Special stamps: From WWF panda to Swedish declaration of love
Swiss Post is dedicating a special stamp to WWF, which was established 50 years ago in Switzerland. On the CHF 1 stamp, a panda draws attention to the issues advocated by the world's largest environmental organization. The diversity of nature is highlighted by four special stamps on vegetable blossoms or the honeycomb-shaped stamp featuring the western honey bee. Other highlights of the current stamp issue include the special stamps marking the UN International Year of Chemistry and the 100th anniversary of Max Frisch. The Festus and Mercury stamp is an exclusive. Sven Nordquist, the Swedish author of the cult picture books whose subtle humour also delights adults, designed the stamp exclusively for Swiss Post. The stamp pays homage to Swiss cheese and shows tomcat Mercury carving an Emmental cheese out of wood. These and other new special stamps are available now and valid for an unlimited period as of 3 March.
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The giant panda has been the hallmark of WWF, founded in Switzerland in 1961, since its inception. Consequently, it is fitting that a panda should adorn the special stamp designed by Pierre Aerni for the world's largest environmental protection organization. The rare animal's main source of food is also an element of the motif. The mandatory Helvetia lettering at the left-hand edge is composed of bamboo shoots.
The special CHF 0.85 stamp dedicated to the western European honey bee is eye-catching. The stamp is hexagonal and shaped like a honeycomb. It refers to the activities of around 13,000 beekeepers in the apiary association in German-speaking and Romansh-speaking Switzerland. The four vegetable blossom special stamps featuring the zucchini (CHF 0.85), snow pea (CHF 1.00), wild garlic (CHF 1.10) and artichoke (CHF 2.60), round out the colourful series of stamps relating to the natural world and nature conservation. The blossoms are just as attractive as many decorative plants.
Special stamp marking the UN Year of Chemistry
A highlight of the current issue is the special CHF 1 stamp marking the UN International Year of Chemistry. The vitamin C molecule represents the innovative force of Swiss chemical research and the ability to exploit it commercially. Tadeus Reichstein was the first person to synthesize vitamin C from glucose at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in 1933. A multi-stage embossing process with 3D effect conveys a spatial impression of the molecule.
Max Frisch: a questioner and a visionary
To mark the 100th anniversary of Max Frisch's birth, Swiss Post is issuing a special CHF 1 stamp showing the author in reflective pose. The view of him gazing to the right into empty space expresses the fact that his words still resonate today beyond his lifetime. Frisch's exploration of issues associated with reality and identity is still fascinating today. Like no other literary figures since, he and Friedrich Dürrenmatt succeeded in shaping the public debate on Swiss identity.
Sven Nordquist's love affair with Switzerland
The stories about Festus and Mercury, with their subtle humour and amazing diversity of unusual characters and details, are loved the world over. Sven Nordquist, the creator of the odd Swedish hermit and his tomcat, has designed a CHF 0.85 stamp in his own unique style. The motif, with the tomcat Mercury carving an Emmental cheese out of wood is a fanciful declaration of love for Switzerland.
The current stamp issue is rounded out by three special stamps marking the 50th anniversary of the Swiss Cerebral Palsy Foundation and this year's 14th World Gymnaestrada in Lausanne, and a special stamp highlighting the millennium of the city of Neuchâtel.