Monday, December 27, 2010

The art of engraving

I have always thought that stamps issued by Sweden are very attractive. This is not very surprising since Swedish post is still issuing a high number of engraved stamps (I think that 50% of the stamps are engraved ones) and still uses a lot the recess-printing process. This is rare enough among the community of postal administrations to be mentioned.
The art of engraving has been celebrated on the 286th of August 2010 by a joint issue between Sweden and Ireland. The Swedish part of this issue is a mini-sheet that I would like to share with you for three reasons.

The first reason is that it is beautiful! Look at it.

The second reason is that it relates to one of my collection, as you will see below.
The first stamp on the left side of the mini-sheet pictures a silver bowl from the Viking era. This bowl was found in Rute, Gotland, in 1863 by a farmer plowing his field. Together with the bowl there were several pieces of silver jewelry and coints dating back to 1050’s. The bowl is not displayed at the museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.
The stamp was engraved by
Martin Mörck.

The second stamp pictures the very impressive armor of King Eric XIV. And because of that, this issue falls into my collection of “famous Eric on stamps”! This is not the first time that Sweden issues a stamp related to this king. You can read here an older post about another stamp issue.
The armor is highly decorated and pictures the Vasa family weapons, shackled prisoners, battle scene and mythological creatures.
This part of the mini-sheet has been engraved by Lars Sjööblom.

The third stamp is a re-print of a stamp from 1975 engraved by the very famous Czeslaw Slania, who has engraved some of the most beautiful stamps of the world. This stamp features the principal dancer Per-Arthur Segerström and leading ballerina Anneli Alhanko in a scene from the ballet Romeo and Juliet from Prokofiev.

This last stamp is the part chosen by Ireland for its own issue that consists in only one single stamp.

The third reason why I wanted to show you the Swedish mini-sheet is because it relates to a very nice Christmas gift that I received from the Swedish postal administration. This is a printing of the engraving of the armor. Look at this beauty!

When I see these stamps I start to have a dream. A dream where all postal administrations decide to reduce the number of stamps they issue each year and to issue only engraved recess-printed stamps! Of course this is only a dream…

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Yes, dream on!
But it would be wonderful if your dreams came true!
Beautiful stamps. Thanks for showing these!