Thursday, November 25, 2010

#498 Sweden...Thanks Peter!

This stamp is from the minisheet "The Art of Engraving" joint- issued with Ireland this year.

Sweden Post´s stamp printing works is widely recognized for high quality and extensive experience in producing engraved stamps. In the current joint issue with Ireland, the art of engraving and recess printing is celebrated.

Sweden Post’s stamp printing works is located in Kista, north of Stockholm, and every day it produces stamps with high quality and precision. More than half of all of the motifs during a year are engraved and printed in recess or a combination of recess and offset.

Printing in recess has been a specialty of the printing works for many years and postal organizations from around the world have placed their assignments here, both as direct assignments and as joint issues. The printing works’ greatest asset is its skill in creating end-to-end solutions – handling the entire process from design to the final print and packaging.

This was the deciding factor when Ireland's postal organization presented the idea of a joint issue with Sweden on the art of engraving and turned the entire production over to Sweden Post's stamp printing works.

Sweden’s three stamps come as a minisheet. The motifs are a silver bowl from the Viking era found in Rute, Gotland, King Erik XIV’s impressive armor and a re-print of master engraver Czeslaw Slania’s (passed away 2005) stamp Ballet from 1975.

The bowl from Rute, Gotland, was found in 1863 by a farmer plowing his field. Beside the bowl there were several pieces of silver jewelry and around 600 coins dating back to the 1050s. Today the bowl is on display at the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.

The Royal Armoury is home to King Erik XIV’s splendid armor from the middle of the 1500s. The armor was probably forged and manufactured in Arboga, but the decorations were made by a goldsmith in Antwerp in what is now Belgium. The decorations include the Vasa family weapons, shackled prisoners, battle scenes and mythological creatures.

The engravers are Czeslaw Slania, who will be honored posthumously with this issue, Lars Sjööblom and Martin Mörck.

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