On 10 November, in time for the 2018 Year of the Dog, the fourth stamp in the series featuring Chinese zodiac animals will be issued by Åland Post. With this lovely miniature sheet, Swedish artist Martin Mörck continues to put his mark on the series, illustrating a time when sailing ships dominated the townscape and sailors bought China dogs as souvenirs.
Produced in Staffordshire, the heart of English porcelain industry, during the 1800s, the delicate China dogs were made from glazed and decorated ceramics and particularly popular among Scandinavian and Åland sailors. The sailors’ dogs, also known as Staffordshire dogs, always appear in pairs, the most common type being white spaniel dogs with details in gold. They were placed on the mantel piece or windowsill at home. A tall tale accompanying the sailors’ dogs had it that the dogs would be placed looking into the living room when the sailor was at home but out of the window when he was at sea.
The original China dogs illustrated on the miniature sheet may be viewed in the collections of the Åland Maritime Museum. Two maximum cards, also painted by Martin Mörck, complement the miniature sheet.
Beginning in 2014 with the issue of the Åland sheep miniature sheet, the zodiac series of Åland Post continued, in time for the Year of the Monkey, with the 2015 Europa stamp issue in May featuring a toy monkey. A miniature sheet featuring Roosters followed in November 2016.
Date of issue 10 November 2017
Artist Martin Mörck
Edition 60 000
Denomination 2 x €1.00
Price FDC €2.70
Stamp size 40 x 52 mm
Miniature sheet size 170 x 95 mm
Paper 110 g/m2
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method 4-colour offset
Printing house Cartor Security Printing
To order miniature sheet, FDC and maximum cards, please visit Åland Post Stamps web shop at www.alandstamps.com