by Melvyn Gallagher
Before the invention of photography the silhouette was a popular and cheap way of producing a likeness. Artists of scout stamps have over the years found that designs using this art form can be very effective on a very small scale such as stamps.
Scouts in silhouette before a campfire is an enduring theme, my favourite being the 1963, one shilling triangular from Nigeria and the 1968 L50 stamp from Italy. Similar Stamps are seen on the 1964 20F Malagasy Republic stamp, a 1968 c0.25 value from Costa Rica (reproduced later in 1985 on a stamp on stamp issue) the 1977 18c from Grenada and and a 1995 stamp of Slovenia.
Two very similar designs with scout buglers are to be seen on the 1975 15c from Antigua and the 1991 30 value from Mongolia - buglers in silhouette are also on the 1959 set from Taiwan.
Camp views are depicted on the 1957 Girl Scouts World Camp stamp from the Philippines, the 1968 9d stamp from Gibraltar, and both stamps issued from Eire in 1977.
Another popular theme is hiking seen on the 1976 200F value from Mali, a 2007 stamp from Kosovo and both the 2010 and 2012 stamps from the U.S.A.
There are other silhouettes on scout and guide stamps and I am sure that we shall see more. Postcard collectors can find examples too, such as the 1929 Jamboree novelty card published by the Birkenhead Advertiser.