Once again, life has gotten in the way — and it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I didn’t want to let this one wait any longer. Jeff at Fox Ridge Philately sent me a wonderful packet of goodies! I’ve gone through and identified almost all of it (note there are no catalog numbers on the Netherlands pile above) and gotten them into 102 cards for assimilation into my collection. Check out Fox Ridge on their Facebook page or their Instagram. Thank you SO MUCH for the stamps, Jeff!
Random packets of stamps are fun — it prods me into learning a little bit about an area I wouldn’t normally collect. I’ve gotten plenty of large lots of worldwide stuff before, but the sheer volume of material to sort puts me in the frame of mind of just “finishing the damn thing,” so I don’t end up really getting a chance to take a close look at each individual item. A packet this size is perfect, because it is large enough to have variety — but small enough to digest in a meaningful way.
The two largest groupings of stamps were Canada and the Netherlands, with smaller subsets of USSR and Isle of Man stamps. I’ve pulled out a handful of my favorites — the ones that really caught my eye — and took a few minutes to learn a little more about them, which I’ve laid out below. Many thanks to Foxridge Philately for this packet of fun! I will whip something up to send in return that I hope will be enjoyed just as much.
Canada 248 — 1939
This stamp features King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England and is part of a beautiful 3 stamp series — the other two are a green one cent stamp with Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, as well as a brown two cent stamp depicting the War Memorial in Ottawa. This stamp (and the rest of the series) is line engraved and in two colors — which is an arrangement that always catches my eye. Something about a frame of color around a black and white subject is classy. This series commemorates the royal visit by the king and queen to the US and Canada.
Canada 208 — 1934
Another beautiful engraved stamp depicting the 400th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s arrival at Quebec. Cartier was the first European explorer (he was French) to map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. He is very important to the history of Quebec, and is even credited by some for naming the region “Canada” (which obviously stuck). There is a bridge in Montreal named after him today.
Canada 847 — 1980
This stamp is a map of Canada which features the arctic islands. I enjoy maps in general, but especially maps with uncommon points of view. Polar maps aren’t what we would normally see. There are over 35 thousand islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and as of 2021 a population of under 25 thousand across all of them — an area over a half million square miles. The largest settlement in this region has less than ten thousand inhabitants.
Canada 385 — 1959
This stamp features a woman tending a tree, and it commemorates the Associated Country Women of the World. I enjoy the simplicity of this design. The ACWW is a global organization for both rural and urban women (despite the name). They have several missions they promote, some of them being literacy, nutrition, and sanitation. They promote the independence of women globally. There are over nine million members across 70 countries.
Canada 383 — 1959
This stamp commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Canadian powered flight in 1909, piloted by J. A. D. McCurdy. The backdrop shows non-specific modern delta-winged jets, and the foreground features the AEA Silver Dart — similar in design to the Wright Flyer that flew in Kitty Hawk the year before. The Silver Dart flew roughly a half mile on its first flight, but that record was quickly shattered — it flew over 22 miles on another flight the following month. The juxtaposition of the old plane and the new jets make this an interesting issue to me.
Russia (USSR) 3175 — 1965
This stamp commemorates the Constituent Assembly of the All-Union Society of Philatelists in 1966. The organization was founded in the same year, created by the merger of multiple other, smaller organizations within the Soviet Union. I like this stamp because of the futuristic propaganda style that was common in so many of the USSR stamps from the era. The organization later became known as the Union of Philatelists of the USSR until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Russia (USSR) 2883 — 1964
This stamp is from a series of stamps depicting Soviet space achievements and famous figures. The first stamp and lowest value features Sputniks 1–3. Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 2 carried the dog Laika (don’t read about her if you don’t want to be sad), and Sputnik 3 carried an array of different instruments to take measurements to aid in the creation of subsequent satellites. By the time this stamp was issued, there had already been probes to land on the moon, weather satellites in orbit, and the US’ Gemini program was already well underway in preparation for travel to and from the moon.