Barrel organ central to new stamps

20140424 Barrel organ central to new stamps

Stamps issued by the cooperating European postal companies this year are showcasing the common theme of national musical instruments. In this context, the new PostNL stamps feature the famous street organ known as 'De Drie Pruiken' (The Three Wigs) from 1952, depicted in its full glory. The decorations and figures on the façade and the inner workings visible on the back of the organ are all reflected in the design. Bart de Haas was commissioned by PostNL to design these stamps about the barrel organ, as a musical instrument essential to Dutch culture.

The cooperating postal companies in Europe have been publishing stamps with a common theme since 1956. In recent years a design competition has been connected to this: the EUROPE Stamp Best Design Competition. This competition is organised by PostEurop, the organisation in which all European national postal companies cooperate. In 2014, the design competition is all about national musical instruments. This was the reason PostNL decided to issue the stamp sheet, containing 5 x 2 value 1 International stamps for all mail to destinations abroad