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Set of maximum cards «J. R. R. Tolkien 1892-1973»

With exclusive golden stamp


2 September 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of J. R. R. Tolkien, the British author who had a pivotal influence on the fantasy genre thanks to his novels “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”. These special stamps were designed by well-known artist John Howe, who lives in Switzerland, and pay tribute to Tolkien’s artistic heritage with four scenes from the iconic works.

Gentle hills and lush green dotted with little houses: the Shire, a region in Tolkien's fantasy world Middle-earth, is home to the hobbits. The design of the same name offers a glimpse of its idyllic surroundings from inside the house of Bilbo Baggins, one of the main protagonists. It seems that Gandalf, a wise wizard who fights against evil, is also on a visit to The Shire. Another stamp is dedicated to the dragon Smaug, one of the dark forces of these tales. The fourth design depicts the Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings marking the northern border to the Kingdom of Gondor.

Tolkien’s letters reveal Switzerland to be one source of inspiration for his stories: at the age of 19, he hiked through the Bernese Oberland and Valais – an adventure that helped to influence his works. The scenes depicted on the stamps are from the hand of John Howe, one of the most important illustrators of Tolkien’s works.


The “J. R. R. Tolkien 1892–1973” special stamps are not part of the official stamp issuing programme and are not included in subscriptions.

Article Number557978
Alternative item numberA507441
Publication date02.09.2023
Subject J. R. R. Tolkien 1892-1973
Topics Art & culture, Society & social issues
Cancellation Cancelled
Cancelled New

Set of 4 unfranked A6 picture postcards with stamps affixed and cancelled on the front (postage value CHF 4.40)

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