Åland archipelago mice illustrate Year of the Rat

Year of the rat Åland

On 24 October, the Year of the Rat is in line to appear in Åland Post’s popular series of stamps illustrating the Chinese zodiac signs. Designed by artist Martin Mörck, the cute mice on the miniature sheet welcome everyone to a fairy tale Åland.

The sixth zodiac animal to be portrayed in the stamp series of Chinese horoscope signs is the rat and, this time, artist Martin Mörck has created an illustration of Åland mice that is straight out of a fairy tale. The cute mice wallow in the vegetation, contently snacking on blackberries.

The species yellow-necked mouse and harvest mouse were used as base for the mice illustrations. Easily recognizable is the harvest mouse’s round breeding nest that resembles a bird’s nest. The existence of the harvest mouse in Åland was discovered as recently as in 2015, when a dead young mouse was found on the beach of the archipelago island of Enklinge in Kumlinge. The yellow-necked mouse is the most common mouse in Åland.

The unique Åland archipelago nature forms the setting of the miniature sheet. We see a fishing hamlet with simple cottages used in the old days by archipelago dwellers when fishing herring during the summer.

Åland Post’s zodiac series started in 2014 with the miniature sheet Åland sheep issued in time for the Year of the Sheep. The Year of the Monkey was illustrated with a 2015 stamp featuring a toy monkey which coincided with the stamp issue Europa – Old toys. These zodiac issues were followed by the miniature sheets featuring Roosters (2016), China dogs (2017) and Pigs (2018).

Date of issue24 October 2019
ArtistMartin Mörck
Edition50 000
Denomination2 x €0.60
Price FDC€2.00
Stamp sizes52 x 40 mm
Sheet size170 x 95 mm
Paper110 g/m²
Perforation13 per 2 cm
Printing method5-colour offset
Printing houseCartor Security Printing