Sunday, 29 January 2012

Dragons - Sunday Stamps

Viridian has chosen to celebrate China and the year of the Dragon this week.

China’s first stamps appeared in 1878 and had dragons on them! They are known as “large dragon stamps” and are very rare. I wish I had one of them, but the nearest I can offer you is a an image of a stamp from 1897.

China - 1897, Dragon
In the year of the Dragon, many different countries issue dragon stamps. The year 2000 was a dragon year, and dragon stamps were issued in Macau, U.S.A, Canada, Christmas Islands, Hong Kong, Japan and China, of course. I'm told that the first Japanese stamps in 1871 also depicted dragons.

I looked hard for other dragon stamps and was disappointed to find I had very few. However I was pleased to find this dragon's head on a Norwegian stamp.

Norway - 1972
Viking longships had dragon heads like this on their prows. However I have not been able to confim whether these are dragons on these other stamps from Scandinavia. Perhaps someone can tell me whether they are.

I looked hard to find stamps with komodo dragons but had to give up as my stamps from Indonesia had pangolins.

I was on much safer ground closer to home as a dragon is always depicted on the regional issues from Wales.

Great Britain - Wales - pre 1971 - Wilding design
Wales - post 1971 - Machin design
1971 was the year Breat Britain changed from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal currency.

Wales - Commonwealth Games 1958
My favourite dragon stamp is one I don't possess - it's from the set of mythical creatures.

Great Britain


DW96 said...

Never really been into stamps, Bob, and I didn't realise the British variety had some much detail hidden in them.

Interesting post.

VioletSky said...

That Norwegian dragon is quite different from most of the ones we see.
I went out and bought our Canadian issues of Yr of Dragon in time for this theme. This is one of the few times that the post office makes a big deal out getting a stamp (well, apart from the Royal Wedding ones)

Marcie said...

Great dragon stamp from the UK! The old Chinese one is impressive - very much fitting the image of the Chinese culture - well at least I imagine it to be...

Sorry to say, but on the Finnish stamps you see a lion, it's Finland's heraldic lion. They have the lion on their Euro cent coins, too.

Joy said...

The Commonwealth Games stamp is one of my favourites; what a marvellous trip around the world in dragons. I had to really squint at the Finland one after Marcie's comments, its a very ornate lion.

Postcardy said...

My favorites are the old Chinese stamp and the Wales Commonwealth Games.

viridian said...

Bob: the link to your post is now in my blog post, so people should be able to find you now.
It's hard to pick a favorite from among all these wonderful stamps. Perhaps the first and the last for me.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I loved the mythical creatures series but the Commonwealth games stamp is a beauty.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. great to see the history to the dragon stamps .. thanks - Hilary


LUV the first Norwegian stamp!!