Thursday, 16 April 2015

My New Blog

A big hello to all Stamp Crazy members! I'd like to offer you a personal invitation to my brand new blog - Slania Crazy! Come and take a look and become a member if you like!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Forest Scenes by Toth

Rudolph Toth was an incredibly gifted Austrian stamp engraver. He often worked in collaboration with the designer, A. Pilch.

In 1962 Toth engraved a set of stamps for Austria showcasing some of the country's stunning forests. In my view, Toth has done an amazing job capturing the majesty of the Austrian forest.

In the first stamp, Toth depicts a Lowland Forest using various shades of grey to good affect...

The second stamp depicts a typical deciduous forest. Click HERE for more on deciduous forests.

In the final stamp of the series, Toth illustrates a fir and Larch forest.

Here is an example of the European Larch Larix decidua ...

Stay Stamp Crazy!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Czeslaw Slania in Aland

Aland or Aland Islands is an autonomous region of Finland. It ... "consists of an archipelago lying at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea." (Wikipedia extract) For more info on Aland, click HERE


In 1994 Czeslaw Slania engraved a set of three stamps for Aland, exploring Aland in the Stone Age. It is the simplicity of their design which I find the most striking. Let's take a look and you can judge for yourself.

The first stamp in the set depicts Stone Age pottery from the region.


The second stamp in the set depicts an example of the type of housing found in the region during this period.


The final stamp in the set gives an an insight into some of the stone tools utilised by the inhabitants of the region at the time.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Czeslaw Slania - The First of Many!

The name Czeslaw Slania has become synonymous with engraving brilliance.  But where did the master begin? What was the first stamp he engraved? For a biography of Slania click HERE

The first stamp Slania engraved was as an apprentice under the watchful eye of M.R. Polak in 1950 for Poland. Slania had not yet earned the right to engrave the entire stamp. He was permitted to engrave the metal part of the hammer being wielded by a Polish worker. 

Poland 1950 Sc. #486

A proof of the stamp is also available in a special booklet in a different colour. I personally prefer the colour chosen for the proof.

Okay, so what about the first stamp engraved entirely by Czeslaw Slania? It wasn't long in arriving - the next year in fact! 1951. The stamp was again for Poland, and it was issued to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Paris Commune. If the skill of Slania had not been evident in the first stamp he worked on, this stamp leaves no room for question. It is simply beautiful.

There is an interesting story that goes along with this stamp. The portrait on the stamp is supposed to depict General Jaroslaw Dabrowski, but instead by some mistake somewhere along the line the portrait actually depicts the composer and pianist Henryk Dabrowski. I have been unable to locate another image of the composer Dabrowski for comparison, but I have found images of Gen. Jaroslaw Dabrowski. One such image is on a Polish banknote.

If indeed the portrait on the stamp is the composer Henryk Dabrowski, then the likeness he bears to Gen. Jaroslaw Dabrowski is rather striking. One could be forgiven for mixing the two up. Do these two gentlemen bear a striking resemblance? Are they perhaps brothers? Or is the portrait on the banknote wrong also? Or is the portrait of the correct man after all? If anyone has any information relating to this stamp, I'd love to hear from you.