Sunday, 13 October 2019

Here Be Dragons

2015: Dragons (Illustrator - Adrian Chesterman)
The artist Adrian Chesterman specialises in fantastical realms and for Jersey Post he created six legendary dragons.
First (40) - is a dragon from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf (spoiler alert, they both die at the end), (50) is George and the Dragon (only the dragon dies), we next travel to the Philippines (60) - The Bakunawa is believed to be the cause of eclipses, earthquakes, rain and wind.
Greek myth gives us next (70) - The Colchian Dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece, it was said to never sleep but the witch Medea put it to sleep with magic and drugs while Jason stole the fleece. European dragons are often perceived as evil and dangerous but - (82) The Chinese Dragon can be beneficial, spiritual and even sacred. The different colours have different meanings. Lastly is a Celtic dragon - (91) The Welsh Dragon whose origin may be the Great Red Serpent god Dewi.

The word dragon originates from the ancient Greek word drakon which translates as 'a giant monster  serpent-like creature' so lets see one
1970: The Labours of Hercules
The Lernean Hydra, a water serpent with fatally venomous breath said to have between 5 and 100 heads with one immortal head.  The stamp shows Hercules performing his second labour where he cuts off its heads with the help of his nephew (and one of the argonauts) Iolaus who singes the stump with a burning firebrand to prevent new heads growing.  (The illustration is taken from an ancient Greek storage vase/stamnos).   I hope you are not going to have nightmares after seeing this writhing water beast from the swamp of Lerna.
1990: Greeting Stamps - 'Smiles'
Here is something more benign, the Cheshire Cat with the handy knack of being able to disappear when something nasty appears.
Postcard - Detail from a silk Chinese Dragon Robe

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Dragons, Mythical Beasts or Dinosaurs -  gaze on them at See It On A Postcard  


Bob Scotney said...

I recognised the Welsh Dragon immediately but had not heard of all the others. An interesting collection of dragons - real or not.

Mail Adventures said...

Somehow the beast on the Greek stamp seems to me the fiercest.
You choice is excellent, as usual.

violet s said...

i also recognized the Welsh dragon immediately - the most regal of the lot.
This is an excellent set. The Bakunawa seems to be everywhere - above and below and in-between!