmark is featuring the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). It´s the animal of the year in Germany.

Courtesy: Wolfgang Beyer, BDPh(German Philatelic Federation) and AIJP

The European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), also known as the western roe deerchevreuil, or simply roe deer or roe, is a species of deer. The male of the species is sometimes referred to as a roebuck. The roe deer is relatively small, reddish and grey-brown, and well-adapted to cold environments. The species is widespread in Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, from Ireland to the Caucasus, and east to northern Iran and Iraq. It is distinct from the somewhat larger Siberian roe deer.


Sorry to inform all the Readers that noted philatelist of Cuttack (Orissa), Shri Pradeep Kumar Mohanty passed away today. Our heartfelt condolences . May his soul rest in Peace. Met him in many times during philatelic exhibitions . I feel so sad to write the news of his sad demise. He bagged several National & International awards. He won the highest award: "Championship Trophy" in recently concluded ODIPEX-2018 in Keonjhar. He was associated with Orissa Philatelic Association since 1986 and was also a life member of Philatelic Congress of India . Shri Mohanty was a very good Badminton player and well known for Odisha Badminton. He will always be missed by philatelic community.

Cactus Flowers on New USPS stamps

The Unexpected Beauty....

Cactus Flowers

Date of Issue : 15 February 2019

The U.S. Postal Service showcases hidden beauty with the release of Cactus Flowers Forever stamps on 15th February .

“The U.S. Postal Service has a long history of celebrating Earth’s floral diversity,” said Postal Service acting Manager of Operations and Support for the Western Area John DiPeri during the stamp’s first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony today. “Cacti in bloom have been described as Mother Nature’s fireworks. Their reds, pinks, yellows and violets bring to life a plant synonymous with an environment where few living things thrive.”

The ceremony was held in conjunction with the AmeriStamp Expo at the Mesa Convention Center, where DiPeri was joined by William J. Gicker, the Postal Service’s acting director of Stamp Services, and Ken Schultz, executive director of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ.

Each Cactus Flowers Forever stamp depicts the floral display of one of these ten cacti: Opuntia engelmannii, Rebutia minuscula, Echinocereus dasyacanthus, Echinocereus poselgeri, Echinocereus coccineus, Pelecyphora aselliformis, Parodia microsperma, Echinocactus horizonthalonius, Thelocactus heterochromus and Parodia scopa. Cacti also may have common names, with some varieties having several different names in popular use.

The stamps are being issued in booklets of 20. These stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Within the booklet, each stamp design is featured twice. 

Cactus flowers generally occur singly, although many separate blossoms might appear on a plant at the same time. Flowering occurs at different times of the year and even different times of the day or night. Most cactus flowers are large and flamboyant, with colors of white, red, pink, orange or yellow.

Source : USPS

17 February 2019

Leonardo da Vinci drawings from Royal Collection

Leonardo da Vinci

This beautiful set of 12 Special First Class Stamps issued by Royal Mail on 13 February 2019 is each one a miniature work of art.The stamps are presented in two se-tenant strips of six and feature the following original Leonardo da Vinci drawings from Royal Collection Trust:
  • The skull sectioned.
  • A sprig of guelder rose.
  • Studies of cats.
  • A star-of-Bethlehem and other plants.
  • The anatomy of the shoulder and foot.
  • The head of Leda.
  • The head of a bearded man.
  • The skeleton.
  • The head of St Philip.
  • A woman in a landscape.
  • A design for an equestrian monument.
  • The fall of light on a face.
Leonardo is widely considered one of the greatest artists of all time, and 500 years since his death his drawings, in which he explored fields as diverse as botany, anatomy, portraiture, design and the nature of the world around him, continue to fascinate. 

The drawings featured on the stamps were chosen to coincide with the 12 exhibitions, ‘Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing’, taking place in 2019 across the UK – one drawing from each of the 12 exhibitions is featured on a stamp. 

Leonardo da Vinci was one of history’s greatest polymaths – a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer and map-maker who also pursued the scientific study of subjects as diverse as human anatomy, the theory of light, the movement of water and the growth of plants. 

The common thread to all Leonardo’s work was drawing. He drew incessantly, for new ideas, to refine compositions, to record his observations and to test his theories. Many of his drawings are accompanied by extensive notes in ‘mirror-writing’: Leonardo was left-handed, and throughout his life he habitually wrote in perfect mirror image, from right to left. 

Fewer than 20 paintings by Leonardo survive, and nothing in sculpture or architecture. But because Leonardo hoarded thousands of his drawings and dozens of notebooks, many of which have been passed down through succeeding centuries, we have a detailed knowledge of the workings of his extraordinary mind. 

The Royal Collection holds the greatest collection of Leonardo’s drawings in existence, housed in the Print Room at Windsor Castle. Because they have been protected from light, fire and flood, they are in almost pristine condition and allow us to see exactly what Leonardo intended – and to observe his hand and mind at work, after a span of five centuries. These drawings are among the greatest artistic treasures of the United Kingdom.

This First Day Cover celebrates the life and work of Leonardo Da Vinci, and features a remarkable selection of drawings from the collection of Her Majesty The Queen,acquired by King Charles II in around 1670.

The Tallents House postmark features one of Leonardo’s drawings of a human eye, while the alternative postmark features one of his intricate drawings of a human hand. 

The location is Windsor in recognition of the extensive collection of the artist’s drawings housed in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.

The skull sectioned, 1489 : Pen and ink : Ulster Museum, Belfast
Leonardo had little access to human material when he first started to study anatomy. But in 1489, he obtained a skull, which he cut in a variety of sections to study its structure. In this drawing, he shows the skull sawn down the middle, then across the front of the right side. This beautifully lucid presentation, with the two halves juxtaposed, allows the viewer to locate the facial cavities in relation to the surface features. Leonardo wished to determine the proportions of the skull and the paths of the sensory nerves, believing that they must converge at the site of the soul.

A sprig of guelder-rosec.1506–12 : Red chalk on orange-red prepared paper : Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
A beautifully rendered study of guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) has been drawn in red chalk on paper rubbed all over with powdered red chalk. Although it may be connected with Leonardo’s Leda and the Swan, it is far more detailed than necessary as a study for a painting; indeed, it surpasses anything found in contemporary herbals. The leaves are shown curling and sagging, for Leonardo was interested not merely in their shape but also in their living form when subject to the natural forces of growth and gravity.

Studies of catsc.1517–18 : Pen and ink : Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Leonardo’s studies of sleeping cats are among his most sensitively observed drawings and must have been done directly from life. His appreciation of the animals’ lithe forms had a scientific basis, for elsewhere on the sheet he wrote: “Of flexion and extension. The lion is the prince of this animal species, because of the flexibility of its spine.” This suggests that the drawings were made in connection with Leonardo’s proposed treatise on “the movements of animals with four feet, among which is man, who likewise in his infancy crawls on all fours”. 
A star-of-Bethlehem and other plantsc.1506–12 : Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum : Glasgow

Leonardo drew plants and flowers as studies for decorative details in his paintings and probably also in the process of working towards a systematic treatise on the growth of plants and trees. His finest botanical drawings were executed for his painting Leda and the Swan, which was to have a foreground teeming with plants and flowers, thus echoing the fertility inherent in that myth. The focus of this drawing is a clump of star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), whose swirling leaves are seen in studies for, and copies of, the lost painting.

The anatomy of the shoulder and footc.1510–11 : Pen and ink with wash : Southampton City Art Gallery
Leonardo was fascinated by the mechanism of the shoulder and by how the arrangement of muscles and bones allowed such a wide range of movement. Here he analyses the shoulder and arm in a series of drawings at progressive states of dissection. He begins at upper right with the muscles intact and then lifts away individual muscles, such as the deltoid and biceps, to reveal the structures below. At lower right, Leonardo demonstrates the articulation of the ankle with the tibia and fibula lifted away from the foot.

The head of Ledac.1505–08 : Pen and ink over black chalk : Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Over the last 15 years of his life, Leonardo worked on a painting of the myth of Leda, showing the queen of Sparta seduced by the god Jupiter in the guise of a swan. The painting was the highest valued item in Leonardo’s estate at his death; it later entered the French royal collection but was apparently destroyed around 1700. In this sketch, Leonardo expended little effort on Leda’s demure downward glance, devoting his attention instead to the most complicated of hairstyles – throughout his life he had a love of personal adornment in both hair and clothes.

The head of a bearded manc.1517–18 : Black chalk : Derby Museum and Art Gallery
Leonardo was fascinated by the male profile, both the divinely beautiful and the hideously grotesque. Such heads are found throughout his work, from paintings such as The Last Supper to quick doodles in the margins of his drawings. Towards the end of his life, Leonardo made many carefully finished drawings of classical profiles, exercises in form and draughtsmanship simply for his own satisfaction. Their features – such as the dense mat of curly hair seen here – were inspired by ancient coins and medals of Roman emperors.

The skeletonc.1510–11 : Pen and ink with wash : Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Leonardo’s most brilliant anatomical studies were conducted in the winter of 1510–11, when he was apparently working in the medical school of the university of Pavia, near Milan. He may have dissected up to 20 human bodies at that time, concentrating on the mechanisms of the bones and muscles. This is his most complete representation of a skeleton, seen from front, side and back in the manner of an architectural drawing. Leonardo aimed to compile an illustrated treatise on human anatomy, but his studies remained unpublished at his death.

The head of St Philipc.1495 : Black chalk :Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Leonardo’s greatest completed work was The Last Supper, painted in the refectory of the monastic church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan and now in a ruined state. The mural shows the reaction of the disciples to Christ’s announcement of his imminent betrayal. Few drawings survive of the hundreds that must have been made. This study for the head of St Philip, leaning towards Christ in devotion and despair, was probably based on a live model, but Leonardo has idealised the features, taking them out of the real world and into the divine.

A woman in a landscapec.1517–18 : Black chalk : Manchester Art Gallery
Two of Leonardo’s favourite devices – a mysterious smile and a pointing hand – are combined in this ethereal drawing. It shows a woman standing in a rocky, watery landscape, smiling at us while gesturing into the distance, her arms gathering her drapery to her breast. The most plausible explanation is that this is the maiden Matelda gathering flowers, as she appears to Dante on the far side of a stream in Purgatory, the second book of his Divine Comedy. However, the purpose of the drawing is unknown.

A design for an equestrian monumentc.1485–88 : Silverpoint on blue prepared paper : Leeds Art Gallery
Ludovico Sforza, ruler of Milan, commissioned Leonardo to execute a bronze equestrian monument, well over life size, to his father, Francesco. Leonardo’s early studies show Francesco on a rearing horse over a fallen foe. Over the next five years, Leonardo built a full-sized clay model of the horse and prepared a mould for the casting – a huge technical challenge. But in 1494, Ludovico requisitioned the 75 tonnes of bronze for the cast to make cannon, and the monument was never finished. Invading French troops used the clay model for target practice, destroying it.

The fall of light on a facec.1488 : Pen and ink : Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
During the 1480s, Leonardo began to assemble material towards a treatise on the theory of painting. His own paintings, such as the Mona Lisa, were noted even in his own day for their sophisticated treatment of shadows, and here he sets out the geometrical principles of light and shade. The diagram and notes (in mirror writing) explain that where the light falls at right angles on the face, the face will be most strongly illuminated; where it falls at a shallow angle, the face will be less strongly lit; and where no light is received, under the nose and chin, the surface will be completely dark.

Leonardo da Vinci Prestige Stamp Book

Beautiful paintings and drawings adorn every page of this Prestige Stamp Book which explores the many facets of Leonardo da Vinci - making it the ideal gift or collectible.The book is complemented by three stamp panes containing all 12 Special Stamps.
  • Set against a background featuring examples of his drawings and paintings, including ‘The Last Supper’.
  • A fourth pane contains Definitive stamps in colours that beautifully complement the drawings and paintings in the book. The pane also includes a self-portrait in the centre.
Source : Royal Mail

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