A new look for the “Basel Dove”
The Basel Dove – or the “Basler Dybli”, as it is also known in Switzerland – is one of the most iconic stamps in the world. This year marks its 175th anniversary. A good reason for Swiss Post to release a new stamp with the dove motif. Swiss Post is also marking another anniversary with a stamp dedicated to cinema: 125 years ago, the very first public film screening was held in front of a paying audience. These stamps and all other new releases will be available from 12 November.
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It’s one of the most iconic stamps in the world: the Basel Dove. The stamp was designed by architect Melchior Berri in 1845. He opted for the same motif for his stamp that he had used three years earlier for the design of the Basel letter boxes – a white dove with a letter in its beak. To protect the stamp against forgery, the dove was produced using relief printing, which means that it protrudes slightly from the stamp paper. And there is another unique feature about this 175-year-old stamp: it was the first multicoloured stamp in the world. However, the background of the first issue was green, which did not go down well with its commissioner. It was only at the second attempt that the stamp received its blue background. The green variant is now considered extremely valuable, even though it never even entered into circulation. Swiss Post is now dedicating a new stamp to the “Basler Dybli”. This stamp was designed by Basel-based Susanne Krieg and shows the historical dove with a letter in its beak – but, unlike its 175-year-old predecessor, the image is in close-up. And there is a reason for this: the designer wanted to place greater focus on the new dove.
Showtime for the cinema stamp
There’s yet another birthday to celebrate: cinema. On 22 March 1895, the Lumière brothers made history in Paris: using their cinematographs, they brought moving pictures to the big screen. December of the same year marked the birth of cinema, as the first public film screening was held in front of a paying audience. Throughout its 125-year history, cinema culture has experienced a major transformation. The three special stamps, produced as a se-tenant, illustrate these changes. The stamp on the far left depicts a scene featuring the projector used by the Lumière brothers. This scene marks the beginning of the history of cinema. In the middle, you can see traditional film reels, and on the right, there is a digitally presented 3D experience. In keeping with the motifs, the cinema audience on each stamp is wearing the latest fashions from the relevant period.
Last but not least, the Christmas stamps help to create a festive atmosphere. As is the case every year, Swiss Post has the perfect stamps for the Christmas season. This year, they are dedicated to wintry, atmospheric moments. They feature motifs that we all associate with the winter months: images of mulled wine, biscuits, a birdhouse and a lantern will all get you in the mood for winter. They are not only ideal for the Christmas period, but can also be used throughout winter. The wintry motifs are the result of a public online vote that was held last year. Participants could choose from three different versions of the Christmas stamps created by three different artists. The winner of the competition, who went on to design the stamps, was Marijke Laupper from Lucerne.
Motifs in the 4/2020 stamp issue – available and valid from 12 November 2020
- Clockmaking – miniature sheet at CHF 5.00
- Pro Juventute 2020 – Happy childhood – “Finger painting” at CHF 0.85 + 0.40, “Christmas gift” 1.00 + 0.50
- 125 years cinema – “From 1895” at CHF 1.00, “Around 1960” at CHF 1.00, “Until 2020” at CHF 1.00
- Christmas – wintry moments – “Birdhouse” at CHF 0.85, “Lantern” at CHF 1.00, “Biscuits” at CHF 1.50, “Mulled wine” at CHF 2.00
- Stamp Day 2020 Basel – Stamp with surcharge at CHF 1.00 + 0.50