Signs of the Zodiac on Stamps

This post refers to sets of stamps issued worldwide showing the signs of the solar zodiac, also known as the Western, or European zodiac. To make the choice of stamps easier, I deliberately chose to represent only sets of stamps in which each of the 12 signs is devoted at least one stamp, and in which all 12 signs are represented.

Browsing stamp catalogs, I was surprised to see that actually the number of 12+ stamp sets picturing the zodiac is not as big as I supposed it would be. There are for sure many sets devoted to the zodiac, but ‘full’ sets seem to be the exeption, rather than the norm. Also, such sets took some time to surface: it is only from the beginning of the 1960’s that zodiac stamps appeared and picked up in popularity. However, one thing is for sure – from the very beginning such stamps vied in terms of how singular their design is and tried to fit into stamps quite impressive wealth of detail.

Below you will see the 20+ full sets of at least 12 zodiac stamps I was able to identify in catalogs, and luckily, in my collection! Zodiac stamps make for a quite ambitious topical interest, as you have to collect full sets totaling large number of stamps, and also because they are not, despite my initial assumption, so easy to find.


Starting in A-Z order, here is a set from 1971 from Ajman, depicting the stained glass horoscope from Notre Dame in Paris. In addition to this embedded set of signs of the zodiac in stained glass, Notre Dame also features a second set of signs of the zodiac in sculptural panels on its western facade, associated each to seasonal agricultural labors.

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