Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Finish Stamps honor Juhani Aho, Finnish Comics and addtions to Lion series Stamps

Juhani Aho’s role as an author and journalist

Juhani Aho (1861–1921), a Finnish icon, was one of the first professional authors in Finland. The 150th anniversary of his birth will be celebrated on September 11. In honor of the anniversary, a miniature sheet of two stamps designed by Timo Berry and Teemu Ollikainen will be published on September 5, depicting Juhani Aho's career: his work as an author and journalist, and the strong sense of patriotism that characterized it.

One of the stamps depicts Juhani Aho’s extensive novel collection, which strongly represented Finnish nature, attitudes and social changes. His most beloved works include Rautatie, Papin rouva and Juha. Aho modernized Finnish prose, while filtering international influences into his works. The stack of papers depicted in the stamp is a reference to the concise type of short stories developed by the author – woodchips.

The second stamp is associated with Juhani Aho’s career as a journalist for Finnish newspapers. Aho was one of the founders of the Päivälehti newspaper (published between 1890 and 1904) where he discussed many of the day’s burning issues, including the position of women and workers. The picture below the stamp illustrates the young editors of Päivälehti.

The previous Juhani Aho stamp was published in September 1961, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Their will be a total of 250,000 miniature sheets produced. The sheet is the work of artists Timo Berry and Teemu Oilkainen. The size of the sheet is 140 mm by 80 mm while the individual stamps have a sied of 31.42 by 44.95 mm. They were printed on self-adhesive stamp paper by the offset printing method by the firem of Joh. Enschede Stamps of the Netherlands,

Six comic book characters from six decades

The first ever Finnish comic book, Ilmari Vainio’s Professori Itikaisen tutkimusretki, was published one hundred years ago in November 1911. This is celebrated by publishing a stamp sheet designed by Ville Tietäväinen, entitled The 100th Anniversary of Finnish Comics, depicting the family tree of Finnish comics.

The pictorial motifs include popular characters from the first six decades of Finnish comics from the 1910s to the 1960s. The selected images represent the most distinctive features of each character.

The 1910s are represented by Ola Fogelberg’s Janne Ankkanen which was published in Suomen Kuvalehti and later in Kansan Kuvalehti. Hjalmar Löfving’s Olli Pirteä, which was published in Sirkka, represents the 1920s.

The 1930s return with Herra Kerhonen, whose author, Gösta Thilén, is regarded as one of the masters of wordless comics. The 1940s are represented by Antti Puuhaara, which was published in Yhteishyvä as drawn by Aarne Nopsanen and written by Raul Roine.

For the 1950s, the stamp sheet features Kili ja Possu, written by Olavi Vikainen, who specialized in animal characters in children's comics that were published in a number of Finnish and Swedish papers. The stamp for the 1960s depicts Unto Uneksija, which was published in Pellervo. Veikko Savolainen, its creator, is better known as Joonas thanks to one of his later works.

This  miniature sheet will have a press run of 300,000. It was the work of Ville Tietäväinen. The sheet has a size of  115 by 130 mm while the individual stamps have a size of 31 X 31 mm.  Printing was done by  Joh. Enschedé Stamps of the Netherlands.
Two new stamps added to the Lion series

The series of Lion stamps depicted in euro will be supplemented by two new stamps in September – a green two-euro stamp and a violet four-euro stamp. The stamps have been designed by graphic artist and illustrator Mika Launis who has also designed the three previously published Lion stamps.

The first Lion stamps of the series –  one-euro stamp and the  five-euro stamp – were issued in 2002 when Finland joined the euro area. In 2004, a three-euro stamp was added to the series. As the previous stamps are still available for sale, you can now choose from five different Lion stamps.

The green lion stamp was the work of Mika Launis and has a size of 24.5 X 34.5 mm in a quantitly of 2,000,000. The violet stamp had a press run of 1,000,000 has the same size and was done by the same artist. Both stamps were printed on self adhesive stamp paper by the Dutch firm of  Joh. Enschedé Stamps.

For more information go to the Finnish Post Office Website

A new special cachet for the Finnish Post Museum at the beginning of September

The all-year special cachet used by the Finnish Post Museum will be replaced on September 6, 2011, when the new cachet depicting a post horn and designed by Jarmo Niinimäki will be introduced.

All-year cachets are granted for a maximum of three years at a time, meaning that the new special cachet for the Post Museum is in effect until September 5, 2014.

To obtain the special cachet, bring your mail to the Post Museum in Helsinki. The Post Museum is situated in the Helsinki General Post Office, Asema-aukio 5 H. Metal stamps will be used.

From August 29 to September 2, 2011, customers may send a small amount of cards/envelopes for advance stamping to Itella Posti Oy, Helsinki Post Center, Reception/Special cachets, Post Museum special cachet, P.O. Box 1031, FI-00011 ITELLA, Finland.

You can send a maximum of ten cards or envelopes with stamps for advance stamping. Remember to include a return envelope with sufficient postage.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Taiwan shows next classic novel set on July 21,2011

To promote understanding about Chinese classical literature, Chunghwa Post previously released three sets of stamps on “Journey to the West”. It is now following up with a new set of four stamps. The stamps were issued Juy 21, 2011. They will come in  sheets of twwnty stamps in a 4 X 5 format and were  designed by Rolland Chang and printed by the Central Engraving and Printing company. The multi color stamps have a size of 30 X 40 mm and were printed by the offset method with a perforation of 12 1/2. Following is a short description of each stamp that has been supplied by the Taiwan Post Office.

1. “Swindling Treasures” (NT$5): Golden Horn and Silver Horn of the Lotus Cave dispatched two little demons with the Golden Purple Gourd and the White Jade Vase in their hands to capture Sun Wukong. Sun first transformed himself into an old Daoist priest and conjured up a large purple-gold gourd. He convinced the little demons that the gourd could hold the sky and tricked them into swapping it for their treasures.

2. “Red Boy” (NT$5): Red Boy snatched the monk, taking him off to the Fire Cloud Cave. Sun went to the Goddess of Mercy of the South Sea for help. She tamed Red Boy with five gold rings that bound his head, hands and legs and made him serve as her page Shancai Boy.

3. “Crossing the River on Turtle’s Back” (NT$12): Encountering a gold fish monster at the Tongtian River, Sun went to the Goddess of Mercy in the South Sea for help. After the monster was captured, a big white turtle surfaced to greet the monk and his disciples when they wanted to cross the river. It turned out that the Residence of the River Turtle, where the gold fish monster lived, originally belonged to the turtle. To show gratitude, the turtle carried them across the river.

4. “Achieving Nirvana” (NT$25): After their return, the monk and his disciples presented Emperor Taizong with scriptures and then went before rulai, Tathagata, at Vulture Peak. Tathagata conferred the title of Meritorious and Virtuous Buddha of Zhantan upon the Tang monk, Victorious Fighting Buddha upon the monkey Sun Wukong, Cleanser of the Altars upon the Pigsy, Golden Bodied Arhat upon Sha Wujing, and Naga of the Eight Sections of Heaven upon the horse. All five achieved nirvana.

First day covers with a complete set of 4 stamp will sell for NT$49 each. For more information please contact them at: 

                                                                The Taiwan Post office

Issued at the same time was what the Post Office is calling a "Postbag" for sending items through the mail using an environmentaly friendybage made from microfiber with abrasion resistance properties. The bag will sell for NT$200 and will be available at all post office branches throught the country

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finland Post releases Personalized Stamp for Ice Hockey Championship

On May 27, 2011, Suomen Posti Oy released a stamp to celebrate the Ice Hockey World Cup victory of Team Finland. It was easy to find the theme: the awesome air hook goal scored by Mikael Granlund in a game against Russia. The objective was to release World Champions 2011 ASAP, which is why a personalized stamp was used.

Usually, the design and preparation of stamps takes 6 to 12 months, but we wanted to have this stamp available for sale as soon as possible, upon requests from the public and the media. Therefore, we chose to produce a personalized stamp,” says Tommi Kantola at Itella Posti Oy.

The picture on the stamp is a press photo by Michal Kamaryt (Lehtikuva/CTK). The stamp was designed by Klaus WeIp.

The airhook stamps are available at Posti’s online shop at The special edition personalized stamp is a 1st class (€0.75) No Value is indicated on the Stamp. The personalized stamp sheet contains 20 self-adhesive stamps. The price of one sheet is €15 (+ delivery charge €3.00). The stamp, manufactured on an urgent schedule, is not included in Itella Posti Oy’s annual products, which means that those with a standing order may order it separately.

Tommi Kantola says that the stamp, published amidst the peak of the World Cup craze, has been popular Those purchasing the stamps include people who use stamps on a regular basis, and ice hockey fans of all ages.

The World Champions stamp is the second personalized stamp ever released by Itella Posti Oy, and is not included in the annual stamp release plan. The first personalized stamp similar to this was published in connection with the 2008 Idols competition.

Itella Posti Oy introduced personalized stamps in 2003. Customers may design their stamp themes using their personal computers to access Itella Posti Oy’s online service ( One sheet of personalized stamps consists of 20 stamps. The same sheet can have four different visual themes, eie five different stamps per theme.

Click on the arrow to see the Championship Rally

Itella Posti Oy has published approximately five million personalized stamps so far, with tens of thousands of visual themes. “The pictures are often related to special occasions, such as weddings or anniversaries, which customers also want to celebrate with stamps. Other themes include family portraits, children and pets,” says Markku Penttinen, Development Director at Suomen Posti Oy.

Penttinen says that many companies have also purchased personalized stamps. “Letters with personalized stamps on them will certainly stand out from other business mail items.”

Not all traditional philatelists are fond of personalized stamps, but the times are changing. Penttinen says that some Finnish stamp clubs have used the personalized stamp service to publish their own club stamps.

For more information
go to the Finish Post Office On line shop