Van Harte!

I have no idea what that phrase means, but it is the only text found on this 44 eurocent stamp from the Netherlands that does not scream its origin or its value. The last line ‘aanvang verkoop’ suggested that this stamp was first sold on 22 September 2009.

How do we use this stamp? An illustration above the stamp encourages the sender to use a red pen to colour out the white spaces on the number 88, leaving the number 32. Perhaps any other number will do, but what is the designer trying to portray anyway?

The design concept is certainly unique as it involves some level of interaction. However, this stamp appears to be somewhat a mysterious one, as online searches did not produce any useful results. The article number 291261 did not help either. Those with information on this mystifying stamp could leave a comment below!

This concludes the Three Stamps from the Netherlands series. And it also concludes the relocation of close to 1200 stamps to the new drawer.


Braille Typography

Update: As announced earlier in the week, some of the stamps will be affected by relocation works. Some 400 stamps have moved in to their new home early yesterday, completing the first phase of the project. The remaining stamps will by moved over the weekend.

On 10 January 2009, the Netherlands’ national postal service issued a series of postage stamps featuring typographic abstractions alongside embossed Braille letters to mark the 200th birthday of Louis Braille. This award-winning stamp issue (at the Dutch National Awards) was designed by Rene Put, this set of stamps can be ‘read’ by both the sighted and the blind. The stamp shown, ‘Geluk Wens Bravo’, is one of the twelve available designs.

A stamp which you can see and touch at the same time! A brilliant design, isn’t it?

This is the second part of the series, Three Stamps from the Netherlands.


LOFAR Radio Telescope

Latest News: An increasing amount of items in my stamp collection has caused a situation of massive overcrowding in my humble cupboard, prompting for an urgent need to reclaim more land. An adjacent drawer has already been earmarked for further development, in order to alleviate the disorder. Part of the population – mainly stamps from other countries – will be resettled to the new sector in the coming weeks. Three interesting stamps from the Netherlands are among those affected.

This 77 eurocent stamp released back in 2009 shows the LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) project for radio astronomy. Built and operated by ASTRON over four years from 2006, this project involves an interferometric array of radio telescopes distributed across the Netherlands. Stations are also located in other European countries, including five in Germany, one each in Great Britain, France and Sweden. On 12 June 2010, LOFAR was officially opened by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Of course, this stamp has its own unique feature. The design of the stamp extends towards the edges, including the portion that may possibly be torn away. That’s something which is seldom seen on stamps from Singapore!

This is the first in the series, Three Stamps from the Netherlands.