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The king who sold his queen so he could marry his mistress

King Carol II of Romania was exiled by the Nazis in 1940. He left on a train laden with Royal Treasures. This included paintings by Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt plus jewels and even the ceremonial armour. He also made sure that he gathered up his prized stamp collection.

Although a Nazi-financed death squad fired on the Royal Train, they failed to stop it. The King and his mistress lay on the floor and escaped injury from the bullets.

Later, when exiled in Mexico, he sold part of his famous stamp collection to raise funds for his marriage to his mistress. The collection including a famous stamp error from Jamaica that featured the statue of Queen Victoria.

Also included in the sale were rare British specimens that are widely acknowledged as amongst the finest collections in private hands today. The last time King Carol II’s former collection was on the open market was in 2011 when it sold for £36,650.

a famous stamp error from Jamaica that featured the statue of Queen Victoria
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The Bird Definitives of Niger

By Michael Round

With new additions, reprints and several changes of printers over a nearly 30-year period, the Bird Definitives of Niger can feel a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, especially when it comes to laying out an album page. Luckily Michael Round is here to help piece things together.

Firstly, an apology, or at least a warning, to collectors of ‘Birds on Stamps.’ Fascinating though all the featured birds may be, the emphasis here will be more philatelic than ornithological. Apologies, too, for any obsolete bird names. The English names I use were those current at the time of issue: many have since changed. Bird-lovers wanting more details may consult websites, or better still, the splendid articles by fellow GSM contributor P J Lanspeary (see the August 2017 issue for a sample). … [Read More] “The Bird Definitives of Niger”

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Guernsey releases Great War folder

Guernsey Post has produced 1918 limited edition souvenir folders as part of its Stories from the Great War stamp series. The folder includes the names of the 1500 Guernsey men and women who lost their lives during the War, along with a miniature replica of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Colours and an overview of each of the five stamp issues.Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said: ‘Along with the penultimate issue in our … [Read More] “Guernsey releases Great War folder”

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New Zealand’s 1855 Full-Face Queens

New Zealand’s first issue, known as the Full-Face Queens because of their use of the Chalon Head design of Queen Victoria, were used from 1855 until the first stamps of the Side Face series were introduced in 1873. David Smitham provides details of the 18-year reign of the Full-Face Queens including printings, paper, watermarks, perforation experiments and fiscal use.
… [Read More] “New Zealand’s 1855 Full-Face Queens”

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Stamp Hunting

Nimrod suggests some stamps worth looking for

Hong Kong

We commence the second part of our review of the stamps of Hong Kong with the 1912–21 King George V set (SG 100/16). While the $5 (115) remains the key value to a fine used set, both types of the 25c. (108, 109) are surprisingly elusive in this condition. The 50c. on blue-green paper with an olive back (111b) is a rarity in mint condition and seldom seen used. … [Read More] “Stamp Hunting”

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Caught in the Middle: Philately of Juan de Nova

By Steve Pendleton

Continuing his travels amongst the îles éparses, Steve Pendleton moves on from îles Glorieuses to the island of Juan de Nova. This relatively unknown island, located between Madagascar and the African mainland is a haven for turtles and birds, and was a centre for phosphate mining. Like the other îles êparses, Juan de Nova is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories and provides an interesting philatelic history. … [Read More] “Caught in the Middle: Philately of Juan de Nova”

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