Ref NoMS/665
TitleLinnean Society stamps - C. Slania
AdminHistoryCzeslaw Slania (1921-2005) was a Polish-born postage stamp and banknote engraver. During his career, which spanned over 50 years, he engraved over 1000 stamps and was employed by royalty and celebrities.

Slania was born on the 22 October 1921 near Katowico, Poland, the son of a miner. He displayed a talent for drawing from a young age, reportedly selling his work to fellow pupils at school. During World War II (1939-1945) he helped the Polish underground forces in the fight against Nazi Germany by forging train tickets and identity cards. After the war he studied at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, whilst also working at the Polish Government Printing Works.

In 1956, due to the threat of political unrest, Slania emigrated to Sweden where he was later employed by the Swedish Postal Authority. In 1978, as part of the Linnaeus bicentary celebrations, the Swedish Post Office issued a set of six stamps and the engraver was Slania. Slania's work soon came to the attention of the monarch of Sweden [Gustaf VI Adolf] and was appointed the Royal Court Engraver. He held this position from 1972 until his death. Slania was also commissioned to do one-off portraits for celebrities and political figures including Richard Nixon, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammed Ali. He was given many honours and awards, including the Order of Saint Charles, the Order MĂ©rite Culturel (Monaco), Commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, 1999, and the order of the Dannebrog (Denmark). He died on 17 March 2005, aged 83, in Krakow, Poland.
DescriptionSet of 6 engraver's impressions of the master plates engraved by Czeslaw Slania. These were used for the commemorative stamps issued in May 1978 for the bicentenary of Linnaeus's birth. Also includes an introductory note, a commemorative booklet on the life and work of Linnaeus, a set of mint stamps and a franked set of "First Day covers". Enclosed in a brown container with the emblem of the Swedish Post Office on the front in gold.
Extent1 box
AcquisitionPresented to the Linnean Society by Anna-Greta Waldemarsson, Managing Director of the Swedish Post Office Stamps and Philatelic Service, in 1978.
Creator NameSlania, Czeslaw: whilst working for the Swedish Post Office (Sweden, Posteus Frimärksavdelning)
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