Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New stamps with pansies, marine animals and Karolinska Institute'sbicentennial

Sweden Post will issue this year's summer stamps on May 13. The motif will be the popular summer flowers, pansies. On the same day, marine animals will be unveiled in a joint issue with Canada as well as stamps celebrating Karolinska Institutet's 200th anniversary.

This year's stamps for domestic summer greetings depict pansies. This flower is found in abundance in blazing colors and is one of the most common plants found in Swedish flower beds and gardens. One reason pansies are so popular is their

resistance to cold weather, which means they can be planted outside as early as April.

Pansies are hybrids of different types of violas with different origins. They are in fact a biennial plant, but are used as an annual. The species is called Viola x wittrockiana and was named for Swedish botanist Veit Brecher Wittrock.

The stamps were designed by Norbert Tamas. The photographs of the pansies were taken by Ann Andrén and Ina Agency (booklet motifs) and Annika Christensen (coil motif). The stamps were printed in offset and come in a booklet with ten self-adhesive stamps and four motifs as well as a coil with one motif. The denomination is Domestic.

Nature is also the theme for the joint issue with Canada, Marine Life, which depicts four marine animals. One of the ideas underlying a joint issue is to pick a theme that is a common denominator for both countries.

The four Swedish stamps show the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), the largest animal on the planet, the fast harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), which is also part of the whale family, the ringed seal (Pusa hispida), a type of seal that is found in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, and the sea otter (Enhydra lutris), which has extremely dense fur to counter the cold.

The stamps were designed by Martin Mörck based on photographs by Bill Curtsinger/National Geographic Image Collection, courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature, D. R. Schrichte and Doc White/SeaPics.com. Engraving: Martin Mörck (blue whale and ringed seal) and Lars Sjööblom (harbor porpoise and sea otter). Printed in a combination of recess and offset, these stamps come in a booklet of four with four motifs. The denomination is SEK 12, International

"When the suggestion was made to issue a stamp to commemorate Karolinska Institutet's bicentennial, The Swedish Post unanimously agreed that this was a world-class anniversary that easily qualified to be reproduced on a stamp," says Britt-Inger Hahne, Head of Sweden Post Stamps.

In collaboration with representatives from Karolinska Institutet (KI), one of the highest ranked medical universities in the world, the decision was made to tie in one of the great researchers, Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848). He is considered to be the father of Swedish chemistry and laid the foundation for KI's focus on the natural sciences.

The motifs on the stamps are Berzelius's own samples of silicon and selenium, two of the basic elements he discovered. The close-up photographs of the samples, which date back to the 1820s, were taken under a scanning electron microscope by the world-famous photographer, Lennart Nilsson, who has been involved with KI for many years.

The stamps were engraved by Piotr Naszarkowski based on proofs by Gustav Mårtensson. The photographs of J.J. Berzelius's samples of selenium and silicon were taken by Lennart Nilsson. Printed in recess. The stamps come in a coil with two motifs. The denomination is Second Class Domestic (SEK 5.50).
The URL of the Institute is: http://ki.se/?l=en

Here is a video from the institute