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Kaleidoscopes - 200 years

Kaleidoscopes - 200 years

Date of issue

10 July 2017

Withdrawal date

10 July 2019


Mark Wilkinson




32mm x 40mm


Four colour offset lithography


49, 63, 73, 79, 90, 1.07

Price ex tax

for all items included in the Issue Collection

Available for sale


The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by Scottish scientist Sir David Brewster, and the patent was granted in 1817. Brewster was a child prodigy, who constructed a telescope when he was ten years old, and from an early age, developed a great enthusiasm for a wide range of subjects such as philosophy, inventions, religion,optics and science. He was accepted into the University of Edinburgh at the age of twelve, where he was greatly admired for his exceptional academic ability. During his 20s and 30s, Brewster applied his intellect to the study of optics and the development of scientific instruments. These were subjects that would intrigue him for the course of his life, throughout which he would receive numerous prestigious awards in recognition of his immense contributions to science. Indeed, by the end of his life, Sir David Brewster had many inventions to his name, including the binocular camera, lighthouse illuminator and lenticular stereoscope. It was the kaleidoscope that would be his most enduring legacy, however, creating a frenzy of excitement across all ages and social classes during exhibitions and its early production. The optical phenomenon of forever changing patterns created by reflective symmetry encased in a small tube, seized imaginations. Whereas the instruments themselves have become simplified and mass-produced in modern times, fascination remains constant. Six stamps feature intricate, symmetrically designed illustrations, in homage to the curious beauty of kaleidoscope patterns that have captivated imaginations for 200 years. Each of the designs is based on a different theme, using Jersey's abundance of flora and fauna as their subject. 49p - Shells and anemones featuring: Spider crab, Wrasse, Common urchin 63p - Feathers and eggs featuring: Cuckoo and Wagtail feathers, alongside Bullfinch and Bunting eggs 73p - Wildflowers featuring: Ox eye daisy, Yellow iris, Scarlet pimpernel and Red campion 79p - Woodlands featuring: Gorse flowers, Chestnut, Polecat, Jay and Red squirrel 90p - Minibeasts featuring: Bumble bee, Emperor dragonfly, Common blue butterfly, Wasp spider, 7 spot ladybird and Bloody nosed beetle £1.07 - Marine life featuring: Spider crab, Wrasse and Common urchin For Further information about Sir David Brewster, visit:

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