World Stamps

Nostalgic drawings embody truly Dutch theme on new stamps from the Netherlands

Jul 11, 2023, 8 AM
Sanny van Loon of Amsterdam created the illustrations for new definitives from the Netherlands to conjure a truly Dutch nostalgic feeling. The Echt Hollands stamps were issued July 3.

By Molly Goad

The Netherlands’ post office, PostNL, issued a new set of definitive (regular-issue) stamps on July 3. The stamps are called Echt Hollands, which translates to “truly Dutch.”

The new designs are the successors to the 2014 definitive stamps showing Dutch icons in blue and white (Scott 1461-1462).

The Echt Hollands issue includes stamps for the basic domestic rate in a pane of 10 and for the international rate in a panes of five and sheet of 50.

The pane of 10 stamps has 10 different designs with each stamp inscribed with a “1” in the upper right corner. The “1” indicates that the stamp pays the domestic rate (currently €1.01) for letters weighing up to 20 grams.

Sanny van Loon of Amsterdam designed the stamps, including the typography. According to PostNL, the images invoke “truly Dutch” scenes: a vase with tulips, a carrier pigeon with a letter, a cargo bicycle with plants, a coffee pot and mug with a Boerenbont motif, a lighthouse, a herring, canal houses, a whipped cream cake, a caravan, and a cheese board.

Of the 10 images, five (the herring, tulips, lighthouse, carrier pigeon and coffee pot with mug) are also featured on the stamps marked with a “1” and “International” in a pane of five. These stamps pay the international rate (currently €1.65) for letters weighing up to 20 grams to be delivered outside of the Netherlands.

To complete the set, PostNL issued a sheet of 50 international rate stamps with one image: the vase with tulips.

The domestic stamps have a drawn, golden yellow perforated border. The international-rate stamps have a dark blue border.

Van Loon, who previously designed the 2018 PostNL December stamps (Scott 1578), said she enjoys working on designs with a vintage and retro feel to them.

“[Vintage] is an important aspect of my work, but I always create fresh images that everyone can recognize,” she said in a PostNL release. “The 1970s caravan on the stamp is a good example of how to mix nostalgia with contemporary. Many people will think of past holidays with their parents, but camping has also been rediscovered by younger generations. So this image combines the traditional and what is currently cool.”

Van Loon describes the illustrations as miniature works of art, each with its own story.

“The image of the tulips in the enamelled jug was in my head right from the start,” she said. “One of the tulips has already hung its head; everybody knows that phenomenon. Some of the petals have fallen onto the table. This refers to the flower still lifes of the Dutch masters, which always show something fleeting, something transient.”

The self-adhesive stamps were printed by four-color offset by Cartor Security Printing. The quantities printed were 2,050,000 panes of 10; 1,060,000 panes of five, and 75,000 sheets of 50.

The stamps are available from PostNL.

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