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New stamps with soft touch too

Communication dated 05.03.2019

From 7 March 2019, all branches and the online shop will be selling stamps with new motifs. As always, the new collection is very diverse. One stamp marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of visionary Alfred Escher. Another highlight of this issue is a “soft lucky pig”. To achieve this softness, the stamp had to be “flocked” using a special method. It is the first of four stamp issues this year.

Have you ever looked your pet straight in the eye from close up before? With the new stamp motifs, you’ll be able to do just that. New special stamps featuring a cat, a dog, a rabbit and a horse will amaze letter writers with their unusual perspective. The pictures focus on the eyes and nose or snout of these animals, and are a reminder of wonderful experiences and moments.

There is another stamp that aims to celebrate and bring people happy moments – a pink pig. In Switzerland, it is a symbol of good luck. But where does this idea come from? The most likely explanation can be found in a medieval custom: in traditional competitions, the worst-performing participant was not only ridiculed, but often also received a piglet as a consolation prize. This was a stroke of luck, however, as pigs were very valuable in those days: they did not need expensive fodder, produced lots of offspring and were quickly ready for slaughter. Rather than having the normal, rectangular shape of a stamp, this one is round with smooth edges – just like a genuine lucky pig. But that’s not all, because the stamp itself is actually soft to the touch and has a velvety surface that really makes you want to stroke the happy pink pig. To give the stamp its softness, the paper first had to be sprinkled with soft particles before being printed. This is why these stamps took three whole months to be completed.

A stamp celebrates Alfred Escher

This stamp issue also features anniversaries and birthdays of major Swiss figures. The special stamp, which marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Escher (1819–1882), one of the most important Swiss figures of the 19th century, pays tribute to this visionary. His legacy can still be felt today, and, amongst all his countless achievements, his commitment to building the Gotthard Base Tunnel is probably his most notable. The Swiss Northeastern Railway, the modern-day Federal Institute of Technology, the Swiss Credit Bank and the “Rentenanstalt” life insurance company (now known as Swiss Life) were some of the other institutions that came under Escher’s wide-ranging influence. He also served as a Member of the Cantonal Council and Parliament in Zurich and, later, as a National Councillor. Quite simply, an individual of many talents. The overlapping areas of colour within the stamp motif stand for his ability in joined-up thinking which encompassed business, education and the world of finance.

It has been 100 years since Swiss Post first took to the air in Switzerland, with 1919 seeing the launch of the first regular airmail services. On 8 January 1919, a Häfeli DH-3 biplane transported courier consignments by air for the first time. The 63-minute flight took off from Dübendorf and landed in Beundenfeld, Berne. A year later and planes were already carrying post all over the country and beyond. This allowed recipients to get their post faster, something the economy soon tapped into. Scheduled passenger flights are also celebrating their 100th anniversary this year in Switzerland. This means the Swiss Pro Aero Foundation special stamp is celebrating a year of firsts for Swiss aviation in two different ways.

And 1919 also saw the first Swiss Postbus journeys through the mountains. 100 years ago, these yellow buses travelled along the Chur-Laax route (Graubünden) and the Brig-Domodossola route (via the Simplon Pass) for the very first time, routes that have become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike ever since. Both the motifs – a Postbus with a mountain landscape in the background – have a picture-postcard quality to them.

Motifs in stamp issue 1/2019 – available and valid from 7 March 2019

  • Animal friends – “Dog” at CHF 0.85, “Cat” at CHF 1.00, “Rabbit” at CHF 1.50, “Horse” at CHF 2.00
  • Lucky pig – stamp at CHF 1.00
  • 200th anniversary of Alfred Escher’s birth – stamp at CHF 1.00
  • 100 years Swiss National Circus Knie – “Leupin 1956” at CHF 1.00, “Erni 2009” at CHF 1.00
  • 1919–2019 Swiss air transport – stamp at CHF 1.00
  • 100 years Postbus routes – “Graubünden” at CHF 0.85, “Simplon” at CHF 1.00
  • Fumetto Comic Festival – “Question” at CHF 1.00, “Search” at CHF 1.00, “Answer” at CHF 1.00
  • Basel Carnival – Intangible cultural heritage of humanity – stamp at CHF 1.00
  • 700 years municipality of Rolle – postal card at CHF 2.00

You can find out more about the new stamps in the stamp magazine “Focus on stamps”.

Information:

Nathalie Dérobert, Media Spokesperson, 058 341 21 96, presse@swisspost.ch