Bitter Grounds Magazine

stamps, espresso & conversation

Wherein the author of this blog drinks too much espresso & rambles on a bit about stamps.

Catpaw Contemplating the stamp world
Macau’s Chapas Sínicas stamps WIN!

Macau’s Chapas Sínicas stamps WIN!

Macau's Chapas Sínicas stamps received high honours this year from the German Design Council. Each year the GDC issue awards in a number of categories ranging from architecture to documents. It's an fascinating competition to watch because of the diverse topics...

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Of cats & oxen & postage stamps

Of cats & oxen & postage stamps

So just what do cats & oxen & postage stamps have in common?  Why the Lunar New Year, of course. Year of the Ox stamps just keep on giving. Each time I do a sweep of  2021, it seems like I find a few more late releases. Right on cue, I found 5 more.  Late...

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Random articles from the archives

Oil painting by Mary Riter Hamilton - Trenches on the Somme showing a WW1 Trench covered in poppies

New Mary Riter Hamilton stamp – Oct 28, 2020

Canada Post will honour Canadian artist Mary Riter Hamilton at the end of the month. Her 1919 painting Trenches of the Somme will appear on a permanent stamp Oct. 28, 2020. War artist It is fortunate that I arrived before it was too late to get a real impression. The...
2020 Canadian Christmas stamp - Maud Lewis stamp

Celebrate Christmas 2020 with delightful Maud Lewis stamps

Beloved Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis graces 3 Christmas stamps for 2020.  Canada Post unveiled them with the cooperation of the Art Museum of Nova Scotia, who are proud curators of her works.  Three stamps, a FDC and a lovely souvenir sheet are now available....
Scan of RMS Nascopie salvaged mail cover

RMS Nascopie salvaged mail – Vance Auctions offering

I look forward to ogling the latest auction catalogue from Vance Auctions.  Their Aug 23, 2017 offering is now online and hosts the usual excellent offerings. Some items are beyond my reach, but in previous auctions, I’ve managed to snag a few bargains that scratched...
Banner that reads of cats & oxen & postage stamps

Of cats & oxen & postage stamps

So just what do cats & oxen & postage stamps have in common?  Why the Lunar New Year, of course. Year of the Ox stamps just keep on giving. Each time I do a sweep of  2021, it seems like I find a few more late releases. Right on cue, I found 5 more.  Late...
Paprika Design Zodiac signs sheet two of two

Paprika Design – wonderful Canadian designers

Montreal's award-winning Paprika Design was an easy choice for the second in the Stamp Designer series.  Formed in 1992, Paprika's stamps show a clean uncluttered feel to their designs. I play a mental game when I look at stamps and try to guess the designer. I've...
North Borneo Map 1888 The Map House, London Public Domain

1894 North Borneo state stamps – where I torture a bit of history & show a few stamps

Ready for a history lesson about North Borneo state stamps? Buckle up, this one gets confusing at times. Some of the world’s beautiful stamps came from the State of North Borneo. The little parcel of land (abt 31,106 sq.m) was given as a gift, leased, abandoned,...
Aland booklet cover for PM series

Åland stamps 2021 issues – great history

What can we expect for Åland stamps 2021? Although not a prolific issuer, they always produce attractive stamps to collect.  Åland is part of Finland but the island is Swedish speaking, so I've attempted to include Finnish, Swedish, and English in the descriptions (in...

Bluenose is 100 – a stamp celebration

Canada's beloved Bluenose is 100 years old this March and of course, we'll celebrate with a new stamp. The Bluenose issue will likely be unveiled in Feb, with a release date in March.  Dates Bluenose has appeared on a Canadian stamp: 1929 - original stamp based on  a...
César Cortinas, Luis Sambucetti, Ramón Rodríguez Socas 3 stamps

Cool! Uruguay’s 2021 stamps

Uruguay's 2021 stamps and cancels are interesting. I like a country that offers lots of cancels to chase and Uruguay scratches that itch. Not only does Correo Uruguayo issue a postmark for each stamp, they have a couple of special cancels. Cataloging them was fun 😎....
Photo of Hubert Latham in cockpit of Antoinette Flyer 1908 just before his 1st English Channel crossing

Diving into pioneer aviation with the amazing 1909 Antoinette Flyer

Original pioneer aviation article published Oct 4, 2018. Updated Oct 1, 2020 Updates include more reference links, updated details, and additional information on pioneer aviation poster stamps Here's a little something from my pioneer aviation collection. I was...

EUROMED 2021 – Jewelry of Mediterranean

EUROMED 2021 stamps are here. This year's theme is Handicraft Jewelry of  the Mediterranean. And the stamps? They are gorgeous!  EUROMED Postal began in 2014, and has evolved into an interesting annual competition. In the first year, participating countries issued the...
1918 Canada War Stamp poster

Sparks Auction gem – WW1 war saving poster up for grabs

I wrote about this WWI war saving poster back in 2015 Canada war revenue poster – Great War propaganda. I put it up as my wallpaper now and then because I like it so much. It's one of those posters you look at and idly think wow wouldn't that be great to own. Imagine...
small queen stamp

Canadian Small Queens – ink variations

While doing research on the Small Queens a while ago, I ran into a couple of articles that listed inks were used. Problem is, for the life of me, I can't remember which book. I suspect it was POSTAGE STAMPS AND POSTAL HISTORY OF CANADA by Winthrop Boggs. At any rate,...
Photo of Alcock and Brown in front of Vickers airplane 1919

Canada’s 1969 sad little stamp commemorating the 1919 transatlantic flight

Canadian stamp: First Transatlantic flight celebration 1919 issued June 13, 1969 .15c Scotts #494 / SG #636 #494i (dull florescent paper) Perf. 12 X 12.5 No watermarks Designer: Robert William Bradford Printer: British American Banknote Co. The scramble to be the...
8th centenary of the Way of St. Anthony of Padua

Vatican 2021 stamps – full list released

The Vatican 2021 stamps will see 20 sets released covering the usual Christian themes plus a few of a broader interest topics. The Vatican doesn't offer a lot of different formats or a wealth of details, with the bulk of their issues being single stamps and the odd...
Qatar 2021 stamps

Qatar’s 2021 stamps – footie, & more footie

If you're a football fan, Qatar's 2021 stamps are made to order. They will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the Qatar Post's offerings reflect this. As of July, 3 stamp sets have been released with 2 dedicated to football. I expect next year will be all about the...
Toronto's first post office 1833-1839

Toronto’s first post office, rebellion & a little Upper Canada history

Do you know where Toronto's first post office located? 260 Adelaide Street East.  It’s a small, lovingly restored building across the road from George Brown College.  I’ve passed by it more times than I can count, until this week, never stopped in. A scandalous state...
Chapas fdc with souvenir sheet2

Macau’s Chapas Sínicas stamps WIN!

Macau's Chapas Sínicas stamps received high honours this year from the German Design Council. Each year the GDC issue awards in a number of categories ranging from architecture to documents. It's an fascinating competition to watch because of the diverse topics...
Deutsche Post Christmas Stamp - decorations including a prancing deer

Delightful Deutsche Post Christmas stamp

The 2020 Deutsche Post Christmas stamp is now available!  This release includes single self-adhesives, booklets, souvenir sheets, and greeting cards. Markenset "Frohes Fest" / "Happy Feast" - festive decorations Das festliche Dekorieren des Hauses oder der Wohnung in...
Rocket mail - Hebrides Zucker rocketmail attempt

3 Rocket mail stamps & explosive packed tubes

Over the years, attempts at using innovative technology to deliver messages has been tried. There’s nothing new about co-opting technology to improve the speed and efficiency of communications. Mail is no different. Everything from pigeon post, pneumatic tubes,...
mystical animals of the palace

South Korean stamps for 2021 thematic heaven

South Korean stamps for 2021 are strong with thematic finds. Korea Post taps into the country's rich natural beauty and cultural history to produce a few real gems for collectors. Along with the usual stamps, maxi cards and FDCs, they also offer information bulletins...
Close up of stamps on the Australian cover

1937 Australia airmail cover to Austria – C3 & C4

Decided to share an early airmail from my collection. It’s a little ratty around the edges, but I love this ’37 Australian airmail cover. The Scotts C3/SG 139 6p Air Mail Service stamp was issued on Nov. 4 1931 and the Scotts C4/ SG 153 1sh6p Mercury and the...
700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri

San Marino 2021 stamps

San Marino 2021 stamps started with a terminally adorable tribute to postal workers and the new sports premiering at the upcoming Olympics. It's an amusing combination that works well. But then again, the cancel features a cat on a skateboard, so win-win.  San Marino...

Zimbabwe 2021 stamps & a little music

Time to look at Zimbabwe 2021 stamps and do I have a treat for you today! They feature musical instruments and, let's just say I whiled away an afternoon listening to Zimbabwean musicians. Great fun was had. But I'm not going to post a video of me dancing around my...
Photo of Danish airmail from 1936

What’s up – this month’s Vance auction

Time to ogle the latest Vance Auction catalogue for Wednesday, March 21, 2018! A cursory look popped up dozens of gems. One of my favourite categories is First Flight covers (FFC) ad as expected, there are a number of lots offering Canadian FFC from the 1920s to late...

 

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