Archive for February, 2011

fishing islands / 漁業の島

February 28, 2011

1931Saint Pierre and Miquel001

5 December 1932, St. Pierre et Miquelon
design: Gimel
engrave: C. Hourriez

If you examine the enlarged map of previous post closely, you may find a little island near the south end of Newfoundland, carefully NOT hatched – this is the indication of these French islands at that time and still now, Saint Pierre and Miquelon. This is an important fishing area throughout history.

I enjoy this type of map more than the previous one, as it is a little closer to human scale, together with pictured fishermen.

This is a beautiful example of typography – somewhat naive carved lines if you compare them to sharp intaglio prints.

1931Saint Pierre and Miquel001 -3copy




less land? / あれ?

February 22, 2011


29 June 1927, Canada
map of Canada
design: Herman Herbert Schwartz
engrave: Edwin H. Gunn

This beautiful stamp celebrates 60 years of the first Canadian Confederation, and the map shows its expansion.  Ah – wait a moment, the previous map of 1898 shows a little more land in red – the East end of the continent and the island in front.  The area called Labrador and Newfoundland were not the parts of Canada until 1949.  But it was British territory anyway, so the map of 1898 was correct.

Enjoy the magnified part below, showing those two lightly hatched areas.




vast lands on the earth / 広大な領土

February 21, 2011


7 December 1898, Canada
XMAS 1898
design: Warren L. Green
based on a map by George Robert Parkin
engraver: Charles Skinner

It says on the bottom ”We hold a vaster empire than has been”.  This stamp celebrates Canada’s participation in the British postage system.  In this Mercator’s Projection, the Suzerain Country is a little island not even in the centre of the map… but it ruled a ‘vast empire’ from there.

The red colour is letter press printed over the intaglio, which is slightly off centre and some of the territory is floating in the sea – it was not a great matter, but the number of dots were important at that time, I imagine.



who’s land is it? / 誰の土地?

February 19, 2011

1957 Egypt
‘Gaza, part of Arab nation’

It is a fact that stamps which feature maps have been used for political messages.  And this one reminds us that it was not long ago when Egypt was claiming this land as theirs.  Still now, they have the control over the South end of the Gaza strip around the Rafah area.


hazardous? / 体に害?

February 15, 2011


2000 Israel

Finally, the power of the people removed the Egyptian President.  Israel, which is sharing a border with Egypt is concerned about the future of its neighbouring countries.

This stamp was issued 11 years ago, not concerning the communication and networking which mobile phones are offering now, which are contributing towards change, but rather the so-called ‘micro wave effect’ to your brain, I guess.  It was discussed for a while, but we all forgot about it by now, didn’t we?



from letter press to @ / 活版印刷から@マークへ

February 8, 2011


8 May 2009, Switzerland
design: Meike Kollmann / Lithography

It happened in Tunisia and now in Egypt – they are telling us that the group of people who share opinions are exchanging information and being united faster than ever.

This stamp is evoking this change in forms of communication, and at the same time telling us the tactile quality we shouldn’t forget.  In fact, we are re-discovering the artistic value of letter press and traditional methods in stamp printing as well – I hope.



tree house / 樹上の家

February 4, 2011

1966 Papua New Guinea

Jungles – people of the trees‘, a part of Human Planet series on BBC is fantastic.  The art of the tree house, up in the sky 35 meters high in Papua New Guinea, as well as the honey collector’s amazing tree climbing… it seems BBC iPlayer is not available outside the UK, but I am sure it will be on DVD in the near future, so I will announce.

These stamps were made when Papua New Guinea was a part of Australia.  You can see some similarity of their style to their masks and facial paintings in the program above.  It is our task to retain these variety of art of living to the future.

BBCの番組『Human Planet』シリーズはHNKの『人間は何を食べてきたか』に匹敵する素晴らしさです。iPlayerは英国内だけでしか観れませんが、すぐにDVD化されると思います。昨夜はその中の『Jungle – people of the trees 』が放映され、一本の縄だけで軽々と木に登る人、吹き矢で狩りをする人たち、地上35メートルの樹上に組まれた家など、パプアニューギニアの紹介が圧巻でした。