Home Science Astronomy Stamp Errors, Part 8 – A Virgin’s Point of View

Stamp Errors, Part 8 – A Virgin’s Point of View


The normally careful and precise Swiss postal administration made a mistake with one of the stamps from the series “Constellations and Landscapes” which ran from 1982-86.

The stamp, issued in 1983, shows what is meant to be a naked virgin representing the constellation “Virgo” above the Valais Alps and the Aletsch Glacier. But it’s not the naked form that’s at fault, though she must be cold up there.

However, after the stamp was issued it was discovered that the landscape didn’t look right. The artists Eugen and Max Lenz, who designed the stamp, had used an inverted magazine colour image as a template for their design. So the virgin herself on the stamp is correct – the landscape, on the other hand, is seen from Valais but the view of the virgin and the Aletsch glacier is wrong.

Nine months later a new ‘Virgo’ stamp was issued, but this time with a different mountain landscape of Valais, namely the Schwarzsee above Zermatt with the chapel ‘Maria im Schnee’ below the Ober Gabelhorn mountain.


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