Sunday, 28 February 2010


Brazil will issue on March 1st, 2010 a commemorative stamp celebrating the President’s Tancredo de Almeida Neves centennial anniversary. Tancredo Neves was born in São João del Rei, Minas Gerais, on March 4th, 1910. A lawyer, he entered politics elected as councilman in his hometown in 1935. Recognized as a political leader, Tancredo influenced national institutions in a constructive manner through more than five decades of public work (member of Parliament, Minister and State Governor). Tancredo Neves was elected president of Brazil by the Electoral College in January 1985, representing the opposition party. On the eve of taking office, on the night of March 14th, 1985, after an acute attack of diverticulitis (major intestine inflammation), he was hospitalized, and the next day, his Vice President, José Sarney, took office. His clinical condition deteriorated severely, and he died on April 21st, 1985 in São Paulo, leaving a political legacy to Brazil. His death caused an outpouring of national grief. Tancredo Neves is counted among the official list of presidents of Brazil as a matter of homage and honour, since technically he never became president.
The stamp focuses on President Tancredo de Almeida Neves between the flag of his state, Minas Gerais, on the left and the map of Brazil next to the National Coat of Arms on the right. In the background, a partial view of the historical buildings of São Joao del-Rei, his hometown.

Saturday, 27 February 2010


My friend John sent me two lighthouse postcards from Netherlands. TNT Post issued on August 4th, 2009 three sheetlets (six stamps) each featuring a different aspect of Brazil’s historical ties with the Netherlands. “The Netherlands and Beyond”series presents the major role John Maurice, the 17th century count and prince of Nassau-Siegen, played in Brazil. John Maurice was appointed the governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil (1637-1644) and commissioned cultural and nature researches in the country. Dutch artists and scientists described and illustrated the flora and fauna of the country in writings, drawings and paintings. The biologists’ observations and the artists’ illustrations were included in Historia Naturalis Brasiliae, a natural history book published in 1648.
From Historia Naturalis Brasiliae came the illustration to the 95 eurocent Priority mail stamp: the cashew tree and nuts. The native tree widely found in the northeastern Brazil was a novelty at that time.

The postcard shows sixteen lighthouses and the inscription "Lighthouses along the Dutch coast". A small country with a long maritime tradition, The Netherlands is home to a large number of historic lighthouses. For centuries, fires were lit atop brick towers to guide returning Dutch sailors, and even today the traditional Dutch word for a lighthouse is vuurtoren (fire tower).
There is strong interest in the country in lighthouses and their preservation, and many towers have been restored in recent years. There is also a national organization, Lighthouse Club Nederland, working for preservation of Dutch lighthouses.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Nova Scotia is the province at the extreme southeastern corner of Canada. The southern and eastern parts of the province lie on a peninsula facing the Atlantic. It is separated from the mainland of Nova Scotia by the Strait of Canso and is divided into two parts by the large Bras d'Or Lake. The island has a distinctive history: it was a French colony until 1763 and it was a British colony, separate from Nova Scotia, from 1784 to 1820. The rugged and irregularly shaped island is home of several lighthouses that signal navigation in peninsulas and bays.
My friend Bob chose four stamps of the definitive flag series issued on December 27, 2007, each depicting a lighthouse in a distinct Canadian landscape. Of the four lighthouses shown, the first (starting at the top left) is located at Warren Landing, Manitoba and was built in 1908. The second stamp shows the 1758 Sambro Island lighthouse, located in Nova Scotia. The next 110 ft tower is located at Point Clark, Ontario, built in 1859 to warn of the dangers posed by the reefs approximately two miles off Lake Huron's shoreline. The fourth stamp shows the 1858 Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse at Land's End on the Gaspesie Peninsula in Quebec. There are also four stamps of the Beneficial Insects series issued in October 2007.


Germany has two coastlines, one facing northwest on the North Sea and the other facing northeast on the Baltic Sea. Interest in lighthouses is strong in Germany, and most of the towers are in good condition. A federal law provides blanket protection to historic lighthouses. There is concern, however, that many of the lights may be deactivated in the coming years as navigators depend less and less on them. In German, a lighthouse is a Leuchtturm ("light tower"), plural Leuchttürme. A rugged coastline, sometimes dominated by sheer cliffs and steep rock faces, many islands and an intense maritime trade. These are the reasons for so many lighthouses in Germany: on the postcard a sample of 24 of them. Thank you Britta for the card.

On July 2nd, 2009 German Post issued a 55 cent stamp celebrating the 600 years of uninterrupted teaching and research at University of Leipzig. Founded on December 2, 1409 by Frederick I, Universität Leipzig is one of the oldest universities in Europe and the second-oldest university in Germany. On January 2nd, 2009 Germany issued a 45 cent-stamp celebrating the 500 years of Frankenberg town hall. On the stamp the image of the 10-towered building built in 1509, after a great fire that burnt half town in 1507.

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Chrissy from Germany sent me my favorite postcards: lighthouses! My lighthouse collection is growing day by day. On the cover five stamps, let's see:
1) issued on October 8th, 2009 the 45¢ stamp depicts the painting “Still Life with cheese and cherries” of the German painter Georg Flegel; 2) issued on September 3rd, 2009 the 55¢ stamp represents a sea of black-red-gold flags celebrating 19years after German reunification; 3) the first 2010 German stamp celebrates the bicentenary of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Berlin Museum of Natural History). The 45¢ stamp brings a dinosaur skeleton (Brachiosaurus brancai) and animals representing biodiversity; 4)the German wildlife protection group, Schutzgemeinschaft Deutsches Wild, has chosen the badger as “the animal of 2010”. At the same time, the Deutsch Post issued on November 12, 2009 a 55¢ stamp, which shows the striking black and white head of the badger, with the words "Pet of the year 2010”. 5) the 20¢ flower stamp (issued in 2007) depicts the French marigold (Tagetes patula), a species in the daisy family (Asteraceae).

The lighthouse of Westerheversand is situated on the German North Sea coast in the northern part of the peninsula of Eiderstedt. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1906 and the light was finally lit for the first time in 1908. The 40m (131 ft) round cast iron tower is painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern, watch room, and galleries painted black. It is flanked to either side by two keeper's cottages. Its light has a range of 21 nautical miles. This beautiful tower is one of the best-known lighthouses of the German North Sea coast. It is such a popular site for weddings that one of the keeper's cottages is a registrar's office; the other is a national park office.
The Roter Sand lighthouse is located in the North Sea off the entrance to the Weser, about 10 km east of Wangerooge. This is one of the world's great waveswept lighthouses and the construction of the tower posed enormous difficulties; the first attempt failed when a storm overturned the incomplete caisson in October 1881. The 28 m (92 ft) round cast iron, brick lined tower painted with red and white horizontal bands was inaugurated in 1885. The light was downgraded in 1964, when Alte Weser took over its function as the landfall light for Bremerhaven and the light was finally deactivated in 1986. Since 1999, after a large restoration, the tower has been open for day tours and overnight stays.

Cape Arkona is the most prominent and dangerous cape on Germany's Baltic coast, located on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The lighthouse Arkona was designed by the famous building master of the classicism, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and inaugurated in 1828. The 21 m (69 ft) square 3-stage brick tower became inactive in 1902, when the new tower was built side by side. The 35m (115ft) conical brick tower with double gallery is still active. The original tower was restored in 1993 houses a maritime and historical museum. The lighthouse also includes a registrar's office and is available for weddings.


My friend Cesar from Peru sent me the so expected Peruvian Louis Braille's issue to my thematic collection blind/blindness. The two stamps issued on June 30th, 2009 celebrate his bicentenary of birth and depict the bust of Louis Braille and letters of alphabet in print braille.
The cover also brings a stamp issued on July 18th, 2008, part of a miniature sheet with five stamps named River Fishes of Peru. Phractocephalus hemioliopterus is a redtail catfish (named for its red or orange caudal fin ) that occurs in the main river systems of South America, in the Amazon region and other large river pools. In Venezuela it is known as cajaro, in Peru as peje torre and here in Brazil it is known as pirarara.
Louis Braille's stamps, FDC and its postmark.
Thanks, Cesar!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Morgane, a friend who lives in the province of Bretagne, sent me a cover with six nice lighthouse postcards from her coastal region. On the cover, the always traditional Marianne stamp (face value 0.85€), one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republic. The commemorative stamp issued on November 9, 2009 is dedicated to Francisco de Miranda (1750-1816), a Venezuelan revolutionary, whose life has long been associated with the struggle of the Spanish colonies in Latin America for independence, especially Venezuela. He also took an active part in the American Revolutionary War (from 1781 to 1784) and the French Revolution (from 1791 to 1798). The joint issue stamp (Venezuela-France) depicts two portraits of Miranda, the map of Venezuela and the Arc de Triumph in Paris in the middle.
Penmarc'h is a town (around 7,500 inhabitants) in Finistère department, in Bretagne in north-western France. Le Phare d'Eckmühl (the Eckmühl's lighthouse) is a 213 ft (65 m) high lighthouse found in the small village of Penmarch inaugurated in 1897 by Adélaïde-Louise Davout ,the Marquise of Blocqueville, who dedicated it to her father, the general Louis Nicolas Davout, who was the prince of Eckmühl.
The square granite tower has a climb of 307 steps to the octagonal lantern house and its light can be seen from 49 nautical miles (91 km) and still functions.
The lighthouse of Eckmühl is placed at the Penmarch Cap (Pointe de Penmarch) nearby the two older lighthouse towers: the 40 m (131 ft) round stone tower, rising from the center of a 2-story stone keeper's house (inactive since 1897) and the approx. 15 m (49 ft) square stone tower with castellated top, now partially in ruins. This older tower built in 1831 stands next the white square 3-story signal station on the postcard's left corner.