Archive for the 'Netherlands' Category

rotating Cube / 60度傾く立方体(正六面体)

July 15, 2018

10 November 1970, Netherlands
“Children’s Stamp”
design: William Graatsma & Jan Slothouber

A different colour variation of Cube stamp – well, just being rotated 60 degrees.  I wonder why, but somehow it does not look like a three dimensional Cube, seems more like a 2 dimensional graphic for me.


floating Cube / 宙に浮く立方体(正六面体)

July 5, 2018

10 November 1970, Netherlands
“Children’s Stamp”
design: William Graatsma & Jan Slothouber

Slothouber and Graatsma were a design/architectural unit which formed the Centre for Cubic Constructions (CCC) in Heerlen and made a Dutch presentation at the Venice Biennial in 1970.  Their creations were always related to cubes – thus their retrospective exhibition was named Cubics.  More images from the show and the set of stamps are shown in this link.

One of my best favourite stamps of all time and I wonder why I have not featured it in this blog until now!



Handshake / 握手

September 25, 2016


23 January 1979, Netherlands
Union of Utrecht
Design: Gerrit Noordzij

A handshake – the most symbolic expression of friendship.  But here in this stamp, seven arrows are together – is it friendly or not..?  I searched and read wikipedia – it was a union to fight a war against Spain together, 400 years before the year of issue.

Although multi coloured stamps were the mainstream in the Netherlands in late 1970s, this is a simple and rare intaglio print, and I like it.

握手、、友情と団結、または仲直りのシンボル。でもこの握手は、7本の矢を一緒に握っている( or 後ろで束ねられている)ユトレヒト同盟の図柄です。これって仲良しなのか、どうなのか?ググってわかりました、400年前にスペインと戦うために7つの州が握手した、軍事同盟だったのですね。


kawaii〜 / かわいい〜

May 30, 2015


2005 Netherland
illustration: Dick Bruna

‘Kawaii’ is a Japanese word – maybe one of the first 5 vocabularies an oversea visitor leans from natives in Japan.  Together with animated film culture, among with young Anime fans all over the world, this word is becoming a common keyword of Japanese culture.

I used to have ‘kawaii’ category in this blog, but it covers so many diversities and gave up to nominate.  I want to look at this word again, as it might be more universal than I thought.

So, the first examples are not even stamps, but so kawaiiiiiiii (to emphasise your feeling, you stretch the last vowel) !  It is very easy to analyse why we feel so – our hidden infancy is recalled by these illustration.




a boy on a fish / 魚に乗る男の子

December 11, 2012


10 December 1929, Netherlands
designer: H.H. Kamerlingh

After a small boy riding a flying Goose ( well, posted 2 weeks ago ), I am featuring another boy, this time on a fish ( a kind of Goby fish? ) on Dutch stamps.  But in this case, it could be a huge fish carrying a normal sized boy on…

I like these stamps, particularly their complicated perforation pattern.  This framing make a nice contrast to the simple drawing and letters – and makes these stamps elegant.




butterfly, radish and sun / 大陽はどこに

August 18, 2011

*exch. 051 ( bottom one only )

9 November 1971, Netherlands
design: Babs van Wely

When I was in the countryside for cycling last weekend, I saw a couple of yellow butterflies.  I had an idea that butterflies are found from spring to early summer and not after the peak of a hot summer.  It seems we haven’t had the peak of summer yet – and I am seeing some trees getting coloured already…

Where is our sun!?

*exch. 052 ( limited number )

Has summer gone already?

But in our garden, the branches of our pear tree are heavily laden with the biggest pears of the last few years.  How about the vegetable harvest?

I like the composition of these stamp designs – wide sky for the butterfly and deep ground for the radish, as well as the sun with big hands.





avant-garde in 1923 / 1923年の前衛

May 7, 2011


1923 Netherlands
design: N. J. van de Vecht

I am a great fan of letterpress stamps as they often have a beautiful naïveness and simple composition.  This one from the Netherlands must be very advanced in design at that time, compared to other conventional portraits of sovereigns.   I featured another set from 1926, the Dutch post office in the 1920’s was quite experimental in their artistic attitude.


1923年は日本の大正12年。J. H. モーガンが設計し建設に約3年かかったモダンな丸ノ内ビルヂングが春に完成、同年9月に関東大震災が起こりました。震災を生き残ったこのビルは残念ながら1999年に解体されました。もしも残っていたら、今回の地震で壊れていたかもしれないし、、複雑です。

a prayer for Japan / 祈りはじめて10日

March 21, 2011


30 November 1989, Netherlands
design: Hans Kruit

I was in a hotel room in Tokyo when the earthquake hit Japan.  The room on the 10th floor was shaken badly, but nothing fell down, or was broken or cracked.  Soon I discovered that I was a lucky one – my family is all in the west part of Japan and all my friends in Tokyo and Sendai are fine, although some of them are concerned about their family in the stricken area.  My flight was delayed just 24 hours, and took off on Sunday, two days after the quake, when I returned to London.

Since I left Japan, I have been thinking what I can do.  Maybe right now I can donate for rescue activities, and to pray – for the souls of the victims to rest in peace and for servivors to have rest, comfort and medical care they need.  I am praying for safety of people who are working at the nuclear power station, too.




musical children / 奏でる子供たち

May 12, 2010

*exch. 041 & 042 ( top / blue  & middle / white )

11 November 1969, Netherland
illustration: Dick Bruna

The first set of stamps illustrated by Dick Bruna, one of seasonal ‘Kinderzegels’ series.  He was 42 years old and his favorite colours were the same as fourty years later!


*exch. 043 ( top / yellow )

Miffy is touring / ミッフィー展、巡回

May 11, 2010


2005 Netherland
illustration: Dick Bruna

The exhibition of Go Go Miffy is touring several venues in Japan.  So, I will have a chance to see it in the future!

It is odd not to show stamps inside the ‘sorroundings’ – here you are.  The hiding Miffies come out to dance, write and sit.  The whole sheet was below ( not anymore in the condition… ).



Go Go Miffy / ゴーゴーミッフィー展

May 9, 2010

2005 Netherland
illustration: Dick Bruna

They are not stamps, but illustrated sorrundings of Miffy stamps of Netherland.  Miffy is a rabbit character of children’s books from 1950’s, which are still continued.  There is an exhibition in Tokyo named ‘Go Go Miffy‘, showing original drawings and artworks for printing – and tomorrow is the last day of this exhibition.  I am big fan of stamps designed by Dick Bruna and so pity not to see this exhibition…


in the middle of history / 折り返し地点

January 13, 2010


1926 Netherland
children charity stamps
design: Ant. Molkenboer
photogravure printing

The first stamp was issued in 1840 in England.  It has 170 years of history and if you look at its turning point, that would be around 1925.

These Dutch stamps were issue in 1926, for charity of child welfare.  They were designed with modern mind – or beginning of graphic design.  Although they still have coat of arms within, they picked up atmosphere of the time and cultural trends – a bit late arrival of Art Nouveau.

Around same time, they were issued in Switzerland.  A bit conservative, if you compare them to Dutch ones?




On a marché sur la Lune / 月世界探検

November 14, 2009


1999 Netherland
illustration by Hergé (1907-1983)

I think this is from ‘Explorers on the Moon’, one of the series of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ by the great comic writer and artist.  I ofetn think about Cuteness or simply what appeal to me – this case, it is clearly Snowy, the dog… in a space suit with tail location.


star and love in your mind / 星とハート

November 11, 2009


25 November 1997 Netherland
‘Christmas telepathy’
design by Julia Kaiser

These stamps were posted by a friend of mine Ineke, a class mate from college, after she returned to her country.  I was familiar with British stamps by that time, but these Dutch colourful and very contemporary stamps made me very excited.  I normally do not like to remove self-adhesive stamps from envelope, but this time I used light fuel and enjoyed to collect them.


delta works completed / 堤防が完成しました

November 10, 2009


7 October 1986 Netherland
Storm Surge Map
design by Irene Klinkenberg and Nicole van Schouwenburg

Celebrating their works on delta protection completed, it shows how the storm tamed within controlled bay – so their birds are secured, too.  Again, a lot of information in small stamp – but nicely designed.  I like the little ‘c’ is located between 6 and 5, otherwise easy to be missed out.  75 cent stamp has illustration of people hand in hand, creating levee… a bit over-descriptive, isn’t it?


road signs / 道路標識

November 9, 2009


1 March 1983 Netherland
100 years of A.N.W.B.
design by Hans Kruit and René van Raalte

ANWB stands for Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijders Bond (Dutch automobile association).  This is designed in typical manner of 1980’s Doutch stamps, with a lot of informatio in multicolour, together with photograph – but done in nice way.


Letters Only / 文字だけの構成

November 5, 2009


1946-57 Netherland
design by Jan van Krimpen

Difinitives of that time, first and second stamps ( 2 & 4 cents ) were issued in 1946, the rests were released in 1950’s. Decoration is from two ‘N’s of the name of the country.  Simple and Beautiful.


Aunt was on a goose / ガチョウに乗るおばさん

August 10, 2009


12 November 1963 Netherland
design by Alice Horodisch-Garman

Catalogue title ‘Kinderzegels’ was translated ‘Baby Seals’ on, but I guess these Semi-Postal stamps feature children stories and songs.  The light blue one says ‘Aunt Nans was on a goose’, maybe.


holly square / クリスマスの飾り

May 6, 2009


30 November 1992 Netherlands
‘stylized Christmas rose’
design by Gielijn Escher

Crispness of frozen air at Christmas time.