Friday, February 1, 2008

A Faroese Beauty

The Faroe Islands are a group of 18 small islands clustered together in the North Atlantic about equidistant between Iceland and Norway. Visited in the 6th century by Irish settlers who brought sheep to the islands, the natural ecology of the land has helped the the sheep to thrive. In fact, sheep outnumber people in the Faroe Islands, which, incidentally, translates to "Sheep Islands."

In 1979, prolific stamp engraver Czeslaw Slania created a masterful stamp depicting the Faroese Ram. The artistic detail of the stoic looking sheep is simply mesmerizing with its rich detail and the engraver's brilliant use of shading.

The ram does not look flat in appearance, but looks three dimensional. In particular, notice how Slania engraved the left corkscrew-shaped horn to make it appear to lift off the page. By using and excluding the use of engraved lines, the engraver creates dark and light areas.

Every collector should try to obtain a copy of this stamp (Scott #42), which can be obtained for about $5.00 USD on popular auction sites like eBay or StampWants.

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