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26 August 2014

Jersey stamps reveal the Island’s Roman past

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A new set of stamps exploring Jersey’s Roman connections will be issued by Jersey Post on 27 August 2014. The six stamps and Miniature Sheet feature some of Rome’s greatest Emperors and Governors and they are depicted with illustrations of the activities for which they became known, having a significant impact on the developing cultures of the people of Britain, Gaul and the Channel Islands.

Melanie Gouzinis, Senior Philatelic Manager at Jersey Post explains: “Jersey is home to various Roman artefacts and we thought it would be interesting to look at what was going on in Britain and Gaul which caused the Romans to cross the Channel as clearly, they passed by Jersey on their way.”

The stamps have been painted by Time Team’s Victor Ambrus who has worked with the Jersey Philatelic Bureau on previous occasions. “We met Victor a few years ago when Channel 4 was filming at Mont Orgueil Castle and it was clear that he was the man for the job,” continued Mrs Gouzinis. “Victor was delighted to produce the artworks; with the help of Olga Finch, Curator of Archaeology at Jersey Heritage, we were able to include representations of Roman coins, roof tiles, jewellery, an amphora and a temple within the stamp issue whilst Doug Ford, Community Learning Director, assisted with our research and helped us to ascertain the precise route the Romans would have taken.”

The Jersey Museum is currently holding an exhibition entitled ‘Treasure: uncovering Celts and Romans’ and Victor Ambrus was commissioned by Jersey Heritage to provide artwork for the event. According to Mr Ford, “Two thousand years ago, the Channel Islands, as part of Armorica, were at the edge of the rapidly expanding Roman world and in 2012, the world’s largest hoard of Celtic coins was discovered in a field in Jersey; they represent the turning point when the Channel Islands changed from a Celtic culture to a Roman style of living – a forerunner of what was to happen in Britain a century later – this new set of stamps is a wonderful portrayal of an exciting period in the history of the region.”

The stamps will be available to buy from all branches of Jersey Post from 27 August 2014. Philatelic stamp products such as stamp sets, First Day Covers and Presentation Packs will be available from the main post office at Broad Street, St Helier, Jersey, on issue day and can be ordered now at: www.jerseystamps.com or by phoning the Jersey Philatelic Bureau on: 00 44 (0)1534 616593.    
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