The Åland stamp featuring moor frogs has won silver in the competition for the most beautiful Europa stamp in 2021. The result was published at the plenary assembly of PostEurop on 6 October. “We are extremely pleased that our stamp won one of the top prizes for the most beautiful Europa stamp. It shows that our stamps are of high quality and are appreciated among collectors in Europe. We wish to thank everyone who voted. We also wish to congratulate the artist Bo Lundwall who created the motif. It was a real pleasure to make this edition together with Bo,” Eivor Granberg, business area manager of Stamps & Postal Services says.
PostEurop arranges a competition to select the most beautiful Europa stamp every year. A total of 53 stamps issued during the year in the “Europa” stamp series took part in the competition. The theme in 2021 was endangered national wildlife, and the Åland stamp shows a female and a male of the protected species moor frog (Rana arvalis).
Swedish animal and nature artist Bo Lundwall created the detailed stamp original in watercolour. Prior to the commission, he made observations by a lake, closely studying the characteristics and appearance of the moor frog. “I spent two spring days by a lake in Tinnerö oak forest near Linköping and studied the frogs during mating season, making many sketches to have as reference. There were probably over 100 frogs and they sounded like a chorus; but the slightest movement from me and they hid under the water.”, Bo reveals.
The stamp competition was determined by a combination of three votes; a public online-vote in which over 33 000 persons took part, a vote among the participating postal operators and a vote by jury experts within philately and graphic design. The points from all three voting panels were summed up to announce the winners. When the points had been counted, it became clear that Åland came in second place after the winning contribution from Poland. Third place went to Ukraine.
PostEurop, the trade association representing European postal operators, is responsible for issuing Europa stamps. The themes selected for the stamps underline the common roots, culture, and history of Europe. The popular stamps all bear the special EUROPA logo. The first Europa stamps were issued in 1956.