he special stamp “Map of the Upper Rhine Valley” (value CHF 1.50) is Liechtenstein’s contribution to the so-called SEPAC stamps. SEPAC is an association of thirteen small postal organizations in Europe which, like the Europa stamps, issue a stamp on a common theme every year. This year, the SEPAC stamps have the theme: old maps. On this stamp of Liechtenstein, one of the oldest known maps of the upper Rhine Valley is depicted. It was probably made around 1620 by the Swiss cartographer and engineer Hans Conrad Gyger (1599-1674). The watercolor pen and ink drawing shows the catchment area of the Rhine between the Swiss towns of Altstätten and Bad Ragaz with the castles and palaces that existed at the time.
On June 7, two special stamps produced by relief stamping will be issued in Liechtenstein: one with the motif “Elephant” (value CHF 2.60) and one with the motif “Herd of Zebras” (value CHF 4.30). These are motifs from the work of Prince Johannes Franz of Liechtenstein (1910-1975), known as Prince Hans. More than 2000 drawings and watercolors by him are preserved. The son of Prince Johannes of Liechtenstein and Princess Marizza, née Countess Andrassy, was able to demonstrate his talent while studying art in Budapest and with the animal painter Professor Carl Fahringer in Vienna. Towards the end of the war his family fled to Vaduz. The subjects of his art were mostly people and animals.
Three more special stamps will be issued on June 7, 2021. They will appear on the occasion of the centenary of the authors’ association, PEN International. Founded after World War I, PEN International advocates for the rights and enforcement of free expression and takes a public stand on the suppression, censorship, imprisonment, and murder of writers and publicists. The three special stamps show quotes from “Friedrich Schiller” (value CHF 1.00), “Emily Dickinson” (value CHF 1.50), and “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe” (value CHF 3.80). In these quotations, individual words are blackened. This blackening distorts the meaning of the actual quotation. Only by rubbing away this black color does the actual quotation appear. An impressive demonstration of how manipulative the omission of information can be.
And last but not least, more stamps in the ever-popular series of panorama stamps. This time, paths are shown leading through the alpine world of Liechtenstein. This is also a tribute to the fact that the Principality of Liechtenstein has the densest network of hiking trails in Europe. The motifs of the stamps are photographs by Johannes Frigg and Sepp Köppel. They were the winners of a competition organized by the Spektral photo club. One shows a path in the area of Alp Silum in Triesenberg (approx. 1400 – 1700 m.a.s.l.). From there you have a beautiful view into the Rhine valley. The second path is even a bit higher (1700-1880 m.a.s.l.) and winds around the Balzner Alp Gapfahl, below the Rappastein. The two panoramic views have been split in the middle, resulting in four stamps. They appear as a se-tenant on a sheet of eight stamps.
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