Monday, 18 July 2016

France 1969 - Stamp Day

The horse-bus, or what is more commonly known as the horse-drawn omnibus, was used for passenger transport before the advent of motor vehicles. They were predominately used in Europe and the USA in the late 19th century.  The typical omnibus was like a large stage coach. They were often double-decker with the bottom level enclosed and the top level open the air. Occasionally the top level had a canopy to protect passengers from the elements. On the lower level the seating was typically arranged as two wooden bench seats running along the sides of the cabin facing each other. While on the second level the each seats were arranged in the same fore to aft configuration, but the benches were placed back to back in order, I presume for the passengers to look out at their surrounds more easily. Interestingly, it seems that large businesses took advantage of these vehicles as a form of moving billboard. Covered in advertising, omnibuses actually looked pretty cool.

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On 17 March 1969 France issued a fantastic stamp featuring an omnibus for Stamp Day. Click HERE for more on Stamp Day. The stamp was designed and engraved by Pierre Becquet.


This stamp is absolutely beautiful. The details are stunning. As the eye wanders over this stamp, we see a superbly rendered omnibus in vivid green. You can clearly see the bench seat arrangements in the cabin as mentioned above. Although background detail, the building to the right has been drawn with minute attention to detail. In the foreground to the right we see a couple taking a stroll down the street, the woman dressed in all her finery with a wide-brim hat and a parasol. The design is so alive we can almost hear the clack-clack of the horses hooves on the road and the murmur of the chatter from the passengers as the vehicle trundles past.

Until next time...

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