Historic map depicted on Guernsey stamps


02 July 2021
Guernsey Post’s philatelic bureau announces that it will issue six stamps depicting sections of an old map of “Garnsey” (Guernsey) illustrated by John Speed, one of the most famous British cartographers of the 17th century, whose visually stunning county and country maps are highly collectable and sought after around the world. 

The stamps have been created as part of a joint issue with SEPAC (Small European Postal Administration Cooperation) entitled ‘Old Maps’ and the £1.00 stamp bears the SEPAC logo (issue date: 1 September 2021).

Speed (1552-1629) is noted for placing England into the mainstream of map publishing which had been dominated by the Dutch since the late sixteenth century. He began by issuing maps of Great Britain in 1611 in his famous “Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine.” This remarkable work took over 15 years to assemble and is one of the most influential atlases of the British Isles ever published. It contains maps of the entire British Isles, the individual nations, and separate maps for the counties.
Guernsey’s stamps depict various sections of Speed’s “Garnsey” map and feature the historic Parish and Island names: 

  • 50p: S Michaell The Vale, Chasteau de Vale and S Sampson
  • 70p: Herme, Great Sarck, Little Sarke and Brehoe
  • 73p: S. Martyn, The Towns & Cornet castle
  • £1.00: The British Garnsey
  • £1.15: Tortuville, S. Andrew, S Peters de Boys and S. Saviour
  • £1.20: S. Peters de Boys, Roke Hayue, Hanoys and The Howe

Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, said: - “Despite coming to mapmaking late in life, Speed’s maps are some of the most appealing cartographic images ever produced. They include town plans, small profiles of important buildings, vignettes of battles, figures of local inhabitants and many other attractive features.”

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Stamp details

Date of issue: 1 September 2021
Designer: Joe Smith
Printer: bpost
Values: 50p, 70p, 73p, £!, £1.15, £1.20
Process: Offset Lithography
Stamp size: 30mm deep x 43.33mm wide
Paper: 46 Gummed FSC Securpost 110 GPW
Sheets: 10
Perforation: 1.1 x 1.667
Cylinder: A

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