Czech Republic (Czechia) 2011
"Kaspar Maria von Sternberg (1761 - 1838)"
|Graphic designer: Oldrich Kulhanek
Engraver: Wolfgang Mauer
|Stamps in set
|43 CZK -
|Size (width x height)
|Picture size: 26mm x 40mm
|Souvenir-Sheet with 1 stamp
|Post Printing House
On January 3rd
, 2011, the Post Authority of the Czech Republic issued a
block with stamp in honor of the famous Czech Paleobotanist,
Kaspar Maria von Sternberg.
Kaspar Maria von Sternberg
(born on January 6th, 1761 at Březina Castle) was one of the leading
scientists of the first half of the 19th century, with a special
interest in botany, geology and paleontology
and is considered one of the founders of paleobotany.
He collected an extensive and precious collection of minerals,
fossils and herbs that became the core collection of the National Museum
in Prague, founded by Kaspar Maria von Sternberg.
Kaspar Maria was born the eighth and last child (third son) of Johann von
Sternberg and Anna Josefa Krakovská of Kolovraty, into a not wealthy Czech
aristocratic family of Sternbergs.
A philosophy graduate from the Prague University, he studied theology in Rome
and received lower ordination.
Inspired by the newly founded Regensburg Botanical Society (1790), he became a keen
naturalist, contributor to the Society's Botanisches Taschenbuch and one of its
ordinary members (1800).
His first private botany teacher was Charles Jeunet Duval.
After his failure as a church diplomat to Paris (1804-05), he gave up his career
in the church and moved to Regensburg to work as director of local scientific institutes.
The Regensburg Botanical Garden, set up by Sternberg, was destroyed during the 1809
During his French stay, Sternberg was introduced to Alexander von Humboldt and a
group of elite French paleontologists and botanists.
His book, A Survey of Saxifrages in Pictures (published in Latin) was based
on materials collected during his scientific trips, especially to the Bavarian Alps.
Shortly after the publication, he inherited the West Bohemian Radnice estate from his older
brother and devoted scientist Joachim.
He set up a botanical garden in Radnice and was a frequent visitor to the newly opened
coal mines in the neighborhood where he searched for primordial plant fossils.
After his A Treatise on Botany in Bohemia (originally published in German and soon after
also in Czech), he (together with Karel Bořivoj Presl and Augustin Corda)
co-authored the 1820-38 An Attempt at Geographical and Botanical Description of Primordial Plants.
He also became one of the key shareholders in Prague Railway Company (1825) authorised
to build the Prague-Lány Horse-Drawn Railway (1827).
Kaspar Maria von Sternberg was elected President of the Society for the
Establishment of the Czech National Museum in 1818, and bequeathed his
library and paleontological collection
to the museum.
He died at Březnice Castle on December 20th, 1838 as the last male heir of the Leopoldine
branch of the Sternberg family. [R1]
Illustration of First Day Cover (FDC) shows a piece of trunk of Lepidodendron
— also known as the scale trees — is an extinct genus of primitive,
vascular, tree-like plants related to the lycopsids (club mosses).
They were part of the coal forest flora.
They sometimes reached heights of over 30 metres, and the trunks were often over 1 m in diameter.
It was tree-like, branching at the top and with a trunk covered with leaf scars.
They thrived during the Carboniferous Period (about 359.2 ± 2.5 Mya (million years ago) and were
found until the Late Triassic, about 205 Ma) before going extinct.
Lepidodendron was named and described by Kaspar Maria von Sternberg.
His description of Lepidodendron came from his deep studies of the
fossils associated with coal mines in Bohemia.
Products and associated philatelic items
|Example of circulated cover
Many thanks to
Dr. Peter Voice from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, for the draft page review.