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      News — Philatelic Friday

      Philatelic Friday: Giant Pandas

      These Chinese brush-painted pandas from my box of stamps are too cute. No, really. I always thought they were more contemporary looking than traditional brush paintings--I think it's the way they're stylized with the Mickey Mouse ears and the eyes (they look like little beads that were add-ons after the paintings were done). Actually, if you scroll down this forum page, you can see the first day covers and they're in a more traditional style, but the other panda stamp released that year is way more so.

      And well, it's no wonder they're so cute. Turns out the artist who painted these, Han Meilin, was the creator of the 2008 Beijing Olympics mascots.

      1985 China

      Philatelic Friday: Trefflé Berthiaume

      1984 Canada

      I love the design of these stamps of Trefflé Berthiaume from my box. I had no idea who he was, but all the text running over his portrait was mesmerizing. Turns out he was a Canadian typographer, newspaperman, and politician, and this stamp marks the 100th anniversary of La Presse, a newspaper he rescued in 1889 and used to champion many social causes. But apparently the stamp has some infamy of its own--I saw it referred to as "the monkey-in-the-hat stamp" because when it's turned upside down, there seems to be a small monkey in the hat. I'll leave that up to you.

      Philatelic Friday: Austria's Lindauer Hütte

      I picked this gem of a stamp out of my box when the red border caught my eye and then the incredibly detailed drawing made me want to find out more. And what a bunch more there is! The stamp itself is jam packed with information. The upper right hand corner names the building (Lindauer Hütte, which seems to be a famous lodge) and location (the Rätikon mountain range in the Alps).

      1975 Austria

      The cursive under the drawing names the state of Austria that it's in (Vorarlberg) and then there's the designer (Otto Zeiller), year, and the engraver (Werner Pfeiler). I think it's awesome that they each get credited on the stamp itself.

      The stamp seems to come from a pretty cool landscape series based on this Flickr user's pics. I wish I had time to research more about the series and Austrian stamps in general as they seem to take the art of making them pretty seriously and I came across a lot of really nice designs while finding information about this one.