40s Trident single
- On July 18, 1918, the newly independent Ukrainian government authorized its first set of postage stamps, the Shahiv issues. The 40-shahiv stamp depicts a trident in the center of the stamp encircled and surrounded by floral illustrations.
- The symbol of the trident, a three-pronged spear, has deep roots in Ukraine. Tridents dating from the 1st century AD have been found at archaeological sites in Ukraine as a decorative element on objects of historical and cultural significance. During Medieval times, gold and silver coins circulated in Ukraine with the symbol of the trident stamped on them. But it was during the period of Ukraine’s independence, from 1918 until 1920, that the trident evolved from its broad, decorative purpose to becoming the national emblem.
- When Ukraine first established independence there was a shortage of metals to create coins. Tridents were inscribed on the reverse of newly produced currency stamps. Heorhiy Narbut (1886-1920), the designer of the 40-shahiv stamp, also designed a coat of arms during this period that featured a gold trident. By the fall of 1918, Russian stamps in circulation in Ukraine became invalid unless they were overprinted with the symbol of the trident. The Ernest Lowenstein collection at the National Postal Museum contains examples of trident overprints on Russian stamps from this time period.
- The trident reemerged as Ukraine’s national emblem on February 19, 1992, when following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new coat of arms featuring a gold trident on a blue shield, was adopted.
- Object number
- Postage Stamps
- paper; ink; adhesive
- Height x Width: 1 3/16 x 1 in. (3 x 2.5 cm)
- Ukraine (national republic)
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- National Postal Museum Collection
- On View
- Currently on exhibit at the National Postal Museum
- Scott Catalogue Ukraine 4
- National Postal Museum
- International Stamps & Mail
- Record ID
- Metadata Usage (text)
- Usage conditions apply
- GUID (Link to Original Record)