Sunday, November 28, 2010

Roses for Romania

I am showing these rose covers from Sweden, for the blogger Laszlo from Romania.

See his blog on roses on stamps on

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Canoe Races on the Senegal

I thought of Senegal as a country, which it is. But it is also a river. The Senegal River, or Sénégal Fleuve, considered a sweet water river, is a 1,790 km (1,110 mi) long river in West Africa, that forms the border between Senegal and Mauritania.

Two stamps with the same design were issued in 1970 by Guinea. The design shows a map of Africa with four countries shaded in color: Mali-green, Mauritania-blue, Senegal-yellow and Guinea-red.
The stamps commemorate the meeting of representatives of the countries bordering on the Senegal river, the OERS, "Organisation Etats Riverains du Senegal".

This is a more detailed map, that shows the Senegal River.

  I am describing this, so you can situate the stamp that shows a canoe race on the Senegal.

It is quite a facinating event.  There are plenty of stamps on the subject. I also found some old postcards with the canoes or "pirogues".  I am showing some here. Click on the pictures and you will see them bigger.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Le Violon Rouge, Dufy

Raoul Dufy (1877 – 1953) was a French Fauvist painter. He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings.

This stamp was issued in France, engraving by Pierre Gandon. There were 7,275 of these stamps issued between November 1965 and September 1966.

Another painting shows the same subject, but was not made into a stamp as far as I know.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Letter to Yehudi Menuhin, 1934

I do not recall where and when I bought this letter to the famous violist Yehudi Menuhin, but I do not regret it.

Posted in May 1934 from Stockholm, addressed to his attention c/o Harold Holt in London.

Harold Holt Ltd was founded in 1876 by Alfred Schultz Curtius, who was the first impresario to bring Richard Wagner's music to the London public. The company became renowned for its presentations in the latter part of the 19th Century and into the 20th Century, with South African-born Harold Holt taking over in the 1930s. Some legendary presentations at the Royal Albert Hall included the Berliner Philharmoniker, Fürtwangler and ......Menuhin.

Yehudi Menuhin was born in 1916, so in 1934 he was only 18 years old.

Now, we see that the letter was forwarded to Villa "Les Fauvettes", an address in France.

In fact, his family had rented the mansion for some years, till 1935, of the familiy Vian at 33 rue Pradier.  The young Yehudi wrote about the villa "it was a real home, spacious and elegant in its way like a little suburb of Trianon."

Yehudi was already confirmed a soloist and his sister, a talented pianist ... Many gifted visitors stayed in the house in Ville d'Avray.

This is a piece of music from 1934, Yehudi playing  the Paganini Violin concerto no.1, Cadenza

When living in the Villa "Les Fauvettes", the young Yehudi was befriended with the equally young Boris Vian, son of the owner of the Villa, who resided in a small cottage on the grounds of the villa. Boris Vian became famous in his own rights, as witer and jazz musician.

Christian Vancau offers a lot of detail on the Vian family, the Villa and the Menuhin connection on his blog

Mr. Vancau, former President of the Yehudi Menuhin Association in Brussels, gracefully allowed me to share some photos with you:  Yehudi and Boris playing chess, the Villa and Yehudi and Boris on the steps of the Villa.

I learned a lot just by finding out more about this cover!

The constraints of his life as an international artist and the rise of Nazism in Germany prompted the Menuhin family to take refuge in the United States. In 1935 they left this wonderful place.

The Villa still exists

And this is the back of the cover, does not give away a lot!