Stamp releases

Find the latest stamp releases

Stamp Releases page
Åland – Garden Berries
Åland – Garden BerriesNovember 30, 2022Åland Post issues a new series of self-adhesive franking labels on 4 January 2023. The theme is garden berries, and Finnish artist Mari Oksanen illustrates her first postal labels showing delicate berries that are grown in Åland gardens.   The four berry varieties shown on the franking labels are black currants (Ribes nigrum), raspberries (Rubus idaeus), gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa) and strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa).  The issue marks Mari’s debut as a stamp artist, and she immediately fell for the illustration assignment:  “Creating something for the small space was a challenge; to make the motifs appear rich in detail yet simple enough to strike the viewer’s eye. I really enjoy working with flora and fauna related objects and design organic forms, so the garden berries were well within my comfort zone. The idea of giving the berries different moods and personalities came to me almost immediately, and I appreciated being encouraged to create playful and colourful labels rather than realistic images. The black currants look a bit mischievous and secretive, the raspberries are wild rascals, while the gooseberries are the gentle sweethearts among thorns. The strawberry is the juicy one, basking in sunlight,” Mari explains.  With the self-adhesive franking labels, the customer chooses the denomination, and you can purchase the labels by mail order from Stamps or at the post offices in Mariehamn or Sviby.  [...] Read more...
United Kingdom – Tutankhamun
United Kingdom – TutankhamunNovember 30, 2022Royal Mail is marking 100 years since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, by British archaeologist Howard Carter, with a new set of 12 Special Stamps. The main set of eight stamps include a selection of some of the most significant and well-preserved items and feature: Head of the king: The head of the king emerging from a lotus flower represents part of the ancient Egyptian creation myth when the infant sun-god Re appears from a lotus flower floating on the primordial waters. Inlaid Fan: Fans provided cool air and shade. Eight were found in the tomb, all beautifully decorated and originally fitted with ostrich feathers (long since perished). Gold Mask: The mask of Tutankhamun is now the most iconic object from the tomb, revealed in October 1925 when the innermost coffin’s lid was opened. Covering the head, neck and upper chest of the king’s wrapped body, the mask’s face is an idealised portrait of the young Tutankhamun. Falcon Pendant: This falcon pendant (or pectoral) portrays the sun-god Re-Harakhty, a merged form of the royal god Horus and the sun-god Re. Lion Couch: When Carter peered into the tomb’s antechamber, the first objects he glimpsed were the “gilded couches in strange forms, lion-headed, Hathor-headed, and beast infernal”. Throne: The ‘gold throne’ was referred to as “perhaps the most important item among the entire contents of the tomb”. The throne is made from gilded wood with gold sheets applied to the seat and backrest, and is lavishly carved and decorated. Boat model: This unique boat model is made from calcite (Egyptian alabaster) and decorated with gold, ivory, faience (ceramic-like material) and coloured pigments. Guardian statue: This imposing life-size statue of Tutankhamun, made of black painted wood with gilded details, shows the king wearing the striped Nemes headdress with the uraeus serpent at the front, the symbol of royal authority. Often referred to as a ‘guardian statue’, it is one of a pair found in the antechamber, positioned on either side of the burial chamber’s sealed doorway. The artefacts, from the Grand Egyptian Museum were photographed by renowned professional photographer of art and architecture, Araldo De Luca. A miniature sheet contains an additional four stamps which capture the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb through a selection of photographs taken by Harry Burton – a pioneer of archaeological photography – whose images evocatively recorded the undisturbed tomb and captivated international audiences. Harry Burton was the only photographer permitted to work inside the tomb during the excavation. Royal Mail worked with Egyptological experts at the Griffith Institute – the centre for Egyptology at the University of Oxford – on the stamp issue. The team there helped curate the eight stamp images, pictures of which were then provided by the Grand Egyptian Museum. The Griffith Institute also provided images for the miniature sheet and wrote the supporting copy for the wider product range. David Gold, Director of External Affairs & Policy, Royal Mail, said: “The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by British archaeologist Howard Carter has inspired generations of people around the world. It has shaped historians’ understanding of the religion, rituals and culture of ancient Egypt to this day. We are delighted to have this opportunity to mark the centenary of that moment in these beautiful stamps.” Discovery: In early November 1922, the eyes of the world turned to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor with the announcement of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by a team led by Howard Carter and funded by Lord Carnarvon – the first intact royal burial found in Egypt. On 26 November 1922, Carter made a small hole in the sealed inner doorway of the tomb and peered in. He later recalled: “At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold – everywhere the glint of gold.“When Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, ‘Can you see anything?’, it was all I could do to get out the words, ‘Yes, wonderful things.’” The tomb contained food and wine, clothing, jewellery and furniture – ritual items to enable the king’s journey into the afterlife. Tutankhamun’s body lay protected within a layered arrangement of four gilded shrines, erected around a sarcophagus containing three nested coffins. On 28 October 1925, Carter lifted the innermost coffin’s lid to reveal the king’s wrapped body; covering the head was what is now the most iconic object from the tomb – a gold mask. As well as a team of experienced Egyptian excavators, Carter and Carnarvon gathered a group of specialists to record and conserve the tomb’s objects, including the photographer Harry Burton from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, whose images evocatively recorded the undisturbed tomb and captivated international audiences. It would take the team ten years to clear, document and conserve over 5,000 objects packed into the small tomb. The objects are in the Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and the excavation documentation is in the archive of the Griffith Institute, the centre for Egyptology at the University of Oxford. [...] Read more...
Slovakia – Postage Stamp Day: A Historical Mail Waggon
Slovakia – Postage Stamp Day: A Historical Mail WaggonNovember 23, 2022As early as the ancient Roman Empire the state-run postal service (cursus publicus), established by the emperor Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), used various types of vehicles to transport not only people but also the post. Although letters were usually delivered by riders on horseback, the transport of larger consignments, goods or people required the use of light weight two-wheeled (carrus) or four-wheeled vehicles (raeda).  The vehicular transport of mail did not develop in the early Middle Ages, messengers mainly went on foot or on horseback. In the late 15th century a new type of vehicle emerged: a coach that was remarkable for its light weight and speed, thus it began to be used to transport the royal mail and by couriers. In the 1740s, during the period of reform of Maria Theresa, the transportation of mail was further developed and stabilised. Therefore, the Habsburg monarchy started to consider the use of special vehicles, the diligencia (a stagecoach), for the transport of mail, following the examples of England and France. The diligencia successfully passed its road tests and the operation of the diligencias was taken over by the state as early as 1750. At the beginning of the 19th century, there was a need to improve the quality and particularly the speed of postal deliveries. In 1823, Maximilian Otto von Ottenfeld, the new director of the administration of mail coaches, initiated reforms of the transport of people and the mail. He established regular lines using comfortable and well sprung coaches (Eilpostwagen) that even travelled the postal routes at night.  The introduction of the railways provided a new means for the transport of people and the post. As early as 1838 the first post train was established in England, whose employees sorted letters and parcels while the train was in motion. The sorted mail was then unloaded at railway stations along the way and parcel delivery coaches transported it to the individual post offices. The transport of mail from post offices was solved in the same way. The cargo area of this parcel coach was usually consisted of wooden sheet-metal cabinet drawn by one or more horses. This type of vehicle was still in use until 1960, when were fully replaced by motor vehicles.  The postage stamp and FDC surcharge depicts an example of such a parcel delivery coach. It was used by the Czechoslovak postal operator in the inter-war period. The blank field was inspired by the emblem used by the Czechoslovak State Post on its coaches.  [...] Read more...
Slovakia – The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 17: Eugene Andrew Cernan
Slovakia – The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 17: Eugene Andrew CernanNovember 23, 2022The painter Peter Michal Bohúň, whose 200th anniversary of birthday we commemorate this year together with other important personalities of Ľudovít Štúr generation, played an important part in the fine-art scene that was associated with our artistic milieu around 1850. Together with Josef Božetech Klemens was highly interested in the national question and also participated in the revolution of 1848. Although most of Bohúň’s works that are known today are portraits of the Upper Hungarian intelligentsia, burghers and nobility, during his career he also accepted commissions from the church figures. These often formed a crucial part of his income as he needed to support his large family. His early paintings of religious notables come from the 1850s, but he also produced similar works later. Christological motives are quite commonly found in Bohúň’s works, for example, in the altarpieces in Bátovce, Dovalov, Lovinobaňa, Mengusovce, Ružomberok and in other places.  Within the collection of the Ethnographic Museum of the Slovak National Museum in Martin, is an altarpiece from the 1850s with the motif of the Queen of Heaven. The picture was probably intended for the chapel in Krivá na Orave. It depicts an iconographic topic of the Virgin Mary, standing on a globe, clothed by the Sun. There is a sickle and a slithering snake beneath her feet. It is these two attributes, that refer to the iconographic theme, the Queen of Heaven. She holds the Baby Jesus in her arms and is wearing the traditional type of clothes that are associated with depictions of her: a red dress and typical blue cloak. She is surrounded by three angels in long frilled robes with wreaths on their heads. The angel on the left holds a ribbon which bears the text: “Gloria in excelsis Deo”, on the other side, the angel holds a ribbon with the word “Resurexit”. The third angel kneels at the feet of the Virgin Mary. A small crucifix can be seen in his lap on the white drapery of his robe. Bohúň searched for inspiration in the graphic works of the old masters, which was a common practice for works with sacral topics.  [...] Read more...
Slovakia – Christmas 2022: Christological Motives in the Works of P. M. Bohúň (1822 – 1879)
Slovakia – Christmas 2022: Christological Motives in the Works of P. M. Bohúň (1822 – 1879)November 23, 2022The painter Peter Michal Bohúň, whose 200th anniversary of birthday we commemorate this year together with other important personalities of Ľudovít Štúr generation, played an important part in the fine-art scene that was associated with our artistic milieu around 1850. Together with Josef Božetech Klemens was highly interested in the national question and also participated in the revolution of 1848. Although most of Bohúň’s works that are known today are portraits of the Upper Hungarian intelligentsia, burghers and nobility, during his career he also accepted commissions from the church figures. These often formed a crucial part of his income as he needed to support his large family. His early paintings of religious notables come from the 1850s, but he also produced similar works later. Christological motives are quite commonly found in Bohúň’s works, for example, in the altarpieces in Bátovce, Dovalov, Lovinobaňa, Mengusovce, Ružomberok and in other places.  Within the collection of the Ethnographic Museum of the Slovak National Museum in Martin, is an altarpiece from the 1850s with the motif of the Queen of Heaven. The picture was probably intended for the chapel in Krivá na Orave. It depicts an iconographic topic of the Virgin Mary, standing on a globe, clothed by the Sun. There is a sickle and a slithering snake beneath her feet. It is these two attributes, that refer to the iconographic theme, the Queen of Heaven. She holds the Baby Jesus in her arms and is wearing the traditional type of clothes that are associated with depictions of her: a red dress and typical blue cloak. She is surrounded by three angels in long frilled robes with wreaths on their heads. The angel on the left holds a ribbon which bears the text: “Gloria in excelsis Deo”, on the other side, the angel holds a ribbon with the word “Resurexit”. The third angel kneels at the feet of the Virgin Mary. A small crucifix can be seen in his lap on the white drapery of his robe. Bohúň searched for inspiration in the graphic works of the old masters, which was a common practice for works with sacral topics.  [...] Read more...
Slovakia – The Christmas Mail 2022 
Slovakia – The Christmas Mail 2022 November 23, 2022In 1999, Slovak Post launched the exceptional Christmas Mail project, which, over the years, has become an inseparable part of the Christmas period. Again in 2022 (for the twenty-fourth time) children can send letters or postcards to the Baby Jesus at the address “Ježiško 999 99”. Exactly ten years ago the management of Slovak Post decided to not only promote this unique project among children, but also among the general public through the issue of a postage stamp based on designs submitted by children. Since 2013, when the first postage stamp based on a child’s design was issued, tens of primary schools across Slovakia have participated in the Christmas Stamp competition and submissions from foreign children, for instance from Taiwan, that had been delivered by mail to the Baby Jesus were also accepted.  Children from Komárno are the most frequent participants in the competition in the art designs for this stamp issue. The greatest success has been achieved by the young artists who attend an art class at the Rozmarínová Primary School in Komárno, led by Ing. Renáta Kubalová. Owing to her creativity and personal commitment the works of art created by children from her art class have become the Christmas postage stamp motif almost every year. Works are selected by a jury made up of members of the Postage Stamp Design Commission. They make their selection exclusively on the basis of artistic quality, not on the affiliation of children to any particular school. This is the main reason why the entire stamp issue for this year is made up of works by children from the Rozmarínová Primary School.  The postage stamp is devoted to a drawing by Viktória Bubeníková that portrays Christmas carol singers, the motif of the FDC surcharge is a drawing of a Christmas town by Kristína Gubienová, and the motif of the FDC postmark is an angel by Nikolett Andrea Samai. The graphic designs of the winning designs were created by a graphic artist at Slovak Post, Adrian Ferda.  [...] Read more...
Slovakia – The 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Eastern Slovak Museum in Košice
Slovakia – The 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Eastern Slovak Museum in KošiceNovember 23, 2022The origins of our 150-year-old cultural institution date back to the second half of the 19th century, when an enthusiasm and passion for science became reality. Dr. Imrich Henszlmann was the driving force behind the establishment of an institution which would preserve exhibits from the town of Košice and the surrounding area. On 10th August 1846, in Košice, he presented his request to the travelling conference of the Association of Hungarian Physicians and Nature Researchers. His high-minded intentions became reality in 1872, when, on the initiative and concerted effort of the Klimkovics brothers and Viktor Myszkovsky, the Upper Hungarian Museum Association (Hung.: Felsőmagyarországi múzeum egylet) was established in Košice. Its foundation meeting was held in Košice on 27th October 1872. The first seat of the Upper Hungarian Museum was the building of the former public house The Golden Star (U zlatej hviezdy). The first items acquired for the museum included gold, silver and copper coins, banknotes, watches, documents, maps, books, engravings, furniture, guild chests, porcelain, various bronze and earthenware vessels, statuettes, jewellery, swords, pistols, minerals, taxidermy mounts, etc. The association had its golden age in the first few years after its foundation. After two years the Upper Hungarian Museum Association boasted a cultural and natural heritage collection made up of an incredible 14,016 items. The list of the first donors to the museum mainly included eminent figures from society, the culturally conscious people of Košice, church dignitaries, as well as institutions and associations. Throughout its 150-year history the Eastern Slovak Museum has managed a collection of more than 500,000 items, delivered thousands of interesting exhibitions and events, and boasts a number of restored collections and also many satisfied visitors. Our museum has grown to beauty into the new era through its constant effort to pursue the high-minded ideas and legacy of its conscious and noble founders. [...] Read more...
The Netherlands – Stamp booklet A flower greeting
The Netherlands – Stamp booklet A flower greetingNovember 23, 2022PostNL today introduces a new product with greeting cards and stamps that resemble each other. The 6 cards and 6 personal stamps are decorated with flowers from drawings and watercolors from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The design of the booklet, the greeting cards and the stamps was made by designer and artist Joëlle Wehkamp from Nederhorst den Berg. The cards can be easily detached by means of a tear perforation, so that the booklet remains undamaged. Every envelope a gift PostNL asked Joëlle to design stamps and greeting cards with floral motifs, using hidden art treasures from the Rijksmuseum archive. Joëlle: “The starting point was to make cheerful, positive and colorful stamps and cards. That suits me exactly. Besides, I really like mail. Who doesn’t get happy when you receive mail? Beautiful stamps also make me very happy. They turn every envelope into a present.” From lupine to French rose The following 6 flowers are depicted on the cards and stamps A floral greeting: lupine, geranium, tagetes, Persian lily, wood anemone and French rose. Each card and stamp features a large free-standing drawing of a flower with a stem and leaves, against a plain background with a different color each time. 17th and 19th century For her design, Joëlle used details of drawings and watercolors from Rijksstudio, the digital archive of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Reuse of details from existing artworks is a permanent part of Joëlle’s work, in addition to the prints, drawings, paintings and illustrations that she makes herself. For A Flower Greeting she based herself on drawings and watercolors by Anselmus Boëtius de Boodt, Alida Withoos and Pieter Withoos (17th century) and M. de Gijselaar (19th century). Picture frame Each flower is surrounded by a narrow frame with a block motif. Like a picture frame, the frame emphasizes the character of the image as a work of art. Joëlle: “I also added that confetti edge because I wanted to make something exciting happen in that small area, as an extra cheerful note.” [...] Read more...
The Netherlands – December Stamps
The Netherlands – December StampsNovember 14, 2022Every year PostNL releases new December stamps with which consumers and companies can send Christmas and New Year cards at a favorable rate. The December rate is unchanged and remains € 0.91 per stamp. The rate is valid from November 14, 2022 to January 6, 2023. This year’s December stamps were designed by Miriam Bos. The well-known illustrator from Apeldoorn made playful drawings full of cheerful scenes in picturesque colors especially for these stamps. Bob van Ireland, director of Mail at PostNL: ‘The holidays are just around the corner. A period in which it is all about warmth, love and attention for each other. Sending a card is a nice gesture to let them know that you are thinking of someone, it will make the recipient happy. We sincerely hope that many people will do the same again this Christmas. The special rate of the December stamps makes that extra advantageous.’ Exclusive gift When purchasing two sheets with 20 December stamps each in the store, customers will receive an exclusive gift from Vondels (while stocks last) that has been specially designed for PostNL. This year the present is a gingerbread house for the Christmas tree, as depicted on one of the December stamps. Happy atmosphere With her illustrations Miriam often tries to radiate optimism to remind people that beautiful and positive things still exist in the world. She thinks that is important, especially after the past 2 years in which we were further apart than ever due to the corona measures. “All the more reason to opt for a cheerful atmosphere in the illustrations”, says Miriam. “It is a theme that recurs more often in my work.” Finer pigment For the December stamps, Miriam used gouache, which she applied with brushes of different thickness. “I enjoy working with gouache”, says Miriam. “Because it has a slightly finer pigment than poster paint. I also don’t use brushes that are too thin, otherwise the brush stroke will disappear.” Hand lettering The illustrations also contain texts written by hand. This form of illustration is called ‘handlettering’. Work by Miriam Bos can often be recognized by this. Handwritten letters have also been used for the typography at the bottom of all December stamps: a graceful letter for the value indication December and a sleek letter with varying thicknesses for the Netherlands 2022. Boosting Colors Miriam’s illustration style is often recognizable, also because of her use of bright and warm colours. She has used mutually reinforcing colors for the December stamps. “It took a while to figure out how to do that with 10 different illustrations. I could have made it easier on myself with a limited color palette, but that’s not for me. The Christmas green is complemented by red, turquoise, purple, pink and yellow, among others. The latter are not necessarily Christmas colors, but they combine well.” [...] Read more...
Canada – actress Monique Mercure
Canada – actress Monique MercureNovember 14, 2022Canada Post today issued a commemorative stamp celebrating Quebec’s grande dame of stage and screen, Monique Mercure. Known for her fiery spirit, versatility and powerful performances, Mercure (1930-2020) was one of Canada’s most beloved and acclaimed actresses. She began her acting career in the early 1960s at the theatre and made her film debut in 1963 in Claude Jutra’s À tout prendre. This kicked off a career that would extend over the next six decades. A household name in Quebec, Mercure performed in more than 100 classical and contemporary plays in North America and Europe and over 80 films and TV productions. Some of her most popular films were Mon oncle Antoine (1971), J.A. Martin photographe (1977) – which earned Mercure Canada’s first Festival de Cannes award for best actress – Naked Lunch (1991) and The Red Violin (1998). She also appeared as a regular in popular French-language TV series Providence (2005-11) and Mémoires vives (2013-16). Throughout her career, Mercure received numerous awards and honours, including two Genie Awards, two Prix Gémeaux, the Prix Denise-Pelletier, the Prix Gascon-Roux from the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979 and promoted to Companion in 1993. Mercure was also named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. Mercure joins her peers from the performing community that Canada Post has honoured with stamps, including Fay Wray, Mary Pickford and Christopher Plummer. About the stamp The stamp features an illustration by Oriana Fenwich based on a photograph of Monique Mercure taken in 1963 by Henri Paul, courtesy of Radio-Canada Archives. The stamp was printed by Colour Innovations and designed by Underline Studio. Cancelled in Montréal, the issue includes a booklet of six Permanent™ domestic rate stamps, a pane of six stamps and an Official First Day Cover. [...] Read more...
Isle of Man – Manx Winter by Julia Ashby Smyth
Isle of Man – Manx Winter by Julia Ashby SmythNovember 13, 2022Isle of Man Post Office is delighted our 2022 Christmas stamp issue depicting Manx winter scenes illustrated by local artist Julia Ashby-Smyth. This issue represents the final Isle of Man stamps to receive the royal approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and is therefore the last use of her effigy upon a Manx stamp.  The Isle of Man Post Office’s relationship with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II began when the Island gained postal independence on 5th July 1973, since then each stamp released has received the royal approval of Her Majesty, displaying her royal cypher or effigy. This collection is the final issue to be approved and to feature the cypher or effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.  This collection of Manx winter scenes has been beautifully illustrated by local artist Julia Ashby-Smyth, a freelance illustrator whose much-loved works can be sighted across our Island, particularly throughout book illustrations and local branding.  Julia states “I love detail, much of my work being quite intricate, telling stories layer upon layer, throughout an image; my avid interest in the Manx landscape, its folklore, mythology and symbolism often permeating through to paper.” Isle of Man Stamps and Coins General Manager, Maxine Cannon said: “For me and a great number of colleagues, both past and present, there could have been few jobs where every day of our working life we were mindful of our deep and long lasting association with Queen Elizabeth II. This set of stamps by talented local artist Julia Ashby-Smyth represents the final collection of stamps to receive Her Majesty’s approval, making them a piece of our Island’s postal history. Julia’s seasonal artworks are a beautiful depiction of our Island throughout the winter months and make for the perfect festive issue.” Artist Julia Ashby-Smyth said “I am delighted and honoured that these watercolours have been chosen for the new ‘winter’ issue. Inspired by captured moments, most often whilst out walking, bundled up in layers of wool, the cold air nipping at my nose, these scenes bring back many happy memories. The Agneash image, for instance, was painted after a very happy day sledging down snowy slopes. I walked home through an entirely golden pink landscape, even the seagulls were pink. Winter light is exquisite, creating spectacular colours, deeply hued shadows and extraordinarily beautiful skies.” Issued on 2nd November 2022, the collection is available as a Stamp Set, Self-Adhesive Set, Sheet Set, Self-Adhesive Sheet Set, Presentation Pack, First Day Cover, Self-Adhesive First Day Cover and a limited edition special cover in honour of the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  Technical Details Text: Julia Ashby-Smyth Design: Isle of Man Advertising & PR Sheet Size: 155mm x 155mm Format: Sheets of 20 Process: Offset lithography Colours: 4 Paper: 413 True White Litho FSC 110 Perforations: 11.5 per 2cm Stamp Size: 31mm x 25.96mm Printer: bpost Date of Issue: 2nd November 2022 Limited Editions: Presentation Pack 1100; First Day Cover 1500 [...] Read more...
Isle of Man – Underwater Photography
Isle of Man – Underwater PhotographyNovember 13, 2022Isle of Man Post Office is delighted to release this issue of six stamps sharing a collection of underwater photographs depicting various species native in and around the waters of the Isle of Man. Produced alongside local marine biologist Dr Lara Howe, this set aims to raise awareness, educate and promote the marine habitats that surround the shores of our Isle.  The Isle of Man is a special place for wildlife, both above and below water; with over 87% of its territory being marine. Under the waves, beyond the view of many, the topography, strong tidal currents and clean waters has created a myriad of marine habitats and species, many of which are as bright and colourful as their tropical counterparts. The majority of our 160km coastline is rocky reef creating a beautiful underwater habitat. Much research has been undertaken in Manx waters over the centuries by marine scientists including the famous Manxman Edward Forbes. Not forgetting the many scientists and students from around the world who studied at the Marine Biological Station in Port Erin, where much exploration and investigation has been undertaken over the lifetime of the lab. This work has highlighted the diversity that these marine waters have to offer and the huge amount of life that they support, from the little to the large. From plankton, to anemones, snails, crabs, fish and our larger marine life such as basking sharks, cetaceans and seals. Isle of Man Stamps and Coins General Manager, Maxine Cannon said: “Isle of Man Stamps and Coins is thrilled to share this insightful collection of stamps exploring life beneath the waves of our Island. Having worked alongside Dr Lara Howe, we have selected a varied range of species native to the Island, with all images having been captured in Manx waters. The work carried out by Lara and her team highlights the diversity that our waters have to offer and the huge amount of life that they support.” Dr Lara Howe said “I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked to produce this collection of stamps and share my lifelong passion for marine wildlife. The photographs showcase the wonderful, rich and varied marine life in Manx waters.” The collection is available as a Stamp Set, Sheet Set, Presentation Pack, First Day Cover, Prestige Booklet and Booklet Pane. Visit iompost.com/Underwater to find detailed information about each product. mages: Andy Pegge, Tim Nicholson, Leigh Morris and Dr Lara Howe Design: IOM Advertising & PR Text: Dr Lara Howe Printer: Cartor Process: Offset Lithography   Colours: 4 colour  Paper: 110gm PVA gummed   Perforations: 13 ¼ per 2cms Stamp Size: 36mm x 36mm Set Size: 6 Format: Sheets of 10 Date of Issue: 31st October 2022 Limited Editions: Presentation Pack 1100, First Day Cover 1500 [...] Read more...
The Netherlands – Stringed Instruments
The Netherlands – Stringed InstrumentsNovember 8, 2022PostNL’s latest personal stamps provide an overview of special stringed instruments. Each stamp shows an overall picture with a detail of a stringed instrument. The detail photo continues on the left or right sheet edge. On the stamp, both photos are connected by white circles of different sizes. Construction and playing style The following stringed instruments are depicted on the stamps: kayagum (South Korea), harp (France), baroque mandolin (Italy), nkundi (Congo), rabab (Northern Africa), zither (Germany), viola (Netherlands), kamancha (Iran ), charango (Bolivia) and nyckelharpa (Sweden). With regard to stringed instruments, there is a difference in construction between lutes, harpsichords and zithers. Another difference is the way of playing, with a bow, by plucking or by hitting with hammers and keys as with the piano. Art Museum The stamps are designed by graphic designer Bart de Haas from The Hague. All the stringed instruments depicted were photographed by him in the Kunstmuseum The Hague. This museum manages an extensive collection of more than 3,800 musical instruments. Music connects De Haas has chosen a balanced spread of western and non-western instruments. “They are not placed opposite each other, but are divided diagonally left and right on the stamp sheet. After all, the essence of music is the connection. The stamps feature stringed instruments from all over the world. From Europe of course, but also Africa, America and Asia are discussed.” Signature details When making the detailed photos, the designer placed the most recognizable part of each stringed instrument on the stamp itself. For the mandolin he chose the remarkable sound hole with rosette. With the kayagum the attention is paid to the striking elements under the strings, with the harp it is the typical bend, with the nkundi the sculpted head and with the rabab the half-square neck. Graphic element On each stamp, the total photo and the detail photo are connected by increasingly smaller white dots. According to De Haas, this graphic element has a subtle music association. “You can see in it what you want to see: strings, frets, musical notes or LEDs. It’s lively, adds rhythm. And it dances a bit – that’s what music is for.” [...] Read more...
United Kingdom – Christmas 2022
United Kingdom – Christmas 2022November 8, 2022Royal Mail today reveals its Christmas 2022 stamps, featuring scenes of the Nativity, exclusively illustrated by award-winning artist, Katie Ponder. The six designs reflect Kent-based Katie’s unique style, providing a fresh and contemporary feel to the classic Nativity story.With references to art deco adding a timeless quality to the stamp images, the illustrations this year focus on key moments in the traditional Christmas story – including the journey to Bethlehem and the Magi being guided by the star.  Royal Mail also worked with The Revd Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James’s Church, Piccadilly on the stamp issue. This year’s stamps will be the last Christmas issue to feature the silhouette of the Late Queen Elizabeth. David Gold, Director of External Affairs & Policy, Royal Mail, said: “Our Christmas stamp issue is always much anticipated, and it is one we particularly look forward to. The charming style of these designs sets the perfect tone for the festive season.” The barcodes on this year’s Christmas stamps allow customers to watch a seasonal, themed video created exclusively for Royal Mail by the award winning Aardman studio. The video features Shaun the Sheep and his friends sending some festive cheer to the Farmer’s dog. To choose and view the video, both the sender and recipient should download the Royal Mail App. The sender can select the Christmas video for the recipient to watch just by scanning the stamp barcode — giving that someone special something extra to smile about this Christmas. [...] Read more...
Canada – 2022 Christmas and holiday stamps
Canada – 2022 Christmas and holiday stampsNovember 1, 2022Christmas and holiday stamps illuminate the season and add cheer The Nativity star and holiday birds capture sacred and secular images anada Post has released new Christmas and holiday stamps that will help Canadians make their mail merrier at this special time of year. Since 1964, the annual Christmas and holiday stamps have been adding a festive touch to cards and letters throughout the season. For the 2022 stamps, Canadians will once again have their choice of stamps featuring either sacred or secular holiday imagery. This year, Canada Post is also sharing images of Christmas and holiday stamps dating back decades so Canadians can see how they have evolved over the years, while still capturing the fun and magic of the season. 2022 Christmas and holiday stamps The majestic new Christmas stamp – designed by Paprika and illustrated by Fanny Roy – is inspired by the Nativity, with an emphasis on the star that led the Magi to the infant Jesus. In biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus, the star of Bethlehem served as both a guide that led the Magi to find the young child and a sign that the prophecy of the coming of a saviour had been realized. The Permanent™ domestic rate stamp is available in booklets of 12. The Official First Day Cover is cancelled in Star City, Saskatchewan. This year’s secular holiday stamps – designed by Hambly & Woolley Inc. and illustrated by Sandra Dionisi – feature three birds that overwinter in Canada: a cardinal (Permanent™ domestic rate), a blue jay (U.S. rate) and an evening grosbeak (international rate). The colourful stamps provide a festive and wintery look, emphasizing the beauty of the natural world during the holiday season. Domestic rate stamps are available in booklets of 12, with the U.S. and international rate stamps offered in booklets of six. A festive souvenir sheet of the three stamps is also available, along with a souvenir sheet Official First Day Cover, cancelled in Cardinal, Ontario. Images of stamps dating back several decades For nearly 60 years, the annual Christmas and holiday stamps have reflected the magic, landscapes and cultural traditions that make the season so special. This year, Canada Post is sharing images of some of those stamps from decades gone by. While the artwork and designs have changed significantly over the years, the stamps continue to capture the meaning, memories and cherished moments of the season that Canadians hold dear. Sharing Christmas and holiday stamps on cards and letters remains a time-honoured tradition for many people across the country. [...] Read more...
Malta – Comic Art In Malta 2022
Malta – Comic Art In Malta 2022November 1, 2022In a departure from the more traditional choice of theme, this stamp issue by MaltaPost is taken squarely from the contemporary world of comics. The artworks have been selected from Impressions of an Island – a publication by Heritage Malta in collaboration with Wicked Comics. They illustrate three images, all of which refer in some way, to our local culture. Impressions of an Island marks the 10th anniversary of the annual Malta Comic Convention and showcases diverse comic-art renditions of Malta as seen through the eyes of several international and local artists. Their creations range from post-apocalyptic views to traditional images and from comedy to horror. This issue features three stamps with iconic scenery and superheroes inspired by the local culture and landscape. The first stamp in the series is designed by MaltaPost staff member Fabio Agius who is a well-known comic artist and writer, a co-founder of the Malta Comic Con and co-author of The Golden Lizard – Malta’s first graphic novel. His stamp is inspired by the prehistoric Hagar Qim temple and combines his love of drawing and rich colour in the inky sky, the figures of the towering dragon and lone soldier readying himself for battle. The next stamp is designed by UK-based comic artist Lee Townsend. Townsend has worked for some of the biggest names in comics and his prolific output has seen him design for Marvel, Disney and Dreamworks. Townsend’s stamp is largely inspired by the gardjola at Fort St. Angelo and there, launching himself off the bastions with Sliema in the background, is a muscular, red, and white Maltese superhero! Italian born Mario Torrisi is a well-established artist within the international comic-art world and is at present pursuing his dream of working with some of the world’s top comic publishers. Responsible for the stamp depicting the fishing couple with their kelb tal-fenek, he draws inspiration from the sea, the rock, old local costumes, and the care-free youngsters all set against a scorching sun. All three stamps bear the distinctive Malta Comic Con logo designed by Joseph Bugeja. [...] Read more...
Slovakia – ART: Aleš Votava (1962 – 2001)
Slovakia – ART: Aleš Votava (1962 – 2001)November 1, 2022Aleš Votava was one of the last and most distinctive students of Ladislav Vychodil, the founder of the Bratislava scenography movement. Apart from his training, Votava was mainly influenced by the action scenography pursued by the previous generation. These influences left their own specific traces in his work and helped to define his unique style. Votava graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in the mid-1980s, at a time when the paradigm of classical scenography, which employed solid materials, was coming to an end. However, action scenography and deconstruction had also reached their limits on stage by that time. Black was the basis of Votava’s work. Like Vychodil, he considered the use of neutral colours to be the crucial aspect of a scene. Colours, that mainly came from the interplay of light and shadow, through reflection or transparent materials, was the principle behind the action in his scenography. He was considered to be a man of outstanding qualities, or even a Renaissance artist, whose versatility and abilities allowed him to create stage designs for various types of venues and he utilised the available material to the maximum.  He also devoted his time to graphic design, free artistic creation and artistic jewellery. He made a significant contribution to the Prague event, the End of Violence organised on 26th November 1989 by the students of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts, the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and the Academy of Fine Arts, all in Prague, along with the employees of Prague theatres, on Letná Plain. His drawings were always elaborated to the last detail and were full of descriptions so that he could approach the bounds of what was possible, which he tended to push to the ultimate limits. Although his designs were generally quite simple, they were very impressive. This can be seen in the postage stamp that depicts a sketch of the masks, a model of the scene and designs for the costumes used in Orfeo ed Euridice, (Ch. W. Gluck, 1991), currently housed in the Slovak National Gallery. When he spoke about this production, he liked to say that after a three month search for the concept of this drama, the result was a single triangle.  [...] Read more...
Slovakia – ART: Ján Rombauer (1782 – 1849)
Slovakia – ART: Ján Rombauer (1782 – 1849)November 1, 2022Ján Rombauer, a painter from the Spiš region (1782 – 1849), was the son of a carpenter and a tanner’s daughter. He left the town of his birth, Levoča, at a young age to follow his brothers to Prešov, and later he went on to Petersburg. He married Amalia Baumann, with whom he spoke French. In 1824 he returned to Prešov, where he lived for the rest of his life.  He lacked an education in art, he probably learned the basics from a painter of Danish origin, Ján Jakub Stunder, in Levoča. His talent earned him recognition as a renowned painter of portraits of prominent people, merchants and scholars. He painted during the Biedermeier period, taking inspiration from old Dutch art. He also worked on religious paintings for the Evangelical, Roman-Catholic and Greek-Catholic Churches. In 1836 he created a large painting, St. Martin on a horse. It is part of the collection of the SNM – The Museum of Spiš in Levoča. It is signed and dated on a stone in the bottom left corner. It was probably intended for the Church of St. Martin in Kapušany, for which he painted the pictures for both side altars. Rombauer portrayed St. Martin, the Bishop of Tours, as a Roman soldier on a horse, who, after he saw a lame beggar, cut up his gown with a sword and gave him half. According to Roman law, only half of his gown belonged to a soldier, the other half belonged to the exchequer, so he only gave away what belonged to him. The background of the painting shows a mountainous landscape with a domed temple with painted angels in the heavens. All of them, with a single exception, only have wings and heads. The picture includes dark contours, which are typical of Rombauer, and several peculiarities. It is quite rare to see that Martin’s horse is heading away from the viewer, not toward them. A hissing basilisk sits on his helmet to intimidate the enemy, with no raison d’etre in this particular depiction. Rombauer also painted the saint with a moustache, which is rather unusual. The picture is unprecedented in Slovakia. It enriches the range of the artistic renderings of this well-known legend. FDC overprint depicts A portrait of Ján Steinhübel from Prešov located in the collection of Slovak National Gallery.  [...] Read more...
Slovakia – 100th Anniversary of Czech-Slovak Technical Standardization
Slovakia – 100th Anniversary of Czech-Slovak Technical StandardizationNovember 1, 2022Modern institutionalised Czechoslovak standardisation dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The overall authority with responsibility for standards was founded in 1922, as a result of many discussions initiated by the Masaryk Academy of Labour. The Czechoslovak Association for General Standardisation was officially established when all parties came to an agreement on 28th December 1922. The organisation was founded as a non-profit-making company, funded through its members – commercial enterprises, especially thanks to prof. Dr. Ing. Vladimír List (1877 – 1971), the initiator of these discussions. The book of standards (Normalizácia), published in 1930 by the Czech Scientific Institution for the Propagation of Technical Literature, has traditionally been considered as one of the key works of the literature of standards of the period. However, the promising boom in Czechoslovak standardisation was interrupted by World War Two in 1939.  Less than a month after the end of the World War II., prof. Vladimír List once again took the initiative and tried to reopen the Czechoslovak Association for General Standardisation. He justified the need of standardisation, emphasising the requirements of a centrally planned economy. It was necessary to start the consolidation of the organisational structure of standardisation and begin to revise the standards to meet contemporary needs. The overall view was that technical standards should be generally binding. This issue was finally resolved after the nationalisation of standardisation. In 1951, the Office for Standards was established as an independent body within the state administration. Standardisation and patent policy were unified after a reorganisation of the management of technical development in 1956. The Office for Inventions and Standardisation (SÚVN), a new central authority within the state administration responsible for technical standardisation, inventions, discoveries and improvement proposals, was founded, with a branch in Bratislava.  The revolutionary political changes of 1989 meant a new beginning for Czechoslovak technical standardisation. The creation of ČSN (Czechoslovak Technical Standards) was characterised by a strong orientation towards the implementation of European and international standards. The principle that standards would not be fully binding was introduced.  On 16th December 1992, the government adopted a decision to establish a new central body as part of the state apparatus – the Slovak Office of Standards, Metrology and Testing. On 1st January 1993, its chairman created the Slovak Standards Institute as an organisation with its own budgetary responsibility, based in Bratislava. However, the institute was dissolved on 31st December 2013 and became the technical standardisation division within the organisational structure of the Slovak Office of Standards, Metrology and Testing. Its present primary goal is to create a competitive and effective technical environment, fulfil the needs for technical standardisation and actively communicate with industrial and professional unions, associations and chambers as well as other entities during the creation of European and Slovak technical standards and information regarding technical standards.  [...] Read more...
Hungary – Christmas 2022
Hungary – Christmas 2022October 26, 2022Magyar Posta is issuing a self-adhesive definitive stamp marked Domestic as the indication of value in standard and special editions for sending seasonal greetings at Christmas in 2022. The standard edition is in sheets of fifty stamps, while the special edition is a miniature sheet of five stamps. Carlo Maratta’s painting The Holy Night appears on the stamp this Yuletide. The new issue was designed by the graphic artist Attila André Elekes and produced by Codex Értékpapírnyomda Zrt. The new releases will be available at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary from 25 October 2022, and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store. The painter Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) is considered the principal master of Late Baroque Roman Classicism. He fashioned the art of the Eternal City in the second half of the 17th century, especially with his large altarpieces. Early in his career, between 1651 and 1656, he was commissioned by Flavio Alaleona to paint the chapel of St Joseph in the church of San Isidoro in Rome. This included a lunette fresco depicting the Adoration of the Shepherds. Maratta copied the central scene from this fresco, which is the Nativity of Jesus shown on the stamp and the accompanying first day cover (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden). The Mother of God and her Child and the outer two angel heads are exact replicas of the fresco in Rome. The press sheet of 50 stamps is enlivened by visual elements on the barcode and festive greetings in Hungarian, English, German and French on the selvedge. A grid, which was previously removed during printing, aids separating the stamps from the sheet. The flexo printing process is complemented with gold-coloured ink for the sheets of 50 stamps and gold-coloured foil for the miniature sheets. [...] Read more...
Hungary – Coats of arms of the kings of the House of Árpád
Hungary – Coats of arms of the kings of the House of ÁrpádOctober 26, 2022Magyar Posta is issuing a souvenir sheet containing six stamps that present the coats of arms of the kings of the House of Árpád. The souvenir sheet designed by the graphic artist Attila André Elekes was produced in cooperation with the Hungarian National Archives by the banknote printing company Pénzjegynyomda. The new issue will be released on 25 October 2022. It will be on sale at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store from the date of issue. Coats of arms began to be used in Europe in the mid-12th century, and the earliest royal coat of arms to have survived in Hungary dates from 1202. Six royal coats of arms from the period prior to the House of Árpád becoming extinct are presented. The designs of the sheet’s stamps show the coats of arms of kings through their extant seals, while a detail of their char-ters appears in the background printing. On the first day cover for the souvenir sheet, the seal of the first royal bearer of a coat of arms, King Emeric, is in the foreground against a backdrop featuring the elaborate initial of King Stephen V. The special postmark is a drawing of an escutcheon. King Emeric (1196-1204): the reverse of this monarch’s gold seal shows the first depiction of a red and silver striped shield. Lions passant looking to the dexter can be seen in the uneven stripes. • Andrew II (1205-1235): on the reverse of the golden bull of this king, there is a triangular shield with eight stripes, with a small shield in the middle of the second, fourth and sixth stripe and a pair of lions passant facing the small shield from the right and left, and in the eighth stripe a lion passant regardant moving to the sinister, making a total of seven lions on the coat of arms. • Béla IV (1235-1270): on the reverse of Béla IV’s gold seal, there is a triangular shield with a double cross, which can be traced back to the special veneration of the relic of Christ in the 13th century. • Stephen V (1270-1272): this seal features a double cross with parallel sides standing on a mound in a triangular shield with a pointed tip and curved sides. At the foot of the cross, two leaves sprout from branches indicating that the wood of the cross is alive and able to produce shoots. Around the lower crossbeam of the cross is a ring symbolising the crown of thorns. • Ladislaus IV (1272-1290): on the reverse of this double seal, there is a double cross with parallel sides and a ring representing the crown of thorns around the lower crossbeam. • Andrew III (1290-1301): the reverse of this sover-eign’s double seal shows a triangular shield with curved sides in which a parallel-sided double cross with a thin upright can be seen. In the segments of the field, there is a fine, undulating leafy vine and the intersection of the lower crossbeam and the upright is intertwined by a crown of thorns in the form of a ring. [...] Read more...
The Netherlands – Day of the Stamp 2022
The Netherlands – Day of the Stamp 2022October 26, 2022Day of the Stamp 2022 This year, PostNL took the De Ruyter stamps from 1907 as the subject of the issue of the Day of the Postage Stamp. At the time, these stamps were issued in honor of the 300th birthday of Michiel Adriaanszoon de Ruyter, the most famous admiral in Dutch naval history. The reception of the De Ruyter stamps in 1907 was not entirely positive. In the philatelic magazines, but also in the general press, there was strong criticism of the design and execution. Graphic designer Sandra Smulders used the negative reviews as a ‘bracket’ for her new stamp design for the Day of the Postage 2022. Coherence One of the points of criticism was the ‘messy’ design of 1907. In order to give the stamps of the Stamp Day 2022 the desired coherence, Smulders developed a design concept with graphic lines like waves of a wild sea at the bottom of all stamps. On the portrait stamp De Ruyter rises from the waves, on the naval battle stamp they form the foreground for the battle between the warships. Blue and brick red As with previous issues in the context of the Stamp Day, rotation and mirror effects have been used in the new design. This year, however, there will be 4-colour printing for the first time. For the new stamps, Smulders chose the colors in which the historic De Ruyter stamps appeared. “With the emphasis on blue and brick red”, says Smulders. “The red-violet is also returning, but only very modestly in the country name of the Netherlands.” Engraving and print The portrait of De Ruyter is a reproduction of an engraving by Hendrik Bary van De Ruyter. For the image of the naval battle, Smulders chose a print of the Four Days’ Battle from 1666 between the Dutch and English fleets. De Ruyter won that battle. Typography The Masqualero Pro Stencil Regular from 2017, designed by Jim Ford, was used for the typography of the texts. The country designation Netherlands is set in the P22 Allyson Pro from 2009, designed by Paul D. Hunt. [...] Read more...