Sunday, 6 August 2017

Albania in the Air

2013: Europa - Postman's Van
Letters are flying around the world carried in the yellow of Posta Shqiptare.  The Europa theme for 2013 was especially appropriate for Albania because it was also the centenary year of the first Albanian stamps (5 May 1913).  Laert Kraja was chosen to design both the Europa issue and the anniversary stamps (which are also se-tennant) and can be seen here.  The postal service was founded simultaneously with the modern Albanian state on 28 November 1912 but they continued to use the Ottoman Turkish stamps until the first Albanian stamps were issued in 1913.  Posta Shqiptare says " The first issue of the Albanian stamp consolidated the postal service of Albanian identity , which has always been the expression and part of our national identity. It was a long and beautiful way, the stamp is one of our valuable assets"

1950: Air
The airmail stamp features a Douglas DC-3 flying over Rozafa Castle, which  is located on top of a rocky hill which because of its strategic position archaeologists say has been occupied since antiquity.  The designer and engraver was Bohdan Roule (1921-1960) and I think this is the first stamp he designed and engraved, the set was the only one he produced that was for  a country other than his native Czechoslovakia. 
1960: 2nd Anniversary Tirana-Moscow Jet Air Service
We enter the jet age with the Tupolev TU-104A flying between the capitals of Albania and Russia.  Here is something that doesn't need anything more than a pair of wings to soar in the air -
1962: 50th Anniversary of Independence
 the name Albania is the Latin name of the nation but the name the people call it is, as on the stamp, Shqiperia, meaning 'Land of the Eagles' or 'Children of the Eagles' and on this stamp the text refers to the nation as a rock of granite
1965: 20th Anniversary of Frontier Force
which this child of the eagle is no doubt standing on.  I was surprised I didn't have any bird stamps for Albania, hence my use of their national symbol and this stamp has the added bonus of an Alsatian.   I wonder what the border guard will eat while standing on his eyrie?
1969: Fruit Trees - Blossom and Fruit
|Perhaps he has brought an apricot with him from the valley below.

An entry to Sunday Stamps II which is starting an alphabet adventure this week with the letter A at See It On A Postcard



viridian said...

What a great array of stamps. So interesting.

FinnBadger said...

For some reason I thought that Albania had only been an independent country since WWII - great stamps and info.

Bob Scotney said...

Land of Eagles is a great name for this country and goes well with this fine series of stamps.

Heleen said...

The first stamp sheet is my favourite, picturing mail transport in such a beautiful way!
Also I didn't know the official name of Albania.

'Land of the Eagle', funny that the eagle in Dutch starts with the letter 'A', too (namely arend or adelaar).

Thank you for sharing all of these interesting stamps!

violet s said...

And now I know what Shqiperia means (thank you!)
How interesting that they issued a stamp for a 2nd anniversary!

♥ Willa ♥ said...

Interesting info abt Albania. Nice take on letter A :)