Stamp Stories from around the world

In 1907 Switzerland issued a small series of three stamps depicting the son of Wilhelm Tell. According to legend, Wilhelm Tell was a farmer and a well-known hunter, and together with his son was on his way across the square in Altdorf in the canton of Uri. Here the Habsburg king’s bailiff Albrecht Gessler had put his hat on a pole, and all passers-by had to take off their hats for it. Tell did not, and was immediately dragged before Gessler, who ordered an apple placed on the head of Tell’s son. Tell was told that if he did not shoot the apple with one arrow from 120 yards away, both he and his son would be executed. Tell cocked his crossbow and shot the apple in half. Gessler wanted to let him go, but first asked why Tell had stuck an arrow in his jacket before firing. “If my first arrow had killed my son,” replied Tell, “my second arrow was meant for you, and then I had hit the mark.” Todays stamp is the 2 cent issue from 1907. CV is less than one euro.