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Theodor Mommsen stamp

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Feb 5th, 2019. Artwork published in
November 2017
.
    Original image courtesy of Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach
    Source: https://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    Original image courtesy of Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach

    Props to Julia Warbanow for choosing contemporary fonts for postage stamps! This is Bold Monday’s Nitti Grotesk (2013), used for a stamp issued on 2 November 2017 to commemorate the 200th birthday of Theodor Mommsen.

    Mommsen (1817–1903) is considered the most important German scholar of antiquity in the 19th century. His three-volume Römische Geschichte (A History of Rome, 1854–56), one of the most widely read historical works of all, set standards. Countless studies of ancient history and life followed. In addition, Mommsen also excelled as a science organizer; for example with the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum project, a collection of all ancient Latin inscriptions. […] A year before his death, Mommsen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature as “the greatest living master of the art of historical writing.” — Deutsche Post

    Original image courtesy of Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach
    Source: https://shop.deutschepost.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    Roman numerals for the scholar of Roman history. The First Day of Issue postmarks use Nitti Grotesk in all caps, force-justified to fit the circle shape.

    Original image courtesy of Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach
    Source: https://shop.deutschepost.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    Sheet of ten, with the dates cut in halves and shown to both sides. Sadly, the printing process didn’t allow the type to bleed off the edge, it seems.

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    2 Comments on “Theodor Mommsen stamp”

    1. Dan Reynolds says:
      Feb 5th, 2019  8:13 pm

      Every typographer and type designer in Germany should buy up these stamps, if they are still available! Mommsen was a client of Ferdinand Theinhardt’s. For the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum mentioned above, he cut fonts of majuscules for the inscriptions to be set with. Very fine!

      I like the stamp anyway, too.

    2. Feb 6th, 2019  10:52 am

      I didn’t know about the Theinhardt connection. Nice trivia, thanks!

      The Mommsen stamps are still available. However, they are a bit difficult to use: Their value of €1,90 doesn’t match any of the current postage rates. You could add the Lasker-Schüler stamp by the same designer (or any other €0,70 stamp) and use them for “Maxi” letters weighing up to 1 kg, which cost €2,60 at the moment.

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