Two miniature stamp sheets
Two miniature sheets were issued at the same time as the Christmas stamps in November 2007. The Memories of Finland miniature sheet celebrates outstanding years of Finnish independence. The miniature sheet includes eight stamps showing the lives of Finns, using real pictures from Finnish home photo albums. The other miniature sheet is a joint issue with the postal operator of Hong Kong. It is comprised of two stamps, one of which shows modern Finnish crafts and the other ancient craft work from China.
Photos from different decades of Finnish independence
The pictures on the Memories of Finland miniature sheet are from a photography competition held by Itella Corporation and the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat's monthly supplement.
More than 6,000 photos were sent in for the Memories of Finland competition. Of these, 46 reached the final and a popular vote. The four photos, which received most votes, were chosen as the subjects for the stamps. The other four photos included on the stamps were selected by the Stamp Art Committee in cooperation with the Finnish Independence 90th Anniversary Committee. Graphic designer Päivi Vainionpää, who had been chosen to design the miniature sheet, assisted this committee.
As a result of the popular vote, a photo of twin brothers on a skiing hill was picked for the miniature sheet. The photo was taken in the 1950s in the village of Viiri, then in Rovaniemi Rural District. The photographer is believed to be the boys' mother, Irmeti Leppänen. The voters also picked a photo of a man and a horse hauling wood and a picture of a small girl doing herding work. The photo of the workmen was taken in Vaarakylä, Taivalkoski, in the 1930s. The photo of the herding girl was taken by Kerttu Sorsa in Kontiovaara, Pielisjärvi, in 1943. Another winner in the competition was a photo of a couple looking at a bonfire. Pekka Tanita took the photo on the shore of Lake Längelmävesi in 1999.
The Stamp Art Committee took a liking to a photo taken by Erkki Virkkunen in summer 1958 at Haiti, Kuorevesi, of a coffee break in the sun out in the wilds, as well as a photo by Mari Paananen of an ice fisherman. The photo was taken on the ice of Lake Kolimajärvi in Viitasaari in 2005. The committee also chose a photo by Kauko Tykkyläinen taken in Vironlahti in 1991 of a small ski jumper and Jarkko Pallasaho's photo of a spectacular dive by a swimming boy in Savitaipale taken in 2005.
The Memories of Finland miniature stamp sheet costs 5.60 euro. All the postage stamps included are denominated at 70 cent.
Finnish and Chinese crafts
In the Crafts joint issue, the Hong Kong postal operator presents a chair by a master craftsman from the Ching dynasty (1644-1911). The chair is of red sandalwood species, the rare and highly valued Zitan. The sheet also includes a close-up of the chair back, which is carved from a single piece in a kuilong theme. A kuilong is a mythical, dragon-like creature with one horn and a single leg. This creature is an auspicious symbol in Chinese culture and therefore a popular decorative theme. Ken Li Shik-kwong designed the postage stamp.
The Finnish stamp is the work of designer and interior architect Markku Kosonen, who is noted as a creative and original woodworker, a proponent of rare woods, and a disseminator of knowledge about wood. The stamp depicts six of his wooden bowls made of curly birch, which do justice beautifully to the brown floral grain of this type of wood. The bowls are a modern variation on ancient utensils in which their everyday import has been transformed into symbolism. The starting point of the work is in tradition but the result is contemporary art.
The Finnish joint issue with China costs 1.40 euro. Each postage stamp bears the value 70 cent.
More information Postage Stamps
Postage Stamps 2007
Finnish lion and flag
Design and architecture
New postage stamps from Finland
Scouting and Moomins