One of the first things that attracted me as a young boy to stamp collecting was discovering the history locked inside the miniature artworks on every stamp. My first set of stamps was a beautiful set of Sailing Ships from Australia. For a long time I left the hobby only to rediscover it a few years back. Naturally I started where I'd left off. My collections included KGV stamps and of course Sailing Ships on stamps.
The first thing I did was go back to my beloved ships. In my years of hiatus I'd forgotten how much I love the hobby. Reliving the historical facts I'd uncovered as a kid was immensely rewarding. I'd like to share a snippit of the interesting information I have found while reassembling my Sailing Ships Thematic collection.
Piri Res, an Ottoamn Admiral is famous for his world map of 1513. He was a renowned seaman. By 1547 he was the Commander of the Ottoman fleet. He was beheaded in 1553 for failing to support the new Ottoman Governor of Basra.
Surviving Left-Hand portion of 1513 Piri Res map
On 3 August 1492, Christopher
Columbus set sail across the Atlantic in search of a western route to the
orient. The three ships of the fleet included the 'Santa Maria', which was the
flagship. It was a large Carrack.
Captain James Cook was the first
recorded European explorer to reach Australia's Eastern coastline in 1770. He
was known for his excellent seamanship, superior surveying, and cartographic
Australian Antarctic Territory 1972
In 1772 Captain Cook circumnavigated the vast continent of Antarctica.
On 26 January 1788, Arthur Philip
and a few dozen marines officers and oarsmen landed in Sydney cove, claiming
the land in the name of King George III. The ship in the background is
presumably the 'Supply'. From which sailors and convicts watched the planting
of the British flag.
This is just a brief taste of the information theme collectors can place with their miniature works of art...
I always get a little thrill when I start to collect a new country and I identify my first postmark within that country. My latest thrill came yesterday after I received a small lot of KGV Southern Rhodesia stamps. While sorting I put this stamp aside to see if I could find the origin of the postmark...
My investigation didn't take me as long as I'd first thought. The Post Office of origin for this stamp was Gwelo. Gwelo was changed to Gweru in 1982. Gweru is located right near the city centre of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe is what Southern Rhodesia is now called).
In 1901 when the first post office was opened on Christmas
Island, the island, although mainly ruled by the phosphate production commission,
was a part of the British Straits Settlement colony. It remained that way until
1942. From 1946 to 1958 it was controlled by Singapore and used its stamps. As
we will see later, the first stamp issue of Christmas Island was inspired by
the Singapore stamps of the time.
The first stamp issue of Christmas Island was released on 15
October 1958. It was adapted from Australia’s 1/7 stamp of March 1955.
stamp design utilized a bas-relief profile
of Queen Elizabeth II by W.L. Bowles. The design of the Australia 1/7 stamp,
created by F.D. Manley, was restyled by G. Lissenden. The words CHRISTMAS
ISLAND and the Malayan dollar value within a circle were overprinted in black.
The colours chosen for this series were inspired by the
definitive stamps in use in Christmas Island at the time, those of Singapore.
Initially one hundred sheets were
printed. Once completed, the hundred sheets were sent by ship from Fremantle to