October 23, 2016

2837 FRANCE (New Aquitaine) - The Limousins and the Blondes d'Aquitaine

Situated largely in the Massif Central, Limousin, the least populated region of mainland France, is an essentially rural region. Famed for some of the best beef farming in the world, herds of Limousin cattle, a distinctive chestnut red, are a common sight in the region. Initially used mainly as draft animals, interest in Limousins as a source of high quality meat grew about two hundred years ago. The first Limousin herd book was then established in France in 1886 to ensure the breed's purity and improvement by only recording and breeding animals that satisfied a strictly enforced breed standard.

A multi-breed study reported that Limousins converted feed into saleable meat more efficiently and significantly faster than popular British breeds, and marginally faster than other popular continental European cattle breeds. They were first exported from France in significant numbers in the 1960s and are now present in about 70 countries. The size of the herd has increased sharply in recent years, with a 50% increase in numbers in France in 15 years. Today it is the second largest French beef breed, behind Charolais and ahead of Blonde d'Aquitaine.

Blonde d'Aquitaine is a breed from the Aquitaine district embracing the area of the Garonne valley and the Pyrenees. It is a combination of three local strains, the Garonnais, the Quercy, and the Blonde des Pyrenees. Blondes were predominantly draught animals until the end of the WWII. This resulted in their muscle development, hardiness and docility. In the latter half of the 20th Century the breed was proliferated to other parts of Europe and overseas. They were always hardy, lean animals with light but strong bone structure. Blondes show some variation of color ranging from almost white to tan.

About the stamps

The first stamp, designed by Andrew Spitz, was issued on May 27, 1968 to mark the 650th anniversary of the enclave of Valréas (Vaucluse).

The second stamp, designed by Pierre Gandon, was issued on May 29, 1967 to mark 10 years since the death of Esnault-Pelterie. Robert Albert Charles Esnault-Pelterie (1881-1957) was a pioneering French aircraft designer and spaceflight theorist. During his lifetime he filed about 120 patents in a variety of fields ranging from metallurgy to automobile suspension. He was the inventor of the "joystick" aircraft control, radial engines, and of a new type of fuel pump. He also developed the idea of rocket maneuver by means of vectored thrust.

The third stamp, named Promoting the industry - 1806, is part of the series France History, about which I wrote here.

The last stamp, designed by Claude Durrens, was issued on April 24, 1967 to mark the International Exhibition of Montreal.

Limousin cattle - Wikipedia
Blonde d'Aquitaine - Wikipedia

Sender: Eustache
Sent from ??? (??? / France), on 09.09.2016

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