Now on to the cards, the reason for Gem's World Postcards. Today's cards cover a number of themes: Postboxes, Royalty, Aircraft, Trains, People , even a nude and a Japanese painting. All good collecting themes.
Let's start with a Postbox. This one comes from Moscow, Russia. What I like about this one are the 2 horses' heads in the oval under the word Post. I often wonder if these are postboxes or mailboxes. I think this one is a private mailbox for receiving mail, since there is no lock on it. Have a look , maybe you will need to click on the image to enlarge it to see the horses better.
This card came loaded with stamps, seven in all. First there are 3 small definitives dating from 1998 and 2008. Now let's look at the 4 larger stamps. The long stamp on the left is from a set of 4 issued in 2009 featuring Bridges. The 2 aircraft stamps in the middle were issued as part of a set of 5 Military Aircraft in 2005. The 2 shown are the best of the 5 in my opinion. The large stamp on the right is from a set of 3 issued in 2004 commemorating The Amber Room. The Amber Room is located in the Catherine Palace near Saint Petersburg . It is a complete chamber decorated in amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. Created in the 18th century, it disappeared during World War II, and was recreated in 2003. The set of 3 stamps make a wonderful set and I'd love to have the other 2 in the set. The stamps have embossed or raised features adding to their collectability.
The Dutch Royal Family is up next. The card from Heike, a Dutch Postcrosser, shows King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Princess Catharina-Amalia, the Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane all waving and smiling. Willem-Alexander became King on 30 April 2013.
Heinke continued with her Royal theme with a couple of Royal stamps. First though is the small stamp on the fare left. It is 1 of a set of 3 issued in 2010 called Business Stamps. What makes them so , I don't know.
The other 2 stamps, the Royals , were issued this year, 2013. We have the new King and the outgoing Queen.
This card was issued by Aeroflot and is quite old, maybe from the early 1970s. The card is quite fragile but arrived safely. It will definitely find a good home in my collection. Stanislaw used 2 stamps on his card. The small definitive on the left was issued in 2012, 1 of 2 in a set. The longer stamp on the right was issued 26 July 2010. It was issued as a se-tenant set of 2 with a tab between them. It features the Curonian Spit, a 98 km long, thin, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. Its southern portion lies within Russia and its northern within southwestern Lithuania. It is a UNESCoWorld Heritage Site shared by the two countries.
What do you know, my next card is also from Russia. On this one we see a Russian lady in a traditional costume. Alya who sent this card wrote that she thinks it's a little old fashioned for Moscow today. Since I'm no expert on women's clothes , I really have no opinion on this.
Alya's card arrived with a large stamp from this current year.
The Train Card is next. It arrived from Adelaide, South Australia. This steam locomotive runs from Victor Harbor to Goowal, along the scenic Encounter Coast. Victor Harbor is on the shores of Encounter Bay, where in 1802, Englishman Matthew Flinders met the French explorer Nicholas Baudin, while they were both circumnavigating Australia. England and France were at war at the time, but despite this, the meeting between the two scientists was friendly and Flinders named the bay after the encounter.
Just so you know, the nude is next. If you are offended ( the mailwoman obviously wasn't ) just skip to the next card.
The card shows a bromide print entitled Nude Girl and Reeds, from around 1911. It is by photographer Bertram Park ( 1883-1972 ) . Park started in the family firm, manufacturers of artist's materials, but developed an interest in photography and became a professional portraitist. He was a founder member of the London Salon of Photography in 1910. Park set up studios on Dover Street, London in 1919. He was successful, being obliged to have up to five sittings a day to satisfy the demand. He photographed the British Royal Family, and his reputation was such that various European crowned heads would come annually to his studio to be photographed. His stylish and beautifully composed portrait studies more often relied on dramatic lighting than on elaborate backgrounds.
Now the last card for today. It comes from Japan and shows a Japanese drawing entitled Princess Tora's Rain . It is by Utagawa Hiroshige and dates from 1833.
The 2 stamps that Yosiro used are not new issues. The top stamp was issued in 1984 for Expo 85 , held in Tsukuba, Japan. The bottom stamp is even older, it was issued in 1975 for the National Athletic Games.
There you have it. Seven cards today, a little longer than my usual. Thanks for cards going out to Viktoria, Alya, Heike, Catia, Yosiro , Val and Stanislav. Take care everyone and come back again soon.