Linn's Stamp News - November 9, 1998
Lithuania issues its first hologram stampBy Denise McCarty
Lithuania issued its first hologram stamp Oct. 9.
The stamp is part of a series that highlights the postal history of Lithuania. This series started Oct. 4, 1997, with a stamp showing a 1323 letter from Grand Duke Gediminas (Scott 585).
On Feb. 16, 1918, Lithuania declared its independence from Russia. The Lithuanian postal administration was founded Nov. 16 of that year. The hologram stamp honors the 80th anniversary of Lithuania's postal administration.
The hologram part of the stamp features the post horn emblem of Lithuania's postal service (Lietuvos Pastas).
The stamp is denominated 13 litas. In addition to the hologram it includes the year dates "1918" and "1998."
The latter year date also appears at the bottom of the design, along with the name of the designer of the stamp, H. Ratkevicius.
The stamp is by itself in a souvenir sheet. The border area of the sheet includes an inscription marking the 80th anniversary and a symbolic dove carrying a letter.
The Hungarian state securities printing office in Budapest printed 60,000 copies of the souvenir sheet by offset. In this printing process, an inked image is transferred from a plate to an intermediate cylinder, which prints it on the paper.
Lietuvos Pastas related some of its early history in the press release announcing the stamp.
According to Lietuvos Pastas, the first Lithuanian stamps were issued Dec. 25, 1918, in Vilnius (the capital).
The announcement says: "They [the stamps] were printed during one night on thick yellowish paper.
"The stamps had neither watermarks nor glue on them. The stamps of the two values -- 10 and 15 skatikai -- were printed in 5,000 copies each."
Lithuania also released another stamp in its Postal History series Oct. 9.
This 70-centai stamp salutes the establishment of centralized postal communications between Lithuania and western Europe in the 16th century.
The new-issue announcement provides the reason behind the need for this new postal route: "Sigismund Augustus, the grand duke of Lithuania and the king of Poland, was quite a rare visitor in the [Polish] capital Cracow.
"His love of the beautiful widow Barbora Radvilaite and public affairs did not let him leave Vilnius.
"So it appeared necessary to establish regular and effective post communications between Cracow and Vilnius."
Regular scheduled postal delivery between the capitals started in 1562. It took seven days for a letter to reach Vilnius from Cracow.
The service was so expensive, though, that only the king, feudal lords and rich merchants could use it.
The new stamp depicts a postal rider with his post horn. Buildings of the two cities are pictured in the background.
The post horn emblem of the Lithuanian post office appears in the upper-right corner of the stamp.
Ratkevicius also designed this stamp. The Spindulys printing house in Kaunas, Lithuania, printed 500,000 copies of it in sheets of 50.
The addresses of Lithuania's bureau and its agency in the United States are: Publishing Centre, Pasto Zenklas, Giedraiciu Str., 60a, 2042 Vilnius, Lithuania; Kent Research, Box 86, Hewlett, NY 11557.
Both the Netherlands Antilles and Grenada-Grenadines also released their first hologram stamps this year.
The former stamp was featured in the World of New Issues column in the March 30 Linn's.
The Grenada-Grenadines issued a $1.50 self-adhesive hologram stamp Feb. 10 to honor the Year of the Tiger.
The stamp features a tiger. It was produced in small sheets of four.
A souvenir sheet containing a $3 stamp bearing the same tiger hologram also was issued at the same time.
The address of Grenada-Grenadines' bureau and its agency in the United States are: Postmaster General, GPO, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies; Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp., 535 Fifth Ave., Suite 300, New York, NY 10017.
Updated May 15, 2002