France Marianne stamps


Watching Jessica and Imogen keenly studying catalogues this morning, to make a selection of Christmas wishes, took me back years. Twice in my childhood and adolescence, I collected postage stamps. Very briefly I was a cub scout, so this would have been quite useful for my collector’s badge. Had I taken more interest in the history and geography they tell us than simply in the attractive designs, I might even have been given the award.

So, what has philately to do with gift catalogues?

It is all a question of approvals. Buying stamps ‘on approval’ is one of the oldest methods of building a collection. Dealers give a questionnaire about your interests and send you little approvals books from which you remove your choices and send back the remainder with your payment. It worked well for a young lad on a very small income. Each period of interest waned, and I gave the collections away.

Jackie’s father, however, did keep the Triumph Stamp Album given to him by his grandmother, Mrs Dove, featured in ‘Revealing The Ancestors’. This collection dates back to Victorian times and contains much history. I had a look through it, seeking sets that I may have once possessed, and which I had attempted to fill gaps.

France Marianne stamps

One such is the early ‘Marianne’ one dating from 1903. This woman is a national symbol of the French Republic – a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty. Since the mid-twentieth century the full length figure we see here has been replaced by head and shoulders images, and later, beginning with Brigitte Bardot in 1969, busts of famous women. The currency shown is in francs and centimes, from before the days of the euro. I don’t think I ever completed the set

The similarity with the girls’ activity lies in the eager anticipation engendered.

Our return journey, travelling by Errol’s route, was much smoother. Took a diversion through the Oxfordshire countryside and lunched at the Fox Inn at Boars Hill. We enjoyed excellent pizzas and sparkling water which was enough for the rest of the day.

Trees reflected in Hatchet Pond

The weather had been dull and rainy for most of the journey, but by the time we reached Beaulieu and Hatchet Pond, a clear light produced smooth reflections.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

44 thoughts on “Marianne

  1. My dad and I used to collect stamps on and off to fill two very large catalogs. For some reason when I moved out of the house, mom gave them to my cousin who proceeded to give them away – Go figure!?!

  2. Oh my goodness …. I love those stamps – what a fabulous collection it must be! And The Fox at Boars Hill is a regular haunt when I am back in the bosom of family and friends in Oxford and the Shire!

  3. I used to be an avid stamp collector too Derrick. My parents were from Italy and I loved collecting all the different ones. I still have the album.

  4. Derrick, I used to collect some stamps but my matchbook and matchbox collections were found to have value since I never allowed anyone to scratch the sandpaper. I was able to sell my albums to an antique collector who found buyers,sometimes as much as $15-20 apiece! I didn’t want to have to keep returning and allowed him to purchase the albums and use his energy and be able to make money, too. πŸ™‚
    I kept the state of Ohio’s match books album since this may be more meaningful to a future collector in my family. I collected a lot of robin’s but saved only about six or seven. My favorite is a Lenox robin and second favorite is a Hummel one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: