After we had The Year of the Tiger, now we have The Year of the Rabbit. It has to be
something of great importance to mankind, if we consider the quantity of stamps issued
worldwide to celebrate these events. It is the
presentation of the Canadian stamp and souvenir sheet, from the magazine Canada's Stamps
Details, Vol. VIII No. 1 - 1999 that attracted my attention. In two languages we can read
that "The rabbit is one of 12 animals, often referred to as 'earth branches' in the
Chinese zodiac.The rat, tiger,..., snake, ... pig are the other astrological creatures...
In Chinese folklore, the rabbit symbolizes longevity and is said to live for 1,000 years,
turning white at the age of 500... It is said that each person has traits and qualities
governed by his or her animal birth sign".
After Merriam-Webster, astrology means: "divination based on the
supposed influence of the stars upon human events", and zodiac means: "an
imaginary belt in the heavens that encompasses the paths of most of the planets and that
is divided into 12 constellations or signs".
Chinese or not, astrology is just another attack on man's volition, dignity
and his sense of responsibility. Because nobody can choose his birth date, he is condemned
by the astrologists to have the traits of the zodiac he happened to be born into,
something that he cannot escape his whole life. Astrology was the "science" that
dominated the Dark Ages in Europe. Having a bad reputation for a long time, thanks to the
development of sciences, it is pushed again by some new mystics, now under its less known
Back to the Canadian issue: the rabbit, or more exactly a sketch of it,
surrounded by some Chinese hieroglyphs is one of the less attractive and less interesting
apparitions of rabbits on stamps, compared with some earlier, really nice issues. (Posted
As I have written earlier, I proposed in my systematics four "integration"
1. The same theme, different designs. Stamps issued in national currencies and valid only
in issuing countries. Example: 200th anniversary of Hiroshige, stamps issued in the same
graphic arrangement by 17 countries, see my page dedicated to Hiroshige.
2. The same theme, the same design. Stamps issued in national currencies and valid only in
issuing countries. Examples: Swiss-China (http://www.values.ch/China-CH.htm) or
Denmark-Russia issues or some common European issues (Europe stamps)
3. The same theme, the same design, stamps issued in two or more national currencies and
valid in two or more countries. Example: the Miniature Sheet of Romania (and Yugoslavia,
Michel Block 10), year 1965, Iron Gate hydroelectric plant and dam, Scott 1747, Michel
Block 60. The MS contains two Romanian and two Yugoslavian stamps. The whole MS was valid
for postage in both countries, having a value of Lei 4 in Romania and of Dinar 500 in
Yugoslavia. The best example is the the perfect
joint issue of Switzerland with Liechtenstein (added later).
4. Future prevision (?). The stamps of the European Union, with the same or with different
designs, in the same currency (Euro) and valid in all EU countries.
I prefer to consider as full (100%) joint issues the stamps satisfying the criteria
mentioned under the point 3. (Posted 1/18/99)
Actually the Gagarin S/S was issued by the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and not by Russia, the last USSR stamps being issued the 12/12/91. Some sources
maintain that Gagarin was the first Soviet man who came back alive from the space...
Unfortunately the Scott catalogue does not make
the distinction between the USSR and Russian stamps; Michel for instance does. (Posted
Service of Liechtenstein has announced that all Liechtenstein stamps issues before 1/1/1996 (with 4 exceptions) will loose their validity for the
postage the 12/31/1999. The reason given by the Postal Service of Liechtenstein is the
creation of the Liechtenstein Post LTD.
The Liechtenstein government wrote that it knows that this announcement
provoked a big interest in stamps circles (!) and that the deadline raised some questions.
Therefore it started discussions with the involved circles to evaluate the situation.
There are good chances, says the government, that the deadline will be prolonged.
Source: Briefmarken aus dem Fürstentum Liechtenstein, issued in Jan. 1999. Up to
each of us to interpret these statements :-) (posted 1/22/99)
Stephen Suffet wrote in
message: Unhappy Anniversary!
The first stamps of nominally independent Slovakia were placed on
sale January 18, 1939. Slovakia was in fact a puppet of Nazi Germany, and it
declared its "independence" as part of the Nazi scheme to dismember
Czechoslovakia, the one truly democratic regime of Central Europe. The Nazi scheme began
with the seizure of the Sudetenland on October 1, 1938 (after the craven behavior of the
British and French at Munich), and culminated in Nazi Germany declaring a
"protectorate" over Bohemia and Moravia (i.e. what remained of Czechoslovakia)
on March 15, 1939.
My answer: Just to
remark that the Nazi Germany played its game on a favorable ground. Czechoslovakia has
dismembered itself again recently and the first stamp of the new Slovakia was issued the
1st of January 1993. The 8th of February 1993 a new currency, the Sk = Slovakian Crown,
was introduced, on a stamp displaying its president (!). (Posted 1/19/99)
David E. Ross wrote:
Don't forget to update your fonts to support the Euro symbol. My Web page contains a
link to Micro$oft's free font pages, which contain Euro updates, and a test display to see
if you are Euro-compatible.
V.M. Is the word written
as Micro$oft, for a company that offers free fonts on its pages, simply a typographic
mistake? (Posted 1/17/99. Have got no answer yet).