Thursday, March 23, 2017

Belgium














Latest addition to the growing range of Stamp Thing Facebook groups is for Belgium and Colonies. I am currently adding an excellent collection of Belgium to the website, mainly used and mounted mint but including some unmounted mint items especially miniature sheets.

Many Belgian stamps can still be purchased at reasonable prices and building a collection is fairly easy. The colonies add another dimension to collecting Belgian material, the stamps of Belgium itself often referencing its colonial heritage.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Austria















I'm currently adding a lot of Austrian stamps to the website. I particularly like this country's stamps - the earlier ones are a little dull but give an insight into the country's troubled history (end of Empire, inflation, incorporation into the Third Reich etc), more recent material includes some unusual issues (ceramic, plastic, embroidered etc). Most commemorative issues are just a single stamp and certainly a collection of modern issues could be put together fairly cheaply.



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Vatican on board



























Latest addition to our national Facebook groups is VATICAN.

Europe's smallest country is set in the heart of the city of Rome and has issued stamps since the Lateran Treaty in 1929. Most stamps are on  religious theme but in recent years more and more themes have been added to their output, though normally with a Vatican link.

The Vatican is a relatively easy and cheap country to collect, although sourcing used stamps is always difficult!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Isle of Man













Currently listing (though to be fair most are selling as soon as they go on!) are stamps from the Isle of Man, a small island in the Celtic Sea which lies close to England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The island had UK regionals from 1958 and became postally independent in 1973. There are earlier revenue stamps specifically for the island as well.

Reasonable amounts of stamps are issued each year and most issues are relevant to the island, which is distinct in many ways (from cats to trams) as is not part of the UK but a self-governing territory - in fact it has the world's oldest continuing parliament (Tynwald). Its distictive flag (the treskillion) shows the symbol of the island on a red field, the island issues its own currency (sterling, but with a Manx theme), it has its own language (Manx, a Celtic language, similar to Cornish, Welsh etc) and has a fantastic network of narrow gauge trains and trams, including steam, electric and horse-powered. It is an intriguing mix of the best of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, but is also distinctively Manx.

All in all a fascinating country to collect, and there are few if any expensive stamps.