Sunday, 21 October 2012

Shipwrecks: Sunday Stamps

It may be a little morbid, but when I read that the theme this week for Sunday Stamps was "ships" I immediately thought of this beautiful presentation pack of stamps I have featuring shipwrecks.

I don't generally buy presentation packs, I find them cumbersome, so that is where I generally draw the line when it comes to stamp paraphernalia (gutterstrips: tick; FDCs: tick; presentation packs: buh-bow) but as with all lines in the sand that I draw for myself, I do shift the boundaries from time to time. (For instance, this time last year FDCs were in the "buh-bow" no-deal column, or on the wrong side of the line in the sand. Said line has since been adjusted). Anyhow, objections to presentation packs aside, I couldn't resist this particular presentation pack due to the rather lovely 1878 map that adorns the inside.
The stamps themselves are quite beautiful, I think. I like the muted colours, and that the images evoke the era by using contemporary engravings of the disasters. I have been to the cemetery that is the eternal resting place for many of the Loch Ard victims and it is quite a haunting place, situated on a very stunning, but treacherous and rugged coastline.
The Dunbar sank near the entrance to Port Jackson, on the 20 August 1857, as the stamp says. The stamp also indicates that 120 lives were lost. What it doesn't say is that there were only 121 people on board. Only one crewman survived the wreckage, because he was tossed by waves onto a rock ledge.

To counter the rather bleak topic of shipwrecks, I thought I would also share with you a 2004 issue of stamps that is bright and happy and reflects the romantic side of shipping.

I really like these steamer stamps, with their nod to art-deco styling and the bright colours of the travel posters. They make me want to voyage around the world at a leisurely pace while sipping cocktails on the deck.

In what was a massive end to a massive week, I acquired these stamps yesterday, whilst trawling through 100 years of family history stored in my Grandparents' house which was recently sold. Grandma Nellie collected the annual stamp books put out by Australia Post, and so this more recent part of her collection just made its way to me on the weekend. The books are pretty cool and have lots of detail about all the stamps issued in that year, as well as the actual mint stamps.

There will be more tales from my massive week and massive weekend soon on this blog... but for now, it is good night and good luck, fellow stampers and fellow bloggers.


  1. I expect the poster style stamps look better on an envelope, more noticeable at least, but I do prefer the shipwreck series and their more subtle colours.

  2. The shipwreck series is very interesting and it's good to remember. I've found that presentation packs in the UK are so expensive now that I don't get them, although sometimes there can be an exception. I love the travel stamps, really a golden age, so stylish. Lovely that your grandma's collection has made its way to you. :)

  3. Traveling from England to Australia would be a very long trip in those tourist steamers, even if one took the Suez canal. Hope they had a nice bartender. I find the shipwreck stamps a little creepy actually.
    Thank you for joining in this week!

  4. The shipwreck stamps are nice looking, but if I were going to choose stamps to use on mail, I would choose the happy poster stamps!

  5. Interesting that the shipwreck stamps are from the era when Australia was becoming more populated. Transportation of convicts from Britain had only just finished around 1880.

  6. the shipwrecks are definately fascinating, te posters much more appealing though...! needless to say, i'd love to have both ;)

  7. I've never seen stamps commemorating shipwrecks before; I'd have been tempted by the map as well. I like the romance of the old shipping posters.

  8. The shipwreck stamps evoke sadness but the presentation is very artistic and it neutralizes the negative feelings :)

    Thanks for sharing these stamps and thanks for the comment on my blog. I'm looking forward into visiting your page more often.


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