May 17, four postage stamps featuring heroes of famous Russian fables are issued as part of the Literature Heritage of Russia series



A fable is a story in prose or verse of sententious or satiric character, with a short lesson (a moral) in the beginning or in the end. The characters are often animals, plants or inanimate objects given human qualities, ridiculing human faults.

In Russia, the genre of a fable was fully developed by the middle of the 18th century by Aleksandr Sumarokov, Ivan Chemnitzer, Aleksandr Izmaylov and Ivan Dmitriev, although the first fables began appearing as early as in the 17th century created by Symeon of Polotsk and in the first half of the 18th century in the works of Antiochus Cantemir and Vasily Trediakovsky. A free rhyme conveying informal and playful tale was created and became a part of the Russian poetry. Ivan Krylov, whose works were translated to many languages, perfected the fable to a genius level. A Soviet poet Sergey Mikhalkov, who authored more than 20 fables, continued the tradition of a Russian classical fable condemning negative occurrences in everyday life and moral, and ridiculing unattractive traits in a person’s character and actions.

The postage stamps feature illustrations to such fables as The Rooster and the Pearl by Vasily Trediakovsky, The Wolf and the Crane by Aleksandr Sumarokov, The Fox and Grape by Ivan Krylov and The Hare and the Tortoise by Sergey Mikhalkov.

Additionally, JSC “Marka” has manufactured an illustrated cover with the stamps and a first day cover with cancellation (Moscow) inside.

Design: V. Beltyukov.
Face value: 35 RUB.
Size of stamp: 37×50 mm, size of sheet: 168×176 mm.
Form of issue: sheet with illustrated margins of 12 (4×3) stamps.
Circulation: 150,000 stamps each (50,000 sheets).

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