August 2021 – Only at a closer look….

CEPT BelgienToday I present again a EUROPA stamp (C.E.P.T.). EUROPA stamps are special stamps issued by European postal administrations/companies and bear the official EUROPA logo. They are intended to emphasize postal cooperation in Europe and to promote philately.

By now, I also know why these stamps are among the most collected and popular stamps in the world. Their motifs are unusual and imaginative, but also their printing technique is often extraordinary, probably because every postal administration wants to issue the most beautiful stamp. And because all postal administrations agree on one theme per year, there are interesting possibilities for comparisons. This year, the overarching theme is “Endangered Species”. I had already presented three of these stamps from the series (Sweden, Poland, and Ukraine) and today the fourth is added. I choose the stamps according to how I like them. But if you want a complete overview, you can find a nice overview with excellent illustrations at Bittergrounds Magazine. For sure you will find your own favorite there….

UV light

UV light image from Philaquely Moi

The stamp or souvenir sheet I chose for this post is from Belgium and was designed by the Belgian cartoonist Constantijn van Cauwenberge (known as Conz). Here the theme of the disappearance of animal species is impressively depicted. The two thematized animals, the field hamster, and the adder are reflected on the block not nicely romantic in a lake, but in a dead body of water and you can only see their skeletons. I find particularly interesting the idea that this “dying off” or “dying away” is already anchored in the living animals in the beautiful green, you could also interpret it so that their path to extinction is already advanced. However, you can only see this by looking closely. For this one needs a UV lamp. With it, one recognizes that the dead animal is already also at the idyllic lake edge. The living animals are already marked by death…

Coenonympha oedippus

Coenonympha oedippus is just dying out in Liechtenstein and Vorarlberg and is already missing

And that this death takes place all around us, often quietly – like the butterfly death in Austria – is unfortunately no longer deniable, you just have to look closely. This stamp is therefore once again an example of how philately can be used to impressively address issues of society.