The Botanic Gardens (Part 1)

Stamps a la Carte

It was a cold Friday morning. I woke up early in the morning to attend a stamp exhibition at China Square Central. This stamp exhibition was in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Kreta Ayer Stamp Society. Booths were set up almost everywhere in China Square Central spanning from the main atrium to the furthest end of the second storey. Items sold included stamps, old black-and-white postcards, old phone cards, banknotes, coins, paintings, toys, action figures and even marathon medals. Quite a few collector friends are there as well.

Top View



Out of curiosity, I walked around to find out what items are for sale. A limited edition collectors’ box consisting of five books of first day covers from the torch relay of the 2008 Beijing Olympics caught the eye of one friend. We proceeded to the booth and a conversation started.

Beijing Olympics

‘This is from the Beijing Olympic Games last year,’ the sales representative explained.

‘The entire set of stamps from the Beijing Olympics?’ my friend asked.

‘No, this set of stamps is only for the torch relay.

‘Only the torch relay? That is indeed a lot of stamps!’

‘As you can see, the stamps from various countries are all in this collection. ‘

Note that the humble sales representative did not mention anything about its price.

My friend asked, ‘How much is it?’

‘$19000,’ the sales representative replied.

‘Is it in Singapore dollars or Renminbi?’

‘It is in Singapore dollars.’

My friend was very surprised that he looked at me and repeated, ‘S$19000. Maybe even all the stamps in my collection cannot fetch this price.’

That must be the most expensive set of stamps I have ever seen. Also on display at the exhibition was a S$8000 Penny Black stamp (the first stamp in the world) found in mint condition. Imagine those stamp collectors willing to spend such a hefty sum!

Torch Relay

As you can see, there are no customers viewing the torch relay stamp set spread out on two tables, as opposed to the table-wide neighbouring booth, where one can get a nice set of stamps for perhaps 0.05% of the price.

When passing by a booth on the second storey, I saw a man arranging his items on the square table while his son asks him in Mandarin, ‘Dad, why isn’t there anybody coming to buy our stuff? Is it too expensive?’

To be continued…


200th Anniversary Celebration of Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen (2004)

Not long ago, I came by this miniature sheet issued in Singapore to celebrate the bicentennial of the renowned Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, who has written well-known fairy tales including Thumbelina and The Emperor’s New Clothes. This set of stamps was issued on 30 March 2005. On the 1st Local, 60 c, $1 and $2 stamps are Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Little Mermaid respectively.

Stories written by Hans Christian Anderson have been translated into over 150 languages and are enjoyed by children and even adults. His success has been captured on stamps and other philatelic material from different countries. This stamp issue was the first in Singapore to feature a foreign celebrity and his renowned fairy tales. The set of four stamps was designed by Mr Wong Wui Kong, who also designed the recent flora and fauna definitive stamps.


150 Years of Singapore Botanic Gardens

Today, SingPost released a se-tenant set-of-four stamps and one miniature sheet to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Singapore Botanic Gardens. This set of stamps ‘150 Years of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ is designed by Singapore designer Mr Eng Siak Loy, who has won awards including Asia’s Most Beautiful Stamps Award and second place in the Most Beautiful Stamp in the World Award in 2003. In 2007, Mr Eng has also won the Singapore President’s Design Award (Designer of the Year).

Botanic Gardens (2009) Stamp Sheet

The stamps depict favourite sites in the Botanic Gardens, including the Band Stand, Swan Lake, the Girl on the Swing sculpture, and the Visitor Centre. A stamp launch was held earlier today at the Green Pavilion in the Botany Centre. I was very lucky to catch Mr Eng Siak Loy for an autograph. Also there was Mr Wong Wui Kong, the designer for the Flora and Fauna definitives issue.



Official Launch of Singapore Post

 Official Launch of Singapore Post Cover (1 April 1992)

I have just received a first day cover dated 1 April 1992 from a collector friend. This was the date when the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore (TAS) was divided into three entities: the new Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, Singapore Telecommunications Private Limited and Singapore Post Private Limited. As the first Public Postal Licensee, Singapore Post can operate postal services for a 15-year period, with an exclusive privilege of receiving, collecting and delivering mail until 31 March 2007.

This piece of history bears the postmark of the official launch of Singapore Post on a 1990 20c Tourism definitive.




It is really cheap to send an aerogramme overseas. At only a rate of fifty cents, you can get your very own aerogramme at most Singapore Post outlets. This postage paid envelope-cum-writing paper comes in four different designs, each with a different scene of Singapore. An aerogramme is designed to be as light as possible, and the sender writes at the back before folding and sealing it up, and dropping it at one of the over 800 post boxes in Singapore. However, it appears that aerogrammes can get damaged easily during transit since it is made of lightweight material. The address of the sender is written on the reverse.

One would write the message inside, and is limited in terms of space. Furthermore, inserts are not allowed in aerogrammes, otherwise it may be sent via surface mail which takes weeks to arrive at its destination.


Flora & Fauna Definitives

Today, Singapore Post Limited released a new stamp issue on two flowering plants – the Pigeon Orchid and the Blue Pea Vine. This is to add variation to the 2007 Definitive stamps featuring various plants and animals.

Flora & Fauna Definitives 2007

The Pigeon Orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum) is a member of the family Orchidaceae. This orchid produces white, fragrant flowers with a yellow tinted throat. From the side, the orchid is resembles a flying pigeon, and hence, it is also commonly known as the Pigeon Orchid. This epiphytic plant, is common in Singapore and Malaysia, growing naturally on trees. It is a widely cultivated ornamental and landscape plant.

The Blue Pea Vine (Clitoria ternatea), also commonly known as the Butterfly Pea, is a vine native to tropical and equatorial Asia. A perennial climber with a woody base, it can climb tall grasses and crops, grows well in moist neutral soil and requires little care. It has been used as a leguminous mulch within elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) to improve the grass protein levels. Now it is widely grown as an ornamental plant. The flowers are harvested and are a traditional source of a blue food colour.