World Stamps

Inside Linn’s: Pestilence, plagues and mail disinfection

May 1, 2020, 8 AM
In Unveiling Classic Stamps in the May 18 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Sergio Sismondo shows how procedures for disinfecting mail evolved during the centuries when disease and plagues regularly swept through populations in Europe.

By Charles Snee

The May 18 monthly issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, May 4. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, May 2. While you wait for your issue to arrive your mailbox, enjoy these three previews of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

Pestilence, plagues and mail disinfection, part I

As Sergio Sismondo explains in Unveiling Classic Stamps, the practice of mail disinfection was just one small link in the chain of policies put in place in an attempt to attenuate the infestations that broke out regularly in Europe centuries ago. Sismondo discusses these efforts using a number of fascinating postal historical artifacts, some of which show direct evidence of having been disinfected. Given the current coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, this topic could not be more relevant. Keep an eye out for part II of Sismondo’s overview of mail disinfection, scheduled for publication in the June 15 issue of Linn’s.

Profiling a prolific stamp designer and engraver

Stamp designer and engraver Martin Mörck “is the most productive living stamp designer and engraver in the world. As of now, he has collectively designed and/or engraved 938 unique stamp motifs on 1162 stamps,” writes Armagan Ozdinc in the cover feature for the May 18 issue. Mörck, born in 1955, became immersed in both stamp collecting and art from an early age, and he acknowledges Albrecht Durer as having significant influence on his early work as an engraver. Ozdinc highlights his profile with two dozen examples of Mörck’s exquisite work. You won’t want to miss it.

Touring Nordic stamps that promote tourism

As Christer Brunström explains in Nordic Stamp Scene, Norway was the first Nordic nation to actively promote itself as a tourist destination on its postage stamps. The other Nordic countries started doing the same not long thereafter. The stamps highlighted in the column can “serve as attractive souvenirs of your travels to nations that have so much to offer visitors from America and the rest of the world,” writes Brunström. If you’re looking for a new topical subject, let this column be your guide.

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