I have written before about EUROPA stamps, having showcased on the site the 1976 issue of handicrafts on stamps. Now it’s the time to take a look at another EUROPA release that I count among my favorites, namely the 2002 issue, devoted to the world of the circus.
As much as I like the colorful stamps of the series, I feel the need to start right off with a disclaimer: for me, the circus belongs to the old world. I condone neither the abuse of people, nor of animals, and taking in today’s moral climate, I would say I’d rather settle for a circus-free world. But the safe space of stamp collecting still allows me to take a closer look at the magical world of the circus. By the way, as an old-time collector of circus on stamps, I salute the initiative of Michel Catalog to issue to my knowledge the first thematic catalog devoted to circus on stamps – my review here.
No less than 61 countries and territorial postal authorities issued stamps on the occasion, and you can see them all pictured below, in alphabetical order.
I am not a big fan of EUROPA stamps, but when they are matching one of the topics I collect, I become all of a sudden more interested. Therefore, I have only a couple of complete EUROPA (CEPT) years in my collection – as long as it keeps alive my topical interests. One such occasion was the issue from the year 1976, when the selected topic was Handicrafts.
As many as 27 countries participated in the initiative. 1976 was the third year in the history of EUROPA stamps when each country could opt for their own design (up to 1973 the EUROPA issues featured the same design across the adept geographies). It’s an interesting collection, getting sort of harder to assemble in recent years, but still attainable. Below you can find the entries from the 27 countries (Andorra and Cyprus being counted twice due to their 2 autonomous postal authorities).
Pictured above: French Andorra issue; Spanish Andorra Issue.