The 2010 stamp year will start on January 28. The Swedish Castles & Palaces booklet depicts five popular castles and palaces, including royal Ulriksdal Palace. The body language of cats is captured with graphic precision on four stamps. One older and one modern children's book illustration serve as the motifs on this year's Europa stamps.
The castles and palaces each represent their own era, ranging from the 1500s to the 1900s. The oldest of the group is Vadstena Castle in Östergötland, the construction of which started around 1550 and architecturally is Sweden's most renaissance castle. The history of Läckö Castle in Västergötland reaches back into the Middle Ages. It was renovated in the mid-1600s by one of Queen Kristina's favorites to the baroque style that visitors see today.
Up until 1973, Sofiero Palace, which is located by the Öresund Sound in Skåne and was constructed in 1860s, was a royal out-of-town residence. At the beginning of the 1900s, the royal couple Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Margareta moved in and began to cultivate the famous rhododendrons that are depicted on the stamp.
Ulriksdal Palace just north of Stockholm became a royal palace in 1669 and was rebuilt and expanded at the end of the century under the careful eye of architects Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and Younger. The youngest of the castles depicted in the Swedish Castles & Palaces booklet, Tjolöholm Castle, was built during the years 1898-1904 in the English Tudor style by a businessman from Gothenburg.
"The buildings are magnificent and as a contrast to this I have chosen to highlight the details. For example, there is a small salamander crawling along the frame of the stamp depicting Ulriksdal Palace," says designer Eva Wilsson.
The Swedish Castles & Palaces booklet marks the premier of recessed stamps on self-adhesive paper.
Children's Books is the theme for this year's Europa stamps, which are issued by the members of the Posteurop postal organization. The Swedish stamps honor two female children's book authors who are separated by three-quarters of a century but share similarities in their writing styles, Elsa Beskow (1874-1953) and Lena Anderson (1939-).
"I would say that Lena Anderson is a modern version of Elsa Beskow. Both want to entertain their readers while still teaching their young readers a lesson. They expertly weave together artistry, storytelling and pedagogics," says Cecilia Östlund, senior librarian at the Swedish Institution for Children's Books in Stockholm.
The stamp motifs are taken from Elsa Beskow's Children of the Forest (Tomtebobarnen) from 1910, which teaches about nature, and Lena Anderson's Maja's Alphabet (Majas alfabet), which was issued in 1984 and in which the letters of the alphabet and reading are the entertaining main characters.
Cats communicate using both body language and sounds. Carina Länk's stylized stamp illustrations capture four different moments in a cat's everyday life.
"A cat's movements are very distinctive and it is easy to read its moods. I studied the behavior of cats before I started working on the stamps and I was particularly drawn to cats that are hungry, playful, angry and newly-awakened," she says.
Digital images can be downloaded at:
http://www.huginonline.se/POST/files/20100114f.jpg (Swedish Castles & Palaces)
http://www.huginonline.se/POST/files/20100114h.jpg (Europa 2010 - Children's Books)
For more information, please contact:
Thorsten Sandberg, Sweden Post Stamps. Phone +46 (0)8-7815087.
Facts about the stamps issued January 28
Swedish Castles & Palaces
The stamps were designed by Eva Wilsson and engraved by Martin Mörck (Vadstena, Ulriksdal, Tjolöholm) and Lars Sjööblom (Läckö, Sofiero). Printed in offset, these self-adhesive stamps come in a booklet of five with five motifs. The denomination is SEK 12, First-Class International.
Europa 2010 - Children's Books
The stamps depict illustrations from Elsa Beskow's Children of the Forest (Tomtebobarnen) and Lena Anderson's Maja's Alphabet (Majas alfabet). Stamp proofs: Gustav Mårtensson. Engraver: Piotr Naszarkowski. Printed in a combination of recess and offset, these coil stamps are available in two motifs. The denomination is SEK 12, First-Class International.
The stamps were designed by Carina Länk and printed in offset. These self-adhesive stamps come in a booklet of ten with four motifs. The denomination is Domestic First Class (SEK 6).
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