The French were once one of the leading powers and explorers. Starting in the 18th until the 19th century, they expanded their ‘spheres of influences’ outside of the continent. But starting the 1960s, the territories began to reclaim their independence. The French influence may have waned in terms of administration, but its contribution to world arts and affairs persisted in many spheres, stamps and philately as well. The market is loaded with French stamps including mint inexpensive stamps that are accessible for all types of collectors and enthusiasts.
Postage stamps aren’t just items you place on envelopes so that these can be air-mailed to choice destinations and recipients. Stamps are also treasures that can be collected and used to tell a story or explain a country’s history. Take the case of the popular ‘Inverted Jenny’ stamp, also known as Jenny Invert and Upside Down Jenny. This is one stamp that tells a loaded story, a story that has been told and retold, each retelling adding to its charm and overall value. This stamp is now considered the most famous (and sought-after) stamp in American philately and for all the right reasons.
Carpatho-Ukraine was once part of the Hapsburg Empire, not under the control of Russia as some might think. This region that also includes Transcarpathia and Ruthenia was under the direct control of the Hapsburg Empire, and as such used stamps that were issued and used in Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Here’s a look at the popular stamp issues used in the area.
In 1941 Germany led by Adolf Hitler took control of Ukraine. At first the Germans were considered by some Western Ukrainians to have come to liberate Ukraine, but the bloody rule of Germany changed that perception soon enough and the locals turned against the German occupation. Though they took control of the region, the German forces did not initiate moves to tap into the people’s anger against the Stalin-led government.
Eastern Ukraine was a former territory of Russia before it gained its independence on January 22, 1918. But before the official declaration of independence, the region had already designed its own set of currency stamps, the five-value set perforated 11 ½, which were used in lieu of the usual coins due to the limited supply of metals required for the making of coins. The currency stamps carried some identifiable designs so that people could recognize what they were holding.
The use of stamps in Iraq started centuries ahead of other regions and this was first run by Assyria. This was confirmed by the excavated cuneiform tablets and clay envelopes. But the formal operations of a postal service in the country happened in 1920 thanks to the British mandate given through the League of Nations. The first stamps were the definitive series that was introduced in the market in 1923 which included 12 stamps with eight different designs that tell the story of the country.
Libya is a country located in North Africa, and bordered by a number of African countries including Chad, Niger and Egypt. The modern Libya that people know is actually a former colony of Italy and was once part of the Ottoman Empire. The region was formally given to Italy in 1912. The first stamps in the history of the country were the Italian stamps that were overprinted with the word ‘Libia’, released to the public in 1912. All stamps that were used in then-Libia were made by Italian Government Printing Works.
Czechoslovakia was formerly part of Central Europe and was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before it officially split into Slovakia and Czech Republic on January 1, 1993. The country has had its own share of turmoil and participation in world history, but there’s no denying the country has contributed much to world affairs and culture. One important contribution comes in the form of philately and the production of stamps.
El Salvador has received many names in the past including ‘Cuscation’ which means the land of beautiful jewels, but what caught on was the name taken from Jesus Christ- El Salvador or The Saviour. El Salvador is situated on the pacific coast of Central America, with Guatemala on the west and Honduras on the north and east. It is the smallest country of Western Hemisphere with an area of just 8,123 square miles. In 1524 the Spaniards arrived in El Salvador and established their capital at San Salvador (St Saviour) the following year.