Queen Elizabeth II’s Head To Be Chopped Off from Royal Mail Postage Stamps?

United Kingdom, the only country in the world to not carry the country’s name on their postage stamps, are faced with financial difficulties leading them to consider the privatization of the Royal Mail’s operations. 

Under the actual rules and regulations, the new owner(s) is not obliged to keep up with the tradition in place since 1840 of printing the queen’s head profile on the Royal Mail postage stamps. 

GB Royal Mail Queen Elizabeth II Head Machin Ends

GB Royal Mail First Postage Stamp, the "Penny Black" was issued on May 6,1840

What a reaction that announcement caused when the news hit the media!

Enough so, that members of the British Parlement came up yesterday with an amendment for which all details will be published tomorrow. 

Click on the headline “Britain parries threat to Queen’s head on stamps” in the image below to read full AFP press release:

AFP News Queen's Head To Be Chopped Off?

Source: AFP on Yahoo News

Chief Executive, Moya Green, first woman to head Royal mail, said to the media:

Moya Greene Royal Mail CEO“It’s unthinkable Royal Mail stamps would not have the image of the monarch so we strongly support any measure that protects that key feature.”


I can conceive that “Emailing” has seriously affected the “snail mail” industry, but …. should a country react to financial difficulties by selling off its postal services to a foreign entity? My answer to that question is “No”. 

Are they not, instead, strategic “alliances” that can be considered to face the challenges to the sustainability of their businesses?

Doesn’t the digitalized era we are living in, not capable of offering  great opportunities for the postal sector?

Worldwide Postal Administrations, through the issuance of commemorative and definitive sets of stamps depicting the life, customs and environment of their inhabitants, are providers of a rich heritage and its legacy to actual and future generations is so precious.

Postage stamps are truly a unique form of communication.

Let’s all collect postage stamps…they are fine art in miniature and they convey such fascinating stories!

Until next, happy collecting.

 Janice Dugas

Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)

Janice Dugas

 ATA & APS Member


Scotland on Stamps: "The Vanguard" by Scottish Painter J.A. MacWhirter Adorns 1898 USA "Cattle In The Storm" Postage Stamp

Topical stamp collecting is such a thrilling and fascinating hobby! As an example, let me tell you what happened yesterday.

Being a topical stamp collector of many subjects, but primarily of  ‘Unicorns on Stamps’ and ‘Scotland on Stamps’, I performed  the indian “rain dance” ! following my view of the video (see below) taped during the AM Northwest TV Show hosted by Helen Raptis and Dave Anderson.


Read on…

The show was about stamp collecting and featured rare and valuable postage stamps and truly philatelic gems. When Alex Haimann from Mystic Stamp Co showcased the USA $1.00 “Western Cattle In The Storm” from the 1898 TransMississipi’s set of stamps and mentioned that it was one of the most beautiful USA stamp, I decided to google it and found out….

USA 1898 Cattle in a Storm Scott #292

=> that the scene depicted on the Trans-Mississippi’s $1 value originates from a painting of  John A. MacWhirter, a scottish painter!

I had stumbled upon a stamp that fits perfectly on my Scotland on Stamps topical collection checklist ! :-)

Hum…the price is quite steep though, so I guess I will post it on my Amazon wish list and hope  for the best. (wink wink) ;-) or try to find a spacefiller ( a stamp in poor condition, to be kept until a better copy can be found at a better condition and price.)

Isn’t it cool? It surely is…..and stamp collecting is an hobby that can fullfill you with happiness, no matter which subjects you decide to collect, as topical stamp quests are nothing less than fun.

Here’s more information about the “scottish related” stamp:

“.. and (it) was reported to have been used in the west by a cattle company as a sort of trade mark. Prints had been made and sold, and it was one of these prints that had come to the attention of the Post Office Department and designer Smith.

MacWhirter, however, was a Scot, and his painting, entitled “The Vanguard,” was soon discovered to have been a depiction of Scottish cattle in a storm in Scotland.

It was actually painted in a small farmhouse near the Scottish highland town of Calendar. The scene did not depict an event west of the Mississippi, but it might have been, and few really cared about this detail, for cattle were an important part of the western U.S. economy, and the design was certainly pleasing enough.   Source: Chicago Stamps

Needless to say that there is much controversy about  the “Cattle In The Storm” stamp being considered the most attractive stamp of the USA.

Now…do watch the video below to discover which USA stamps fetches $3,000,000. on the philatelic market.

1.  USA 1918 Inverted Jenny – Plate Number Block of 4 (Scott #C3a)

Market value:  $3,000,000.

USA Inverted Jenny Stamp

USA Inverted Jenny Stamp - Scott #C3a Topic:EOF(Errors,Oddities,Freaks)

2.  USA 1898  $1.00 Cattle In The Storm – pane of 50 (Scott #292)

Mystic Stamp Catalogue value: $2,000 (Mint Never Hinged) – $ 875. (Used)

USA 1898 Cattle in a Storm Scott #292

USA 1898 Cattle in a Storm Scott #292 Topic: Scotland on Stamps

3. Cover carried along the Pony Express Route from San Francisco, California to St-Joseph, Missouri

Transcontinental Pony Express Route

Transcontinental Pony Express Route - Source: rFrajola.com

By the way, I totally agree with Fred Baumann, Director of Public Relations for the American Philatelic Society (APS) about bringing in youth into the stamp collecting hobby, as they will, further down the road, re-connect with their hobby.

At the turn of the century, we were bootholders at many of the Canadian and American Philatelic Stamp Show & Exhibitions, and it was always a pleasure to see younger ones sit at our tables and go through our topical stamps. And believe me, they knew what they wanted to collect. Most popular topics were dinosaurs, pets, animals, olympic games, trains, airplanes, music, disney and movies, to name just these few.

Whenever you have the opportunity to introduce someone to stamp collecting, be it collecting the traditional way, i.e. by country, or topically, by subjects, you will introduce them to a hobby that is so fascinating and rewarding, they’ll thank you for ever!

Did you, at one point in time, ever considered collecting stamps?

Do leave a comment below as I would love to read about it.

Happy collecting!


Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)

Member American Topical Association # 48264 (ATA)

Member American Philatelic Society #163921 (APS)



Shells on Postage Stamps bridges with Shell Collecting at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum in Florida, USA

Shells on Stamps – A New Youth Stamp Collecting Study Program

Shells on postage stamps by Karl Emmerich

Shells on Postage stamps by Karl Emmerich -Topical Philatelic Publishers; 1st edition (1980)


American Philatelic Society member Dan Pattison, retired educator/administrator is teaming up with Diane Thomas, educator and program specialist at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to design a new youth program to teach how to start a collection of shells on stamps.

The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is a nonprofit organization located on Sanibel Island, Florida totally devoted to the study of shells  & mollusks. The museum is hoping that collectors of shells on stamps will collaborate by donating stamps that could be used to create a new exhibit inside the shell museum.

Donations of shells on stamps or questions should be sent to Diane Thomas, c/o The Bailey-Mathews Shell Museum,
P.O. Box 1580, Sanibel, FL 33957-1580.

‘Come Out of Your Shell at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum’…   ;-)

Bailey Matthews Shell Museum, Sanibel Island, Florida

These programs will cover information on how to begin a stamp collection using shells on stamps as a thematic example.

An economic, historical and cultural study will occur, including both stamps and shells and their uses over the years in different societies, from the Florida Calusa Indians, who used shells for tools and ustensils, to the African natives who collected cowries and used them for money.

Shell jewelry and crafts, the scientific role that mollusks and shells play in the food chain and ocean ecology may be included.

Source:  Topical Postline - Topical Time,  May-June 2010, Vol 61, No3 – ATA (American Topical Association)

Mozambique - Shells - 1980

Mozambique - Shells - 1980 - Set of 6 stamps

For those interested in conchology as well , Conchology.be  is a great website.  They have 19,847 shown species online and have more than 100,000 shells available for purchase.

And guess what?

They provide a topical checklist, with stamp images from worldwide countries depicting shells, sorted by country, theme, and year.

WOW..truly a stamp collector paradise!

Hong Kong Shells

Hong Kong - Shells - 1997



Collect Shells on Stamps by R.T. Walker -Stanley Gibbons Limited (November 24, 1995) Hong Kong - Shells - 1997

Shells on-stamps of the world - Arakawa

Shells on Stamps of the World a Bilingual Illustrated Catalog of Mollusca on Postage Stamps by Kohman Y. Arakawa -Biological Society of Nagasaki Prefecture (1979)

Domfil Sealife and Shells On stamps

Sealife and Shells on stamps - Domfil Catalogue, Spain

Happy collecting!

Talk soon,


Your Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)


Free Video Reveals #1 Secret To Stamp Collecting!