South Africa 2012

The drawings on South Africa’s attractive transit of Venus mini sheet are based on sketches made by the German astronomer Daniel Fischer to demonstrate the technique of measuring the distance of Venus during a transit. On the central stamp, the widely different tracks of the transits of 2004 and 2012 cross the orange disk of the Sun. As it happens, the 2012 transit of Venus was not visible from South Africa, although the 2004 one was.

The sheet’s designer, a South African art student called Wessel Booysen, explained that he wanted to “bring across the science behind calculating how and when the transit occurs through suggestion that the whole process had been sketched with an ink quill in an old notebook”. He added a modern touch by use of what he termed various “stained and grunge paper textures and vector imagery.” The wording at the top, bottom and right edges of the stamp was printed in metallic orange ink, but shows up black in this scan.

SG number
Face value
to come
International small packet