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Piotr Naszarkowski

After Slania's passing in the spring of 2005 a few Slania-related stamps have appeared, both engraved by his co-engraver and friend in the Swedish Post Office, Piotr Naszarkowski. They are the 24th label, produced to honour Slania with a sort of completion of his famous boxer-set, engraved in the 1960s, and the 2005 joint-issue between Sweden and USA. Both of these issues are shown on this page. 

The label depicting Slania as "World Champion" first appeared in 2005, shortly after his death. This design was created by Piotr Naszarkowski to fill the empty 24th location in the series of boxer stamps created by Slania in the 1960s. The first prints of these, released at NORDIA 2005 in Gothenburg (Sweden), were imperforate. In 2006 some of Naszarkowski's label exists both perforated and imperforate. Below is a thumbnail of the sheet, showing the complete set of Slania's Boxer-series and the location of the 24th to "fill the gap". 

2005. Press sheet presented at NORDIA 2005.

2005. Close-up of Naszarkowski's engraving,

The label being highly symbolic, shows Slania with his 1000th engraving (2001) in his hand, and in the background the emblem of Guinness World Record book granted to Slania for this engraving being the largest engraved stamp ever issued. The "denomination" of 1000 refers to the 1000th engraving. In the context it must be remembered that Slania himself was an avid boxer and as such a great admirer of the world champions. The number "24" top right refers to label No. 24 of the original Slania-set. 

Joint-issue Sweden-USA
At one occasion the US Postal Office declared that single-coloured stamps are no longer what the public wants or accepts. Also that fine engraving art is passé. 

But one exception appears to have been made: the portrait of a quiet classic beauty, masterfully engraved and printed in black only -- that's a sure winner! 

Sweden 2005. Greta Garbo. USA 2005. Greta Garbo.

An announcement in Linn's August 14, 2006 issue notices that of all the world-wide joint-issues of 2006 the Garbo stamps of Sweden and the United States were voted best of all, by the membership of the International Philatelic Society of Joint Stamp Issues Collectors. 

There are two stamps in the Swedish issue, the second one being engraved by the Swedish engraver Lars Sjööblom.

  • Sweden 2005. Greta Garbo.

  • USA 2005. Greta Garbo. 

These stamps had a long development period, covering about three years, during which for a while the idea of engraving, at least the US stamp was abandoned. They wanted to use a gravure printing method instead. An outcry from collectors and CSSG members especially, declared a preference for steel-plate engraving. 

Sweden 1981. Greta Garbo starring in the movie "Gösta Berling's Saga".

While Slania was involved in the early considerations of the design, the long deveopment period meant that he was not able to do the engraving late in his life. 

Piotr Naszarkowski had been actively involved, and took over the final production of these stamps for both countries. The Greta Garbo-issues are his 99th and 100th stamp engraving. 

It is not the first time Greta Garbo has been featured on a stamp. Slania's 1981-issue for Sweden shows a series featuring Garbo. On the left is a close-up of the Swedish issue, which is part of a set dedicated to Swedish Film. 

  • Sweden 1981. Greta Garbo starring in the movie "Gösta Berling's Saga". 

At a first glance the stamps seem produced from different plates, but a closer examination reveals that this is not the case. The obvious differences in colour and some minor differences are due to the use of different inking in the printing procedure. The US-stamp is self-adhesive, while the Swedish stamp has water activated gum.


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