Bitter Grounds

espresso, stamps & conversation

SEPAC historical maps on stamps

Written by catpaw

July 13, 2021

This year’s SEPAC theme is Historical Maps on Stamps , which should make collectors happy.  SEPAC (Small European Postal Administration Cooperation) sponsors an annual thematic competition between its 13 member states.  Unfortunately it has an annoying habit of not updating their Facebook page or website. It takes a bit of scrabbling and scrolling through posts to find relevant information. At least their news releases are timely. Seriously SEPAC, hire a communications person to keep your site up-to-date, especially competition info – it’s a year and a half out of date. Hell’s Bells, contact me and I’ll do it for you! 

Maps are a popular theme among collectors. So much so, it has it’s own subcategory Cartophilately. If this area interests you, your first stop should be The CartoPhilatelic Society ( The next site you need to bookmark is Gilad Aharoni’s impressive website: Gilad’s Maps on Stamps. The site boasts over 16,000 stamps in a searchable database. 

Now, about the contest. I’ve tried to find fun details about each to highlight it’s importance to the issuing country. This was a fun little project and I haven’t finished with it.  I’m still researching about each map and cartographer. As I find information, I’ll share it with you. 

A few stamps are due in Sept. When they are all issued, I’ll post a small poll to find the best of Historical Maps 2021. SEPAC will announce a winner for this competition but, who knows when. I’ll keep watching their news releases to find out more. 



SEPAC cancel Aland

Historical map of Aland Islands FDC, SEPAC - HISTORICAL MAPS SHeet of stamps


The nautical chart from 1747 was drawn up by Swedish pilot officer Jonas Hahn (1703–59). Located approx. 10 nautical miles off Mariehamn, Rödhamn consists of the islands Långö, Ljungskär, Gloskär and Rödö, beyond them lies the Sea of Åland. Rödhamn has served as a sheltered harbour for seafarers throughout the centuries and is, today, a popular marina.
From Ålands Post

Artist: Swedish Military Archives, Nautical Chart Department, Ålands skärgård 26 by Jonas Hahn
Designer: Julia Perander/Strax

Release date: March 25, 2021  

Faroe Islands

  SEPAC historical maps cancel

 Sepac 2021: The Faroes on Historical Maps II SEPAC maps on stamps

SEPAC FDC  SEPAC cancel on sheet

1 stamp, 2 mini sheet, FDC, cancel

The stamp displays  Sebastian Münster’s Gemeine beschreibung aller Mittnächtigen  Länder/Schweden/Gothen/Nordwegien/Deñmarck/rc.  (also called Septentrionales regiones) printed 1578. Learn more about Sebastian Münster Of Maps and Men ……. and Monsters. Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia (1554). | Worcester Cathedral Library and Archive Blog ( It’s a fun read and you’ll be treated to some interesting maps. 

Sebastian Münster from his Cosmographia. Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK)

Sebastian Münster (1488-1552) from his Cosmographia. Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK)

Designer: Kim Simonsen

Release date: April 26, 2021


SEPAC – historical maps on stamps

SEPAC 2021 Gibraltar old maps 

presentation pack

 SEPAC - historical maps on stamps presentation pack 


SEPAC - historical maps on stamps FDC

5 stamps, presentation pack, FDC, cancel

Better images coming

  • 60p stamp – mid 19th c map by cartographer William Hughes (1818-1876)
  • 90p stamp – French map from the 14th siege The Great Siege of Gibraltar (24 June 1779 – 7 February 1783)
  • £1 stamp – 1823 by R.H. Laurie, Map & Chart feller titled ‘A plan of the town and fortifications of Gibraltar’
  • £1.15 stamp – 1726 New plan of the Garrison of Gibraltar with its fortifications
  • £4 – French map of Gibraltar from the 13th Siege. “This map is particularly fascinating as it depicts firing lines from the Spanish batteries and the British defences. The top left section depicts two ships attacking Spanish lines noting ‘English ships detach from Vice Admiral Wager’s squadron, firing on the Spaniards during their attacks’. Wager was with the fleet under Sir George Rooke that captured Gibraltar in 1704” PRE-ORDER Historic Maps Set | Stamps | 2021 | Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau (

Gibraltar National Archives has a nice selection of old maps online called Mapping our Past Early Cartography ( It’s a good starting point to learn more about maps of Gibraltar. The Archives also has an interesting, brief article titled The Art of Cartography Mapping Our Past Exhibition (    

Designer: Stephen Perera using maps from the Gibraltar National Archives 

Release date: Sept. 9, 2021

Greenland – more SEPAC maps on stamps

SEPAC 2020: Old Maps cancel 

 SEPAC 2020: Old Maps single stamp SEPAC maps on stamps

SEPAC 2020: Old Maps with block of stamps SEPAC 2020: Old Maps FDC with single stampSEPAC 2020: Old Maps sheet of 20 stamps SEPAC 2020: Old Maps block SEPAC maps on stamps

1 stamp, block, sheet of 10, 2 FDCs, cancel

Design based on Gustav Holm’s and G. C. Amdrup’s shipping route maps from 1884-85 and 1900 and various maps of the coast northeast of Tasiilaq.  

Designer: Nuka K. Godtfredsen

Release date: June 8, 2021

Guernsey – even more SEPAC historical maps on stamps

SEPAC historical maps on stamps 6 stamps from Guernsey SEPAC historical maps on stamps booklet Guernsey SEPAC historical maps on stamps Guernsey FDC SEPAC historical maps on stamps 6 sheets of Guernsey stamps

6 stamps in booklet, 6 sheets of 10, FDC, cancel

The 17th c “Garnsey” (Guernsey)  maps on these 6 stamps were created by British cartographer John Speed  (1552-1629) .

  • 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

Release date: Sept. 1, 2021


In 2020, Icelandic Post announced they would no longer be issuing new designs. They will be selling existing stocks and when necessary, reprinting older stamps. 

Isle of Man



  Historic Jersey Maps set of 6 stamps SEPAC historical maps on stamps

Historic Jersey Maps souvenir sheet Historic Jersey Maps souvenir sheet SEPAC maps on stampsHistoric Jersey Maps Postcards SEPAC historical maps on stamps

Historic Jersey Maps FDC Historic Jersey Maps presentation pack SEPAC maps on stamps

Cartographic history of Jersey over the last five centuries

John Norden 1595.  Anna Castle has an very approachable, and well written article on cartographer Norden. Elizabethan: John Norden, cartographer | Author Anna Castle

Jan Jannson 1646. Jannson (1588-1664) was a Dutch mapmaker and publisher. His name is alternately written Johannes Janssonius in some sources. Jannson’s map skills appear on Malta’s SEPAC entry. 

Nicholas Dobree 1746. Dobree was commissioned by the Lord High Admiral of Great Britain to chart the dangerous waters around the Channel Islands, after the disastrous wrecking of the HMS Victory in 1744. The ship sank off the coast of Guernsey with the loss of her entire crew of 1150. In 2008, the Odyssey Marine Exploration team found the wreckage.  World’s Mightiest Warship Discovered (Underwater Archaeology) – World Archaeology (

Lempierre 1796. I could find no information.

White 1826. Admiral Martin White RN (@1779-1865) Martin White RN – Jerripedia ( . Co-author of A survey of the island of Jersey, and its surrounding dangers.

Harry Clark 1930. Clark produced a tourist’s road map of Jersey. Still looking for information. 

 6 stamp, FDC, souvenir sheets of 10, presentation pack, blocks, pairs, postcards

Designer: Jersey Post

Release date: Feb. 17, 2021


Liechtenstein map cancel

SEPAC maps on stamps for Liechtenstein SEPAC historical maps on stamps souvenir sheet

Liechtenstein FDC for old maps SEPAC maps on stamps

1 stamp, souvenir sheet of 9, FDC, cancel

Map of the upper Rhine Valley by Swiss cartographer and engineer Hans Conrad Gyger (1599-1674).

Hans Conrad Gyger (1599-1674)

Hans Conrad Gyger (1599-1674)

Designer: Sereina Hatt, Vaduz

Release date: June 7, 2021


SEPAC 2021 Luxembourg cancel

Jacob van Deventer SEPAC stamp of Luxembourg

SEPAC_2021 Luxembourg FDC

1 stamp, FDC, cancel

16th century Map of Luxembourg – Jakob van Deventer (1500 – 1575).

van Deventer was a cartographer commissioned by Spanish kings Charles V and Philip II. 
Jakob van Deventer mapped all the cities in the Netherlands for Philip II. His work was largely unknown until the 19th century. He mapped between 250 and 260 cities from all over the Netherlands, north Germany and France and Luxembourg. 

To properly illustrate the city he measured up various points in the city and joined them together. He thereby made use of triangulation. He went and stood somewhere in the city and chose two points that he could see. He measured the distance between the two points and his stand point and measured the angle between the two lines. This way he could calculate what the distance was between both endpoints of the lines. This was a new method.  Maps by Jacob van Deventer – Het Utrechts Archief (

Designer: IDP+Partners (L)

Release date: Sept. 14, 2021


Malta cancel

Malta stamp three old map SEPAC maps on stampsmalta old map two

Malta old map stamp SEPAC historical maps on stamps Malta stamps  SEPAC maps on stamps

Malta sheet SEPAC historical maps on stamps

Malta FDC for old maps SEPAC historical maps on stamps

Presentation pack for maps presentation pack for malta map stamps

4 stamps, FDC, cancel, presentation pack

  • .20 Giovanni Giacomo De Rossi an Italian printer and cartographer, published in Rome in 1686 titled  ISOLA DI MALTA GOZZO COMINO E COMINOTTO
  • .50 Dutch cartographer Johannes Jansonnius, published around 1650 titled INSVLAE MELITAE Vulgo MALTE Nova et accurata Description
  • .63 French cartographer Bernard Antoine Jaillot and published in 1734 titled CARTE PARTICULIERE DES ISLES / DE MALTE du Goze et du Cuming
  • 1.25 German cartographer Georg Matthaus Seutter the Elder published in c.1725 titled MELITE vulgo MALTA cum vicinis GOZA, quae olim GAULOS, et COMINO insulis

Designer: Malta Post 

Release date: May 28, 2021


 Monaco SEPAC historical maps on stamps

1 stamp

Map of Monaco 1914

Designer: Joël Tchobanian  

Release date: July 19, 2021

Vatican City

No SEPAC issue listed in their stamp list for 2021

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Europa 2021 Endangered Wildlife stamps



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