Way back in 1956 a decision was made to create a common design stamp issue for the European community. The idea was to not only promote the rewarding pursuit of philately, but also to educate people in the history of Europe and the common roots that Europeans share. Thus the EUROPA stamp issue was born. Below is an example from Luxembourg of the first EUROPA issue in 1956.
In 1959, three years after the first EUROPA issue, the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) was formed. Indeed, the acronym "CEPT" was displayed on EUROPA all stamps after 1960. It should be noted that from 1974 participating countries were no longer bound by a common design stamp issue. Different designs were allowed so long as they conformed to a common theme. This was a great idea, which allowed for artistic originality and the freedom to incorporate cultural diversity into each design.
1984 marked the 25th anniversary of EUROPA stamps. To celebrate the occasion each of the 23 contributing countries issued their own uniquely designed stamps. On 2 April Faroe Islands issued a set of two stamps of the same design with different values. The issue was designed by J. Larriviere. The design featured a stylised bridge over water, reflecting, I assume, the bridging of the distances between European countries both physically and metaphorically. The master, Czeslaw Slania, was asked to engrave the design. The simple, yet elegant, lines of this design make for a visually appealing stamp.
Until next time...