1963 CCCP Antarctica, Moon Stamps


Canceled stamps which appear to depict the 9th Soviet Antarctic Expedition — led by Dr. Mikhail Somov — and a moon mission (possibly the Soviet Luna program; I wish I could read Russian).

Something to note in these stamps — and the others posted throughout this week — are the similarities in graphic design. Generally, the negative space is employed to graphically depict a macroscopic aspect of the subject (ie, what the person or program was about) while the foreground is dedicated to microscopic visual aspects of the subject (ie, specific portraiture, wildlife, technology, etc).

Update 2009-02-09: I’ve uploaded an enlargement of the Antarctic Expedition stamps.

Update 2009-02-10: Many thanks to Saintneko and the artists of the Li’l Nyet web comic for furnishing a translation of these stamps in the comments below!


7 Comments so far. Comments are closed.
  1. got one of the lil’ nyet artists on the job of translating. they’re awesome!

    The main captions Noyta CCCP is “USSR Mail” – the rocket one is “moon landing” and underneath is the mission designation

    They said the other two need to be enlarged and sharpened a bit to make them more legible (also they had to hit the road) – if you have larger, sharper copies toss me an email and i’ll send it their way for some full on translatin. 😀

  2. ratchetcat,

    Awesome! Thanks for the help, saint! That’s very kind of the Li’l Nyet artists (Pug and Bengo?).

    I’ve posted an enlargement of the first two stamps above.

  3. Wow, I bet you never thought you’d learn this much about these stamps. The internet reaches out and informs you thusly:

    “The penguin stamp is easy now. It says “Antarctica, Continent (of) Peace” (alternately “PEACE CONTINENT”).

    The other is troubled by two non-existent letters in the text. There is no upside-down V like in the second word, and the last two letters of what looks like the camp name (below) are muddled. “V” might mean two, but that’s just a hunch based on a guess. I don’t know numerals and I am not ready to chase them when other avenues have more progress.

    The top is clearly “By _______ _________” which could be the head of the team or (less likely) the artist. Given the art, I suspect it’s a reference to those vehicles, which might have an odd name or a regimental code, rendering their name unfamiliar to me as well as to my Russian language dictionary. (As in, across the continent on K8 Snow Whizzers.)

    If you delete one bizarre letter from the lower, solitary word, it means peace or peaceful, which doesn’t seem like coincidence.

    I’d consider searching “Soviet/Russian military vehicles, tundra (including images) and/or winter.

    Since I’m not sure how much you need, I’ll stop there, and you please let me know if you need more, and I’ll ask friends and relatives with superior skills to have a look.

    I like the rendering of the aurora australis. Those are beautiful stamps.

    Oh, I know I have some Russian readers of Lil Nyet. I can always post a request there, too. All depends what will help you out.”

  4. ratchetcat,

    Fantastic information — thanks so much for checking into that! 🙂 The internet hive mind continues to astound.

  5. Kate,

    Ah, how I love strange stamps. 😀 (And learning about russian…)

  6. ratchetcat,

    🙂 Fun and educational! There’s something extremely compelling about tiny scenes from far-away places. (For a real treat, try to find the book The World of Donald Evans — it’s an amazing collection of beautiful stamps from an imaginary world.)

  7. Kate,

    😀 I must do that! Hopefully I’ll get paid soon so I can head to the book-store!!