News from Åland Post Stamps 

2016 Sepac folder

The seventh SEPAC folder has the common theme Seasons. The folder contains 12 SEPAC stamps from the following participating postal services: the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta and Monaco. SEPAC stands for Small European Postal Administrations' Cooperation.

Date of issue 5 September 2016
Price €15.00

One apple shows four Åland seasons on 2016 Sepac stamp

Appearing on 12 August is Åland Post's 2016 Sepac stamp on the joint theme seasons. Graphic designer Annika Zetterqvist has chosen to illustrate the seasons from the perspective of an apple.

The Åland climate is particularly favourable for cultivating apples. Influenced by the surrounding sea, it has a relatively mild winter and a rather late spring, which minimises the risk of frost damage during flowering. The apple trees are at their most beautiful in May and June. Summers are usually sunny and followed by long and warm autumns, so harvesting normally starts around mid-August, lasting until the end of October. In recent years, apples as a garden produce have significantly increased its share of the total Åland farming produce. In 2014, apples for 4.8 million euros were sold, the bulk of which was exported to Finland.

Graphic designer Annika Zetterqvist's idea behind the 2016 motif may be summarised by the words "germinate, blossom, ripen and enjoy", four words that appear in both the first day cancel, on the stamp sheet and on the first day cover. Dawning on Annika as her work progressed, the words symbolise the seasons of both nature and life.

Date of issue 12 August 2016
Artist Annika Zetterqvist
Edition 140 000
Denominations Inrikes (€1.30)
Price FDC €2.00
Stamp size 35 x 35 mm
Sheet size 2 x 15 stamps
Paper 110 g/m²
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method 4-colour offset
Printing house Bpost

Björn Ulvaeus presents his Åland in the My Åland stamp series

On 8 July, Åland Post has the great honour of presenting ABBA legend Björn Ulvaeus' image of Åland with an issue in the My Åland stamp series. An image featuring the Åland archipelago was Björn's obvious choice of motif, and the stamp shows the picturesque approach to Karlby village on Kökar.

Björn Ulvaeus has primarily visited Åland by yacht.
"I come from Västervik, a small town located on the eastern coast of Sweden, so, naturally, boats have always played a part in my life. Until a few years ago, I always went south along the Swedish coast, but that was before I discovered the Åland Islands. Nowadays, I prefer to take my yacht across the Åland Sea to cruise in the archipelago."

Kökar is one of the locations that have made an impression on Björn. The stamp shows the picturesque approach to Brudhäll guest harbour and Karlby village in the morning haze.
"I've fallen in love with Kökar. At my first visit, we docked at a pier on the northern side of Kökar and walked along the country road to the village shop located a few kilometres away, at a crossroads. It was a glorious summer's day and I honestly don't think I have ever experienced such peace and tranquillity anywhere else in the world. Later, I sailed the lovely narrow approach to Karlby on the southern side of Kökar."

Björn Ulvaeus' stamp is the eleventh in the My Åland series that offer celebrities with an Åland connection an opportunity to illustrate their image of the Åland province. Previous artists for the series are Lill Lindfors, Mauno Koivisto, Mark Levengood, Björn Borg, Martti Ahtisaari, Åke Lindman, Marcus Grönholm, Caroline af Ugglas, Robert Helenius and Tarja Halonen.

Date of issue 8 July 2016
Photographer Kjell Söderlund
Edition 140 000
Denominations Världen (€1.30)
Price FDC €2.00
Stamp size 38,4 x 28 mm
Sheet size 2 x 15 stamps
Paper 110 g/m²
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method 4-colour offset
Printing house Bpost


Lilla Åland - a beloved furniture classic

27 May sees the issue of an Åland stamp featuring a design classic, the chair Lilla Åland. Swedish furniture designer Carl Malmsten found inspiration for this Windsor-style chair during a visit to Finström church.

Carl Malmsten (1888-1972), one of the foremost furniture designers in Sweden, often named his designs after places he associated them with. Malmsten held a craft course for Åland Folk High School in 1938, and he found inspiration for Lilla Åland during a visit to Finström church. A few hand-turned carpenter's chairs in the sacristy caught his imagination.

With a few minor changes, such as making it slimmer, increasing the width of the seat and uncurling the turned parts, he designed this pin-back chair, that has been produced by Swedish Stolfabriks AB (today Stolab) since 1942.

Malmsten's drawings for the chair decorate both the stamp sheet and first day cover and his initials form the first day cancel.

Date of issue 27 May 2016
Design Carl Malmsten/Cecilia Mattsson
Edition 140 000
Denominations €2.50
Price FDC €3.20
Stamp size 37.4 x 28 mm
Sheet size 2 x 15 stamps
Paper 110 g/m²
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method 4-colour offset
Printing house Bpost

Booklet featuring plants from nature pharmacy

From the vast Åland flora, the Post chose three medicinal plants to be featured in the 2016 stamp booklet to be issued on 9 May. Artist Jonas Wilén's illustrations are reminiscent of old pharmacy bottle labels.

Representing nature pharmacy are the medicinal plants henbane, foxglove and tansy that all appear in Åland to a smaller or greater extent. Since time immemorial, herbs and spices have been used to cure or ease various ailments. According to Nordic folklore, curative plants were also ascribed magic powers.

Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) is a sticky and odorous herb that flowers from June to September with large dingy yellow flowers. It has been grown in the North for medicinal purposes since the Viking and Middle Ages. Highly toxic, henbane has been used for its painkilling and sedative effect.

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a biennial herb and flowers from July to August with purple or white tubular flowers. Foxglove is a highly toxic plant that affects the heart. An extract containing the glycoside digitoxin was earlier used for the treatment of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

Tancy (Tanacetum vulgare) is an herbaceous perennial plant with clusters of yellow flowers. The plant is slightly toxic and has been used for medicinal purposes to treat intestinal worms and vermin. The leaves and flowers may also be used to flavour aquavit and colour yarn and fabric.

Three maximum cards elaborating on the healing and magic powers of the plants complement the booklet.

Date of issue 9.5.2016
Artist Jonas Wilén
Edition 70 000
Denominations 9 x Inrikes (€11.70)
Price FDC €4.60
Stamp size 52 x 23.83 mm
Booklet size 176 x 56 mm
Paper 110 g/m²
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method 4-colour offset
Printing house Österreichische Staatsdruckerei

2016 Europa stamp focuses on a greener Europe

To celebrate 60 years of Europa stamps, a design competition on a Think Green theme was arranged among the European postal administrations. 9 May sees the Åland version of the joint motif as well as the Post's own design.

24 postal operators submitted designs on the theme Think Green. The design from Cyprus received most votes and decorates the joint Europa stamp issued by the participating posts. With her design, artist Doxia Sergidou wishes to inspire us to create a greener planet. The stamp illustrates two versions of Europe, a polluted and a green Europe. We can all be the hand painting out the grey world.

In addition to the joint motif, Åland Post also issues its own design with a more literal interpretation of the theme. The Åland motif was designed by graphic designer Carl-Johan Listherby.

Date of issue 9 May 2016
Artists Doxia Sergidou & Carl-Johan Listherby
Edition 2 x 140 000
Denominations 2 x Europa (2 x €1.30)
Price FDC €3.30
Stamp size 40 x 26 mm
Sheet size 2 x 15 stamps
Paper 110 g/m²
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method 4-colour offset
Printing house Cartor Security Printing

Lovely windows on 2016 postal stationery cards

Four Åland windows, photographed by our long-standing partner Kjell Söderlund, appear on this year's postal stationery cards issued on 9 May.

With most Åland houses built from wood, the preconditions for finding beautiful old windows with gingerbread-work are excellent.

Kjell shot two of his window photos on Södragatan in central Mariehamn. Södragatan is one of the oldest streets in Mariehamn, and several of the wooden houses date back to the turn of the 1800-1900 century. They were designed by Hilda Hongell (1867-1952), the first female "master builder" in Finland.

The lovely mullioned veranda windows represent Borgboda estate in Saltvik. Considerable historical remains dating from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages have been found in the area surrounding the estate. This is also where we find the largest hillfort in Åland. Situated on the top of the hill Borge, the hillfort is believed to be approximately 1000 years old. The manor house dates back to 1867.

The fourth window can be seen in a tiny red cabin in Andersböle, Jomala.

Date of issue 9 May 2016
Photographer Kjell Söderlund
Edition 5 x 5300 cards
Price €9.20/set of 4 cards
Size 148 x 105 mm
Paper Ensocoat 250 g/m²
Printing method 4-colour offset
Printing house Oy Fram Ab
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