First-day cover «Tree fruits»
They’re tree-mendous: the tree fruits featured on these largeformat special stamps are drawn by hand and printed using steel engraving. The designs are the product of meticulous artistic work that provides insight into the diversity of native tree fruits.
Botanical illustrations have a long tradition. To this day, they are used most notably to disseminate knowledge or for decorative purposes. Their great strength: unlike photography, their subjects are composed with a view to depicting all important features clearly and creating a sharp likeness of three-dimensional structure at every depth. Steel engraving has a special historical significance, having been used since the invention of printing to disseminate knowledge of plant science. A subject in which botanical painter Vivanne Dubach is very well versed. A forest pathologist at Swiss Forest Protection, she specializes in informed presentation of Swiss forest trees and their diseases. The four designs originate in her work. The choice of designs is also rooted in a collaboration with WSL, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. The idea was to depict the diversity that can be found in Swiss forests.
Our tree species can be divided into two categories: the coniferous and the deciduous. The former accounts for about a quarter of all species and includes the Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) – an important forest tree that fares well in dry places. It carries its winged seeds in cones on its branches. The deciduous category is represented on the stamps by the following three trees: the Scots elm (Ulmus glabra), where the seed is in or under the middle of the winged fruit, the common beech (Fagus sylvatica) with its beechnuts and prickly cupule, and the whitebeam (Sorbus aria), whose fruits are arranged in umbels and, in the old days, were dried and ground and mixed with bread flour.
Intaglio (steel engraving)
Intaglio printing – also called steel engraving – is one of the oldest printing techniques in the world. In the original process, the lines were manually engraved from a template into a metal plate using a graver; today, the steel engraving plate is usually produced digitally. In the past, steel engraving was mainly used to produce banknotes and stamps and to print illustrations. The technique is still used for banknotes today, as well as for high-quality business stationery and invitations. The great strength of steel engraving is without doubt its excellent detail reproduction of fine lines. The relief-like printed impression can be felt with the fingers: a tactile feature and sign of a high-quality print.
|Alternative item number||A477580|
|Topics||Animals & nature|
Set (4 stamps, postage value CHF 6.10) on first-day cover (FDC) C6
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