Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hungarian Zeppelin Airmail - C24 C25

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin's visit to Hungary 29 March 1931 - Zeppelin Mail


I recently acquired a small collection of Hungarian stamps from a friend who fled Hungary during the '56 Uprising. When he was preparing to leave Hungary, he combed through his stamp collection, picking the ones that were most valuable. He hoped, when they were safe over the border, he could use them for quick cash to pay for necessities. Nothing large could be taken, no luggage, no oversized bags or anything that would tip off authorities they were fleeing. Everything had to be small, portable and easily hidden. Stamps filled that order. He told me about going through his collection, picking what he hoped would be the most valuable and easily sold.

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Early French airmail

French Airmail


I don't own any of the very first French airmail stamps. They are a wee bit out of my price range.   The first 2 airmail stamps were issued June 25, 1927, and are lovely little overprints. They weren't issued to the general public, but were sold at the International Aviation Exhibition held in Marsailles in '27. Attendees could buy one set each. They currently sell for about $150 to $200 Cdn each, depending on the auction. I've seen excellent used copies go for more at a couple of auctions in the last year.  They had excellent cancels that made them very attractive.

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Early Canadian Air Mail Routes

1935 Canada Post airmail - Daedalus
I'm an inveterate collector of all things airmail - maps, stamps, tags, ettiquettes, covers, pamphlets detailing the routes and even stocks for the complanies themselves. I used to focus solely on Canadian airmail until someone gave me a set of lovely Mexican airmails from the 1930s. I looked up a map of the mail routes and was hooked all over again - I had to have more. So, my modest little collection of Canadian airmails exploded into two hefty binders and a number of books on international airmail routes.

While scouring through the Canadian Archives one day, I came across a 1940 map laying out the various routes in Canada. It includes the remote northern routes that relied heavily on the bush pilots for delivery. A lot of the small northern routes used to be served by private arilines like Cherry Red and Patricia Airways, but by 1940, they had pretty much all disappeared, with the routes being folded into Canada Post.

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Canada - 1859 5c beaver stamp

5c Beaver 1859 Canada

I picked up a small set of the 1859 Canadian beaver stamp (Scott's #15) years ago. Top qualify ones were out of my budget range at the time, so I looked around for some flawed ones - just so I could have these famous stamps in my collection.  Although I couldn't afford the layout hundreds of dollars for a good stamp, I could afford the "defects".  They are space fillers, but I love them anyway. I looked around for ones with good cancel marks - increases the value in my not so humble opinion.

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Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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