Czech Republic (Czechia) 1994 "Prehistoric Animals - Dinosaurs"

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Issue Date 01.06.1994
ID Michel: 41-43; Scott: 2922-2924; Stanley Gibbons: 48-50; Yvert et Tellier: 40-42; Category: pR
Design Graphic designer: Oldrich Pomurny (depicted on stamp in 2017),
Engraver: Martin Srb
Stamps in set 3
Value 2 CZK Zdenek Burian's work: Stegosaurus ungulatus
3 CZK Zdenek Burian's work: Apatosaurus excelsus
5 CZK Zdenek Burian's work: Tarbosaurus bataar
Emission/Type commemorative
Places of issue Prague
Size (width x height) 40mm x 23mm
Layout 3 Mini sheet 50 stamp each
Products FDC x2; MC x3, Booklets x3
Perforation 11 x 11.25
Print Technique Offset lithography, five coloured offset
Printed by Post Printing House
Quantity 3,025,000; 3,025,000; 3,050,000
Issuing Authority Czech Post
Dinosaurs on stamps of Czech 1994

On June 1st, 1994, Post of Czech Republic issued a set of three dinosaur stamp, based on illustrations of famous Czech paleo-artist Zdenek Burian.

Zdenek Burian (1905-1981) was a Czech painter and book illustrator whose work played a central role in the development of palaeontological reconstructions during a remarkable career spanning five decades. Originally recognised only in his native Czechoslovakia, Burian's fame later spread to an international audience, and a number of artists later attempted to emulate his style.
Zdenek Burian
Zdenek Burian on cachet of personalized postal stationery
He is regarded by many as the most influential palaeo-artist of the modern era. Burian was an extremely prolific artist whose works are estimated to number between 15,000 and 20,000 paintings and drawings (pen and pencil). He illustrated over 500 books (including natural history subjects and numerous classic novels such as Robinson Crusoe, Tarzan, Plutonia) and some 600 book covers, but it is within the fields of palaeontology and palaeoanthropology that Burian's influence has been most notable.
Since the late 1950s and early 1960s when Burian's work became known in the west through a series of large-format books released by the Artia Publishing House. Numerous scholarly and popular books on prehistoric life have featured his work, either as originals or as art based closely on them.

Burian worked in initial cooperation with university palaeontologist Josef Augusta from 1938/39 (during World War II all universities in Czechoslovakia were closed due to the German occupation) and subsequently (following Augusta's death in 1968) with Zdenek Spinar, painting accurate and magnificent reconstructions representing all forms of prehistoric life from many parts of the globe, from the earliest invertebrates to a vast array of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds, as well as panoramic vistas of the landscapes in which they lived.
Close to 500 prehistoric images were painted by him between the early 1930s and the late 1970s. Whilst some of Burian's earliest palaeo works depicting North American species were inspired by the pioneering American palaeo-artist Charles R. Knight (see for example, his first renditions of Stegosaurus and Brontotherium), partly because Burian lacked access to skeletal material for such reconstructions, Burian's work was less stylised and more convincing with respect to both the subjects and their landscapes, and soon became highly regarded amongst palaeontologists, especially in Europe.

Previous palaeo-artists had often produced speculative works reflecting 19th century views of large dinosaurs as lethargic reptiles akin to giant lizards with sprawling limbs, but Burian convincingly painted them as active animals with parasagittal (mammal or bird-like) limb-movement and musculature.

Products and associated philatelic items

FDC (clean and circulated) Maxi Cards
Dinosaurs on FDC of Czech 1994 Dinosaurs on FDC of Czech 1994 Dinosaurs on Maxi Cards of Czech 1994
First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks Stamp booklets
Dinosaur on commemorative postmark of Czech Republic 1994 Dinosaur on commemorative postmark of Czech Republic 1994 Dinosaurs on booklet stamps of Czech 1994
Example of circulated covers and postcards
Dinosaurs stamps on used postcard of Czech Dinosaurs stamps on used postcard of Czech Dinosaurs stamps on used postcard of Czech on Facebook - Welcome to join !

Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice, PhD Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, USA, for his help in finding information and for review of a draft of this article.

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