World Stamps

Lucky, domestic, wild and fictional pigs pictured on recent postage stamps

May 16, 2019, 8 AM

New Stamps of the World by Denise McCarty

A recent stamp from Switzerland celebrates the pig as a symbol of good luck.

Not only does this stamp show a happy pig, but it is also shaped like one. To add to the good luck theme, the pig is chewing on a four-leaf clover.

Also, this Lucky Pig (Glucksschwein in German) stamp is soft to the touch. In announcing the stamp, Swiss Post said, “To achieve this softness, the stamp had to be ‘flocked’ using a special method.”

Swiss Post further explained that the stamp paper “first had to be sprinkled with soft particles before being printed. This is why these stamps took three whole months to be completed.”

Joh. Enschede of the Netherlands printed the stamp by offset lithography in sheets of 10. Janine Wiget designed it, and her name appears below the “100” centimes (1-franc) denomination at the bottom of the design.

Swiss Post issued this Lucky Pig stamp March 7.

Portugal

A few other countries also have issued porcine-related stamps early in 2019 that have nothing to do with the Year of the Pig. For example, two pig stamps are included in the Portuguese Autochthonous Breeds set issued Jan. 28

One of the two €0.70 stamps highlights Portugal’s native bisaro pig. In its new-issue announcement, Portugal’s CTT describes the bisaro as a docile breed of large pigs (up to 3 feet tall and 5 feet long) with black, white or spotted coats.

The other stamp shows the Alentejo pig, a dark black pig with thick bristles, a small head and triangular ears.

Shown on the other four stamps in this set are the Serra da Estrela sheep, Portuguese speckled hen, Alentejo cow and Miranda donkey, respectively.

The stamps were issued in sheets of 50 and in a souvenir sheet with the six designs se-tenant (side-by-side).

The first set of stamps in the Portuguese Autochthonous Breeds series was issued Feb. 8, 2018 (Scott 3986-3991).

Austria

Like Portugal’s stamps, other recent pig stamps are part of existing series.

On March 29, Austria issued a 2.70 Wild Boar stamp, the last in its Wildlife and Hunting series that started in 2012 (Scott 2395).

Each stamp in the series features a different animal and includes paw or hoof prints on the left side of the design. In addition to these prints, the Wild Boar stamp shows a sow and her piglets. Joh. Enschede printed the stamp in sheets of 50.

Germany

The pigs are almost hidden in the designs of two recent German semipostals.

Known as Welfare semipostals, the surtax on these stamps go to the Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege), which describes itself as the collective voice of the six nonstatutory welfare umbrella organizations in Germany.

Since 2014 (Scott B1085-B1088), these semipostals have illustrated fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm (Jakob and Wilhelm). The set of three semipostals in this series issued Feb. 7 illustrates scenes from The Brave Little Tailor.

The 0.85+0.40 stamp shows the two giants tearing up trees. A wild boar is depicted in the lower right. In this tale, if the tailor captures this boar, the king promises to give him half his kingdom and his daughter’s hand in marriage.

The 1.45+0.55 semipostal stamp features the wedding scene. This time the boar is being roasted on a spit.

The other stamp in this set, 0.70+0.50, does not include the boar in the design.

Michael Kunter designed these semipostals. Bundesdruckerei printed them in separate panes of 10 and in a booklet with the three designs.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic introduced a definitive stamp series in 2010 based on the Ctyrlistek series of comic books created by Jaroslav Nemecek in 1969 (Scott 3450). The pig Bobík, one of the main characters, has been depicted on some of these stamps, including the two just issued on May 22.

The stamps are nondenominated; the letter “A” designates that they pay the basic domestic rate. On the stamp with a blue background, Bobik is riding in the back of a truck. On the stamp with the orange background, he and other characters pose for a photo.

The two self-adhesive stamps are sold together in a booklet of 10 (five of each design).

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