Tell’s son is portrayed on this 1907 stamp. Painter Albert Welti did the original design. The stamp wasn’t very popular, since the public could not conceive of the son without the father. Value today: mint condition, SFr0.80; cancelled, SFr18; letter, SFr34.
Switzerland’s most famous and most talked about meadow, the Rütli, had to appear on a stamp. The blue-toned design appeared in 1914, at the beginning of the First World War. It was a strong symbol at a difficult time for many Swiss. Value today: mint condition, SFr233.
Father and son are illustrated together here. The tête-bêche consists of an unseparated pair of stamps, printed so that one is inverted in relation to the other. Although fairly rare, the Swiss postal services printed quite a few of these unusual stamp pairs. They are appreciated by collectors. The red-orange child and his upside-down green father had a print run of 80,000 copies in 1921. Value today: mint condition, SFr5.50; used, SFr12; letter, SFr27.
Two-and-a-half centime Tell child
This Tell child is from 1921. It is a special issue consisting of unused stock. The original value of the stamp was five-and-a-half centimes before being downgraded. Value today: mint condition, SFr0.50; used, SFr1; letter, SFr3.
The Swiss postal services began issuing a stamp to commemorate national day, August 1, in 1938. Its aim was to promote solidarity between citizens, and the profits went to charities and cultural works. The first stamp showed the Tell chapel in the foreground and the Urirotstock mountain in the background. Value today: mint condition, SFr42; used, SFr150; first day cover, SFr6,450.
William Tell’s weapon of choice has become the symbol of Switzerland, a sign of sovereignty and a guarantee of Swiss quality. On the eve of the Second World War, these values seemed especially important and necessary to the Swiss. This five-centime green stamp was issued for the 1939 national exhibition. Value today: mint condition, SFr1,750; used, SFr60; letter, SFr100.
Tell with crossbow
Ferdinand Hodler’s Tell was reproduced on this stamp, which was issued in 1941, during the Second World War. The aim was to reinforce the Swiss will to resist outside forces with the strongest of symbols. Around 115 million of these stamps were printed. Value today: mint condition, SFr20; used, SFr0.10; letter, SFr4.
Historical imagery was put to good use during the war. This stamp shows the Rütli oath, considered to be the founding act of the Swiss Confederation. It had a print run of nearly 56 million. Value today: mint condition, SFr14; used, SFr0.40; letter, SFr4.50.
The 650th anniversary of the Confederation, in 1941, was also celebrated with a stamp. This commemorative stamp shows Lake Lucerne and the coats of arms of the three founding cantons. Nearly 2.4 million stamps were issued. Value today: mint condition, SFr0.75; used, SFr1.50; letter, SFr2.