Constantin Brâncuși on Stamps

On 23.02.2009, in Paris’ Grand Palais, the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé auction took place. Among the items exposed and auctioned, the sculpture Portrait of Madame LR by Constantin Brâncuși (1876-1957) was adjudicated for USD37mil – making it a record price for a sculpture sold at an auction. The sculpture had belonged early on to painter Fernand Léger, but was bought by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970’s.

This is just one of the examples in which Romanian-born Constantin Brâncuși makes history. Today, modern art would be poorer and less inspired without his input. Today, also, we would look at a much blander art landscape were it not for his use of primordial forms.


Brâncuși’s art is featured on a lot of stamps from various parts of the world. What you can see below is a quite exhaustive selection, at the date of writing the article deemed as complete.

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Romani people on stamps

Although present in Europe for at least one millennium and part of the daily life of cities and villages, Romani people did not find their proper representation on stamps. In fact, it is only in recent years that they do so, mostly at the level of ‘minority populations’ and mostly in schematic representations. What is curious about this story, as is of any representation story, is that it seems that these again are stories told in the third person, with the Romani subject being in fact turned in an object. The different postal authorities which made what seems a positive step in representation still have some work to do to promote self-representation, without stereotypes and without implicit meanings.

There are not so many stamps representing Romani people, but there are luckily some that escape the ‘ethnic’ representation of anonymous Romani persons, and make a positive step in representing known and named Romani personalities. More on this below.

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[Ended – Contest] Win a 2019 Belgium Millennial Minisheet

I don’t know about you, but I lived with the misconception that millennials are actually born with the new millennium, while in fact those born in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s are Generation Z. To be a millennial, your birth year should be roughly 1981 to 1996.

Also, if you are a millennial, you’re not the odd man out. Millennials represent a fair share of the world’s workforce. In world population numbers, they have just recently been outnumbered, still topping high at approx. 31% of the world population, but 1% short of representing the largest cohort, which now is proudly owned by Generation Z.

There are many myths and facts surrounding the Millennials and by the time of reading this article you must have heard your share of it: that they are tech-savvy to the point of being glued to smartphones, that they are self-centered and strongly reliant on their parents. That they ultimately are so empowered and well-represented across all scalables of the society that they drive a lot of (positive) change in the world.

What you might have not known is that they are also the first and best educated workforce of the world, taking in the previous decades’ efforts to provide free education in an always growing array of topics. Like most educated people, they are more prone to angst (ok, the self-centered bit also plays a part here). They killed the fun in some products (one internet claim is that Millennials killed mayo. I’m not joking) but also are fairly conservative otherwise. They like to read more in print than in digital format, which sounds weird until you realize a digital book still costs the same as a printed one, even if it doesn’t use any paper, requires no storage and no dispatching. But that’s a different story. Millennials are less the home owner type and also are known to marry late (but paradoxically still manage to lead in divorce demographics).

What for sure is known only by few – millennials have just recently been philatelically validated. Yes, they get their own stamps. And I don’t mean this in an underground, secret society kind of way, but out in the open: a whole minisheet of stamps that unveils to you, distrusting philatelist, nothing more and nothing less than The Anatomy of a Millennial.

It’s not a phantasy product, but a real minisheet issued on 17.06.2019 by the Belgian post. It is designed by Chrostin and sums up what being a millennial is in 5 stamps: conscious do-gooder, passion=work, contemporary romanticist, no place like home, digital native.

It actually looks pretty impressive, don’t you think?

Contest time!

I am offering one minisheet in mint for free. If you want to get it, here’s what you want to do:

Write a comment in the post below about the first time you heard the word millennial. The comment should be here and not on social media (although the post is going to be made available elsewhere, I just take into account the comments posted under this blogpost.

Ask your friends to vote up your comment.

I will check this post until 15.09.2020 and award the minisheet to the commenter gathering the most likes.

Good to know:

Use a real email address when you comment, otherwise I won’t be able to get in touch with you.

If you win, you will need to provide a real name and a real address to send to (it’s an obvious one, but last years on the internet taught me to not consider anything obvious anymore).

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Estonian Fauna on Stamps

If I were to describe Estonia based on their output of fauna stamps, I would use one word: magic. Since 2001, each year, Estonian Post issues one bird stamp called ‘aasta lind’ (English: bird of the year). Since 2002, they issue animal stamps on a yearly basis, too. These stamps describe very well the Estonian ecosystem with beautiful and clear imagery – more on that below. But they also tell the history of Estonian stamps over the course of the last 20 years: they have seen the height of the Estonian kroon and the transition to Euro. They have seen generous printruns of 500,000 copies in their first issues, but go down to 20,000 in the newest ones. Sadly, they become more difficult to find and collect – but there’s joy in each yearly apparition, that I expect eagerly.


Estonian Birds on stamp, 2001-2020

Estonian bird stamps have been issued since 2001 and continue being issued at the date of writing this article in 2020. The latest issue has just been released in April.

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Michel Comics Catalog 2020 – The Ultimate Playbook for Collecting Comics on Stamps

I couldn’t believe it when I first read the news: the renowned publisher Schwaneberger Verlag GmbH, home of the authoritative Michel Catalogues, was going to issue a special thematic catalog on comics on stamps. Finally someone takes the bold move to authenticate the needs of so many collectors I know and bring their niche interest into the mainstream!

But now I have to believe it – it’s past the level of news: it’s in my hands, on my reading table, I am browsing it, and reviewing it for you!

About: Michel Catalog – Comics – Worldwide. Order directly from here. | 1st issue, available since 07.08.2020 | 208 pages | paperback | 15.5k price notices| 2100 color illustrations| stamps from 1958 to the second quarter of 2020 cataloged | German language | Check out also the awesome Michel Online Catalog here.

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New Releases from Greenland Post on Stamps

This post was made possible through the kindness of Post Greenland – the postal authorities from Greenland.

You can browse for new stamps releases and shop on the website. Additionally you can subscribe to the Greenland Collector – the subscription magazine for collectors of Greenland stamps!


Old Greenlandic banknotes (Issue #3, 21.06.2019)

For the third issue of Old Greenlandic banknotes, a series commenced in 2017, Greenland Post chose two banknotes issued in 1953. Original material from the Denmark National Bank, as well as the National Museum in Copenhagen and Post Greenland’s archives in Nuuk was used for inspiration by artist Bertil Skov Jørgensen.

The issue comprises 2 stamps, issued both as standalone and souvenir sheets.

The first stamp of the series, issued 21.06.2019
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Emoji on Stamps

Emoji have been with us barely 20 years and gained popularity in the 2010’s, when more and more communication systems starting introducing them in their keyboard choice. Remarkably, they caught on in all cultures, even if they originated in Japan, and became an integral part of our everyday communication – to the extent that in 2015, Oxford dictionaries named the face with tears of joy emoji (😂) the Word of the Year!

So what are emoji? Well, to understand it better, let’s look at the etymology of the word, which, of course, is Japanese – emoji (Japanese: 絵文字) is a word that really has nothing to do with emotions – they are pictograms (絵 is a drawing, while 文字 is a symbol). So they are images that stand in for words, a thing that is not dissimilar to the use of Chinese characters, where some still remind us of the original ‘form’ of the concept they describe (for example you can easily remember that 川 is a river, 山 is a mountain, or 森 is a forest). In the same way, you can easily remember that 🐣 is a hatching chick, or that 💄 is a bar of lipstick. But, unlike Chinese characters, they can gain new meanings, depending on how the users interpret them. The hatching chick can be used when seeing the truth with clarity for the first time, just like a chick that’s just been hatched, while the bar of lipstick can be used to express one keeping their cool in difficult situations.

As tomorrow is the World Emoji Day (Jul-17), I thought we’d look at the presence of emoji on stamps (which is rapidly growing, and making emoji one of the cutest topical interests there is). Why Jul-17? Well, the calendar emoji (📅) displays that date!


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2018/2019 Releases of Slovak Post on Stamps

It is with great joy that I am writing the following article, made possible by the amability of Slovenská Pošta (Slovak Post). From the very beginning, I have to come out as a big fan of Slovak philately. Whether we are talking about the careful and artful engraving of the stamps, continuing with pride the Czechoslovak Post tradition, or about the tasteful choice of topics, I am always pleasantly surprised by Slovak stamps.

Official website: https://www.posta.sk/en (Available in Slovak and English) | Philately website: https://www.pofis.sk/en/catalog/products You can read more about the history behind each stamp issue, or order individual or bulk stamps directly from the website.


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Polish Actors and Actresses on Stamps

This article refers to the series entitled “Ludzie kina i teatru” (“Personalities of Cinema and Theater“), issued by the Polish Post yearly since 2012. To date, seven such series were issued. New issued are already announced in the release plans for 2019 and 2020.

The series of stamps are brought together by structure: each series contains three individual stamps, as well as a minisheet featuring the respective three stamps, but also by imagery: all stamps have a glam/vintage look that makes them really appealing. The actors and actresses chosen to illustrate the series are all pioneers of music, dance, theater, cinema, radio and TV and most of them have been active in the interwar period. Each series contains both actors and actresses (two actors and one actress in a series in five year sets, two actresses and one actor in two year sets).

What I find interesting, except for the educational potential of the many names selected for the series, is the fact that many of these personalities are not only sacred monsters of the stage, but also they have intriguing life stories: of romantic relationships, of career succes, but also of heroic merits and of mysterious life events. I tried to select some of the biographic information about each of the featured actors and actresses below.


The 2012 issue

The three personalities chosen for the first issue of 2012 were: Aleksander Żabczyński, Jadwiga Smosarska, and Eugeniusz Bodo.

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Israeli Love Songs on Stamps

On Mar-21, 2017, the Israeli Post issued a series of 12 stamps commemorating popular Israeli love songs. The songs included were composed as early as the 1920’s and as late as the early 1990’s and are Israeli evergreens, being sung oftentimes in song contests and at weddings. Many of them have been covered by more than one artist, contributing therefore to their already ‘classical’ status.


The 12 stamps were issued in a sheet format that was not novel for the Israeli post. Three other similar sheets were issued in the past, commemorating Israeli singers, songs for children, and music albums. The structure of the sheet contains a central vignette and 12 stamps set out clockwise on all four sides of the sheet. Each stamp features an illustration and a text in print or handwriting Hebrew. The text represents either the first stanza of the song, or the chorus.


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