The island of Jersey, with its close proximity to France and mainland Britain, is perfectly situated to attract visitors from near and far. And so it has been throughout history, starting with nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes, and moving on through time with the first Neolithic settlers, the Romans and Gauls, all leaving their mark whether by accident or intent.
This stamp issue introduced by Jersey Post comprises eight special stamps that depict some artefacts left behind by these settlers and passers-through. StampNews.com invites our readers to appreciate an exquisite design of these philatelic items and get acquainted with the history of Jersey Island.
Golden Torque stamp – This golden torque, amongst others, was found in Le Câtillon II Hoard, which contained more golden torques than any other Celtic coin hoard and has also been confirmed as the largest Celtic hoard found in the world. The hoard, which was lifted from a field in the parish of Grouville in 2012, is so large that it is still being broken down and catalogued by a dedicated team of archaeologists and conservators.
Rotary Quern stamp – This rotary quern was found near the ancient site of La Hougue Bie in the easterly parish of Grouville. However, it is made up of a conglomerate stone imported from Hertfordshire in the 1st Century BC, meaning that it was probably used in the Iron Age.
St Lawrence Pillar stamp – St Lawrence Pillar, situated inside the parish church of St Lawrence, has been repurposed throughout history. Uncovered during the last restoration of the church in 1891, the artefact is thought to have started life as a Roman pillar before being used as a gravestone in approximately 600 AD. The stone was then repurposed for another gravestone in 800 AD and this is when the interlaced carving was thought to have been added.
Bronze Dagger stamp – This bronze dagger is thought to have been ceremonial or a sign of status rather than being a functional tool or weapon. It was found on the fortified settlement of Le Câtel de Rozel, an Iron Age settlement built upon an earlier Neolithic site. Coins found at the site along with the dagger date back to the 1st Century BC.
Flint Arrowhead stamp – This flint arrowhead was found at the Le Pinacle site, dating back to 2850-2250 B.C. The stone's distinctive colouring shows that it must have been imported from Le Grand-Pressigny in Central France. This Neolithic importation shows that Jersey's prehistoric ancestors must have been in contact with European traders.
Silver and Gilt Brooch stamp – This silver-gilt ring-brooch was made by a Parisian jeweller. It was found during the excavation on the floor of Les Écréhous priory hall. The fleur-de-lys, found on the brooch, was established as the town mark of Paris by the late 13th century and the eight-petalled rosette decoration suggests a 14th century date.
Bronze Statue stamp – Found in two halves in a field in the parish of St Clement, it is thought that this statue is either a representation of Hercules or Mercury. The bronze figurine seems to have originated from Italy and dates back to the 2nd century B.C. showing the great and expansive reach of classical Roman culture.
Bronze Age Axe Head stamp – The provenance of this Bronze Age axe head is unknown, meaning that the origins of the axe have been lost to the annals of time. The axe head was discovered amongst the archives of one Jersey's museums and must have been discovered, or handed to the museum, before the stringent cataloguing of artefacts that is used today.