Czech Republic stamps

P=have O=don’t have it

Flag of Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, short form Česko is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country borders Poland to the northeast, Germany to the west and northwest, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east.

The Czech state or Bohemia as it was known until 1918 was formed in the late 9th century. The country reached its greatest territorial extent during the 13th and 14th century under the rule of the Přemyslid and Luxembourg dynasties. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts alongside Austria and Hungary. The independent Republic of Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. After the Munich Agreement, Polish and German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist party won plurality (38%) in the 1946 elections.

In a 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania); the troops remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic

Location of  Czech Republic  (dark green)– on the European continent  (green & dark grey)– in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]

See: Czechoslovakia stamps

See also: Slovakia stamps


#2940

Scott: #2940P

Issued: 20.1.1995

Czech Stamp Production

#P1 Inside #2940: Czechoslovakia #P1P (Changed Color)


#2978

Scott: #2978P

Issued: 20.1.1996

Czech Stamp Production

#67 Inside #2978: Type A5 Essay of 1920 (Pic of #67P)


#3003

Scott: #3003O

Issued: 20.1.1997

Czech Stamp Production

#68 Inside #3003: Czechoslovakia #68P

“The Liberated Republic" from 1920 by V. H. Brunner


#3032

Scott: #3032O

Issued: 20.1.1998

Czech Stamp Production

#79 Inside #3032: Czechoslovakia Type A8, 1920 (pic of #79P)

Science from 1920 by jakub Obrovský


#3036

Scott: #3036O

Issued: 25.2.1998

History of Stamp Exhibitions/Praga '98

Praga stamp exposition s/s Inside #3036: Czech Republic #251aO

An engraver's transcription of the PRAGA stamp on the theme of Vyšehrad from 1938, which was engraved by K. Seizinger according to J.C. Vondrouš's design.


1999

Scott: #3077O

Issued: 20.1.1999

The Tradition of Czech Stamp Production

#164 Inside #3077: Czech Republic #164P

Czech Republic #??? - the Prague stamp, which shows the statue of St. Wenceslas against the background of the National Museum. The original stamp, in the Castles, Landscapes, Towns series, was based on a watercolour by Jaroslav Šetelík. The issue of the original stamp was timed to coincide with the millenium of St. Wenceslas. An unusual feature is that the engraving was not entrusted to Karel Seizinger, as in the other stamps of the series, but to the French engraver Abel Mignon.


#3109

Scott: #3109O

Issued: 30.1.2000

Traditions in Czech Stamp Production

#B151 Inside #3109: Czechoslovakia #B151P

Bohumil Heinz´s stamp for children from 1938. It shows President T.G.Masaryk holding a little girl in national costume in his arms.

Scan not available

Scott: #3109aO


#3139

Scott: #3139O

Issued: 20.1.2001

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

A. Jirasek 4v Inside #3139: Czechoslovakia #474O (detail)

Karel Svolinsky s stamp originally issued in 1951 to mark Jirásek's 100th anniversary of birth.

Scan not available

Scott: #3139aO


http://www.jointstampissues.net/images/Stamps/2001/011009cz.jpg

Scott: #3156O

Issued: 9.10.2001

Dialogue among Civilizations

Inside #3156: Pseudo Stamp on Envelope

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert


2002

Scott: #3163O

Issued: 20.1.2002

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

#253a Inside #3163: Czechoslovakia #253P

Max Švabinsky’s stamp with the allegorical figure of the Republic, originally issued in 1938 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic.

http://www.manresa-sj.org/stamps/2_CzechRep_2.htm


#3192a

Scott: #3192aO

Issued: 20.1.2003

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

#231 Inside #3192a: Czechoslovakia #231P

Jan C. Vondrouš and engraver Karel Seizinger’s stamp of St. Vitus Cathedral of Prague Castle, originally issued in 1937.

http://home.tiscali.cz:8080/brno2005/images/sesitek_2003.jpg

Stamp booklet Brno 2005


#3228

Scott: #3228

Issued: 20.1.2004O

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

Old house signs 6v Inside #3228: Czechoslovakia #1703O

A postage stamp with the Green Frog sign designed by Jiří Švengsbír and first issued in the 1970 issue House Signs and Gables.

Scan not available

Scott: #3228a (bklt)O


2005

Scott: #3259O

Issued: 20.1.2005

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

#975 Inside #3259: Czechoslovakia #975P


2006

Scott: #3292O

Issued: 20.1.2006

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

#C59 Inside #3292: Czechoslovakia #C59O


2007

Scott: #3331O

Issued: 20.1.2007

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

#598 Inside #3331: Czechoslovakia #598P

This year's postage stamp dedicated to the tradition of Czech stamp design commemorates the painter and graphic designer Josef Liesler (1912-2005), the author of more than a hundred of Czechoslovak and Czech postage stamps. The first one was issued in 1947, the last one in 2002. J. Liesler graduated from the College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, majoring in drawing with C. Bouda, J. Sejpek and O. Blažíček. His work includes painting, graphic design, illustration, ex libris as well as wall monuments and mosaics. He had his distinctive style of painting embedded in surrealism. He himself described his work as fantastic reality. From his college days he was a member of the Association of Graphic Artists Mánes, the Union of Czech Artists and Graphic Designers Hollar, and numerous other bodies. He was a member of the Royal Belgian Academy and a fellow of the Florentine Academy. In 2003 he was granted the medal For Merits by the Czech President. Numerous of his postage stamps also won honours and prizes, e.g. the 1974 World Most Beautiful Stamp dedicated to the International Hydrological Decade. The great fancy, ornateness and decorativeness together with the brilliant drawing make his stamps unique. Chosen for the issue "A Stamp on A Stamp" was Liesler's postage stamp featuring the portrait of the violin virtuoso J. Slavík, issued in 1953 on the occasion of the Prague Spring festival and engraved by J. Schmidt. The stamp is issued in the form of a sheet of stamps and a booklet of 8 stamps and 4 coupons.


2008T

Scott: #3369O

Issued: 20.1.2008

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

 Inside #3369: Czechoslovakia #770P

The annual "A Stamp on A Stamp" issue commemorates further major designers of postage stamps - František Hudeček and the engraver Bohdan Roule who together designed the 10h postage stamps featuring the 1846 steam engine Zbraslav, issued in the 1956 series of postage stamps Engines. F. Hudeček was the author of the entire issue of six stamps. The painter, graphic designer and illustrator F. Hudeček (1909-1990) studied with Prof. Kysela at the Institute of Applied Arts in Prague. His creation developed from fantasy images to a geometrical constructional order. His pursuit of new contacts between reality and virtuality found its expression also in stamp design in the form of subordination of the form to the given theme. Hudeček applied his art also to poster and textile design. B. Roule (1921-1960) graduated from the Institute of Applied Art in Prague. He started engraving postage stamps in the early 50s. During his short lifetime he created about 60 stamp engravings. The first-day cover features a free association of the picture on the 30h postage stamp with the 1865 steam engine Karlštejn. The stamp is issued both in the form of sheets and as a booklet of 8 stamps and 4 coupons featuring an 1841 steam engine.


2008A

Scott: #3397O

Issued: 12.9.2008

KAREL PLICKA (1894-1987)

Issued jointly with Slovakia

#707 Inside #3397 (Right Label): Similar to Czechoslovakia #707O

The theme of the common Czech and Slovak issue is the personality and work of the artist of comprehensive gifts and activities K. Plicka (1894-1987). Karel Plicka is a part of the culture of two - Czech and Slovak - nations. A distinguished photographer and film maker, he was active also in music and singing. His broad artistic activities in ethnography together with his sensitivity of an artist and musician enabled him to record both in notation and on photographs and film tapes the disappearing world of folk traditions, tales, songs and way of life. He was also a significant teacher. He was first engaged as a teacher at the School of Crafts in Bratislava, later as a professor and the first dean of a newly established Film Academy of the Academy of Arts in Prague. Plicka graduated in 1913 from the Teacher School in Hradec Králové, in 1928 from Komenský University in Bratislava in music science, ethnography and art history. In 1924-38 he collected Slovak folk songs and documented folk cultural for the ethnographic department of the Slovak ethnographic institute Matice slovenská. He recorded about 40,000 songs from Slovakia, Bohemia and Moravia, published in 1961 in the collections Czech Song Book and Slovak Song Book. He set up the archives of documentary and ethnographic photographs of the Matice slovenská. In 1937-39 he set up and headed the first film vocational centre of the School of Crafts in Bratislava. During World War II he worked in Prague where he published the book Prague on K. Plicka's Photographs. From the 50s he worked exclusively as a photographer (books of photographs Prague Castle, The Vltava River, Homeland The Beautiful, Levoča, etc.). A famous photographer, Plicka was highly appreciated both locally and internationally for his film documentaries (he won the Venezia Cup for his music poem Singing Country in 1934).


Scott: #3410O

Issued: 20.1.2009

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

#979 Inside #3410: Czechoslovakia #980P

The tradition of Czech stamp design is commemorated this year by Anna Podzemná's stamp of the issue The 15th Anniversary of the Czechoslovak Liberation. This issue of five postage stamps which appeared in 1960 contained two stamps by A. Podzemná created in cooperation with the engraver Jiří Švengsbír. Podzemná's work is represented by the 30 h stamp featuring a little girl eating a cake.

The painter Anna Podzemná-Suchardová (1909-1996) studied at the school of arts and crafts UMPRUM and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (A. Hofbainer, M. Švabinský) and at Académie Julien in Paris. She was the author of numerous paintings and drawings of folk types in the Valašsko region. Her numerous stamp designs proved her quality of an outstanding portrait and figure painter. She used her sense of figurative composition mainly in designing stamps with sport themes. She is the author of multi-stamp issues on Czechoslovak Spartakiads, stamps featuring a number of sport disciplines and series of stamps on several Olympic Games. Her designs are full of dynamism and sport elegance.

The drawer, graphic designer and engraver J. Švengsbír (1921-1983) graduated from the school of arts and crafts UMPRUM in Prague (A. Strnadel) and in the course of his 30 years' cooperation with the postal administration he created over 250 engravings and won a number of prizes for them. A tribute was paid to him in the 2004 issue of The Tradition of Czech Stamp Design.

The first-day cover of the issue features a pasqueflower from the 60 h stamp commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Lidice and Ležáky massacre, designed by A. Podzemná in 1962. The postage stamp is issued both in the form of sheets and as a book of 8 stamps and 4 coupons.


2010

Scott: #3439O

Issued: 20.1.2010

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

#2121 Inside #3439: Czechoslovakia #2121P

2010A


http://www.catstamps.org/scans/Domestic_cats/Cartoon_stylized/CZ/CZ20100901%20SH%2010xA%20CAT.jpg

Scott: #????O

Issued: 01.09.2010

Czech comic book http://www.catstamps.org/design/Scripts/CZ_Ctyrlistek.jpg

 

Inside #???? (On tab): Pseudo Stamp on Envelope

On 1 September 2010, the Czech Post issued its third installment in the ongoing series featuring characters from the popular Czech comic book http://www.catstamps.org/design/Scripts/CZ_Ctyrlistek.jpg.

This issue consists of a sheetlet with 9 stamps with peronalizable labels.

The stamps show all 4 main characters, including the cats scientist Myhttp://www.catstamps.org/design/Scripts/s_hacek_Tms_liten.jpgpulin, whi is also featured on the prototype labels, as well as on the upper Right label of the sheetlet.

 The stamps are denominated 'A', which is the inland postage for letters up to 50g (CZK 10.00 at time of issue).


Scott: #3484O

Issued: 20.1.2011

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

(Thanks to Lou for the scan)

Lou wrote: I just bought the very elusive 1966 imprinted envelope from Czechoslovakia with the indicium adapted for the 2011 Traditions issue. It is a flown first day cover, so I'm sending a scan of the cropped indicium with a partial cancel. This cover had interesting travels in its history: from Czechoslovakia to the U.S., then somehow to a dealer in Pakistan, and now back to me in the U.S.!

Inside #3484: 60h “Mail coach on Charles Bridge” stamp from imprinted envelope

 issued for Union of Czechoslovak Philatelists Exhibition, Prague 1966.

 

The 2011 issue in the series Tradition of Czech Stamp Design is a single-colour stamp, printed by the rotary recess method, which first appeared on the "Mail Coach on Charles Bridge" envelope commemorating the exhibition of specialised branches of the Union of Czechoslovak Philatelists Prague 1966. The stamp was originally designed and engraved by Josef Herčík. Bedřich Housa is the author of the current engraved version.

Josef Herčík (March 22nd, 1922, Uherský Brod - July 9th, 1999, Prague) was one of the leading Czech engravers in the post-World War II era, mainly due to the large number of national and international awards he received for his contribution to the art of engraving in stamp design. As the author of more than 400 stamp engravings, Josef Herčík managed to overcome even Jindra Schmidt and became the most prolific Czechoslovak engraver.

Josef Herčík's started his art career in the almost forgotten craft of gunstock engraving in the arm producing firm Zbrojovka Uherský Brod. He moved to Prague in 1940 where he also married. After the end of the war he was admitted to the College of Arts in Prague. The education opened him a broader way to graphic design.

Although mainly recognized as a stamp engraver, he also authored a large spectrum of other graphic works, such as drawings, book covers and illustrations, bibliophilic works. His engravings for the 1958 edition of Arthur Rimbaud's "Le bateau ivre", designed by painter František Tichý, was the first work that made him publicly visible. His cooperation with graphic designer Václav Sivko, which started at the same time, introduced him to stamp engraving; Herčík's first stamp engravings followed Sivka's designs used for the PRAGA 1962 exhibition, although his first "real" stamp engravings featuring two insect motifs appeared later.

Herčík worked mainly for the Czechoslovak stamp design, but several of his works became also internationally renowned. He engraved an extensive series of facsimiles of famous stamps, e.g. the Blue Mauritius, for the German philatelic firm Hermann Sieger, as well as a few stamps for other postal administrations, such as Monaco or the United Nations.

Herčík covered also other areas of graphic design, such as free or heraldic graphics. As a heraldic designer he was even commissioned to design and engrave almost all Czechoslovak issues including heraldry of Czech or Slovak towns.

Josef Herčík and his wife Helena remained very active and enterprising in the graphic arts industry even in old age. The printing firm "1. česká grafická společnost", set up by them and their son Josef Herčík Jr.'s family in the 1990s, soon attracted major printing and graphic contracts from around the world.


Scott: #3523O

Issued: 20.1.2012

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

Scan not available Inside #3523: TBI

The newly outlined Tradition of Czech Stamp Design issue commemorates another of Czechoslovak and Czech stamp designers - Josef Liesler (19 September 1912, Vidolice u Kadaně - 23 August 2005, Prague).
Liesler was a Czech painter, graphic artist and illustrator. In the 1930s he graduated from the University of Architecture and Structural Engineering, Prague. Liesler´s great artistic talent became evident when he was still a student. 

He taught drawing courses in 1945-49 and all his life remained proud of his work as a teacher. He considered drawing as the basis of art. In his own work he preferred graphic art, especially lithography, which gave him a chance to apply harmony between precise lines and colours. 

In October 1939 he entered the history of Czech art by organising, jointly with some other artists, an independent exhibition at the Topič Salon. The artists called themselves Sedm v říjnu(Seven in October). The event was triggered by sculptor Vincent Makovský who met the young artists in the U Štýdlů pub and offered them the time window for his Prague exhibition with the provoking: "Now show me what you can do." 

At that time Liesler followed expressionism. His paintings reflected the occupation time described in symbols. In his soul he always was a humanist, and kept fighting also in his art against any form of restriction of freedom. His paintings brim with rich shapes and full colours. 

He was admitted as a member of the prestigious association of artists Mánes during the war, when he was still a young man. He was also one of the oldest surviving members of Hollar, the association of artists he was proud to belong to. Liesler won a number of awards, such as the UNESCO World´s Most Beautiful Stamp Award (1975). Despite the initial lack of trust on the side of philatelists - Liesler was too much modern and unconventional an artist for them - he designed more than a hundred of stamps. He was very proud of his membership in the glorious Academy in Florence and the Royal Academy for the Arts of Belgium.


Scott: #????O

Issued: 20.1.2013

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

Scan not available 

Inside #????: 1975 postal stationery (50th anniversary of the launch of automated telephone operation in Czechoslovakia)

 Inside #????: Czechoslovakia #1936

The newly outlined Tradition of Czech Stamp Design issue commemorates another significant stamp designer, Ivan Strnad. The stamp shows a portrait of Ivan Strnad; a part of the mirrored motif which first appeared on a 1975 postal stationery item commemorating the 50th anniversary of the launch of automated telephone operation in Czechoslovakia, placed in the left-hand side; and a female nude from the 30h stamp Intersputnik issued in 1974, placed in the right-hand side.

Czech graphic artist and teacher Ivan Strnad was born on 3 April 1926 in Prague and died in January 2005. He created many Czechoslovak and Czech stamps and commemorative coins. He was a member of the associations of Czech graphic artists “Hollar” and “Grafis”.

Ivan Strnad taught students in a special applied graphic arts studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague where he later became an associate professor. He was the author of stamp designs, illustrations, applied graphics and graphic designs, architectural works, textile works and medals. His work includes over 100 Czechoslovak stamps, banknotes, a number of company logos and more than 20 share warrants. He excelled in free graphic art, dry needle and engraving; figure compositions were also among his favourite disciplines.

During his lifetime he won many awards for his works of art. Most of them came for his stamp designs (1964: 2nd prize for the stamps 20 Years of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic; 1966: 1st prize for the stamp series Vanguard 65; 1967, 1970-1972, 1974, 1975: various Best Stamp of the Year awards) and the most beautiful banknotes (1980: the 500 Kčs banknote).

The coupon features a head drawing fron the background of the 1 Kčs stamp which appeared in the 1977 Space Exploration series.


czech republic

Scott: #????O

Issued: 20.1.2014

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

sos czechoslovakia 1712 1970 Inside #????: Czechoslovakia #1712

sos czechoslovakia 884 1958 Inside #????: Czechoslovakia #884

sos czechoslovakia 1783 1971 Inside #????: Czechoslovakia #1783

A portrait of Ladislav Jirka, accompanied in the background with three of his stamps he valued most of his work: Bridesmaid - Art 1970 (K. Svolinský), Leccinum versipelle, 1958 (K. Svolinský), and a detail from The Feast of the Rosary - Art 1971 (A. Dürer).

Ladislav Jirka (1914-1986) was born in Třemošná u Plzně. In 1928, he started to study the art of engraving with František Malinský in Plzeň. In 1936, he joined the engraving department of the Military Geographical Institute. In 1939, he passed the admission examination and joined the state-owned stamp and banknote printing house Státní tiskárna cenin as a banknote engraver. By his 1948 portrait of Ľudovít Štúr, designed by Karel Svolinský, he also joined the ranks of stamp engravers. His meeting with Karel Svolinský developed into a long-term cooperation. Jirka engraved many of Svolinský’s stamps with folk and mainly nature motifs. He also used designs by other major artists; the best remembered was his cooperation with Mirko Hanák, Cyril Bouda and Josef Liesler. At the same time, he used classical works of art as a basis for engravings.

He received several awards for stamp design and works of art.

Thanks to Lou Guadagno


czech rep      O_Kulhánek (2)

Scott: #????O

Issued: 20.1.2015

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

sos czech rep 3494-- from ss  2011 Inside #????: Czech Rep. #3494

sos czech rep 3483-- from ss  2011 Inside #????: Czech Rep. #3483

sos czech rep 3314c--  from ss  2006 Inside #????: Czech Rep. #3314C

sos czech rep 3590       2013 Inside #????: Czech Rep. #3590

os czech rep 3374  2008 Inside #????: Czech Rep. #3374

The newly outlined Tradition of Czech Stamp Design issue commemorates another significant stamp designer, Oldřich Kulhánek. The stamp shows a portrait of Oldřich Kulhánek based on the same imaging principle as the one used by Kulhánek. This means that attention is paid also to details that do not compliment but emphasize the image of a “tired philosopher”.

Oldřich Kulhánek is a world famous artist. He was born on 26 February 1940 and died on 28 January 2013. He started to study arts at the Art School in Prague and continued his studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in the class of Professor Karel Svolinský. The years spent with this teacher laid down the basic foundation for Kulhánek’s career as an artist.

Kulhánek mostly concentrated on graphic art and drawings. He also designed the new Czech banknotes and many Czech postage stamps.

In 1971, he was arrested by Czech secret police and charged with disparaging representatives of Communist countries (a reference to the portrayal of Stalin in some of Kulhánek’s graphic sheets).

This led to a total ban on exhibiting his works, co-operating with any publishers or using any publicity in the 1970s. In spite of the ban, he used numerous friends in the United States, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria and France to stay in touch with Europe’s art scene. The situation changed after the 1989 fall of the Communist regime in the then Czechoslovakia. During his first visit to the United States in 1990, Kulhánek attended the Litographic Workshop in Los Angeles. A number of visits to the United States followed. He led the drawing workshop in the Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrne Beach in the summer of 1991. In 1995, he stayed at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, Texas. He chaired the Stamp Design Board of Česká pošta, s.p.

Thanks to Lou Guadagno and Prof. Plinio Richelmi


Scott: #????O

Issued: 02.09.2015

Postcrossing

 

Inside #????: Stamps on envelopes


czech republic    ss   10 14 15

Scott: #3624aO

Issued: 14.10.2015

Czech Statehood

sos austria B5  1915 Inside #3624 (In Label): Austria #B5

The first stamp depicts the ceremony of unveiling of the monument to Master Jan Hus marking the five-hundredth anniversary of his burning. Although the long-planned celebrations were banned, the unveiling of the monument to Master Jan Hus on the day of the 500th anniversary of his burning became a clear demonstration of the specific national aspirations.

A group of Czech exiles fleeing the country after the Battle of White Mountain, symbolising the despair over the loss of their homeland, was added to the figures of Jan Hus and God’s warriors.

At that time, the development of the Czech lands, which were then at Europe’s cultural peak, was actually strangled. It used to be the only country boasting tolerance between Catholics and Protestants. Czech was the official language; the authors of the Bible of Kralice, translators from the Unity of the Brethren, elevated it to a language able to express every emotional and legal aspect of human existence. The coupon shows the slogan “The truth will set us free” written on the shield with a chalice used in the monument, which was very significant and binding for the design of the monument created by Šaloun. The yearning for living in truth eventually made its way to the presidential flag.

The banner of the battalion company “Nazdar” in the left-hand coupon in the miniature sheet marks the formation of the Czechoslovak Legions in France and their combat deployment in the area around Arras. Under the banner is a replica cross of John of Luxembourg from Crecy. Czechs and representatives of the Czech state militarily engaged in the area in northwestern France since the Middle Ages. The village of La Targette near Arras is the place of a cemetery of Czechoslovak members of the battalion company “Nazdar”, killed there during the Battle of Arras on 9 May 1915. In 1924, on the initiative of the Association of Czechoslovak Volunteers in France, a place for construction of a monument to Czechoslovak soldiers fallen in France was purchased there and the remains of soldiers from all the battlefields of the Western Front fallen in the years 1915-1918 were gradually collected there. After 1945, the remains of Czechoslovak soldiers fallen in 1940 and at the end of the Second World War during the Battle of Dunkirk, including 29 Czech pilots, were brought there. The stone cross erected in the middle of the cemetery is a replica of the “Czech Cross” (Croix de Bohême), the original of which stands in the nearby fields of Crecy-en-Ponthieu and commemorates the death of the blind Czech King John of Luxembourg in the Battle of Crecy on 26 August 1346.

The tombstones have a uniform design (a cross for Christians, a round stone for other denominations) and state the name of the fallen soldier, the rank, unit and date of death, if known, with a single phrase “Mort Pour la Patrie” (Died for the Country).

The left-hand coupon portrays M.R. Štefánik in a flying helmet. Štefánik was not surprised by the beginning of war; he saw the war mainly as a chance of obtaining independence for Slovaks, which he associated from the beginning with Czech independence. In the early 1915, he received a pilot diploma and the rank of corporal. During his work as an aviator, he always had in mind the independence of Czechs and Slovaks and tried to set up Czech-Slovak volunteer units. In the early September 1915, he was sent to the Serbian front where he further developed his attempts. After the defeat of Serbia, Štefánik returned to Paris where he became acquainted with the most important politicians, such as Prime Minister Aristide Briand and the most influential man at the French Foreign Ministry, Philippe Berthelot. Štefánik continued to push through the plan of a creation of a Czecho-Slovak state. At a meeting with E. Beneš on 13 December 1915, they agreed on Štefánik’s and Masaryk’s concept of an independent state. Štefánik’s new role, set by himself, was to set up a single control centre for joint resistance of Czechs and Slovaks, create independent Czecho-Slovak troops, and make them known among politicians.

He informed Prime Minister Aristide Briand about these plans and arranged for his meeting with Masaryk. The meeting of Briand and Masaryk was successful and Masaryk convinced Briand to accept the concept of a solution to the Central European issue.

The lower left-hand part of the miniature sheet contains a tangle of still alive and already dead, furiously attacking and helplessly falling Czech soldiers in the uniforms of opposing armies, with crosses symbolising suffering and hope in the background. It also contains fictitious police portraits of Czech politicians K. Kramář and A. Rašín, future Czech Prime Minister and Minister of Finance respectively, sentenced to death. The war hysteria of the monarchy led to the intensification of sanctions against national manifestations. T.G. Masaryk and E. Beneš emigrated to avoid persecution. Czech associations were dissolved and the use of the Czech language in official communications was prohibited. Books on Czech history and Czech magazines were prohibited, censorship mopped up books and repertory of theatres, school libraries were closed.

The lower part of the miniature sheet depicts a war “Pieta”.

The upper left-hand part commemorates one of the most insidious weapons - the use of poison gas at Ypres. The idea of using poison gases was conceived by the Germans. The gas was transported to the front lines in metal bottles. On a given day, if the wind was right, the valve of a bottle was turned on and the gas started to escape. The deadly cloud was driven by the wind across the no man’s land to the enemy lines. On 22 April 1915, after two days of artillery shelling that destroyed the medieval town of Ypres, British soldiers noticed a yellow-green cloud rising over the German trenches. The cloud hit the left wing of the British trenches. The deadly cloud of chlorine hit the French troops, mostly originating from Algeria. They were helpless and ran away from the battlefield. The Canadian troops, also hit by the edge of the cloud, kept up. They used primitive means to defend themselves, such as socks soaked in urine. On 24 May 1915, after another month of uninterrupted fights, the Germans once again ordered a gas attack on Ypres. The gas cloud hit the Canadian troops. They managed to keep up at the cost of horrible losses.

The upper right-hand part contains a view of the sea conflict. Although the naval operations against Turkey in the Dardanelles were not the main focus of Czechs, W. Churchill, one of the main authors of the concept of landing in Gallipoli was crucial for the further fate of the world and cannot be overlooked. The landing failed and led to the defeat and departure of the Serbian army. The Dardanelles campaign decided the fate of Serbia. Until the British invasion during the Battle of Gallipoli continued, Bulgaria did not dare to attack Serbia, but instead waited for the help from Greece and Romania. When it became clear that the British attack on Gallipoli was losing steam, the situation in the Balkan battlefield suddenly changed. On 6 October 1915, Serbia was attacked. The Bulgarian attack came through the valley of the Morava river while the Austro-Hungarian army attacked Belgrade. The Battle of Belgrade was incredibly cruel, and the Serbs had no chance against the overwhelming odds even with the help of the British and French artillery. The remnants of the army retreated in appalling conditions through Albania and Montenegro to the Adriatic coast. Serbian historiographs of this period often call it the Serbian Golgotha.

The lower right-hand part depicts some actors of the global conflict: Russian Tsar Nicholas II, General Hindenburg, later German president, English King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Japanese Emperor Taisho Yoshihito, Emperor Franz Joseph I and the already mentioned Winston Churchill, the then First Lord of the Admiralty and Secretary to the Navy.

The right-hand part of the upper coupon portrays Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. During the First World War, Masaryk abandoned his original opinion that Austria-Hungary could be reformed into a modern union of autonomous countries. In January 1915, he went to Switzerland. He submitted an “Independent Bohemia” memorandum to the British Foreign Minister, which suggested “restoration of the Czech Republic as an independent state”. He also proposed a personal union of Serbia and Czechoslovakia. At a meeting in the Reformation Hall of the University of Geneva on 6 July 1915, he made his famous speech marking the 500th anniversary of the burning of Jan Hus, in which he declared a war to the Hapsburg domination: “We condemn violence, and we do not want to use it. But if necessary, we will use iron against violence.” In the nearby Chamonix Mont Blanc in France, Masaryk met Štefánik. Masaryk admired the organisation and secrecy of the Sicilian Mafia; the Czech resistance organisation, as a secret society, was therefore named the Czech Mafia. During the First World War, members of the Czech Mafia became the driving force behind Czech resistance, influenced by Professor Masaryk from his exile.

In the axis of the sheet at the very bottom is a red poppy flower. “In Flanders fields the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row.” These words from a poem by Canadian Lieutenant John McCrae, written in 1915 in honour of a fallen friend, spread very quickly and contributed to the fact that poppies began to be associated with the victims of war conflicts. For centuries poppies grow on all battlefields, apparently due to the presence of lime penetrating into the soil from the rubble.

The flags of the participating countries flutter above it all. The red and white bicolour already quietly emerges in this miniature sheet.

Thanks to Lou Guadagno and Attilio Papio


czech republic (2)

Scott: #????O

Issued: 20.1.2016

Traditions of Czech Stamp Production

sos czechoslovakia B165 with label  1948 Inside #????: Czechoslovakia #B165 + label

sos czechoslovakia B165 with label-- reversed sos czechoslovakia B165-- image reversed  bird peacock detail sos czechoslovakia B165  label--bird image reversed

Design components: stylized birds only, reversed images

a portrait of Karel Svolinský based on a photograph (made by Tomáš Vosolsobě about 1977) provided by the Postal Museum; the stamp also includes a collage of fragments from book illustrations (Czech Year, Plants, about 1948) and a postage stamp (Moravia - Těšínsko Region, 1947).

Karel Svolinský (14 January 1896, Svatý Kopeček u Olomouce – 16 September 1986, Prague) was a leading Czech painter, graphic artist, illustrator, typographer and letter designer, stage designer, and university teacher.

From 1910-1916, he trained as a carver in Prague. From 1919, he continued his studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. He studied painting and graphic design with Štěpán Zálešák (1919-1921) and sculpting with Bohumil Kafka (1921). After suffering an injury, he focused mainly on graphic design and murals, which he studied with František Kysela from 1922-1927. From 1945, he worked as the head of the Special Department of Applied Graphic Art at the Academy.

The focus of his work was on drawing inspired by folk traditions, costumes, and nature. Other areas of his work included graphic art and design (book plates, posters, banknotes, stamps) using experimental graphic techniques. Due to his training as a carver, his typical graphic techniques were wood engraving and wood carving. He was also an outstanding book designer and illustrator. He designed tapestries and was a successful stage designer. He is best known as the designer of several monumental works: the stained-glass window of the Schwarzenberg chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague (1930-1931), and a new design of the Astronomical Clock in Olomouc in the style of socialist realism (sculptor Olbram Zoubek contributed to the creation of the figures in collaboration with Svolinský’s wife Marie).

Svolinský worked as a stage designer from 1940 when he was invited by conductor Václav Talich to create the set for Dvořák’s opera The Jacobin in the National Theatre. He was invited as a guest stage designer mainly for Czech opera sets in Prague, the State Theatre in Brno, Olomouc, Plzeň and other cities. He was also invited to design the set for Janáček’s Jenůfa in the Vienna State Opera in 1968.

Svolinský illustrated many books, such as Karel Plicka and Frantisek Volf’s Czech Year published in four volumes in 1944-1960, and covers for musical scores by e.g. Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček, Zdeněk Fibich. His commemorative edition of Mácha’s romantic poem Máj, with Svolinský’s original lettering and many illustrations, was displayed at the International Decorative Art Exhibition in Paris, 1925. After its success, he published his font Wenceslas with the English company Monotype in 1933. He also designed posters, postage stamps, book plates, banknotes and created numerous stained-glass windows, mosaics and glass paintings. From 1935, Svolinský was a member of the association of artists “Mánes” and an honorary member of the association of Czech graphic artists “Hollar”. He carried on the legacy of the tradition of Mánes and Aleš in Czech visual arts.

The postage stamp is issued both in the form of sheets and as a book of 8 stamps and 4 coupons. 

Thanks to Lou Guadagno


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