Sunday, 25 August 2013

Big Cats and Small

The centenary of Kálmán Kittenberger's birth in 1881 was commemorated by a set of Hungarian stamps for airmail. Kittenberger was a traveller, natural historian and biologist who over his lifetime spent about 16 years in Africa for varying amounts of time. He discovered 300 animal species unknown to science, 40 of which were named after him including a spider.
He had no financial support but loved to hunt and earned money by selling skins and trophies.  It is a strange thing to be a natural historian and yet want to kill the things but a not an unusual story of the time. He donated 60,000 collected species to the Hungarian National History Museum.  Unfortunately during the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 artillery shots hit the museum and the resulting fire destroyed the thousands of items in the  African collection as well as 100,000 books.  The alcohol preserving some of the specimens adding to the conflagration. Kittenberger's time hunting was not without incident as he was mauled by a lion
c1963: Postage Due Stamp. "Panther attacking African"
but lived to write about it in one of his books.  This Dahomey stamp encourages paying the correct postage, or else. For less fearsome creatures, well at least to humans, here are some portrayed on Hungarian stamps
1986: Protected Animals
such as the reclusive wildcat, the most endangered carnivore species in Europe.
   An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme - wild animals


Bob Scotney said...

Suoer series of stamps - not a bad one amongst them I had not heard of Kittingberger before.. That Dahomey stamp gets a message across.

agi said...

never enough of the african beauties :) i do happen to have the same dahomey stamp, makes one instantly curious

viridian said...

I like the maps in the background of the African stamps. These I think show the ranges of the animals?
Thank you for participating this week.

Lisa B said...

Lovely stamps and thanks for the history on Kittenberger, I hadn't heard of him. It is such a shame when collections in museums and libraries are destroyed.

Postcardy said...

I like the way the territories are shown on the first group. I never heard of Kittenberger before.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

The Dahomey stamp has to be a winner!

♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

I think I have few of those Magyar stamps,I'm just too lazy to look for it. Cool collection!

Willa @ Postage Journal

Little Nell said...

Wonderful stamps all and thank you for the background information. That Dahomey stamp reminds me of the famous Tipu's Tiger automaton. Very gruesome.