A Strange Stamp from Romania

Romania issued this stamp on April 26, 1946 to honor one of its most beloved citizens, Georges Enescu.

Romania Stamp Georges Enescu

Georges Enescu was not just Romania’s most accomplished violinist.  He was a symbol of the nation’s pride, perhaps the best known Romanian of his era.

He was a prodigy, studied in Vienna, and made his U.S. debut in 1923 conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.  The village where he was born was renamed in his honor, and in Bucharest, the mansion where he lived in the late 1930s and early 1940s, is now the Georges Enescu Museum.

When this stamp was released, Enescu was living in Paris.  The Soviets, who had occupied Romania by force since the autumn of 1944, understood his propaganda value.

We don’t know if the stamp was issued as a means to appeal to Enescu’s national pride and cajole his return to Romania, given his distaste for the Soviet occupiers, or if it was to suggest to skeptical Romanian citizens that Enescu was aligned with the new military regime.

In any event, Enescu did not return to Romania, and stayed in Paris until his death in 1955.  He is buried in the city’s celebrated Pere Lachaise cemetery with other musicians ranging from Frederic Chopin to Jim Morrison.

Take a close look at this Romania stamp honoring Georges Enescu and you will notice at least two strange aspects.

First, the name Enescu does not appear on this stamp.  The design does not reveal that Enescu is a musician.  No violin, no sheet music.

Second, this stamp was printed tete-beche.  Notice how alternating stamps are inverted.

I try to keep a supply of this fascinating stamp in my online stamp store.  Take a look if you would like to add this interesting piece to your collection.

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