French Stamps - A Collectors Favorite
France has always been an interesting country for a variety of reasons, and this also counts for stamp collectors. France might not have been the first country to issue stamps, but they weren't far behind. The first French stamps were issued on January 1st, 1849 by the Second French Republic. The first series of stamps issued feature the Roman goddess of agriculture and fertility, Ceres. The initial drawing was done by Jacques-Jean Barre, and the stamps are denominated between 10 cents and 1 franc. All the stamps can be seen in our catalogue, by clicking the images.
As the Ceres stamps were the first to be issued by France, the theme has been utilized again over time, and it has been featured in several different eras, including for the 1937 philatelic exhibition in Paris, the PEXIP.
In general, France is favored by collectors, because of the history, but also because they are believed to have some of the most beautiful commemorative stamps in the world. Especially their editions from the twentieth century are popular. For instance we have this issue from 1927, which commemorates the visit from the American Legion.
This set contains two stamps, a red and a blue version, with denominations of 90 cents, and 150 cents respectively. These stamps depict an influencial leader from both countries - one is Marqius de Lafayette, a Frenchman, who played a role in the American Revolution as well as the French Revolution, and also known as "The Hero of Two Worlds". The other is George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers of The United States, and served as the first president of The United States of America.
In the later years, the French postal service has had a tendency to produce a very large number of stamps every year, making it difficult for collectors to get a full French collection of stamps. Up until the 1970's, the French postal service issued roughly 400 stamps every decade. Since then, they have picked up the pace, and since 2010, more than 1700 stamps have been issued already. Although this might sound overwhelming, a French collection is still interesting, as the focus from the French postal service has been on producing thematic stamps.
With so many beautiful stamps to choose from, it can be difficult to highlight a single one. However, we tend to favour this souvenir sheet from 2010. It is part of a series on European capitals, and depicts some of the most famous parts of Paris. All four stamps are denominated at 0.58.