vintage postage stamps


a visual look at vintage postage stamps from around the world with a focus on design and illustration (any additional history in forms of notes always appreciated)

Curated by Karen Horton
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United Nations: first U.N. issue 1951, block of four (airmail)

c. 1951

designed by O.S. Mathiesen

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Australia postage stamp: Centenary of Western Australia

c. 1929

designed by George Pitt-Morrison, engraving by Frank D. Manley

“This stamp was released to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Western Australia, the design incorporates a Swan as the central figure, with Kangaroo Paws (W. A. State Flower) & Eucalyptus flowers & leaves, an Official stamp punctured OS was also issued for Government use.”
—text via Australian Stamp Catalogue

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United States postage stamp: energy conservation

c. 1974

“The text of the 1974 USPS commemorative set noted, “Until the national goal of self-sufficiency in energy is realized, the message of the stamp will be valid. All Americans must cooperate to conserve all forms of energy.” Those words still ring true.” —text found via Electric Consumer

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Bulgaria postage stamp: blue 9

c. 1944


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double-barred cross of Lorraine stamp

double-barred cross symbolizing awareness for tuberculosis prevention? Cinderella or Christmas seal, not postage? from Italy?

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Japan postage stamp: akita dog

c. 1953

There is a brief mention of this specific stamp (or a similar one) in an article on the Telegraph titled: Morie Sawataishi: Saviour of Japan’s akita Samurai dog

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Congo postage stamp: anti-malaria

c. 1962

designed by Jean van Noten, printed by Hélio Courvoisier