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CZESLAW SLANIA 1921 - 2005

Czeslaw Slania was born 22 October 1921 in Poland. After World War II in 1945 he entered the Art Academy in Krakow, Poland. By 1950 he was engraving full time for the Polish Post Office before moving to Sweden in 1956. 

In 1959 he received his first commission from the Swedish Post. A year later he was offered the permanent position.  Soon he was to achieve wide international recognition. In 1974 the late King Gustaf Adolf VI of Sweden appointed him Court Engraver. Since that time he was to receive similar titles from Denmark, Monaco and Poland.

Using the steel engraving technique, Slania engraved in excess of 1000 postal stamps for 32 countries, and banknotes for 10 countries, totalling 40 different countries.

As a time filler, and because stamp engraving was his hobby as well as his profession, he amused himself by engraving stamp-like portraits (he preferred to call them labels) of famous people, friends and family.  Along with other fine examples of his engravings these labels are much sought after. 

Looking through my personal Slania-collection I am made aware of the wide variety of subject matter, especially in portraiture.  

If I had to name a few stamps as my favourites, I would have to mention “The Old Fiddler” engraved for Sweden in 1983, and the Göta Canal Set for Sweden in 1979, of which the ferry boat “Juno” is of a particular beauty.  

  • Sweden 1983.  “The Old Fiddler”. 

He passed away on 17th March 2005, and was buried in Krakow, Poland -- his city of birth -- on 24th March 2005. 

His last stamp engraving was for The United Nations at the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the General Assembly, released in February 2005, only one and half month before his death.  

Never again will we see more exquisite engravings from his burin,. but the pleasure that this man, through his talent and skill, has brought to so many will be his lasting legacy. 

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