Russia and Estonia jointly issued postal products dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by sailors Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. The issue, released by JSC “Marka” and JSC “Eesti Post”, includes a postage block with two stamps, an envelope, postcards, as well as postmarks.
The discovery of Antarctica belongs to the Russian sailors - members of the First Russian Antarctic expedition of 1819-1821 under the command of Thaddeus Bellingshausen (1778-1852) and Mikhail Lazarev (1788-1851). On July 16th, 1819, on the sloops "Vostok" and "Mirny", they set sail from Kronstadt. The discovery of the coast of Antarctica occurred on January 28th, 1820. The voyage lasted 751 days, the length of the journey was almost 100 thousand km. The result of the round-the-world expedition of Bellingshausen and Lazarev became one of the most significant in the history of the world geographical research.
Portraits of Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev are depicted on the stamps of the postal block; on the margins of the block there is a group of sailors against the backdrop of the landscape of Antarctica. The image on the envelope repeats the drawing on the postal block; in addition, the world map with the expedition route is placed on the envelope. Instead of the envelope, postcards were issued in Estonia, depicting the sloops “Vostok” and “Mirny”.
“Joint issues of postage stamps have always played a prominent role in the cultural exchange between different countries, and the celebration of important events,” said Ansi Arumeel, Chairman of the Board of Eesti Post. “The current joint Estonian-Russian issue ‘Discovery of Antarctica 200’ has become a worthy successor to the previous issues.”
Formal postal block cancellation ceremonies took place on January 28th, the day of the celebration of the anniversary date both in Russia and in Estonia. In Russia, the ceremony was held at the headquarters of the RGS in St. Petersburg. The event was attended by the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Navy, Admiral, Aleksandr Vitko, and the vice-president of the Russian Geographical Society, Vladimir Razumovsky. In Estonia, the ceremony was held at the Maritime Museum in Tallinn. Among the participants of the event was the head of the museum, Urmas Dresen. During the ceremony, he established a direct telephone connection with the President of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid.
We would like to note, that in Estonia they especially honor the memory of the Admiral of the Russian Navy, Thaddeus Bellingshausen, as he was a Baltic German by birth, a native of the Estonian island of Saaremaa.
We would like to remind you, that, together with the Federal Communications Agency, the Russian Geographical Society issues "geographical" signs of postage - postcards, envelopes and stamps. In 2019, more than 2 million copies of signs of postage were issued as part of the project. Among them are postage stamps dedicated to the sloops “Vostok” and “Mirny”, the 125th birthday anniversary of Ivan Papanin, the 150th birthday anniversary of the Honorary President of the Russian Geographical, Society Vladimir Komarov; and other signs of postage.
The postal and souvenir products of the “Marka” joint-stock company can be purchased at the “Russian Post” offices; as well as at the company’s branches - the “Collector” salon network, and online store.