Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Czechoslovakian Anthem -The Most Expensive Anthem Stamp Sheet

This is a must have for a complete anthem stamp collection. These artistically designed sheets commemorate the centennial of the composing of what later became the national anthem of the Czechoslovak Republic. The title of the anthem, "KDE DOMUV MÙJ?", is translated, "Where Is My Home?"

These are one of the most expensive anthem stamps in existence with market prices ranging from 100-500 Euros. They were printed in very limited quantities: only 12,900 of the 1k sheets and 9,600 of the 2k sheets. Because of their great demand, forgeries are not uncommon.

Kde domov můj? (Where is my home?) was written by the composer František Škroup and the playwright Josef Kajetán Tyl as a part of the incidental music to the comedy Fidlovačka aneb Žádný hněv a žádná rvačka (Fidlovačka, or No Anger and No Brawl). It was performed for the first time in the Stavovské divadlo (Estates Theatre) in Prague on December 21, 1834. The original song consists of two strophes . Although J. K. Tyl is said to had considered leaving the song out of the play, not convinced of its quality, it soon became very popular among Czechs and was accepted as an informal anthem of a nation willing to revive its identity within the Habsburg Empire.

Soon after Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, the first strophe of the song became the Czech part of the national anthem, followed by the first strophe of the Slovak song Nad Tatrou sa blýska. The split of Czechoslovakia in 1992 divided also the Czechoslovak anthem. While Slovaks have extended their anthem adding a second strophe, the Czech Republic's national anthem has been legally adopted unextended, in its single-strophe version.