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The First Stamps of Bahawalpur

A century ago, when the sun never set on the British Empire, India was its biggest and brightest jewel. Although vast areas were governed directly by the British Raj, there still remained hundreds of Indian states that were permitted to exercise some form of independence. A favoured few were even allowed to have standing armies, mint coins and print their own stamps. One such princely state was ruled by an Amir who quite literally embodied the adage that philately was ‘the king of hobbies and the hobby of kings’.

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Luther’s German Bible

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation marking the schism within the Roman Catholic Church which led to the formation of the Protestant faith. As part of the events planned for the anniversary, Germany issued a single stamp on the theme of Luther’s German Bible on 2 January. A German stamp to commemorate the Reformation itself is planned for later in the year, along with stamps from a number of other postal administrators such as Lithuania, Austria and the Vatican.

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Music Giants: David Bowie

On 14 March Royal Mail’s Music Giants series will make an encore with a set of ten stamps honouring one of the most influential music and cultural figures of all time – David Bowie. In July 2016 Royal Mail released a similar set dedicated to the music and live performances of progressive rock legends Pink Floyd. In a similar format to the Pink Floyd issue, the David Bowie release will comprise six sheet stamps depicting some of his most admired and defining albums, along with a four-stamp miniature sheet showing Bowie performing live on stage across four decades.

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Guinness World Record attempt for stamp mosaic

As 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Machin we can expect to see some big celebrations of the milestone in the philatelic world; however, few will be quite as big as one event taking place in Hampshire in a few weeks’ time. On Thursday 9 March 2017, a very special art project will hopefully make it into the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest mosaic made up of stamps. The mosaic measures a staggering 27m by 9m and is made up of more than half a million Machin stamps. The mammoth mosaic, is the work of Peter Boyd and has been almost a decade in the making.

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The Russian Revolution & Postal History

1917 marked the start of what became known as the Russian Revolution. Imperial Russia, with the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, was thrown into chaos; what followed was a long, bloody and bitter struggle which led to the creation of Soviet Russia. The world was not prepared for the bitter conflict and the Allies sent a large number of troops to Russia in order to stop the spread of Bolshevik power.

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