ǺLAND – Vintage Tractors
The latest in Åland’s three-year veteran tractor stamps series features a Ford from the 1940s and a Valmet 20 from 1956. Issued on February 1, these two bright red farm vehicles were photographed by David Lundberg who “strived for graphically simple photographs.” When demand was greater than supply in the 1930s, some cars had to be converted into tractors, such as the one seen on the 3,50 € stamp: “the motor came off a Ford model A and the tractor was initially operated on wood gas.” The Åland postal website goes on the say that the Valmet 20 on the lokalpost stamp “was brand new from the factory on October 14, 1956.” The stamps, first day covers and maximum cards are available from here.
ALDERNEY – Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee
Year-long festivities will mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, which will include stamps from around the Commonwealth celebrating the queen’s ascent to the throne 70 years ago. One of the first such sets was issued February 4 by the island of Alderney. It includes a set of six stamps showing the queen wearing assorted necklaces; a prestige booklet (shown) and a souvenir sheet featuring Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee necklace. In addition, Alderney produced limited edition black-and-white versions of the standard colored set of six stamps. These special stamps cannot be purchased, but one of the special stamps will be inserted with the purchase of a set of color stamps. See the website for the full set of products available here.
DENMARK – 50th Anniversary of Queen Margrethe II
Queen Margrethe II succeeded her father, Frederick IX, as queen of Denmark upon his death on January 14, 1972. She had become heir presumptive in 1953 when women were allowed to inherit the throne after a constitutional amendment, making her the first female monarch of Denmark since Margrethe I died in 1412. The popular queen is depicted twice on a souvenir sheet issued January 3 to commemorate her 50th anniversary on the throne. The left image shows her at age 31 in 1972 when she ascended and the right depicts her 50 years later. She wears a similar dress and the same royal jewelry in each image. A third stamp between the portraits shows the Danish Royal Coat of Arms. The sheet is available online from here.
ESTONIA – Beijing Winter Olympics 2022
The Winter Olympics in Beijing took place from February 4 to 20 making Bejing the first city to host both Winter and Summer (2008) Olympic games. Issued on January 6, Estonia’s tribute to its athletes features skiing and skating against a snowy background. Estonian athletes have completed in the winter games since 1928 and have returned home with five gold, two silver and three bronze medals since 1964, including a bronze this year by Kelly Sildaru in women’s slopestyle skiing. It was Estonia’s first Winter Games medal since 2010. The sheets of 20 are available online from here.
GREAT BRITAIN – David Gentleman, Stamp Designer
David Gentleman is known in Great Britain as “the most prolific and influential stamp designers in UK philatelic history.” The six designs on the stamp-on-stamp issue from Royal Mail, released on February 18, were selected in collaboration with the artist and include stamps from the 1960s and 70s in three denominations. Topics shown, with their year of original release, are: National Productivity Year, 1962; ships, 1969; trees, 1973; social reformers, 1976; 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, 1966; and the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, 1965. The miniature sheet, presentation pack, first day covers, postcards and limited edition press sheet are available from here.
KAZAKHSTAN – Kittens
A sheetlet of eight stamps, based on the artwork of designer and painter K. Pluzhnikova and depicting domestic kittens was issued in November 2021 by Kazpost. The kittens featured on the 200-tenge stamps are the Maine coon, the official state cat of Maine; Abyssinian, whose tabby coat consists of hairs banded in different colors; British shorthair, distinctive with its broad face and stocky body; bambino, (incorrectly spelled bambina on the stamp), a cross between a short-legged munchkin and a hairless Sphynx; Oriental shorthair, a close relative of the Siamese; American curl, named for its unusual ears, curling back from its face; Scottish fold, whose bending ears give it an owlish look; and Bengal, created from the Egyptian mau and the Asian leopard cat. This sheetlet is available online from here.
NETHERLANDS - Experience Nature – Fort Ellewoutsdijk
Netherlands Post has released the second in a series of three self-adhesive Experience Nature sheetlets of 10 stamps begun in 2021. Fort Ellewoutsdijk, on the coast of South Beveland, is known for having a rare salt marsh. The stamps were issued January 3. Designer Frank Janse combined several examples of the flora and fauna of the area, though each stamp shows a unique plant or animal with the designs bleeding to other stamps and selvage. To read detailed information on the design or to order, visit the Netherlands Post website.
NEW ZEALAND – Historic Ships of the 19th Century
Paintings by maritime artist Sean Garwood, of New Zealand, are featured on a gummed miniature sheet issued February 2 by NZpost. The images shown are “Early Trading between Māori and Pākehā at Tata beach, 1843” ($1.50), the American whaling vessel Charles. W. Morgan on an 1852 whaling expedition ($2.80), the settler ship Mataura in tumultuous seas en route in 1879 from England to New Zealand ($3.60) and a fleet of sailing ships off Nelson in Blind Bay (now Tasman Bay or Te Tai-o-Aorere) in 1879, including Felicity and a group of locally built small ships called “hookers.” Available in a sheet of 25, NZpost notes that “plate/imprint blocks may be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet.” The stamps are available as singles or in sheet form from here.