Cats on Stamps

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Patrick Roberts

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From the Archive

December 2003 Review

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In March 2000 I began a series of articles for The Cat, the bimonthly magazine of the UK Cats Protection organisation, about new and recent stamp issues from around the world on which any domestic cat appeared. The column appeared at intervals until towards the end of 2003 when it was decided to discontinue it, but all are now available from our archive (see the Feline Philately index).

I shall now be continuing the series here at Purr 'n' Fur — three, possibly four times a year.

This first article will bring the information up to date, from August until December 2003, and will include a listing of all stamps I know of that include cats for the year 2003.

France, Aug 2003: Claudine and cat, from set of six characters from romantic French literature Appearing just too late for that final Cat article was a set of six stamps from France in August under the title 'Destinées romanesques', a title I am still trying to translate satisfactorily. It features characters from French literature, such as Esmeralda, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Claudine. I believe this last to be one of Colette's characters, and so there is a grey, long-haired cat by her side. There is also a sheetlet that includes all six stamps against an elegant 'period' background.

Caring Hearts, issued by the Republic of China, 2003 It is quite usual for cat stamps either not to reach these shores for some time after issue, or for them not to come to my attention as including cats. One such was issued in March 2003 by the Republic of China (Taiwan), and has four stamps entitled 'Caring Hearts' and including intertwined hearts. Love for animals is depicted as a girl with cats and dogs.

Serbia 2003: Ljubinka Bobic, 1897-1978, and white cat, from sheet showing a stage scene and 16 stamps with portraits of famous Serbian actors Serbia is now an independent nation again, and during 2003 an attractive sheet of 16 stamps appeared picturing famous Serbian actors. One of them, Ljubinka Bobic, who died in 1978, is shown holding a pretty white cat (left, but you'll probably have to buy the whole sheet to obtain it).

Guinea 2002: miniature sheet accompanying set of six probably bogus but attractive cat stamps Looking back even earlier, to 2002, is a set bearing the name of Guinea that I had not seen before, although they could be bogus stamps. However, they are attractive and so I'll add them here (right).

One of 6 stamps forming the second part of a series of traditional costumes, this showing people of the Vinizza region of the Ukraine dressed for the Day of the Saviour Another recently discovered cat is on a stamp from the Ukraine that appeared in December 2002: these are beautiful productions showing traditional costumes (left). One of them has a family dressed for the Day of the Saviour, and there is a cat with them.

St Thomas and Prince 2003: stamp from sheetlet of nine Celebrated People, but with no identifying names - possibly the Cheshire Cat St Thomas and Prince comes up now and then with some interesting (if expensive) items, although again I would not guarantee that they are real stamps. A sheetlet of nine portrays Celebrated People old and new, an eclectic selection including the Pope and Walt Disney. It's irritating as no names are given. There is a fine cat on one stamp, perhaps meant to be the Cheshire Cat (but is that Lewis Carroll there?). Another recent sheetlet of six has three cats and three dogs, each with a small portrait of Baden-Powell and supposedly related to the 2002 Scout Jamboree in Thailand. There's also a beautiful cat in the margin of the miniature sheet (MS) to this set.

Sierra Leone, May 2003: 'Caricatures of Actors as Three Animals playing Ken', by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, early 19th century - from a set of Ghosts and Demons in Japanese art There have been several sets showing Japanese art this year, and I know of two that include cats. From Sierra Leone comes a set called Ghosts and Demons, with Kuniyoshi's 'Caricatures of Actors as Three Animals playing Ken'. At least one animal is a cat, and I think two (the other is a toad).

Antigua and Barbuda, 2003: miniature sheet from Japanese Art set showing A Girl Teasing her Cat The MS of a group from Antigua and Barbuda is 'A Girl teasing her Cat' by Taiso Yoshitoshi (it doesn't look like serious teasing! — right) From the same place there is also a set of Picasso's work, from which a sheetlet of four has a wide margin with a woman holding up a black kitten.

Netherlands, Sep 2003: handsome black-and-white cat from Ten of the Best photos sent in by Dutch people for personalised labels The Netherlands frequently shows cats on its stamps, and in September there was a colourful sheetlet made up of 10 of the best photographs used by people on personalised stamp labels. One is a handsome black-and-white cat.

50 years of Belgian television, Nov 2003 Sweden: Christmas at Sundborn, a watercolour by Carl Larsson, who painted a series of pictures showing life at his home with his wife and their eight children Finally two issues from November: Belgium produced a sheetlet of five stamps to celebrate 50 years of Belgian television, with one showing a woman holding up a black cat (left). The second issue is from Sweden (right), where a Christmas booklet has a painting on the cover that includes a cat, although there are no cats on the stamps themselves.

As I write in early December 2003, it remains to be seen whether we get any other philatelic 'Christmas felines' . . .


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Our featured feline Chico (see head of the page) belonged to a lady in the Swiss village of Chesières who lived near the ground-floor office where I worked in the mid-1980s. Every so often he liked to pass by, spend a little time with us and check we were doing everything properly.

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