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Ships on Stamps

Introduction

Mounting a display of stamps on ships is a formidable challenge, for a number of reasons. The most obvious issue is the sheer volume of stamps. This is not, however, a clear-cut issue of numerical quantity. In early British Empire issues of Bermuda and Cayman Islands, for example, we find a great number of high-quality stamps that we would not hesitate to include, while in more modern times, many countries have looked to stamp production as an industry, often producing shoddy goods. The first rule, then, must be to look for quality rather than quantity.

In a thematic collection, although the main focus is on the subject-matter, in this case, the ships to be found, it is useful to have a note of the Gibbons types and numbers for reference. In the majority of cases, this is not too difficult to manage.

Perhaps the trickiest decisions come with the classification of ships. Perhaps the main inspiration for this project came with Watson's short book Ships on Stamps and I have created a number of general categories loosely based on his chapters. Some of these are not too hard to arrive at: Native (canoes, dhows, feluccas, sampans etc), Commercial (ferries, tankers, freighters) and so on.

If we have a category 'Sailing Ships' and another category 'Ships of War', it might be argued that the galleon forms part of both sets. Here I make an ad hoc decision based on the general balance of the display.

Another potentially thorny issue lies in the definition of a particular type of ship, say schooner. In answer to this, I let the images on the stamps give an idea of what, say, a 'galleon' is. This may not always work but at least the focus stays with the stamps and we do not get side-tracked into an academic debate. I always stand ready to be corrected. The description follows either what is stated on the stamp or the short description given in Gibbon's catalogue, subject to this being given. Where the country of origin is obvious from the stamp e.g. 'POLSKA', it is not repeated in the caption.

 

1 - Ships of Times Gone By
   
   
Egypt- 15-century BC
Phoenician Galley
Type 370 - 1963 - 5 groszy
xxxxxxx
   
Greek Cargo Ship
Trireme
xxxxx
xxxx
   
Viking Long Ship
St. Columba (Impression)
xxxxx
Type 1297, 1997: St. Columba in Boat
   
16th Century Galley
Type 111, 1963, 30 lire
   
   
   
2 - Sailing Ships
   
   

It is with sailing ships that the first serious problems of identification come into play. We do well to heed the following words:

"Classification of vessels by type or function can be difficult. Even using very broad functional classifications such as fishery, trade, military, and exploration fails to classify most of the old ships. This difficulty is increased by the fact that the terms such as 'sloop' and 'frigate' are used by old and new ships alike, and often the modern vessels sometimes have little in common with their predecessors." (WIKIPEDIA).

In what follows, there is no attempt at definition. I follow the imprint on the stamp and/or the description in Gibbons. My rationale is that different users can take the matter of precise detail to the level that they wish.

   
   
Barque
Brigantine
Type 9, 1906: 'The Olive Blossom'
Type 44, 1967: 'H.M.S. Supply'
   
Caracca
Caravel
xxxxx
Type 236, 1994
   
Clipper
Corvette
Type 120, 1980, Full-rigged clipper
Type 270, 1964: Corvette 'Atrevida'
   
Cutter
East Indiaman
Type 12, 1953
xxxxx
   
Frigates
Type 14, 1976: 'Confederacy'
Type 206, Tricolor & Frigate
   
Galleon
xxxxx
   
Lighters
Type 8, 1980
Type 1, 1955
   
Schooners
Type 37, 1953: 'Inter Colonial'
Type 8, 1942
   
Sloops
Type 1, 1955
Type 70, 1957
   
Tall Ships
xxxxx, 'Thermopylae'
Type, 213, 1987, 'Svanen'
   
Windjammer
Type 8, 1980: 'Polynesia'
   
Windsurfing
   
Type 458, 1989: Sailboarding
Type 453, 1989: Windsurfing
   
MS 1136A, 1988: Windsurfers off St. Vincent
   
Yachts
Type xxx, 2004: 'The Glen'
xxxxx
   
   
   
3 - Sail & Steam
   
I made this category to include 'hybrids', that is ships that have a distinctive 'sail' component but also a steam engine.
   
'Deutschland' 1910-12
Paquebot 'La Guienne'
Type G 3, 1954
Type 503, 1965: Paquebot 'La Guienne'
   
'S.S. Savannah'
Type 255, 1944: 'S.S. Savannah'
   
   
   
4 - Steamboats/Steamers
   
R.M.S.P 'Solent'
'Charlotte', 1862
Type 92, 1970: 'R.M.S.P. Solent'
Type xxxx, xxxx: 'Charlotte 1862'
   
William Scoresby 1926-46
'Waikana', Otago
Type G 3, 1954: 'William Scoresby'
Type 407, 1984: 'Waikana', Otago
   
   
   
5 - Ships of Discovery
   
   
Columbus & the New World
Type 428, 1986: Columbus's Fleet
   
   
Cook's Voyages
Type 112, 1940: 'Endeavour' & Cook
Type 457, 1990: 'Endeavour'
   
Type 1386, 1999: Captain Cook & Maori
   
   
Elcano
Magellan
Type, 415, 1976
Type 172, 1971
   
Tasman
Vespucci
Type 112, 1940
Type xxx, 1992
   
   
   
6 - Native Craft
   
   
Barong Panau
Type 47, 1955
   
Canoes
Type 6, 1939: Canoe Crossing Reef
Type 14, 1951: Ambatch Canoe
   
Type 5, 1939: Roviana Canoe
Type 32, 1938: Camakua Canoe
   
Type 236, 1994: Jahazi Sailing Canoe
   
   
Cat Boat
Dhow
Type 31, 1950
Type 3, 1939: Adenese Dhow
   
   
Dorey
Felucca
Type 24, 1938
xxxxx
   
Golokkan
Jiangtsu Trader
Type 120, 1980
 
Junk
Kolek
Type 11, 1931
Type 1, 1953
   
Madura - Prau Bedang
Motu Lagatoi
Type 117, 1975
Type 190, 1974
   
Palari
Pirogue
Type 120, 1980
Type 14, 1938
   
Palla
Type 117, 1975
   
Patela (Ganges)
Prahu at Sandakan
As for 'Palla' above
Type 100, 1950
   
Quang Tri
Sampan
Type 270, 1989
Type 1, 1955
 
Suluk
Type 100, 1954
 
Sponge Boat
Takia
Type 98, 1971
Type 96, 1968
   
Tepuke
Tongkong
Type 206, 1996
Type 1, 1955
   
Tregganu Pinas
Yacht (Zanzibar)
Type 1, 1955
Type 43, 1954
   
Views
   
Boat on Beach
Hamilton Harbour
Type 17, 1968
Type 20, 1936
 
Canoe & Boat House
Ships & Mountains
Type 6, 1939
Type 270, 1989
   
   
   
7 - Commercial Vessels
   
   
Cable Ship 'Iris'
Type 44, 1967
   
Cargo
Container Ship
xxxxx
Type 105, 1985
   
Cruise Ship
Distributor
Type 120, 1980: Cunard 'Countess'
Type 107, 1938
 
Dredger
Type 318, 1960
 
 
Ferries
 
'M.V. Umolia'
xxxxx
Type 52, 1969: 'Umoja' (Railway Ferry)
   
   
Fishing
Type xxx, xxxx: Factory Ship
Type 42, 1954:Fleet
   
Type 105, 1971:Gadus Morhua
   
Type 256, 1965:Goleta
Type 641, 1981:Lobster Potting
   
   
Type xxx, xxxx:Prawn Fishing
   
   
Type 270, 1952
Type 1, 1963
   
   
Floating Crane
Hydrofoil
xxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxx
   
Heavy Hauler
   
   
   
Liners
   
Type xxx, xxxx: R.M.S. Queen Mary
   
Type xxx, xxx: R.M.S. Mauretania
   
MS 675, 1993: Q.E.2
   
   
Mail
   
Type 376, 1966
Type 54, 1950
   
   
Merchant Fleet
   
Type 90, 1938
Type 612, 1976
   
   
Paddle Steamers
   
'Bohemia'
'Washington', 1816
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Pioneer Commerce
'Mountaineer'
xxxxxxxxxx
Type 407, 1984
   
   
Paquebot
   
Type 85, 1970: 'Windsor Castle'
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
   
   
Polyvalente (Multi-purpose)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
   
   
Refrigerator Ship
Type 105, 1987: Samoan Reefer ('Ships' 2nd Series)
   
   
Tankers
xxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx
   
   
Tugs
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Type xxxx, 1985: Remorqueur
Type 457, 1961: Tugboat 'N. Cristea'
Type 318, 1994: 'Eland' & Freighter
   
   
   
8 - Rescue Vessels
   
   
Coastguard
Type 388, 1972: 19th Century Coastguard
Type 265, 1980: Coastguard Patrol
   
   
Fire Rescue
Type xxxx, 1985: Pompier
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
   
   
Lifeboats
   
Type 199, 1963: 19th-century lifeboat
Type 683, 1974: Sauvetage en Mer
   
Type 44, 1974: 'Arun', 1972
   
   
   
9 - Warships & Scenes
   
   
Aircraft Carrier
Type 220, 2002: H.M.S. 'Hermes'
   
   
Battles & Battleships
   
Battle of Hastings
Battle of St. Vincent, 1797
Type 264, 1966
Type 99, 1986
   
'Maine'
Battle Scene (Barbuda)
xxxxxxx: 'Remember the Maine'
Type 45, 1975
   
Trafalgar
Type 147, 1951: 'Victory'
   
   
Destroyers
   
Type 121, 1942: H.M.S. 'Cossack'
xxxxxxxxxxxxx
   
Falklands Task Force
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
   
Gunboat
Minesweeper
xxxxxxxxxx
Type 255, 1982: 'Durban'
   
Nelson & 'Victory'
Russian Revolution
Type 92, 1970: Nelson & 'Victory'
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 
Torpedo Boat
Submarine
Type 280, 1978
Type 1512, 2001: 'Swiftsure'
   
   
10 - Miscellaneous
   
Police
   
Type 37, 1953: Harbour Police
Type 577, 1979: River patrol boat
   
   
Ship Construction
   
Type 15, 1953: Dhow building
Type 121, 1942
   
   
Shipwrecks
   
Type 85, 1970: H.M.S ' Rhone'
Type 10, 1974: 'St. George'
Type 30, 'Brutus' in Prince Olav Hargbour
   
   
END OF DISPLAY
   
   

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This page was last modified on 6th August 2017.