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History of Thai Postage Stamps

                       The stamps are highly praised for their beautiful design, and significant implication. This, and the fact that there are several denominations of stamp in one set, has increased the higher value of these stamps for collection, and for trading in the stamp market as well.

                           In June 1989, the Shell Issue (2nd Series) was released, each set thereof consisting of 4   denomination stamps, with the 2 Baht denomination showing the picture of Thailand Tao Poon shell , 3 Baht denomination showing Nam Durian shell , 6 Baht denomination showing Biagattata shell ,and 10 Baht Denomination showing Nguang Chang shell

                           The 1989 National Philatelic exhibition issue (the ninth exhibition) Illustrate pictures of 5 types of ancient post-box, used in 1973,1953,1926,1911 and 1883. Pictures of various species of dragonfly are shown on stamps in the 1989 international Letter Writing Week Issue, and since this year was regarded by the government as the Handicraft Year, the Communications Authority of Thailand had therefore printed stamps of 4 denominations per set to commemorate this special occasion.The stamps illustrate the pictures of ceramics,copper ware, Thai fabric (triangle pillow), and jewelry.

                          During the year 1990-1993, many beautiful stamps were issued such as The 1990 International Letter Writing Week Commemorative Issue showing the Old Thai Sweet (or "Khanom" in Thai language) namely Khanom Cho Muang, Cha Mongkut, Sane Chandr and Luk Chup. On 21st October 1990, to enhance the prestige of H.R.H. the Princess Mother and to celebrate the occasion of her 90th Royal Birthday Anniversary as she is very much concerned about the living condition of the  people especially those in the barren and dry areas; had finally initiated the Princess Mother Medical Volunteer Foundation. The Dusit Palace Stamps issued on 5 December 1990 (H.M.King Bhumipol Aduldej's Birthday) are to propagate in a wider extent the beauty of Thai architecture. This Issue illustrates 6 Royal Halls in Dusit Royal Palace such as Wiman Mek Royal hall,Ratcharit Rungrot Royal House,Aphisek Dusit Royal Hall, Amphon Sathan Palace,Udon Phak Royal Hall and Anantasamakhom Throne Hall.The most classic stamps in 1991 issued on 23 October 1991 (King Rama V the Great's Birthday) featured the Longest Reign Celebration Commemorative Stamps, (Statue of King Chulalongkorn Commemorative Issue) Issued on 11th November 1908.The main purpose was to publicize Bangkok World Philatelic Exhibition 1993 held during 1-10 October 1993.   

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                          On 1st January 1992,H.R.H. Prince Mahidol of Songkha Centenary Celebration Commemorative Stamp was issued to celebrate and enhance the prestige of the Prince who was recognized as "THE FATHER OF MODERN THAI MEDICINE". He was the son of King Chulalongkorn and was born on 1st January 1891. His two sons became the kings.The first one was King Ananda Mahidol and the second one is the present King, King Bhumipol Aduldej.Another famous stamp is "400 Years of the Great Duel on Elephants" Commemorative Issue (18 January 1992), the purpose of which was to celebrate and enhance the prestige of King Naresuan the Great who fought on elephant with Phra Maha Upparacha (the Heir-Apparent of Burma).

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                          On 1st July 1992, the 1993 Bangkok World Philatelic Exhibition Commemorative Issue (2nd Series) was released to publicize the event held during 1-10 October, 1993.The set of 5 denominations depicts the picture of each reign of the old issue (from Rama V to Rama IX) printed on the colour bar background.

                          Thai people are proud of beautiful H.M. the Queen's 60th Birthday Anniversary Commemorative Issue released on 12 August 1992.The first, is the second gold stamp of Thailand with 100 Baht denomination picturing the Royal Portrait of Queen Sirikit.The denomination of the 2nd Series was all in 2 Baht with 6 different designs showing the Royal portrait of Her Majesty at different movements and occasions.The 3rd series consisted of 5 stamps, all in 2 Baht denomination,illustrates the Royal Regalia set out Her Majesty the Queen.

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                           A stamp which merits our attention was "Professor Silpa Bhirasri Commemorative Issue" which was issued on 15th September 1992 to publicize as well as to give honour to outstanding personages in different fields of work."Professor Silpa" as Thai people love to call him was an Italian by origin.His name was "Corrado Feroci" and was born in Italy on 15th September 1892.In 1923, he came to Thailand by an invitation from the Royal Government of Siam and was appointed a sculpter of  the Royal Fine Arts Department. In 1944 he changed his name to "Silpa Bhirasri" and became a Thai citizen.He had devoted himself for Thai Arts till the end of his life and also found the school of Fine Arts in 1933 which later became the University of Fine Arts (Silpakorn University).He deserved the sobriquet given him "THE FATHER OF MODERN ARTS IN THAILAND".

                          The 3rd Series of 1993 Bangkok World Philatelic Exhibition Commemorative stamps was issued on 9th January 1993. This issue consist of 4 denomination in 3,6,7,8 Baht.The set illustrated Thai Sangalok Wares.

                          As regard to Thai stamps of other issues to be released after 1993, we have to wait and see, as stamp would always to be found playing its concurrent role with that of the postal service, from which it is inseparable!

9. Stamps During the Period 1977-1986.

                       During this time period, stamps were released for sale in different issue ranging from 12-15 issues each year.The stamp's design and theme was expanded , in terms of its promotional concept, to cover the Thai people's life and society in various aspects thereof, such as Thai folk dances, Thai old table stories, International Cooperation, International Conference (World Conference), Dam, Fish, Bird, Animal,Insect, Important Places, National Philatelic Exhibition,Children's Drawings, Royal Decoration, the Bencharong Issue, The 1982 Rattanakosin Bicentennial Commemorative Issue, the Thai Musical Instruments (2nd Series), the 700th year Anniversary of Thai Script Invention, the King-Initiated Projects, the 25th Anniversary of Thai International Airways, the  13th Sea Games,the 75th Anniversary of Thai Boy Scouts, etc.

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                        The more noteworthy issues of stamp in this period should likely be the colourful Bencharong Issue of the 2.75 Baht denomination.The stamp issue, showing the said colourful Bencharong with cover, had won the 2nd price in the stamp contest at the World Philatelic Exhibition in Vienna,Austria in 1981. The stamps of the Rattanakosin Bicentennial Issue consist of 10 denominations, depicting the royal portraits of all the Kings (Rama I-Rama IX) and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Moreover, there are the Thai Musical Instruments (2nd Series) consisting of 8 denominations, the 700th year Anniversary of Thai Script Invention Ice with 4 denominations and the King-Initiated Projects Issue with 5 denominations.

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                          During this period, more new stamp printers had turned up to bid for the printing of Thai stamps, a large number of issues had consequently been printed by them . Such new entrants included John Waddington of Kirkstall Co.,Ltd., England, and the Cartor Company of France.

10. During the Period From 1987 up to Present

                        Thai stamps are popular throughout the country, especially, among the youths, who pay their special attention thereto .Each time new stamps were issue, these youths would invariably be found at the post office counter ready to buy the said stamps. Moreover, to ensure that they would automatically obtain the stamps, some of them have opened their deposit accounts with the Philatelic Promotion Center of the Philatelic Division, the Communications Authority of Thailand.Such deposit account may be opened by putting the first deposit of 200 Baht.

                          The First issue of Thai stamps released for sale early in1987 was the Children's Day Issue.The said stamps were specially designed in such a way that a picture of school and students was printed across the faces of two adjoining stamps. Anyone buying just on stamp thereof would see only half of the school on the stamp he bought, and to see the full picture of the school, he has to buy two stamps.This is necessary for the stamp collectors, but not for all others, who may use only one stamp to be affixed on the letters as the postage charge for postal delivery as usual.

                            It was also during this period that appeared a new printer, namely the Leight Mardon Pty of Australia , having been awards the contract for printing the 1987 Children's Day Issue (1st Series)

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                            One among the more prominent issues of stamps, worthy of mentioning, is the issue of the first gold stamps of Thailand, with 100 Baht denomination each on H.M.the King's 5th Cycle Anniversary Issue (1st,2nd and 3rd Series). The stamps illustrate H.M. the King's Historical background since his childhood, until his accession to the throne,his various activities,and of the Royal family members. The stamps of the said 3 issue were released for sale on 5th December 1987.

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                            And it was not until in 1988, hen more prominent issues of stamps were released, i.e. the Longest Reign Celebrations Issue (1st 2nd and 3rd Series) with stamps depicting the royal portrait of H.M.the King Bhumipol,the Royal Regalia of the Chakri Dynasty and some Royal Thrones, to be followed by the Royal Decorations Issue (2nd Series), and the Buddha Monthol Celebration Issue, with stamps showing pictures of Lord Buddha's Places of birth, enlightenment, the first sermon, and death, and of the Buddha image at Buddha Monthol.

                          In 1989, the first issue of stamps released was the Children's Day Issue, consisting of 4 denomination stamps (more than it used to be printed earlier so far).The stamps show picture of special significance since the pictures were drawn by the blind youths.The blind youths used special kind of coloured plasticene and their imaginations to mold the required pictures, as explained to them by their teacher.The next issue is on the 1989 Thai Heritage Conservation the conferring on HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn the name "the Patron of Thai cultural heritage" whose name is printed on  all stamps with the pictures of 4 ancient places in Phra-Nakhon Khiri Historical Park, namely, Wat Phra Kaeo, Chatchaval Vienchai Hall,Phra Tat Chompetch, and Vejayan Prasat Hall.

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E-mail Address: houseofstamp@thaistamp.com