Archive for January, 2014

horsepower mail coach / 三馬力の郵便荷車

January 23, 2014

28 September 1971, Sweden
engraver: Czesław Słania

Speed was one of the reasons why horses had been used for transportation, obviously.  So, they were the main motive power for the postal services, too.

This great piece of work by the engraver Czesław Słania shows, the express-speed of a three horsepower wagon with postal horn mark on.  You may hear the creak noise together with the clatter of hoofs.




horse power / 馬力

January 23, 2014

1978 Portugal

Until the steam engine was invented in 18th century, horses had pulled a lots of good, supplies and people from one place to another – for very long time in the history.


farm produce & horse / 農作物と馬

January 20, 2014

5 October 1983, United Kingdom
British Fairs / Early Produce Fairs
design: Andrew Restall

Another stamp from UK, depicts horses as a part of a summer farm fair.  They transported vegetables and geese to the farmer’s markets.

And a cat.



rural landscape and horse / 田園と馬

January 20, 2014

8 June 1946, Sweden
Centenary of Swedish Agricultural Show
designer: O. Sköld
engraver: S. Ewert

According to a book titled “What on Earth Happened?”, churches owned horses and cleared a lot of woodland, then rent those reclaimed land to farmers – that was the largest force of destruction of ancient forests in the Medieval Europe.

This Swedish stamp is showing a mother horse and a pony in the agricultural field – it rather looks peaceful now, though.



ploughing horse / 鋤を曳く馬

January 10, 2014

17 January 1994, Sweden
North Sweden Horses
designer: L. Hasselberg
engraver: L. Sjööblom

About 6000 years ago, the ancient people started to domesticate horses.  Around 10th century in Europe, people started to use horse powered plough and that helped to speed up cultivation.  Until the tractors were invented in 19th century, horses provided power for agriculture and supported increasing population on the earth.

North Swedish horses have long mane and gentle eyes in these stamps.



Hippocampus / 魚の尾をもつ馬

January 9, 2014

18 June 1983, France
50th anniversary of Air France
design: C. Andréotto

I thought Unicorn stamp might be in my collection – did not find one, but instead I found Hippocampus – another mythological creature, a horse in its forepart with a coiling fish-shaped hindquarter.


The Hippocamp was the company logo when Air France was first founded in 1933.  Together with the strips used for the tail assembly, design of this stamp is cool.



Pegasus / 翼を持つ馬

January 5, 2014

13 January 1957, Italy
Etruscan Horse

One of the legendary creatures – Pegasus has reverential atmosphere suits to the New Year.  The Greek mythology which tells us this creature has its roots goes back to 15th century B.C., visual materials are dated from 8~9 century B.C. – I have just learnt how old this creature was!

The horses with wings in this stamp is claimed from Etruria, where one of the ancient civilizations was cultivated from 9th century B.C. in the centre of Italy.



year of horse started / 午年、明けました

January 3, 2014

6 February 1969, Germany
for the youth: Horses
Thoroughbred / Draft horse / Pony / Warmblood

Happy New Year to you all!

2014 is the year of the Horse. The sexagenary cycle is completed with 12 animals and my icon of the zodiac is horse – I was born 48 years ago.  That year was a little special ‘Fire Horse‘ and birthrate of the year in Japan was 25% decreased than the year before.

During the last month, I read a book titled “What on Earth Happened?” and learnt how significant the domestication of horse was in the ancient world.  Horses were used to plough fields, to communicate with speed and to fight in wars.  I have more than 80 stamps with horses depicted and I am featuring several of them in coming posts.

First set is from Germany and from the top, I would nickname them form the top ‘sublime horse’, ‘heavy horse’, ‘friendly pony’ and ‘speedy horse’.