The invented language of Esperanto is more than century-old now. Combined from the vocabulary and grammar of several Indo-European languages, it was meant in the very beginning a universal communication means for a world already giving signs of communication fatigue in the late 19th century. Its creator, Ludwik Łazarz Zamenhof (1859-1917) was a Polish-Jewish ophtalmologist who had the idealistic aspiration to help people communicate regardless of their origin and education by providing an easy-to-learn language. His first attempts at creating such a language date back in 1873, when he was but a schoolboy. Nowadays, it is assumed that unlike national languages, which require an average of thousands of hours of tuition to master, Esperanto is still on the light side with only 150 hours of study to acquire the basics and be fluent in everyday topics.
It is no wonder that Esperanto and its ideal fascinated from the very beginning. The heritage of Zamenhof and of Esperanto was very frequently featured on stamps.
Austria issued two early examples of Esperanto-themed stamps, in 1947 and 1953 respectively.
They commemorate the Austrian Congress of 1947 and 50 years of Esperanto language culture in Austria.
This Belgian stamp from 1982 features the Biblical Tower of Babel alongside the Esperanto green star.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Issued in 2008, this Bosnian stamp commemorates the 100th anniversary of Universala Esperanto Asocio (World Esperanto Association), founded in 1908 in Rotterdam, the Nertherlands.
Just like Bulgaria (see below), Brazil is one of the pioneer countries when it comes to Esperanto-themed stamps.
Issued in 1936 on the occasion of the 9th Brazilian Congress of Esperanto in Rio de Janeiro, this beautiful vintage stamp is one of the first Esperanto stamps in the world.
Brazil issued a new Esperanto stamp on the occasion of the 10th Brazilian Esperanto Congress in 1945.
An important year for Esperantists, 1959, the 100th anniversary of birth of Zamenhof, was immortalized again by Brazil on the above stamp.
Last but not least, the 66th International Congress of Esperantists was dedicated a stamp in 1981.
The first Esperanto-themed stamp from Bulgaria was issued in 1947, for the Sofia Congress of Esperantists.
In 1957, the 50th anniversary of the Bulgarian Esperantist Association was dedicated this stamp. The occasion was doubled by the 70th anniversary of the Esperanto language.
An overprint of the 1957 issue was released in 1962, for the occasion of the 35th Esperanto Congress held in Burgos.
Again in 1963, Bulgaria issued a stamp for the Sofia Esperanto Congress.
In 1978, a new stamp was dedicated to the 63th International Esperanto Congress held in Varna.
1987, a very important year for Esperantists worldwide, saw the issue of this stamp commemorating 100th years of the Esperanto language.
Another such anniversary was commemorated in 1989 for the 100th anniversary of the Bulgarian Esperanto Language Movement.
Republic of China
The ideals of Esperanto touched the heart of the Chinese Communist regime as well. In 1987, a Chinese stamp was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the language.
Croatia is one of the ever-surprising countries when it comes to stamps, and in the topic of Esperanto makes no exception: two stamps were released by the Croatian Post.
The first dates from 1997, when the first national Croatian Esperanto language congress was held.
While the above stamp was issued in 2001 for the World Esperanto Congress held in Zagreb.
This Cuban stamp was issued in 1990 on the occasion of the 75th International Esperanto Congress in Havana.
Former German Democratic Republic
This anniversary sheet was issued by DDR in 1987 for the 100th anniversary of the Esperanto language.
The first Hungarian Esperanto-themed stamps date from 1957, issued for the 70th anniversary of the language invented by Zamenhof.
Soon after, in 1962, the Esperanto Congress held in Budapest deserved its own stamp.
Another Esperanto-themed stamp was issued by Hungary in 1983, on the occasion of the International Esperanto Congress of Budapest.
Issued in 2006, this stamp commemorates the 120th anniversary of the Esperanto language.
The 90th International Esperanto Congress held in Vilnius was celebrated on this stamp from the year 2005.
As the homeland of Ludwik Zamenhof, Poland issued Esperanto-themed stamps on several occasions.
The 100th anniversary of birth of Zamenhof was celebrated on the above stamps in 1957. Pictured above: the stamps, and the First Day Cover.
The above Cinderella stamps were issued in 1965 to celebrate the Esperanto Language Movement in Poland. The texts on the sides of the stamps include the Polish and Esperanto language slogans: “Esperanto, language of the cosmic age“; “Poland, the homeland of Esperanto“; “Through Esperanto to world peace“; and “Progress needs an international language“.
The 100th anniversary of the Esperanto language occasioned the issue of this Polish stamp in 1987.
In 2009, this postcard with pre-printed stamp was issued for the 150th anniversary of birth of Ludwik Zamenhof and for the 94th International Esperanto Congress held in Białystok.
Another such postcard with pre-printed stamp was issued in 2017 for the 130th anniversary of Ludwik Zamenhof Esperanto primer, issued in 1887.
The 101st International Esperanto Congress held in Bratislava is commemorated on this stamp issued in Slovakia in the year 2016.
The above series of stamps was issued in 1987, for the 100th anniversary of the Esperanto language.
This compound anniversary issue from Switzerland from the year 1979 celebrates among others the Esperanto Congress held in Lausanne (top row, right).
The above stamps were issued in 1953 (normal and overprint) for the 38th International Esperanto Congress.
Issued in a similar design, this 1987 Yugoslavian stamp celebrates 100 years of Esperanto. In addition to the stamp, the sheet features a Zamenhof vignette in the center.
Stamps featured in post: 50; Period: modern and contemporary (1937-2017); Pricing: low to moderate; Availability: some of the items are becoming scarce.