In 1995 the United States finally issued a Louis Armstrong stamp, as well as stamps recognizing nine other American jazz musicians. In so doing, the U. S., to our knowledge, became the tenth nation to honor the greatest contributor to America's classical music.
This first page pictures stamps issued by Chad, Senegal, Mali and Niger ; all issued within six months of Louis' passing. Clearly, the man that 'blows the horn that tames wild beasts' left a lasting impression during his amazing 1956 tour of West Africa. Other stamps, issued from 1972 to 1989, appear on a second page. We hope that you enjoy these beautiful stamps. Please feel free to download your favorite to place at your site.
|Return to 1971 Stamp Page|
Fortunately, Louis Armstrong anticipated the rapid growth of the world wide web and left a legacy of postage stamps which are 100 per cent e mail ready and compatible with all browsers. In fact, our preliminary tests indicate that use of these stamps for e mail has approximately the same effect on Internet bandwidth as Louis' commercial product Swiss Kriss has on the human digestive tract. Incredibly, when music files are mailed from Satchmo stamp sites they arrive at their destination with improved timing and tonal quality. We have forwarded all of our results to a New Orleans software firm, Dipper Digital Data, which is now working on a Netscape plugin that will automatically configure the stamps to meet postage and music quality requirements. In the meantime, you can contribute to bandwidth and improved sound by posting a stamp at your site. If you would like, tell us about it and we will put up a link to it.
|Return to Stamps Issued After 1971|
Chad was the first nation to issue a Louis Armstrong stamp.
Denomination: 100 franc airmail.
Shape: Vertical Rectangle.
Nickname: Let's call it The King Louie.
Description: The stamp has a purple background with a white border. A portrait of Louis appears inside of a white oval, centered on the stamp. Along the bottom edge, and outside , of the oval is inscribed 'Louis Armstrong' in black letters against a white background. An inscription at the top, within the white border, reads 'Grands Musiciens Noirs Americaine'. Within the white border at the bottom (which is thicker than on the other three sides) is inscribed 'REPUBLIQUE DU TCHAD'. The white border is indented in the center on all four sides. The top indentation contains five small dark dots (jewels) against a yellow background giving the effect of a crown, the indentations on the sides each contain one dot in the same format, and the one at the bottom three. Louis' portrait has his head angled slightly to his left while he is looking up to his right. Looking at the stamp from increasing distances, the dots and yellow background at the top of the stamp appear more and more as a crown. A neat effect.
Senegal was the second nation to issue a Louis Armstrong stamp, following Chad by one week.Denomination: 150 franc airmail.
Description: This stamp has a dull gold background and a white border. Set against this is a portrait of Louis with his head back and his trumpet raised at a 45 degree angle. The trumpet is a shiny gold and stands out nicely against the background. In the upper left hand corner of the stamp is inscribed 'Louis Armstrong' in black letters against the gold background. '1900' is inscribed in black numerals beneath the bell of the trumpet, and just below that, '1971'. At the bottom of the stamp on the gold background is inscribed 'REPUBLIQUE DU' in black letters and then in a larger font and white letters 'SENEGAL'.
Mali and Niger both released their Armstrong stamps on the six month anniversary of Louis' death.Denomination: 270 franc airmail.
Description: This stamp has a background of vertically undulating red and yellow tiger-like stripes which balloon out at the bottom of the stamp yielding a stunning 3 dimensional look. The shading of the reds and yellows is very effective. In the center of the stamp is a yellow circle which contains Louis' portrait and the inscription 'Les Grands Musisiens Noirs Louis Armstrong'. The artist successfully captured one of Louis' patented expressions. He is leaning backward angled to his right, horn pointed slightly downward looking in the direction of the audience. Anyone who saw him perform will swear that Louis looked directly at them.
In the upper left corner is a black rectangle containing the denomination of the stamp in white letters. Near the bottom of the stamp the same format contains 'REPUBLIQUE DU MALI'.
Niger and Mali both released their Armstrong stamps on the six month anniversary of Louis' death.Denomination: 100 franc.
Description: This stamp has a background similar to the one on Mali's stamp but with the undulating stripes running horizontally. The background reds and yellows are not as bright as those on the Mali stamp, but this serves to give more emphasis to the artist's excellent left profile portrait of Louis. In the upper left corner is the stamp's denomination in white numbers on a blue circle. At the bottom, a white rectangle contains 'REPUBLIQUE DU NIGER' in black letters. That's it. This simplicity of design also adds emphasis to Louis' portrait - a distinguished looking Armstrong in his early fifties.
Niger and Mali both released their Armstrong stamps on the six month anniversary of Louis' death.Denomination: 150 franc airmail.
Description: This stamp has a background consisting of 5 concentric circles in yellow, orange, red, purple, then red pastels. Against this background is a classic picture of Armstrong, trumpet slightly raised, eyes upward, and handkerchief in hand. A blowup of the picture from this stamp appears at the top of the graphical version of the 1971 stamp page.
Along the inner edge of the fourth circle is inscribed 'Louis Armstrong (1900-1971)'. The denomination of the stamp appears in black numbers inside a small white circle in the upper right corner of the stamp. Along the bottom edge of the stamp is inscribed 'REPUBLIC DU NIGER' in yellow letters against a red background.
This set of 5 stamps is very interesting because each Armstrong portrait is totally different.
Denomination: 100 franc.
Shape: Horizontal Rectangle.
Description: This stamp has a narrow white border and a cobblestone background of light purple. Inside the white border at the top edge, is inscribed "Postes Louis Armstrong 1972" with Louis Armstrong in white letters the rest in black. The background under the inscription is a darker purple. Inside the border at the lower edge, using the same format, is inscribed "REPUBLIQUE GABONAISE" in white letters. The portrait of Louis is the same as appears on the Niger 150 stamp - head and shoulders, trumpet raised slightly, handkerchief in hand.
Denomination: 30 cents.
Description: This stamp was actually issued both to honor Armstrong and to recognize the United Nations "Year Against Racism". Along with Louis is also a caricature of Benny Goodman. The stamp is white, with a gold frame which creates a narrow border. The United Nations symbol appears in the upper left corner just inside the frame. Next to this - accross the top - is inscribed "LUTTE CONTRE LE RACISM". Just inside the gold frame at the bottom reads "REPUBLIQUE RWANDAISE".
Denomination: 45 franc.
Shape: Horizontal rectangle.
Description: An off white border encompasses a dark maroon background which also includes the vertical undulating stripes, in shades of yellow and off white, seen on the Niger 150. The portrait has Louis leaning back trumpet raised. Interestingly the lines in Louis' face contrast nicely with the undulating background stripes. In the lower left corner just inside the border is the stamps denomination, '45f'. The left border is enlarged and contains, vertically, the inscription "REPUBLIQUE DU HAUTE-VOLTA". Inside the border along the top and against the maroon background is inscribed "GRAND MUSICIENS NOIRS LOUIS ARMSTRONG", in white letters.
Denomination: 2 dollars.
Shape: Vertical rectangle.
Description: A gold frame against a white background delineates a narrow border. Just inside the frame in the upper left corner is "commonwealth of" and below this in larger letters "DOMINICA". In the upper right corner is the denomination, $2. Centered just inside the frame in the lower portion of the stamp is "LOUIS ARMSTRONG" and below that "1900-1971". The portrait of a young Armstrong has him leaning back holding the trumpet aloft at a 45 degree angle. Surrounding his head and shoulders, in the background, is a pale blue circle which displays some musical notation in black font.
Denomination: Three dollars.
Shape: Horizontal rectangle.
Description: A narrow white border encloses a lively background of blue-purple and yellow pastels. This matches the youthful portrait of Louis quite nicely. In the upper right corner is "St. Vincent" and in the lower left corner the denomination - $3 -, both in a large black font. Louis is pictured as a young man in black bow tie and white jacket with the background giving a halo effect around his head. The trumpet is gold and "Louis Armstrong 1900-1971" is inscribed above the bell of the horn. Of course, the handkerchief is present.
Denomination: 32 cents.
Shape: Nearly Square.
Description: A thin white border surrounds the stamp. Inside the border on the left side is written "jazz composer and trumpeter", reminding us that Louis wrote nearly 40 songs including such jazz standards as Struttin' With Some Barbecue and Potato Head Blues. The background of the stamp is a pale purple-blue and across the upper half is a keyboard with the white keys being lightly shaded with purple, an effect which extends it further into the background. In the upper left corner, in bold white numbers, is the stamp's denomination. In the upper right corner running vertically is "USA". Along the lower edge is inscribed "LOUIS ARMSTRONG" in black letters against the purple-blue background. The portrait is similar to that found on the Niger 150 and Gabon stamps, but without the shoulders. The trumpet is a brilliant gold as was Louis', and, of course the patented handkerchief is present.
The Armstrong stamp issued as part of the 10 jazz musicians' set, also in 1995, reverses the white and black lettering.
Libertyhall Jazz Quartet