Four postage stamps for the author of “The Lord of the Rings”
Swiss Post is paying tribute to the artistic legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien with four postage stamps. The stamps will be available for purchase from 2 September – the 50th anniversary of the death of the British fantasy author – in all branches or online in the Postshop. More new stamps will be available from 7 September. The latest stamp issue is packed with Swissness. The highlights include four stamps dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the Swiss Federal Constitution, a well-known Swiss postcard design in postage stamp format and a stamp with a real hook and loop fastener – a Swiss invention.
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The Shire, Gandalf, Smaug and Argonath: Swiss Post’s latest stamp designs take us right into the fantasy world of “The Lord of the Rings”. Through these four special stamps, Swiss Post is paying tribute to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, who died 50 years ago tomorrow. The British author had a pivotal influence on the fantasy genre thanks to his novels “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”. The new stamps feature familiar designs from Tolkien’s fantasy world of Middle-earth: The Shire is home to the Hobbits, who play a major role in Tolkien’s novels. Gandalf is a wise wizard who fights against the forces of evil. The dark forces include the dragon Smaug. The Argonath are the Pillars of the Kings. The four stamps were designed by renowned artist John Howe, who lives in Neuchâtel and is one of the most significant illustrators of Tolkien’s work. “The Lord of the Rings” stamps will be available from 2 September 2023.
175 years Federal Constitution – the cornerstone of modern Switzerland and Swiss Post
The other new issues are packed with Swissness, such as the four stamps dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the Swiss Federal Constitution. These stamps feature elements from the original Federal Constitution document, which is kept in the Swiss Federal Archives. The Federal Constitution of 1848 turned Switzerland into a federal state and the first democracy in Europe. Various services became centralized in the new federal state, including the postal system. As a result, the federal postal service was founded the very next year, in 1849.
Homage to a Swiss invention: stamp with real hook and loop fastener
Through a special stamp, Swiss Post is paying tribute to the hook and loop fastener – a Swiss invention that makes everyday life easier for everyone. The invention dates back to a hunting trip: in the 1940s, George de Mestral, an engineer from the Canton of Vaud, noticed that green burrs (burdock) were sticking to his trousers. Inspired by nature, he developed the hook and loop fastener. The stamp shows a pair of children’s shoes that are easy for little boys and girls to put on and take off thanks to this Swiss invention. The source of inspiration from the natural world is shown on the right of the stamp, a schematic depiction of burdock. And in between, a real hook and loop fastener is affixed to the stamp.
Commemorative stamp for the Centovalli Railway
The Centovalli Railway is a true Swiss postcard image. The white-and-blue train, popular with tourists, has been running between Switzerland and Italy for 100 years: from Locarno through the Centovalli to Domodossola. The train covers the 52-kilometre route in around two hours. Postcards bearing the Centovalli stamp reach their recipients in Switzerland in one day. The centenary stamp shows the Centovalli Railway on the steel bridge at Intragna, one of the most photographed subjects on the railway route.
An overview of “The Lord of the Rings” postage stamps (available and valid from 2 September 2023) and the other new issues (available and valid from 7 September 2023):
- J. R. R. Tolkien 1892−1973 postage stamps – “The Argonath” at CHF 1.10, “The Shire” at CHF 1.10, “Smaug” at CHF 1.10 and “Gandalf” at CHF 1.10
- Tree fruits postage stamps – “Beechnuts” at CHF 0.90, “Whitebeam berries” at CHF 1.10, “Pine cone” at CHF 1.80 and “Samara” at CHF 2.30
- 100 years Centovalli Railway – stamp at CHF 1.10
- Joint issue Switzerland−Republic of Korea postage stamps – “Trub, Bern” at CHF 1.10 and “Oeam Village, Asan” at CHF 2.30
- 175 years Federal Constitution postage stamps – “Plaquette” at CHF 1.10, “Ornamental button” at CHF 1.10, “Seal” at CHF 1.10 and “Embossed cross” at CHF 1.10
- Metascape – miniature sheet at CHF 1.10
- 75 years Edition VFO – miniature sheet at CHF 1.10
- Swiss inventions − Hook and loop fastener – miniature sheet at CHF 1.10