Monday, March 29, 2010

Old Surinamese Postage Stamps

I have to admit that a big percentage of my foreign online friends didn't know that a country named 'Suriname' exists, that's why I've decided to write a little bit about Suriname on my blog. Most Dutch and Belgians do know something about Suriname, but more then 90% of my online friends from the other remaining countries thought that I making a joke or that I was asking for their surname.
I had actually planned to start with a brief article about the history of Suriname, but I have to refresh everything again since history hadn't been my favourite subject, and I'm not very far with it yet. I would actually publish this article after my brief article about the history of Suriname.
Some time ago, someone I don't know had send me a message if I could send him a postcard, he said that he was very excited that he came across someone from Suriname, and that he would love to have a stamp from my country, and me saying, "I don't know you, sorry but I don't send postcards to strangers," that is how I came to the idea to scan old Surinamese stamps and publish it on my blog. I think that many philatelists and my faithful blog-readers will be interested in the stamps I've scanned. I myself like the splendour of colours, the art, that piece of history and that illustrated fragment belonging to Suriname on the stamps hugely interesting, even if I'm not a theoretician when it comes to stamps. As a matter of fact, Suriname won in 1973 the 'San Gabriele' for the best stamp-designs on the international market.
This time I don't have a quotation for my blog-readers, but I've translated a spledid poem, I've found it in an old stamp-album, it's a pity that I don't know who the writer is, there's no name on it.

am a great traveller. I've wandered all over the globe, and I've defied all weatherconditions. No fashion of travelling was too much for me: if it was on horse-sleigh, on a horse or on the back of a camel. I've spared no means of transportation on land, at sea or in the air, and I've even dared in a submarine, an air-balloon and a rocket.

I am also the greatest art and portrait-collection on earth. Many heroes and heroines from the mythology are illustrated on me. I also show you all time famous and less famous men of consequence: kings and queens, Pharaohs and presidents, princes and princesses, poets and national heroes, emperors and explorers, sports people and architects, pilots, artists, adventurers, chiefs, inventors, musicians and martyrs, play-writers and novelists, shahs, sultans, saints and fishermen. Even the marvelous figures of the phoenix, the dragon, the unicorn and the centaur are illustrated on me.

I am the biggest museum in the world and at the same time the best miniature encyclopedia. I take you on journeys to municipals, countries and continents, and lead you to the most remote parts of the world. I show you mountains, seas, valleys, oceans, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, thermal springs, harbours, bridges and dams; primitive canoes, ships and modern ocean liners, monuments and statues, castles, cathedrals, churches, mosques, temples and ruins, and also all means of transportation: from cars to Zeppelin, from steamboat to space ship.

I am giving you a description of all sports, and also of many crafts, customs, rituals and ceremonies. Even almost all existing birds, mammals, fishes, fruit and flowers can be found on me.

I am showing you the horrors of war, but also the benefits of peace, the problems caused by emigration, the grief over poverty and the scourge of poverty. I don't tell only fairy-tales and legends of all cultures, but also the adventures of Don Quichot. You can also see the symbols of art and culture on me, the trade, the treasures of the soil, the agriculture, the exchange, the architecture and all other human exertions. I commemorate expeditions and journeys, discoveries and inventions, and all that makes life worthy.

Millions of men, women and children admire me, and me, in all my different forms offer them pleasure, relaxation and distraction.

And still I'm a simple stamp!

I'm not exactly sure how old the oldest stamp is. The last grey-blue stamp all the way at the foot illustrates bauxite exploitation. The American concern "Surinaamse Bauxiet Maatschappij", now known as Suralco (Suriname Aluminium Company) had settled down in Suriname in 1916. This stamp was issued in 1954.

The first stamp all the way up also looks very old. I found a picture of that stamp in an old magazine and it has a postmark with 1942 on it. I also found a Dutch stamp in almost the same design.

So the stamps should be somewhere near the 23 to 68 years old.

Dutch stamp in almost the same design as the Surinamese stamp at the top.