Czesław Słania

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Portrait of Czesław Słania
A Faroese stamp depicting a ram engraved by Słania (1979)

Czesław Słania (22 October 1921 Czeladź; 17 March 2005 Kraków)[1] was a Polish-born postage stamp and banknote engraver, living in Sweden from 1956. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Słania was the most skilled and prolific of all stamp engravers, with over 1000 stamps to his credit. His 1000th engraved stamp, based on the 17th-century painting "Great Deeds by Swedish Kings" by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl (2000), is in the Guinness Book as the largest engraved stamp ever issued.[2]


Słania was born in Czeladź near Katowice, Poland, and was the son of a miner.[3] During the Second World War he forged money and documents for the Polish resistance.[3] He entered the Kraków School of Fine Arts, a renowned graphics arts centre, in 1945.[4] While still a student, Słania was employed by the Polish Stamp Printing Works, where he learned to engrave in steel. His first stamp was issued in Poland on 24 March 1951.[4]

In 1956, Słania moved to Sweden, where he began employment with the Swedish postal authorities in 1959.[1] He produced stamps for Sweden and 30 other countries. His work was of such recognized quality and detail that he is one of the very few "household names" among philatelists, and some specialize in collecting his work.[5]

He was the Royal Court Engraver of Sweden since 1972.[4]

His last work was a stamp in 2005 to commemorate the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly.[1]

He was also very productive in designing and engraving banknotes for numerous countries in six out of seven continents.


Czesław Słania received many awards during his life, including:[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Press release: Stamp engraver Czesław Słania passed away". Sweden Post Stamps. 2005-03-21. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
  2. ^ "From the son of a miner to the Royal court of Sweden: Fascinating story of world's most prolific stamp engraver". Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  3. ^ a b c "The Slania I Knew" by Otto Hornung in Gibbons Stamp Monthly, June 2005, p.90.
  4. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Master Engraver Czeslaw Slania, 83, Dies". The First Art Newspaper on the Net. 2005-03-25. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
  5. ^ Pomp, Stephan (2008-11-17). "Collecting the Works of Czesław Słania". [Exponet]. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

External links[edit]

[[Category:Stamp designers]]