An Important Philatelic Aside...for 2015

            175th Anniversary of the Penny Black, first adhesive postage stamp

In the coming year, philatelists and perhaps others (such as myself) will be marking the 175th anniversary of the first adhesive postage stamp, issued in the UK on 6 May 1840. The above example is from my personal collection and is the second example that I've owned in 45 years of collecting stamps. Though I don't collect stamps as actively as I used to, I did hang on to this example after selling the majority of the collection a number of years ago. 

Classics such as the Penny Black and other issues from the 19th and early 20th centuries will always be in demand from collectors. The dwindling nature of letter writing, general correspondence and the mails themselves have changed so much in the last twenty years the necessity of stamp usage and the collecting of these items have decreased dramatically. It's sad to think that such a great hobby that entertained and educated so many generations of all classes of people over the years prior to the late twentieth century has fallen on difficult times. Perhaps stamp collecting will experience a renaissance someday, maybe even before the bicentennial in 2040. I thought it would be nice to step away from my other collectible interest for a moment to pay homage to what in historical terms is the recent past and present a hope for the future of another great hobby. 


CHINA; Later Zhou (后周) Dynasty (Five Dynasties Period) CE 951-960

Shizong CE 954-959
AE Cash after CE 955

O: Zhou Yuan tong bao
R: plain

Sch. 414
H. 15.12

According to Hartill, these coins were cast from melted-down bronze statues from Buddhist temples. "When reproached for this, the Emperor uttered a gnomic saying to the effect that the Buddha would not mind this sacrifice. It is said that the Emperor himself supervised the casting at the many large furnaces at the back of the palace. The coins have amuletic properties because they were made from Buddhist statues, and are particularly effective in midwifery--hence the many later-made imitations." (Hartill, Cast Chinese Coins, p. 114)

CHINA; A Small Selection of Northern Song (北宋) Dynasty Cash CE 960-1127

Zhenzong CE 998-1022 

O: Xien Ping yuan bao  CE 998-1003
R: plain

Sch. 469
H. 16.43

Renzong CE 1022-1063

O: Huang Song tong bao CE 1039-1054
R: plain

H. 16.103

Yingzong CE 1064-1067

O: Zhi Ping yuan bao (clockwise Seal Script) CE 1064-1067
R: plain

H. 16.156

Shenzong CE 1068-1085

O: Yuan Feng tong bao (clockwise Running Script) CE 1078-1085
R: plain

H. 16.235

Zhezong CE 1086-1101

O: Yuan You tong bao (clockwise Seal Script) CE 1086-1093
R: plain

H. 16.261


CHINA/Yuan Dynasty (元朝) CE 1279-1368

Wuzong (Khaishan) CE 1308-1311
Zhi Da tong bao 1310-1311  
AE cash 3.58g, 23mm
H-19.39, S-1098, FD 1723 

Ex: Arthur Hummel Sr (1884-1975) Collection
Amb Arthur Hummel Jr (1920-2001) Collection

Find a quick bio re Khaishan here


ISLAMIC/Ilkhanid; Arghun AH 683-690 / CE1284-1291

AR Dirham, 22 mm, 2.43g, Tabriz mint, AH 684/CE 1285-1286.

Album 2146

O: shahada in square, mint above.
R: Uighur inscription, with Arghun in Arabic at the bottom field.

image obtained from: http://altaycoins.com/makaledetay.asp?dil=Mg==&id=MjI=
This site provides an excellent intro to Ilkhan coins and how to read them if you don't already know how.

The Uighur inscription indicates that this coin has been struck under the authority of Arghun Khan. The Great Khan at this time who is unnamed here is Kublai Khan CE 1260-1294.

IRAN/Sassanian; Shapur II CE 309-379

AR Drachm, 24 mm, 3.28 g, nd nm legible Gobl 102

O: bust right in merlon crown Pahlavi inscription around.
R: fire altar surmounted by bust of Ahura Mazda in flames with attendants on either side.
inscription on altar and to either side of attendants.

Ex: FSR MBS 84 lot 424 (April 2012)


China/Northern Song (北宋) Dynasty; Zhezong CE 1086-1100

AE large Cash, Yuan Fu era CE 1098-1100 seal script

H. 16.335, FD 1010, S 604

O: Yuan Fu tong bao
R: plain

purchased at the LanSu Chinese Garden, Portland OR in 2013

CHINA/Ming (明) Dynasty; Emperor Sizong (Chongzhen) CE 1628-1644

AE Cash
Hartill 20.292
S. 1226-1229 v

O: Chong Zhen tong bao

R: plain

Purchased at China Treasury Antique Gallery, 61, Shamian Main St., Guangzhou, PRC for RMB 10 (USD 1.22) in 2002.

Greece/Seleucid; Antiochus IX Philopator c. BCE 114/3-96/5

AR Hemidrachm, 1.82 g, 13 mm, 12h, Antioch mint, c. BCE 96/5

SC 2371,  Hoover 1241 (R2)

O: diademed hd of Antiochus IX r, clean shaven, diadem ends falling straight behind, dotted border.

R: [ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ AN]TIOXOY in two lines on r., [ΦΙ]ΛΟΠATPOPOΣ on l., Nike advancing l., holding wreath. Controls E/A/Π outer l., field.


Germany; DDR 1949-1990 (25h Mauerfall)

German Democratic Republic 1969, 5 mark Commemorative for 20th anniv of the DDR
29 mm, mintage 50,222,000, Nickel Bronze (10% Ni 90% Cu)