Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Horses for Courses, Spice is Nice and Unusual Stamps Exhibition at Singapore Philatelic Musuem

Have you heard of stamps that smells like chocolate, coffee or even fruits? How about stamps that taste like chocolate, stamps that narrate a poem, stamps that contains seeds? Stamps that are made from wood, silk and other unusual materials? These unusual stamps is the main reason we made a trip down to the Singapore Philatelic Museum during the March Holiday- to explore the unusual stamps using our 5 senses. Since we are there, we explored the rest of the exhibitions such as Spice is Nice and Horses for Courses.

This was the 3rd time little one visited the museum but she does not know what is the usage of stamps. I am not sure about your thoughts but I think our new generation may not be able to identify stamps unlike the way we used to. It's not a surprising thing. With modern development of e-mails, e-cards and everything electronic, sending personal letters seemed outdated. We seldom mail letters. Even if we received bills, they are franked mails without stamps. I am glad to introduce her once again the usage of stamps. It was a good timing she received an birthday invitation by post attention-ed to her name with an attached stamp. She was elated! When she roughly grasped the concept of stamp usage, she thought she could re-use the used stamps. She pasted the used stamp on a paper and claimed she wanted to mail that paper to Papa! So, I think it's high time we start posting (with stamps) so that the concept of stamp usage would anchor into her mind.

Orange and Purple Room (Permanent Exhibits, Both at Level 1)

Starting with the permanent exhibits in both the Orange and Purple Room, on the lower floor, we were introduced to stamps. Which was the 1st country to introduce stamp? How they are made (which is a tedious procedure)?  I love the collections in the Purple Room. We are excited to find  first day covers were arranged according to their year of issuance. Yes, we found the stamps that were issued in her birth year!

Pardon me the pictures are not clear. They are taken using my handphone and it doesn't work well indoors. I had forgotten to charge my camera battery.
First day covers
Unusual Stamps - Vinyl
One of my favourite at Level one is the Bhutan Phonograph Stamps ( a set of 7) which are playable on record player. I actually wonder do people really attach Phonograph stamps to envelopes? They really do. This is truly amazing I must say. If you are interested to listen and have a look at a registered article using the stamp, you may be interested in this site. Did you know Bhutan created many "world first" in creating unusual stamps?  My little girl is more amused by the interactive media throughout the whole journey. Hence, I would indicate at the end of each session which media interest her most.

Interactive media which capture her attention :
Orange Room : the talking stamp (Penny Black) and windows to the world.

Stamp Hopscotch
Glow in the dark series by SingPost 2003

Horses for Courses (Temporary Exhibits, Level 1)

31 Jan 2014 - 26 Aug 2014

This year is the year of horse. Singapore Philatelic Museum is showcasing this particularly animal this year as in the case of past years: Snake in 2013 and Dragon in 2012. In this exhibit, you will get to know more about this animal, get up close with a saddle, horse grooming kit, horse's favourite food. You will get to know the relationship between horse and human since prehistoric till now. Also, the development of Horse Racing in Singapore.

How to measure the height of a horse
Interactive media which capture her attention :
None because there is none. :P
However, below activities caught her interest.

1. The 12 Zodiacs
Word Recognitions. She can recognise half of the words listed.
The 12 Zodiac and the story behind it
2. Horseshoe pitching
She was quite interested in pitching but couldn't get any luck with it and left slightly frustrated.
Horseshoe Pitching... Looks easy ? Not so... I can't get any in either. LOL
3. Stamping Activities.
Her all time favourite. Need I say more?

The Heritage Room and Room of Rarity (Permanent Exhibits, Both at Level 2)

Olden days 


Stamp Vending Machines. 
Interactive media which capture her attention :
Heritage Room : Routes of early traders
and drums

Spice is Nice (Temporary Exhibit, Level 2)

22 Aug 2012 - 01 Aug 2014

Though this exhibition is not my intended visit but little one and I enjoyed this most! With the interactive media, you get to know the use of each spice. There are 3 interactive media in this exhibitions. Did you know that consuming too much nutmeg could give you hallucination? How about learning to cook? Find out about how each ethic group in Singapore use spices.  

I do not know how this exhibition is related to stamps, probably due to some stamps featuring spice? I didn't see any  in the exhibition though, probably I missed them out.

The Spice of life- history of spice trade

Did you know?

Market place simulation

Help Ah Boy... Interactive media showcasing natural remedies

Use of Star Anise 
Interactive media which capture her attention :
Natural Remedy for Ah boy and Culinary Secrets

Seeing is Believing - Unusual stamps (Temporary Exhibit, Level 2)

05 Dec 2013 - 04 May 2014
This exhibition in my opinion is a great exposure for little one to stamps. Not just normal stamps but unusual stamps! Best of all, this intriguing exhibition incorporates collections using your 5 senses. There is also a Superman series which I think is quite a collection for the Superman fans. Just that these are so rare, I am not sure how much one has to pay to acquire them.

Sense of Sight

Beaded stamps- inspired by Peranakan Culture
I love this particular Glass Bead Stamp. This particular Peranakan inspired stamp reminds me of the Peranakan Beaded slippers (Kasot Manek) which the Nonya (Female Peranakan) used to make skilfully.

Heard Spot Varnish Business Cards? How about Spot Varnish Stamps?
Spot Varnish Stamps
Glow in the Dark stamps are so beautiful!

Glow in the Dark stamps

Pop Up stamps, just like the way storybook works!
Pop up Stamps 

This is not the end of the list, I just pick those that I like best.

Sense of Sight and Touch 

Lace Stamps
Get to touch the lace, wood and silk that are used to make unusual stamps.

Sense of Hearing

These stamps are really interesting! The museum provides a device for tapping on the stamps so that it can read to you! However, I have problem getting it to narrate! It kept repeating the same poem although I tap on a different stamp.
Poem Stamps

Vinyl Records and DVD stamps

Sense of Smell

I love the chocolaty smell and the stamps look delicious too!

Chocolate smelling stamps
There are other stamps that smells like coffee, tea, perfume and even fruits! Those that smells of fruits reminds me of the fruity erasers I used to have!

Sense of Taste

Uh - no!!! For hygiene purposes, of course, we do't get to lick these.

Interactive media which capture her attention :
Sense of Hearing- She kept asking me to help her to tap the stamps to hear the narration.

If you are interested in the exhibition, you may want to pop down to visit
Singapore Philatelic Museum
23-B Coleman Street
Singapore 179807
Republic of Singapore
Tel: +65 6337 3888
Fax: +65 6337 8958

Opening hours
Monday 1:00pm - 7:00pm; Tuesday to Sunday 9:30am - 7:00pm

Adult: $6; Child: $4; Free admission for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents


  1. For Horse Stamps lovers, why not browse the following link on

    1. Thanks for your comment, Sir! Your collection is wonderful! I love the way you collected the stamps and your passion to find out more about each and every theme! We should learn from you! :)


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