Each of these stamp sheetlets is dominated by two equally sized, rectangular colour photos, which have been seemingly fused together, with the overlap forming a tinted strip. The perforation running through the photos forms the name of the Beautiful Netherlands series ("Mooi Nederland" in Dutch). At the bottom of the sheetlet are five identical stamps with the non-value indicator "1 Nederland" – indicating that the stamp is for domestic mail weighing up to 20 grams – and the name of the country house.
On the stamp sheetlet Historical Country House Trompenburg (the name is traditionally, and often still spelled Trompenburgh), the photo to the left, taken over the water, shows the pavilion, or domed hall, which in fact obscures the view of the main building. To the right is a photo of the richly painted interior of the domed hall. This country house was originally commissioned by Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Tromp.
On the stamp sheetlet Historic Country House Vollenhoven, the photo to the left features Vollenhoven's main building, a large, classical country house fronted by an expansive lawned garden. The photo to the right, of Vollenhoven's English landscape park, shows its waters meandering charmingly through the green surroundings.
The stamps include a Chameleon code, which can be read using a smartphone with the Chameleon eXplorer app to get more information on the historic country house featured.
The stamps are available while stocks last from the Collect Club in Groningen, online at www.collectclub.nl. The stamps are valid until further notice. The Trompenburg sheetlet is also available from sales outlets in the Wijdemeren area and the Vollenburg sheetlet in the De Bilt area.
Some 600 of these Dutch country houses are still standing today, a mere 10% of the more than 6,000 that used to exist. Issuing Beautiful Netherlands stamp sheetlets on the theme of country houses is an initiative of PostNL, in close collaboration with the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency and the Country House Theme Year 2012 Foundation. The Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency aims to protect and preserve cultural, archaeological and heritage landscape sites of national or international significance.
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