Friday, May 29, 2020

Stamp swap sets

I did a couple of stamp swaps recently and enjoyed the stamps I received, the people that received the stamps from me were also very happy.

I decided to put together a bunch of lots with about 100 stamps each.  You can see the descriptions and pictures for these below

Just direct message me on twitter: with the lot that you are interested in

I am interested in the following

  • Netherlands 1990 and later
  • Great Britain any period
  • Germany 2001 and later
  • France 1980 and later
  • Greece 1970 and later
  • Europa CEPT any period
  • Japan any period
  • Stamps on Stamps.. any period from Europe, Japan, America (North and South)

All the stamps I offer are in good condition, I ask that the stamps you offer are the same, the lots I have are all 100 stamps or so, I ask that your lot is the same.

Here are the lots I have available for now, more will be coming soon


A collection with some mint blocks and stamps, all stamps are shown in the picture below

DDR01  Gone

Small collection of East German stamps

DDR02   Gone

Another small collection of East German stamps


Small collection of dutch stamps These are shown on 2 images


Small collection of dutch stamps


Small collection of Austrian stamps


Another small collection of Austrian stamps


Small collection of Romanian stamps


Small collection of Bulgarian and Czechoslovakian stamps, some older stamps in this lot

Friday, May 15, 2020

May 15th in stamps de Keyser, third law of planetary motion, Pierre Curie

Here are some events that happened on May 15th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1565 Born: Hendrick de Keyser, Dutch sculptor and architect born in Utrecht (d. 1621)

Hendrick de Keyser (15 May 1565 – 15 May 1621) was a Dutch sculptor and architect born in Utrecht, Netherlands, who was instrumental in establishing a late Renaissance form of Mannerism in Amsterdam. He was the father of Thomas de Keyser who was an architect and portrait painter.

De Keyser is famous for a number of important buildings which belong to the core of Dutch historic sites. Today the Zuiderkerk (1603-1611) and accompanying tower (1614), the Delft Town Hall (1618-1620), the Westerkerk (1620-1631) and Westertoren (built in 1638 but in a modified version) are among the historic buildings which provide important insights into De Keyser's work. His Commodity Exchange of 1608-1613 was pulled down in the 19th century.

Hendrick de Keyser's projects in Amsterdam during the early decades of the 17th century helped establish a late Mannerist style referred to as "Amsterdam Renaissance". The Amsterdam Renaissance style deviates in many respects from sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance architecture. Classical elements such as pilasters, cornices and frontons were used on a large scale, but mainly as decorative elements. De Keyser never slavishly followed the tenets of classical architecture as laid down in the Italian treatises. His version came to full bloom at the end of the second decade of the 17th century, and set the stage for the later Dutch classical phase of Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. The East India House in Amsterdam was most likely also designed by him.

Stamps Issued by Sint Maarten commemorating Hendrick de Keyser

St. Maarten 2016 Hendrick de Keyser Architect

1618 – Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion

Kepler's laws of planetary motion are three scientific laws describing the motion of planets around the Sun, published by Johannes Kepler between 1609 and 1619. These improved the heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus, replacing its circular orbits and epicycles with elliptical trajectories, and explaining how planetary velocities vary. The laws state that:

  1. The orbit of a planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci.
  2. A line segment joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time.
  3. The square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit.

The elliptical orbits of planets were indicated by calculations of the orbit of Mars. From this, Kepler inferred that other bodies in the Solar System, including those farther away from the Sun, also have elliptical orbits. The second law helps to establish that when a planet is closer to the Sun, it travels faster. The third law expresses that the farther a planet is from the Sun, the longer its orbit, and vice versa.

Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer. He is a key figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution, best known for his laws of planetary motion, and his books Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae. These works also provided one of the foundations for Newton's theory of universal gravitation.

Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a seminary school in Graz, where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg. Later he became an assistant to the astronomer Tycho Brahe in Prague, and eventually the imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II and his two successors Matthias and Ferdinand II. He also taught mathematics in Linz, and was an adviser to General Wallenstein. Additionally, he did fundamental work in the field of optics, invented an improved version of the refracting (or Keplerian) telescope, and was mentioned in the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei. He was a corresponding member of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome. 

Kepler lived in an era when there was no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology, but there was a strong division between astronomy (a branch of mathematics within the liberal arts) and physics (a branch of natural philosophy). Kepler also incorporated religious arguments and reasoning into his work, motivated by the religious conviction and belief that God had created the world according to an intelligible plan that is accessible through the natural light of reason. Kepler described his new astronomy as "celestial physics", as "an excursion into Aristotle's Metaphysics", and as "a supplement to Aristotle's On the Heavens", transforming the ancient tradition of physical cosmology by treating astronomy as part of a universal mathematical physics

Stamps from Austria, Germany and Hungary featuring Johannes Kepler

1973 Austria Postal Card Johannes Kepler

Hungary 1980 Johannes Kepler, German Astronomer

West Germany 1971 Johann Kepler Astronomer FDC First Day Cover

1859 Born: Pierre Curie, French physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1906)

Pierre Curie (15 May 1859 – 19 April 1906) was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity, and radioactivity. In 1903, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, and Henri Becquerel, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel".

French stamp depicting Pierre and Marie Curie

France - 1938  Marie & Pierre Curie/Discovery of Radium

Bulgarian stamp depicting Pierre Curie

Bulgaria  Pierre Curie Scientist

Thursday, May 14, 2020

May 14th in stamps Louis XIV, Otto Klemperer, Frederick VIII of Denmark

Here are some events that happened on May 14th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1643 – Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi Soleil), was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralization of power.

Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.

Some France stamps and a maximum card depicting Louis XIV

Louis XIV Maxicard

Louis XIV Orange

Louis XIV

1885 Born: Otto Klemperer, German composer and conductor (d. 1973)

Otto Nossan Klemperer (14 May 1885 – 6 July 1973) was a Jewish German-born conductor and composer, described as "the last of the few really great conductors of his generation."

Klemperer studied music first at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, and later at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin under James Kwast and Hans Pfitzner. He followed Kwast to three institutions and credited him with the whole basis of his musical development. In 1905, he met Gustav Mahler while conducting the off-stage brass at a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. He also made a piano reduction of the second symphony. The two men became friends, and Klemperer became conductor at the German Opera in Prague in 1907 on Mahler's recommendation. Mahler wrote a short testimonial, recommending Klemperer, on a small card which Klemperer kept for the rest of his life. Later, in 1910, Klemperer assisted Mahler in the premiere of his Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand.

Klemperer went on to hold a number of positions, in Hamburg (1910–1912); in Barmen (1912–1913); the Strasbourg Opera (1914–1917); the Cologne Opera (1917–1924); and the Wiesbaden Opera House (1924–1927). From 1927 to 1931, he was conductor at the Kroll Opera in Berlin. In this post he enhanced his reputation as a champion of new music, playing a number of new works, including Janáček's From the House of the Dead, Schoenberg's Erwartung, Stravinsky's Oedipus rex, and Hindemith's Cardillac.

Klemperer is less well known as a composer, but like other famous conductors such as Furtwängler, Walter and Markevitch, he wrote a number of pieces, including six symphonies (only the first two were published), a Mass, nine string quartets, many lieder and the opera Das Ziel. He tried periodically to have his music performed, as he had hopes of being remembered as a composer as well as a conductor, but found little success. His works have generally fallen into neglect since his death, although commercial recordings of a few of his symphonic pieces have been issued. Four of his string quartets and a selection of piano pieces and songs have been recorded in two limited edition CDs.

Berlin stamps depicting Otto Klemperer

Germany Berlin 1985 Music Birth Centenary Conductor Otto Klemperer

Germany Berlin 1985 Music Birth Centenary Conductor Otto Klemperer FDC

1912 Died: Frederick VIII of Denmark (b. 1843)

Frederick VIII (Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl) (3 June 1843 – 14 May 1912) was King of Denmark from 1906 to 1912. Before his accession to the throne at age 62, he served as crown prince for over 42 years. During the long reign of his father, King Christian IX, he was largely excluded from influence and political power.

Frederick became king of Denmark as Frederick VIII upon Christian IX's death on 29 January 1906. He was 62 years old at the time and had been Crown Prince for 43 years. In many ways Frederick VIII was a liberal ruler who was much more favorable to the new parliamentarian system than his father had been. He was reform-minded and democratically inclined. However, because of his very late accession to the throne he had only six years as regent and he was weakened by ill health.

On his return journey from a trip to Nice, King Frederick made a short stop in Hamburg, staying at the Hotel Hamburger Hof. The evening of his arrival on 14 May 1912, Frederick (incognito) took a walk on the Jungfernstieg. While walking he became faint and collapsed on a park bench and died. He was discovered by a police officer who took him to a Hafen hospital where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death was announced as a paralysis-attack. He was interred with other members of the Danish royal family in Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen.

Stamps from the Danish West Indies depicting Frederick VIII of Denmark

Danish West Indies 1907 50b yellow & brown King Frederick,

Danish West Indies 1907 King Frederick

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

May 13th in stamps Georges Cuvier, Ronald Ross, Giro d'Italia

Here are some events that happened on May 13th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1832 Died: Georges Cuvier, French zoologist and academic (b. 1769)

Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier (23 August 1769 – 13 May 1832), known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist, sometimes referred to as the "founding father of paleontology". Cuvier was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with fossils.

Cuvier's work is considered the foundation of vertebrate paleontology, and he expanded Linnaean taxonomy by grouping classes into phyla and incorporating both fossils and living species into the classification. Cuvier is also known for establishing extinction as a fact—at the time, extinction was considered by many of Cuvier's contemporaries to be merely controversial speculation. In his Essay on the Theory of the Earth (1813) Cuvier proposed that now-extinct species had been wiped out by periodic catastrophic flooding events. In this way, Cuvier became the most influential proponent of catastrophism in geology in the early 19th century. His study of the strata of the Paris basin with Alexandre Brongniart established the basic principles of biostratigraphy.

Among his other accomplishments, Cuvier established that elephant-like bones found in the USA belonged to an extinct animal he later would name as a mastodon, and that a large skeleton dug up in Paraguay was of Megatherium, a giant, prehistoric ground sloth. He named the pterosaur Pterodactylus, described (but did not discover or name) the aquatic reptile Mosasaurus, and was one of the first people to suggest the earth had been dominated by reptiles, rather than mammals, in prehistoric times.

His most famous work is Le Règne Animal (1817; English: The Animal Kingdom). In 1819, he was created a peer for life in honor of his scientific contributions. Thereafter, he was known as Baron Cuvier. He died in Paris during an epidemic of cholera. Some of Cuvier's most influential followers were Louis Agassiz on the continent and in the United States, and Richard Owen in Britain. His name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.

French stamp and FDC depicting  Georges Cuvier

Georges Cuvier

Georges Cuvier FDC

1857 Born: Ronald Ross, Indian-English physician and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1932)

Sir Ronald Ross (13 May 1857 – 16 September 1932) was a British medical doctor who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on the transmission of malaria, becoming the first British Nobel laureate, and the first born outside Europe. His discovery of the malarial parasite in the gastrointestinal tract of a mosquito in 1897 proved that malaria was transmitted by mosquitoes, and laid the foundation for the method of combating the disease. He was a polymath, writing a number of poems, published several novels, and composed songs. He was also an amateur artist and natural mathematician. He worked in the Indian Medical Service for 25 years. It was during his service that he made the groundbreaking medical discovery. After resigning from his service in India, he joined the faculty of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and continued as Professor and Chairman of Tropical Medicine of the institute for 10 years. In 1926 he became Director-in-Chief of the Ross Institute and Hospital for Tropical Diseases, which was established in honour of his works. He remained there until his death.

Indian stamp and FDC depicting Ronald Ross

Sir Ronald Ross - India Discovery Of The Malaria Parasite

Sir Ronald Ross - India Discovery Of The Malaria Parasite FDC

1909 – The first Giro d'Italia starts from Milan. Italian cyclist Luigi Ganna will be the winner.

The Giro d'Italia (English: Tour of Italy; also known as the Giro) is an annual multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in Italy, while also starting in, or passing through, other countries. The first race was organized in 1909 to increase sales of the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport; and is still run by a subsidiary of that paper's owner. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1909, except during the two world wars and the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. As the Giro gained prominence and popularity the race was lengthened, and the peloton expanded from primarily Italian participation to riders from all over the world. The Giro is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly UCI WorldTeams, with some additional teams invited as 'wild cards'.

Along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the Giro is one of cycling's prestigious three-week-long Grand Tours. The Giro is usually held during May, sometimes continuing into early June. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same, with at least two time trials, and a passage through the mountains of the Alps, including the Dolomites. Like the other Grand Tours, the modern editions of the Giro d'Italia normally consist of 21 stages over a 23 or 24 day period that includes two or three rest days.

The rider with the lowest aggregate time is the leader of the general classification and wears the pink jersey. While the general classification gathers the most attention, stages wins are prestigious of themselves, and there are other contests held within the Giro: the points classification, the mountains classification for the climbers, young rider classification for the riders under the age of 25, and the team classification.

Italian and San Marino stamps issued to commemorate the Giro d'Italia

Italy 1967 The 50th Anniversary of Giro d'Italia

San Marino 1965 Cycling - 48th Giro d'Italia Cycle Tour of Italy

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May 12th in stamps von Liebig, Józef Piłsudski, Konrad Zuse, Wilhelmina

Here are some events that happened on May 12th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1803 Born: Justus von Liebig, German chemist and academic (d. 1873)

Justus Freiherr von Liebig (12 May 1803 – 18 April 1873) was a German scientist who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry, and was considered the founder of organic chemistry. As a professor at the University of Giessen, he devised the modern laboratory-oriented teaching method, and for such innovations, he is regarded as one of the greatest chemistry teachers of all time. He has been described as the "father of the fertilizer industry" for his emphasis on nitrogen and trace minerals as essential plant nutrients, and his formulation of the law of the minimum, which described how plant growth relied on the scarcest nutrient resource, rather than the total amount of resources available. He also developed a manufacturing process for beef extracts, and with his consent a company, called Liebig Extract of Meat Company, was founded to exploit the concept; it later introduced the Oxo brand beef bouillon cube. He popularized an earlier invention for condensing vapors, which came to be known as the Liebig condenser.

German stamp depicting Justus von Liebig

Justus von Liebig Chemist Germany

1935 Died: Józef Piłsudski, Polish field marshal and politician, 15th Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1867)

Józef Klemens Piłsudski, (5 December 1867 – 12 May 1935) was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–22) and First Marshal of Poland (from 1920). He was considered the de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic as the Minister of Military Affairs. From World War I he had great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene. He is viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 Partitions of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia.
By 1935, unbeknownst to the public, Piłsudski had for several years been in declining health. On 12 May 1935, he died of liver cancer at Warsaw's Belweder Palace

Polish stamps depicting Józef Piłsudski

Poland: Józef Klemens Piłsudski Mourning stamps with black edges/perforations

Poland  Polish Legion,25th Annoversary Marshal Pilsudski,Troops

Poland 1934, Jozef Pilsudski

1941 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.

The Z3 was a German electromechanical computer designed by Konrad Zuse. It was the world's first working programmable, fully automatic digital computer. The Z3 was built with 2,600 relays, implementing a 22-bit word length that operated at a clock frequency of about 4–5 Hz. Program code was stored on punched film. Initial values were entered manually.

The Z3 was completed in Berlin in 1941 but was not considered vital, so it was never put into everyday operation. Based on the work of Hans Georg Küssner (cf. Küssner effect) e.g. a "Program to Compute a Complex Matrix" was written and used to solve wing flutter problems. Zuse asked the German government for funding to replace the relays with fully electronic switches, but funding was denied during World War II since such development was deemed "not war-important". The original Z3 was destroyed on 21 December 1943 during an Allied bombardment of Berlin. The Z3 was originally called V3 (Versuchsmodell 3 or Experimental Model 3) but was renamed to not be confused with Germany's V-weapons. A fully functioning replica was built in 1961 by Zuse's company, Zuse KG, and is on permanent display at Deutsches Museum in Munich.

The Z3 was demonstrated in 1998 to be, in principle, Turing-complete. However, because it lacked conditional branching, the Z3 only meets this definition by speculatively computing all possible outcomes of a calculation.

Thanks to this machine and its predecessors, Konrad Zuse is often regarded as the inventor of the computer.

German stamp depicting Konrad Zuse

Germany 2010 Konrad Zuse 1st day cancellation

1948 – Wilhelmina, Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, cedes the throne.

Wilhelmina (Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria; 31 August 1880 – 28 November 1962) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. She reigned for nearly 58 years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw the First and the Second world wars, the Dutch economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial power.

Wilhelmina was the only child of King William III and his second wife, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont. On William's death in 1890, she ascended to the throne at the age of ten under the regency of her mother. In 1901, she married Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, with whom she had a daughter, Juliana. Wilhelmina was generally credited with maintaining Dutch neutrality during the First World War.

Following the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, Wilhelmina fled to Britain and took charge of the Dutch government-in-exile. She frequently spoke to the Dutch people over radio and came to be regarded as a symbol of the Dutch resistance. She returned to the Netherlands following its liberation in 1945.

Increasingly beset by poor health after the war, Wilhelmina abdicated in September 1948 in favour of Juliana. She retired to Het Loo Palace, where she died in 1962.

Dutch, Suriname and  Netherlands Indies stamps depicting Wilhelmina

1924 Queen Wilhelmina tête-bêche

1899 - 1921 Queen Wilhelmina 25 cents

1899-1905 Queen Wilhelmina 10 Guilders

Queen Wilhelmina Suriname

Netherlands Indies Wilhelmina

Netherlands Definitives Queen Wilhelmina 1947-1948

Monday, May 11, 2020

May 11th in stamps von Guericke, Salvador Dalí, Richard Feynman, Harriet Quimby

Here are some events that happened on May 11th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1686 Died: Otto von Guericke, German physicist and politician (b. 1602)

Otto von Guericke (November 20, 1602 – May 11, 1686 [Julian calendar]; November 30, 1602 – May 21, 1686 [Gregorian calendar]) was a German scientist, inventor, and politician. His major scientific achievements were the establishment of the physics of vacuums, the discovery of an experimental method for clearly demonstrating electrostatic repulsion, and his advocacy for the reality of "action at a distance" and of "absolute space".

He was also a very spiritual man in the Dionysiac tradition, as were many scientists of the Enlightenment, and connected the vacuum of space to an infinite divinity. Von Guericke described this duality "as something that ‘contains all things’ and is ‘more precious than gold...more joyous that the perception of bountiful light’ and ‘comparable to the heavens’."

German stamp depicting Otto von Guerick

Otto von Guericke Germany

1875 Born: Harriet Quimby, American pilot and screenwriter (d. 1912)

Harriet Quimby (May 11, 1875 – July 1, 1912) was an early American aviation pioneer and a movie screenwriter.

In 1911, she was awarded a U.S. pilot's certificate by the Aero Club of America, becoming the first woman to gain a pilot's license in the United States. In 1912, she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Although Quimby lived only to the age of 37, she influenced the role of women in aviation.

After earning her license, the "Dresden China Aviatrix" or "China Doll," as the press called her because of her petite stature and fair skin, moved to capitalize on her new notoriety. Pilots could earn as much as $1,000 per performance, and prize money for a race could go as high as $10,000 or more. Quimby joined the Moisant International Aviators, an exhibition team, and made her professional debut, earning $1,500, in a night flight over Staten Island before a crowd of almost 20,000 spectators.

As one of the country's few female pilots, she capitalized on her femininity by wearing trousers tucked into high lace boots accentuated by a plum-colored satin blouse, necklace, and antique bracelet. She drew crowds whenever she competed in cross-country meets and races. As part of the exhibition team, she showcased her talents around the United States and even went to Mexico City at the end of 1911 to participate in aviation activities held in honor of the inauguration of President Francisco Madero.

On July 1, 1912, she flew in the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet at Squantum, Massachusetts. Although she had obtained her ACA certificate to be allowed to participate in ACA events, the Boston meet was an unsanctioned contest. Quimby flew out to Boston Light in Boston Harbor at about 3,000 feet, then returned and circled the airfield.

William A.P. Willard, the organizer of the event and father of the aviator Charles Willard, was a passenger in her brand-new two-seat Bleriot monoplane. At an altitude of 1,000 feet (300 m) the aircraft unexpectedly pitched forward for reasons still unknown. Both Willard and Quimby were ejected from their seats and fell to their deaths, while the plane "glided down and lodged itself in the mud".

US airmail stamp depicting Harriet Quimby

1991 50c Harriet Quimby, Pioneer Pilot

1904 Born: Salvador Dalí, Spanish artist (d. 1989)

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989) was a Spanish Surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship and the striking and bizarre images in his work.

Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts at Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age, he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings. Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Catalonia in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his "nuclear mysticism" style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism and recent scientific developments.

Dalí's artistic repertoire included painting, graphic arts, film, sculpture, design and photography, at times in collaboration with other artists. He also wrote fiction, poetry, autobiography, essays and criticism. Major themes in his work include dreams, the subconscious, sexuality, religion, science and his closest personal relationships. To the dismay of those who held his work in high regard, and to the irritation of his critics, his eccentric and ostentatious public behavior sometimes drew more attention than his artwork. His public support for the Francoist regime, his commercial activities and the quality and authenticity of some of his late works have also been controversial. His life and work were an important influence on other Surrealists, pop art and contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. There are two major museums devoted to his work: The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain and the Salvador Dalí Museum in Florida.

Stamps from Spain, France and Germany depicting Salvador Dali or his works

100th Anniversary of the birth of Salvador Dali

France 1979 Salvador Dali

Germany Salvador Dali FDC

Spain Salvador Dali

1918 Born:  Richard Feynman, American physicist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1988)

Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga.

Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World, he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.

He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II and became known to a wide public in the 1980s as a member of the Rogers Commission, the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Along with his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. He held the Richard C. Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.

Feynman was a keen popularizer of physics through both books and lectures, including a 1959 talk on top-down nanotechnology called There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom and the three-volume publication of his undergraduate lectures, The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Feynman also became known through his semi-autobiographical books Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?, and books written about him such as Tuva or Bust! by Ralph Leighton and the biography Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick.

US stamp and First Day Cover depicting Richard Feynman

USA Richard Feynman

USA Richard Feynman FDC

Sunday, May 10, 2020

May 10th in stamps Rouget de Lisle, Hokusai, Carol I, Mitterrand, Augustin-Jean Fresnel

Here are some events that happened on May 10th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1760 Born: Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, French captain, engineer, and composer (d. 1836)

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (10 May 1760 – 26 June 1836), was a French army officer of the French Revolutionary Wars. He is known for writing the words and music of the Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin in 1792, which would later be known as La Marseillaise and become the French national anthem.

The song that has immortalized him, "La Marseillaise", was composed at Strasbourg, where Rouget de Lisle was garrisoned in April 1792. France had just declared war on Austria, and the mayor of Strasbourg, baron Philippe-Frédéric de Dietrich, held a dinner for the officers of the garrison, at which he lamented that France had no national anthem. Rouget de Lisle returned to his quarters and wrote the words in a fit of patriotic excitement. The piece was at first called Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin ("War Song for the Army of the Rhine") and only received its name of Marseillaise from its adoption by the Provençal volunteers whom Barbaroux introduced into Paris and who were prominent in the storming of the Tuileries Palace on 10 August 1792

Rouget de Lisle died in poverty in Choisy-le-Roi, Val de Marne. His ashes were transferred from Choisy-le-Roi cemetery to the Invalides on 14 July 1915, during World War I.

French stamps depicting Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle

1788 Born: Augustin-Jean Fresnel, French physicist and engineer (d. 1827)

Augustin-Jean Fresnel (10 May 1788 – 14 July 1827) was a French civil engineer and physicist whose research in optics led to the almost unanimous acceptance of the wave theory of light, excluding any remnant of Newton's corpuscular theory, from the late 1830s  until the end of the 19th century. He is perhaps better known for inventing the catadioptric (reflective/refractive) Fresnel lens and for pioneering the use of "stepped" lenses to extend the visibility of lighthouses, saving countless lives at sea. The simpler dioptric (purely refractive) stepped lens, first proposed by Count Buffon  and independently reinvented by Fresnel, is used in screen magnifiers and in condenser lenses for overhead projectors.

By expressing Huygens's principle of secondary waves and Young's principle of interference in quantitative terms, and supposing that simple colors consist of sinusoidal waves, Fresnel gave the first satisfactory explanation of diffraction by straight edges, including the first satisfactory wave-based explanation of rectilinear propagation. Part of his argument was a proof that the addition of sinusoidal functions of the same frequency but different phases is analogous to the addition of forces with different directions. By further supposing that light waves are purely transverse, Fresnel explained the nature of polarization, the mechanism of chromatic polarization, and the transmission and reflection coefficients at the interface between two transparent isotropic media. Then, by generalizing the direction-speed-polarization relation for calcite, he accounted for the directions and polarizations of the refracted rays in doubly-refractive crystals of the biaxial class (those for which Huygens's secondary wavefronts are not axisymmetric). The period between the first publication of his pure-transverse-wave hypothesis, and the submission of his first correct solution to the biaxial problem, was less than a year.

Later, he coined the terms linear polarization, circular polarization, and elliptical polarization, explained how optical rotation could be understood as a difference in propagation speeds for the two directions of circular polarization, and (by allowing the reflection coefficient to be complex) accounted for the change in polarization due to total internal reflection, as exploited in the Fresnel rhomb. Defenders of the established corpuscular theory could not match his quantitative explanations of so many phenomena on so few assumptions.

Fresnel had a lifelong battle with tuberculosis, to which he succumbed at the age of 39. Although he did not become a public celebrity in his lifetime, he lived just long enough to receive due recognition from his peers, including (on his deathbed) the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society of London, and his name is ubiquitous in the modern terminology of optics and waves. After the wave theory of light was subsumed by Maxwell's electromagnetic theory in the 1860s, some attention was diverted from the magnitude of Fresnel's contribution. In the period between Fresnel's unification of physical optics and Maxwell's wider unification, a contemporary authority, Humphrey Lloyd, described Fresnel's transverse-wave theory as "the noblest fabric which has ever adorned the domain of physical science, Newton's system of the universe alone excepted."

French stamp depicting Augustin Fresnel

France 2019 - Augustin Fresnel

1849 Died: Hokusai, Japanese painter and illustrator (b. 1760)

Katsushika Hokusai (c. 31 October 1760 – 10 May 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景, Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei, c. 1831) which includes the internationally iconic print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

Hokusai created the Thirty-Six Views both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fine Wind, Clear Morning, that secured Hokusai's fame both in Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Lane concludes, "if there is one work that made Hokusai's name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series". While Hokusai's work prior to this series is certainly important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition.

Romanian and Japanese stamps depicting Hokusai or his works

Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai Paintings

Katsushika Hokusai Paintings

1881 – Carol I is crowned the King of the Romanian Kingdom.

Carol I (20 April 1839 – 10 October 1914), born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was the monarch of Romania from 1866 to 1914. He was elected Ruling Prince (Domnitor) of the Romanian United Principalities on 20 April 1866 after the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup d'état. In May 1877, he proclaimed Romania an independent and sovereign nation. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire (1878) in the Russo-Turkish War secured Romanian independence, and he was proclaimed King of Romania on 26 March [ 1881. He was the first ruler of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty, which ruled the country until the proclamation of a republic in 1947.

During his reign, Carol I personally led Romanian troops during the Russo-Turkish War and assumed command of the Russo/Romanian army during the siege of Plevna. The country achieved internationally recognized independence via the Treaty of Berlin, 1878 and acquired Southern Dobruja from Bulgaria in 1913. Domestic political life was organized around the rival Liberal and Conservative parties. During Carol's reign, Romania's industry and infrastructure were much improved, but the country still had an agrarian-focused economy and the situation of the peasantry failed to improve, leading to a major revolt bloodily suppressed by the authorities.

He married Princess Elisabeth of Wied in Neuwied on 15 November 1869. They only had one daughter, Maria, who died at the age of three. Carol never produced a male heir, leaving his elder brother Leopold next in line to the throne. In October 1880 Leopold renounced his right of succession in favour of his son William, who in turn surrendered his claim six years later in favour of his younger brother, the future king Ferdinand.

Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, monarch of Romania

Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, monarch of Romania  10 Bani

Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, monarch of Romania 5 Lei

Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, monarch of Romania Imperforated early stamps

1981 – François Mitterrand wins the presidential election and becomes the first Socialist President of France in the French Fifth Republic.

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand (26 October 1916 – 8 January 1996) was a French statesman who served as President of France from 1981 to 1995, the longest time in office in the history of France. As First Secretary of the Socialist Party, he was the first left-wing politician to assume the presidency under the Fifth Republic.

Reflecting family influences, Mitterrand started political life on the Catholic nationalist right. He served under the Vichy Regime during its earlier years. Subsequently he joined the Resistance, moved to the left, and held ministerial office several times under the Fourth Republic. He opposed de Gaulle's establishment of the Fifth Republic. Although at times a politically isolated figure, Mitterrand outmanoeuvered rivals to become the left's standard bearer at every presidential election from 1965–88; with the exception of 1969. Mitterrand was elected President at the 1981 presidential election. He was re-elected in 1988 and remained in office until 1995.

Mitterrand invited the Communist Party into his first government, which was a controversial decision at the time. In the event, the Communists were boxed in as junior partners and, rather than taking advantage, saw their support erode. They left the cabinet in 1984. Early in his first term, Mitterrand followed a radical left-wing economic agenda, including nationalisation of key firms, but after two years, with the economy in crisis, he reversed course. He pushed a socially liberal agenda with reforms such as the abolition of the death penalty, the 39-hour work week, and the end of a government monopoly in radio and television broadcasting. His foreign and defense policies built on those of his Gaullist predecessors.

His partnership with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl advanced European integration via the Maastricht Treaty, but he reluctantly accepted German reunification. During his time in office, he was a strong promoter of culture and implemented a range of costly "Grands Projets". He is the only French President to ever have named a female Prime Minister, Édith Cresson, in 1991. He was twice forced by the loss of a parliamentary majority into "cohabitation governments" with conservative cabinets led, respectively, by Jacques Chirac (1986–1988), and Édouard Balladur (1993–1995). Less than eight months after leaving office, Mitterrand died from the prostate cancer he had successfully concealed for most of his presidency.

Beyond making the French left electable, Mitterrand presided over the rise of the Socialist Party to dominance of the left, and the decline of the once-mighty Communist Party (as a share of the popular vote in the first presidential round, the Communists shrank from a peak of 21.27% in 1969 to 8.66% in 1995, at the end of Mitterrand's second term).

French First Day Cover depicting François Mitterrand

François Mitterrand 1997 FDC