Stamps Database


Advice to the wise: Please take your time and read this page attentively, before to proceed further. The time that you will spend to read it will be largely compensated later, when you will try to use the huge amount of information stored in the present database. I recommend you to print this page, in order to use it later as a reference.

The Paintings and Arts on Stamps is a vast theme, probably the largest of all in the topical philately. There are over 30,000 unique stamps and over 3,200 sheets that are listed in the present database. The first difficulty one has when she/he tries to put together a complete database (and a stamps collection too) of all stamps issues worldwide, is to define and then to identify which stamps belong to it. The task is not simple, because almost each stamp could be considered as a (kind of) piece of art. Somebody, normally/hopefully an artist, had to design it, to bring it on paper and to choose/specify the means by which his work will be "converted" to a stamp.

Selection Criteria

I have included in the database the stamps that meet the following criteria:

  • They should reproduce pre-existing works of art
  • They should show real works of art (as for example opposed to banal portraits, reproduced millions of times, like kings' or dictators' faces)

The only exception I have made is for the works of art designed by renown artists, done with the purpose to be explicitly reproduced on stamps.

References, Completeness and Updates

It took a long time to put together the information stored in the present database. I used as references the Stanley Gibbons "Stamps of the World" catalogues, the Stanley Gibbons "British Commonwealth" catalogue, the Zumstein catalogue and since 1999 the Scott and the Michel catalogues. Starting by the year 2000 I have also uses as reference the Spezialkatalog Gemaelde of Dr. H. Meinel (Germany).

Not all Arts Stamps are listed in the database yet. The reason is the time needed to identify all stamps and to enter the information. Nevertheless, over 90% of all Paintings on Stamps issued worldwide were already listed. The database wa updated on a regular base, with new issues and with some older ones, the last update being done on May 2010.   

At present, quite all European stamps were entered in new the format of the database. Any help in completing the database is more then welcomed and credits are immediately given on this page, as follows:


  • A special thank to our former PASIC member Ann-Mette Heindorff from Denmark
  • Many thanks to Wilfried Paqué (from Germany), for his  precious help in completing the present database.
  • Many thanks to Jose Luis Nascimento (from Portugal) who offered the Access version of the database, with many interesting features, and who largely completed and improved the May 2004 version of the database.
  • Many thanks to Roy Berliner (USA), who added in 2007 and in 2010 over 2600 new records to the present database.

We offer actually for free four databases

  • One of them, in Excel format, is described below. You will need Excel 97 or later in order to use it.
  • The second one, with so many possibilities, that there is not enough place here to describe it here, is in Access '97 format. You will need Access 2000 or later in order to use it. The full description of the functionality of this database program is given in a PDF document. The Excel database is relatively small, compared with the Access version.
  • The third possibility is to directly query on-line the database (through the menu point "Query the Database Online."
  • The fourth is a file in PDF format that lists and displays all stamps related to Rembrandt. It was created by and is the property of Pieter Broekema from The Netherlands.

The Excel Database structure

Country Year Subject Themes Artists Number MS FDC MaxCard Catalogue IdStatus
Aitutaki 1987 Paintings Paintings Rubens 4 2     - O
Aitutaki 1988 Christmas Paintings Rembrandt 5 1     - U
Ajman 1968 Paintings, Adam & Eve Paintings Cranach,Goes,Durer 4 3     - O
Ajman 1968 Paintings, Adoration Paintings Van Honthorst 0 1     - O

The database has 11 fields.

  • The first two field, Country and Year, are self-explanatory. Abbreviations (like USA, GB) are used for the names of some countries.
  • The Subject column describes what was commemorated, "Art from Russian Museums", "Anniversary of Picasso's death",etc. (modified)
  • The field Themes gives the type of the work of art (Painting, Sculpture, Stained-glass, etc), followed by a short description of the set (new).
  • The field Artists presents the names of artists whose works are displayed.
  • The Number field contains the number of stamps in the set.
  • The MS field contains the number of Miniature Sheets, also named Souvenir Sheets.
  • The FDC and MaxCard indicate the number of FDC-sets and Maximum Cards respectively. This changed in July 2007 and these fields are for the moment empty.
  • The Catalogue field starts with a letter that identifies the catalogue used. G = Stanley Gibbons, M = Michel, S = Scott, Y = Yvert, Z = Zumstein. Only a small part of stamps have catalogue numbers attached to them in the present database.
  • ldStatus is an internal field.

What you see as a row, starting by Aiutaki, is named a database record. The actual database has already over 10,000 such records, listing over 30,000 stamps and over 3,200 sheets. With more time invested by myself  and with the kind support of the Internet community, the database will improve and will reach the degree of completeness desired by its author. A project called The Paintings and Arts on Stamps Database Project (PASDP), was started at the beginning of year 2000, with the goal to improve the database. Since then the database has considerably expanded, containing more records (i.e. more stamps) and more information (like the name of the artists, for already many of records).


Please note that the database can be used as well as an inventory list. Because Excel is a part of the standard Microsoft Office package and for this reason is more spread then Access, the present database is published in Microsoft Excel  format. The database file is compressed with WinZip (a program that is downloadable from the Web and that can be also used to decompress the present database file). For more information or in order to get some help, please feel free to contact the Webmaster by e-mail, by clicking on this field (eliminate "spaam" from the address).

Copyright notice, property rights

The first three databases are protected by copyright laws and are the exclusive property of Mr. Victor Manta, Switzerland. The Rembrandt database is the exclusive property of Pieter Broekema from The Netherlands. You have the permission to download them only for personal use. It is strictly prohibited to distribute it or to use it for commercial purposes. That means that dealers can use them, in order to have a better knowledge of what exists in the field of Art on Stamps, but are not allowed to send them or parts of them to their clients.


Revised: Jan, 20, 2019. 
Copyright © 1997 - 2019, as well this page as the databases,
by  Victor Manta, Switzerland. 
All rights reserved worldwide.

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