Best known Frisian folk tales adorn the stamp and envelope

The female seen from behind on the first day envelope, next to the stamp with the three-master with full sails and the stamps with sayings from Vrouwtje van Stavoren. PHOTO: NPVC

Stamp collectors can indulge in a copy with the most famous Frisian folk tale on it. The stamp and envelope with Vrouwtje van Stavoren will be issued next Monday.

The Lady of Stavoren is the most famous Frisian folk tale. In terms of fame, it fits into the sagas of De Vliegende Hollander and Hansje Brinker. The Dutch Association of Stamp Dealers designed a first day envelope and a themed stamp specifically for these stamps; a three-master with full sails. As an illustration on the first day’s envelope, NVPH chose Vrouwtje van Stavoren, seen from behind. Both the stamp and the first day envelope will be available from May 9, 2022.


“We have outsourced the design for the stamp and the envelope to the design agency Davo,” says Marike TImmermans, communications officer at the Dutch Association of Stamp Dealers (NVPH). “We work with them more often and they make beautiful designs.”

Are these envelopes and stamps really more for children or also for adults? “Both can benefit greatly from it,” says Timmermans. »We see that the elderly are busy with the envelopes. They also become more valuable over the years. So many people leave them in the closet for a while and then throw themselves back over them. And during the pandemic, people of all ages have used stamps and envelopes as a hobby. ”


NVPH also plans to create profit promotions. “That way we can tell the folk tale, and children become familiar with it,” explains Timmermans. “We do not visit schools ourselves, but other stamp collectors can do that, for example.”

There will not necessarily be a big event to celebrate the launch. It happens according to Timmermans sometimes, but then when, for example, Doutzen Kroes is on a stamp. “The badges are available at all points of sale, but they are gone,” says Timmermans. You can always order them afterwards.

Sandbank in front of the harbor

There is a rich story behind the story of Vrouwtje van Stavoren. Stavoren, known as one of the cities in the Elfstedentocht, has a rich past and more than 960 years of city rights. Stavoren was an important and rich trading town. For sea transport, the skippers from Friesland were of vital importance to the Netherlands. After the Dutch-Frisian wars between 1345 – 1422, the city fell into disrepair from the middle of the 15th century and the recession also meant that the financial resources for the maintenance of the harbor and the dikes disappeared. The harbor was clogged and Stavoren was no longer important for the grain trade. It is at this point that the saga of Vrouwtje van Stavoren is born.

Vrouwtje van Stavoren is a wealthy merchant sinker who is held responsible for the sludge of the port. When a boatman returns with grain instead of gold, his haughty mistress becomes furious and begs him to throw the grain into the sea. She rejects the prophecy that would condemn her to begging and throws a gold ring into the sea with the message, “Until this ring returns from the sea, I will not beg.” Her ring is in a fish that is later presented to her. Kornbjerget is seen as the origin of the sandbank in front of the harbor, which makes it no longer accessible to large ships.

Typical spells

The two stamps issued by PostNL illustrate two typical sayings from Vrouwtje van Stavoren: ‘Sier mijn Woning!’ and ‘No copper, no, but gold’. The story of the Lady of Stavoren depicts the proverb ‘Pride comes before the fall’. For those who have the arrogance to believe that nothing can ever go wrong, the trap, if it happens, is great.

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