Monday, August 29, 2011

Luxembourg Tourism Stamps (overview)

The tiny nation of Luxembourg embarked in 2006 on a series of tourism stamps featuring pipe organ found in that nation. The series included four sets of 4 stamps each, issued each year until 2009.

The pipe organ is indeed alive and well in this European nation, as revealed on the stamps featuring organ old and new. Many of the instruments have been worked upon by the Luxembourg firm of George Westenfelder. In addition to the stamps, the Luxembourg post has created two book-CD compilations. The sets include mint copies of the stamps, written details on the instruments, and recordings of music from each organ. The first of the two volumes includes the 2006, 2007 and 2008 series of stamps; the second is devoted to the last set issued in 2009. It's incredible that the postal service has taken such initiative to produce the fine written and recorded materials related to the stamps.

This set of stamps has been described and written about by a colleague of mine living in the UK, Mark Jameson. His writing on this series of stamps (from Luxembourg) appears in the 2010-3 issue of the Journal of The Organ Club. This club meets regularly throughout Great Britain (and occasionally abroad) to visit, learn about and hear pipe organs. Jameson's writings on pipe organ stamps spanned three issues of the Journal: the first two articles dealt with organ stamps issued by the British postal service, Liechtenstein, USSR/Russia, North America (US and Canada) and Nicaragua. The third article features the stamps of this one nation, Luxembourg. Jameson is to be commended for his painstaking research on his fine series of articles.

Luxembourg: Cathedral

The high-value stamp from 2008 features the cathedral in Luxembourg. The "classical" organ in the Cathedral is located in the rear gallery. George Westenfelder completed the most recent work on this organ in 1995. It has four manuals and pedal, the fourth manual being a battery of Spanish reed stops. This stamp is B464 in Scott's catalogue. Here are pictures and a stop list.

Luxembourg: Vianden

The third stamp in the 2008 series of tourism stamps features the Vianden organ. Once again a very old casework includes pipes from several eras. The most recent work was completed in 1993 by George Westenfelder. This stamp is B463 in the Scott catalogue. Photoes and a stoplist may be seen here.

Luxembourg: Mondorf-les-Bains

Second in the 2008 series is a stamp featuring the 1983 Oberlinger organ in Mondorf-les-Bains. The original organ endured many alterations over is 100+ year history, until it was decided to place a new organ in the old case. Several historic sets of pipes were retained. This site has several photos of the instrument, including some lovely close-ups of details of the casework, and a complete stop list.

Luxembourg: Junglinster

The Luxembourg postal service issed a third set of tourism sets featuring pipe organs in 2008. The low-value in the series features the organ at Junglinster. The casework dates from 1783; in 1887 Charles Wetzel moved the organ from its original location to Junglinster; further work was done in 1939. This stamp is B461 in the Scott catalogue. This site has a couple of photos of the organ and the stop-list.