Friday, November 28, 2014


the scrapbook   

They might just seem like small adhesive pieces of paper that fit in the corner of an envelope, but they serve a bigger purpose than facilitating the postage of letters and parcels. Take a closer look at them, and they give you a chance to explore different parts of the globe. So, this week, we are on a mission to discover a little bit more about the world through stamps.


The duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed platypus looks like it’s made of random parts of other animals put together. And, to top it off, it’s a mammal that lays eggs! AND it’s venomous! The platypus sure is a curious creature. It lives in eastern Australia, and is an iconic symbol of the country as well as the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales.

The kookaburra is a member of the kingfisher family and is primarily found in Australia and New Guinea. Its most distinctive characteristic is its loud call, which sounds like echoing human laughter (and if you haven’t heard it, then you’re totally missing out!). The Aussie men’s field hockey team is also nicknamed after the bird that is depicted on this stamp.

Hong Kong, China

Collared scops owl
Many species of birds live in Hong Kong, and the collared scops owl is one of them. The brownish, nocturnal bird that is pictured on this stamp inhabits well wooded areas of South Asia, and is the largest species of the scops owls, which are small and agile members of the Otus genus.

Long-tailed shrike
Beautiful shades of chestnut adorn the long-tailed shrike, a melodious bird that is known for its mimicry of the calls of other animals (including cuckoos, puppies, and squirrels). These shrikes are found across Asia, including parts of China.


Fabrikstillverkad kakelugn (Factory-built fireplace)
This homage to factory-built fireplaces refers to the masonry heaters that are surrounded with ceramic tiles and are popular in Sweden. The stamp depicts a round heater from the late 1800s, which is a classic Swedish design. These Scandinavian tile stoves are used for both heat and decoration.

Mariebergs porslinfabrik (Marieberg’s porcelain factory)
Marieberg’s porcelain factory produced pottery during the 1700s, and was a leading manufacturer of exclusive tile stoves during that time. This stamp shows a closed brass door surrounded by decorative tiles that is mounted on a Marieberg tile stove.

New Zealand

The coastline of Fiordland, the south-western corner of New Zealand’s South Island (Te Waipounamu), is home to fascinating sea life. This stamp celebrates Fiordland’s coastal waters with a picture of the underwater beauty of Red Coral, a polymorphic hydrocoral which is a protected marine invertebrate.

United States of America

The beauty of the bonsai, the art of growing a small tree in a pot that originated in China and has become popular in America, is shown in this image, which depicts a common type of bonsai, known as banyan, in cascade style.

William H. Johnson
One of United States’ foremost African-American artists William Henry Johnson (1901 - 1970) is honoured through this stamp. Pictured here is his painting Flowers (1939 - 1940), an oil-on-plywood artwork that depicts brightly coloured blossoms in a dark container placed on a maroon table.

- By Sameen Amer

Us Magazine, The News - 28th November, 2014 *

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