Thursday, July 24, 2014

Philatelic Photographs: Havis Amanda Fountain - Helsinki, Finland

Havis Amanda Fountain
Helsinki, Finland

GPS: N 60° 10.050 E 024° 57.086

Short Description: 

The Havis Amanda Fountain is located at the Market Square in Helsinki, Finland.

Long Description:

The Havis Amanda Fountain derives its name from the central figure, a bronze, nude female figure rising up from the sea. The Art Nouveau sculpture was the creation of Ville Vallgren. It was cast in 1906 in Paris and unveiled at Market Square in Helsinki on September 20, 1908. The artist called the figure the Mermaid but soon she acquired other names. The Finland-Swedish newspapers called it Havis Amanda, the name that is now commonly used. According to the artist the figure is allegorical and represents the rebirth of Helsinki. The model for the statue was 19 year old Marcelle Delquini.

The statue of the woman is 1.94 meters high and stands on a 3 meter pedestal looking back with her head over her left shoulder. Below the statue, on the pedestal, are four fish that spout water into a large granite basin. On the corners of the basin four large sea lions spout water back towards the central figure.

Despite its controversial initial reception this this beautiful fountain has become one of the iconic and best loved images of the City of Helsinki. The statue is the centerpiece for the annual Vappa spring carnival celebration.

The upper stamp was issued by Finland in 1985 to commemorate the NORDIA Philatelic Exposition held from May 15 - 19 in Helsinki. The face value of the stamp is 1.5 markka but it sold for 10 markka which included admission to the exhibition.

The lower stamp was issued by Finland in 1976 and shows the Havis Amana Fountain in its Market Square setting.

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