Friday, May 21, 2010

One of the first Indian stamps

One of the first Indian stamps on fragment. I bid on this item, but did not win it. But I still have this picture!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Turner stamp

I like this recent French stamp.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We looked at an old letter from the "de Saint-Exupéry" family.

A member of that family is found a lot on stamps: the famous writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900 — 1944).

He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince ("Le Petit Prince").

I love his books about aviation adventures, including Night Flight ("Vol de Nuit") and Wind, Sand and Stars.

He was a successful commercial pilot before World War II, joining the Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) on the outbreak of war, flying reconnaissance missions until the armistice with Germany. Following a spell of writing in the United States, he joined the Free French Forces.

He disappeared tragically on a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean in July 1944.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A letter to the "Marquise de Saint-Exupéry", 1873

I bought this letter for a few euros for the stamps, a Y&T n° 50 (1 c Cérès) and a Y&T n° 60 (25 c Cérès) on ebay some time ago.

I became curious about it's history.

This letter was posted in 1873 and addressed to the "Marquise de Saint-Exupéry", residing in Agen, France.

When it arrived there on July 27, the family was clearly residing at their summer address, the Arasse castle.

The Agen address was barred and the "Chateau d'Arras" was added.

Unfortunately I have not found any picture of this castle. If someone finds it, let me know. I did find that it is located near Foulayronnes, more specifically near the place known as "La Croix Blanche" (The White Cross) located in the department of Lot-et-Garonne and the Aquitaine region.

The castle goes back to 1510 at least, when it was owned by the Godailh family. It fell to the Lauriere family through heritage in 1755. Finally, it became a possession of Balthazar Joseph, the Marquis de Saint-Exupéry as he married into the Lauriere family. That is the very lady to whom this letter was addressed: Josephine Louise Delly Montesquieu. She was a "Lauriere" from her mother's side and a "Montesquieu" from father's side. Through her marriage she became the Marquise de Saint-Exupéry.

The letter congratulates the Marquise de Saint-Exupéry on the occasion of the intended marriage of her daughter Thérèse, with a young captain referred to as "de Lusignan".

It is Thérèse's aunt that wrote.

She hopes the young couple will visit her in Nice after the wedding; surely they will make a trip along the mediteranian coast and perhaps to Italy after their wedding!

Thérèse de Saint-Exupéry in fact did marry Adhemar de Lusignan, as one can see on a family tree to be found on

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Aeromaritime Flight Cachets 1937 French colonies in Africa

Here is an interesting collection idea that will allow you to take off in "aero-philately": you can still find quite a number of covers of the first flights of the Aeromaritime. They have fancy stamps on them usually and special cachets. You will see for example:
  • diamond shaped cachets in red or black or

  • the cachets showing a plane in red or black / blue.

A few examples follow.

This is a representation of a plane that was used frequently, the Sikorsky S-43