Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mail routes to the Indies - Bicentenary

Date of  Issue: October 07, 1977
Scott #: 2065

This stamp was issued to commemorate ESPAMER '77, philatelic exhibition held at Barcelona, Spain on October 07 to 13; and also for the Bicentenary for regular mail routes to the Indies (Central and South America).

The stamp is issued in sheets of 8 stamps and 8 labels showing the exhibition emblem - The Lady of Umbrellas, the Parque de la Ciudadela, Barcelona.

The stamp also shows a brig crossing the ocean between the Spanish coast and the Americas.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Card #5 from U.S.A.

Received this postcard from Ms. Carolynne, U.S.A. through postcrossing.

The battleship depicted in this card is the German destroyer Molders (D 186).  Mölders was a guided missile destroyer of the Bundesmarine (West German Navy) and later the Deutsche Marine (Navy of reunited Germany). It was the second ship of the Lütjens class, a modification of the Charles F. Adams class.

Mölders was commissioned on February 23, 1969 into the 1. Zerstörergeschwader (first destroyer squadron) based in Kiel. During her 33 years in commission, 14000 sailors served on her under 16 commanders, and she traveled 675,054.6 nautical miles. The Mölders was decommissioned May 28, 2003 in Wilhelmshaven.

Mölders was preserved and is now on display as museum ship in Wilhelmshaven (Marine museum).

Monday, July 26, 2010

Royal Barge, Burma

Date of Issue: October 01, 1947
Scott: 76
Overprint in black in Burmese characters refer to "Interim Government"

The Royal Barge which is depicted in this stamp is the Pyi-Gyi-Mon Royal Barge. The Pyi-Gyi-Mon (the literal translation of which means the "Great Noble Country") is a ceremonial boat intended exclusively as conveyance for the king and king alone. He is accompanied only by his aide-de-camp, a ranking general, and a detail of security guards. Even his chief queen is not permitted to travel along with him. When two of these boats are conjoined then they form the Pyi-Gyi-Mon Royal Barge.

This royal barge used by the ancient Myanmar kings is entirely gilded and literally glitters with gold and has an enormous open and airy chamber with a soaring seven-tiered Zeytawun roof. The chamber is indeed palatial and occupies most of the space on deck. There are four white umbrellas, one in each corner of the chamber. The white umbrella is the symbol of sovereignty and only a sovereign is entitled to use it. Thus the four white umbrellas of the Pyi Gyi Mon indicate that it is indeed the sovereign barge. This huge barge is tugged by eight golden " Letpyi" boats paddled by a full complement of oarsmen.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

RMS Titanic Special Postmark

I am very happy to receive this cover with Special Postmark of RMS Titanic canceled at  Belfast (The city where Titanic was built). Many thanks to Mr. Jaap Termes of The Netherlands for the effort to get this postmark for me.

This Special Postmark will be made available till October 10, 2010. Those who are interested to get one for themselves,  click here to know the procedure.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ship on Malta 10 cents coin 1972

Year of Issue: 1972
Year Withdrawn: 1986
Mintage: 10,680,000
Composition: Cupronickel
Diameter: 28.5 mm
Weight: 11.3 g

This is the first 10 cents coin of Malta when it decided to adopt to decimal currency, until the end of 2007. There are 10 mils in one cent, and 100 cents in one Maltese lira.

The back of the coin is designed with Maltese ship with Maltese Cross on sails.

Click here to see other "ships on coins" in my collection.

Source: and wikipedia

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taranto Naval Base Centenary 1889-1989

Year of Issue: 1989
Mintage: 42 Million
Diameter: 24 mm
Composition: Aluminium Bronze

This 200 Lire coin was issued to commemorate 100 years of the Military Naval Base at Taranto, Italy. The reverse of the coin shows a steamship in the Taranto's military harbor, one of Italy's most important sea ports. Taranto is a city situated in Southern Italy.

Taranto became famous during World War II, as a consequence of the November 1940 British air attack on the Regia Marina naval base stationed here, which is today called the Battle of Taranto.

Click here to see other "ships on coins" in my collection.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Royal Navy Submarines PHQ Cards

Date of Issue: October 22, 2001
PHQ230 a-d

Royal Mail issued set of four PHQ cards commemorating Centenary of Royal Navy Submarines (1901-2001). These are the first set of PHQ cards in my collection and I thank Mr. Ian Gibbons, UK for sending me these wonderful cards.

What are PHQ Cards..?
PHQ Cards are postcards depicting the design of a commemorative stamp issued by the British Post Office. The 'PHQ' stands for Postal Headquarters, all items published by the Post Office are given a number which is prefixed by letters. The first card issued, was the 3p W.G. Grace stamp from the set of stamps commemorating County Cricket, issued on 16 May 1973, this card was numbered PHQ 1, the numbering sequence has continued to the present day.

Click here to see complete listings of PHQ cards issued by GB.

These four cards were designed by Dick Davis's using extensive archive material available at the Royal Naval Submarine Museum at Gosport as the basis for the stamp designs.

The 45p Stamp: The Unity Class was a small (191ft) but highly successful design introduced in 1939 and employed mainly in the Mediterranean during World War II. It achieved amazing distinction during this time, cruising at periscope depth for long periods, hence the 'periscope view' graphic featuring an enemy ship.

The 65p Stamp: The photograph on this stamp was taken on the Solent and the graphic is a reproduction of John Holland's original drawing for the boat. The Holland Class boat was, from a naval point of view, the first wholly successful submarine in history. In 1901, the British Navy adopted and developed the design of John Holland, and the Royal Navy Submarine Service was born.

The 1st Class Stamp: The Swiftsure is a typical cold war period submarine, patrolling the waters of the world.

The 2nd Class Stamp: The Vanguard is the most recently developed class of submarine in service. As a Peacekeeping 'Sentinal' (RN expression) it stays deeply submerged for long periods and carries ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

Source: Wikipedia,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

INS Ranvir and INS Mumbai on China Cover

Date of Issue: April 23, 2009

Cover Design and Cancellation: Ma Xiaoling, Du Xiaoxiao and Shan Huanfa
Photographer: Zha Chumming
Quantity Issued: 30,000

This commemorative special cover was issued by China during the 60th Anniversary of the Chinese PLA  (People's Liberation Army) Navy.

The celebrations and great maritime parade were held off the coast of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province. It was the first time the PLA Navy has ever held a parade of this kind.

To celebrate the occasion, naval delegations from 29 countries and 21 naval ships from 14 countries were invited to Qingdao from April 20 to 23, 2009, and participated in the ceremonial event with a theme of "peace, harmony, and cooperation." China National Philatelic Corporation specially issued a set of 31 commemorative covers for this occasion.

The naval delegation from India was headed by Admiral Sureesh Mehta, then Chief of Naval Staff of Indian Navy with INS Ranvir and INS Mumbai.

INS Ranvir (D54) - fourth of the five Rajput (Kashin II) class destroyers built for the Indian Navy. Ranvir was commissioned on 28 October 1986.

INS Mumbai (D62) - third of the Delhi-class guided-missile destroyers in active-service with the Indian Navy. Mumbai was built at Mazagon Dock Limited in her namesake city Mumbai, launched in 1995, and commissioned in 2001.

Source: Info on back of cover,, and wikipedia

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jewel of Muscat

Date of Issue: May 07, 2010

The Jewel of Muscat is a replica of a 9th-Century Omani ship, built through a joint effort by the governments of Oman and Singapore.  The ship's design is based on the archaeological findings of the Belitung Wreck, which was discovered in 1998 in Indonesia. Building of the ship began in October 2008, and the ship started to sail for Singapore on 16 February 2010 from Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat and completed the journey by July 03, 2010 at Keppel Bay Port in Singapore. Sources indicate that the exhibition site may be in the Maritime Xperiential Museum of Resorts World Sentosa.

Click Here to know Ten key facts about the Jewel of Muscat. Every stage of the Jewel of Muscat's construction and voyage is covered on this website. The site also contains videos, photographs and interactive features. The project will also be filmed for a television documentary.

Source: Wikipedia, Image of ship from, route map image from

Cover from Oman

Many thanks to Mr. Ali Mustaq, Oman for sending me the Jewel of Muscat on envelope as well as one mint souvenir sheet.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mary Celeste - maritime mystery

Date of Issue: February 12, 1997
Scott: 722-725

The Mary Celeste was a brigantine merchant ship notably discovered in December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and apparently abandoned, despite the fact that the weather was fine and her crew had been experienced and able seamen. The Mary Celeste was in seaworthy condition and still under sail heading towards the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had over six months' worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables. The crew was never seen or heard from again. Their disappearance is often cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time.

The fate of her crew has been the subject of much speculation. Theories range from alcoholic fumes, to underwater earthquakes, to waterspouts, to paranormal explanations involving hypothetical extraterrestrial, unidentified flying objects, sea monsters, and the hypothetical phenomena of the Bermuda Triangle. Click here to know more in detail.

Commemoration - At Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia, the Mary Celeste and her lost crew are commemorated by a monument at the site of the brigantine's construction and by a memorial outdoor theatre built in the shape of the vessel's hull.  The ship's origins and fate are explored in an exhibit at the nearby Age of Sail Heritage Centre. At the hometown of Benjamin Briggs in Marion, Massachusetts, the Sippican Historical Society maintains a permanent Mary Celeste exhibit with artifacts from the brigantine's final voyage. The Mariners' Museum in Newport News has a detailed waterline model of Mary Celeste, depicting the brigantine exactly as she was found in 1872.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Card #9 from Finland

Thanks to postcrosser Sini from Finland for sending this beautiful card of my choice.

The card shows the passenger cruise ferry MS Viking Sally (1980 - 1990) of Viking Line, which was put into service on June 29, 1980 and was sailing the route between Turku, Mariehamn and Stockholm. She was renamed as MS Estonia in 1993.

The ship's sinking in the Baltic Sea on September 28,1994, claimed 852 lives and was one of the deadliest maritime disasters of the late 20th century.

Source: Wikipedia

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