Friday, February 28, 2014

France: St John's Luneville

The famous organ at St Jacques, Luneville was featured on a mini-sheet of two stamp issued by France in 2012. This smaller stamp was part of a lavish pane of stamps issued for the Lorraine region. Ten stamps comprise the pane, along with photos and text escribing treasures of this region of France. Interestingly a "lutherie" also is represented on the pane by what seems to be the body of a violin.  The image of the organ is taken from quite a distance, so even if pipes were exposed in the instruments prospect, one would be hard-pressed to see them.  The beauty of the gallery and columns are not lost in this small stamp. See my post on the 2012 sheet for more details on the instrument. The present pane was issued in 2011, expressly for collectors.

Italy: Mercadante

Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) was in Italian composer of some import. He was known during his lifetime for his operatic compositions. After his death his fame receded; he is not so nearly well-known as other Italian opera composers. However, his technique was much-respected, making his influence on composers later in music history significant.

Italy issued this stamp in 1970, for the hundredth anniversary of the composer's death. The image includes a likeness of Mercadante and stylized "something" in the background. This stamp has appeared on the organ topical list for some time, I believe the assumption being the background somehow is stylized organ pipes. I am not convinced however. They could just as easily be piano strings in my opinion. Mercadante was a composer of operas. He has a single organ work in his oeuvre, an "Homage to Bellini." That work was recorded in 1995, that being the best single reference to the work I could find.

Triests-Italy: Verdi

The stamps in the set are the same as those issued by Italy in 1951, but having an overprint. The set pays homage to Verdi; the second stamp (Scott 139) includes an organ facade. One can view my discussion of the Italian stamps for more information on the organ.

Trieste is of course a city in Italy now. From 1947 to 1954 it was an independent territory. In 1954 the territory was divided with Italy taking the northern portion and Yugoslavia taking the southernmost region. For a time the territory issued it's own stamps. Many of these were simply Italian stamps with an overprint added. Two versions of the overprint are used on the three stamps in this set, so as to interfere with the vignette minimally.

Click the stamp image to see the whole group of three stamps.

People's Republic of Congo: Bach

The People's Republic of Congo issued this stamp in 1985 as part of a set of five stamps. Each of the stamps commemorated various anniversaries or events. Included: 75th anniversary of Girl Guides; Jacob Grimm, the fabulist; the present stamp for the 300th anniversary of the birth of JS Bach; the 85th birthday of the Queen Mother in Great Britain; the centennial of the Statue of Liberty in New York. Scott 737 is denominated 350f and includes a likeness of the composer and the facade of a pipe organ. The organ is not identified; it is however, quite distinctive. The gold pipe shades and the angel atop the central portion of the facade are striking, and one would suppose not generic nor the work of an artist working without a model. One with a broader knowledge of organs might be able to identify it; I am, however, not.

St Paul's Cathedral, London, UK

Postal authorities in Great Britain issued this mini-sheet of four stamps in May, 2008. It was part of the set that featured cathedrals and organs around the UK. The other individual stamps in the set were black and white. This sheet is in color.

It features four stamps showing the crossing in St Paul's Cathedral, London. In the lower left stamp one can see part of the casework for the organ. The mini-sheet (Scott 2580) denominates two of the stamps at the 1st Class rate and two stamps at 81p. One also gets a view of the pulpit, part of the dome, and the choir on this mini-sheet.

The cathedral itself is quite famous, and the organs therein are likewise notable. The first instrument in the cathedral was built by a German builder in 1694. Willis installed a new instrument in 1872. The casework in the stamp is part of that installation. Repairs and additions continued over the course of time. It appears that the most recent work was in 2008 by the Mander firm. According to the cathedral website, there are an additional three organs available in the cathedral.