Beethoven on Postage Stamps

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The Japanese stamp collector Yukio Onuma, president of the Music Philately Group within the Japan Philatelic Society, has concentrated for many years on the topic of Beethoven and from his many collections he has put together a Beethoven exhibition which has won many prizes, the most recent being the gold medal at the World Stamp Exhibition PhilaNippon in 2011. He has designed a special version to be shown in the Beethoven-Haus as a special exhibition in 2012. Numerous stamps depict Beethoven and are based on portraits which as originals are in the collection of the Beethoven-Haus. Thus there was the unique opportunity to compare the original portraits with interpretations “en miniature”. Onuma tells the story of Beethoven’s life kaleidoscopically with the greatest possible variety of philatelic exhibits. In addition to elaborately designed postage stamps the large collection also contains such rarities as the original master drawings, die proofs, colour trials and printing errors. Meter stamps and postal stationery, i.e. stamped and franked postcards and special postmarks, provide additional variety. Onuma continues to develop his thematic collection with the aim of presenting the most comprehensive picture possible of Beethoven and the prevailing circumstances which surrounded, influenced and formed him.