Poznan (Posen) is a wonderful city in the west of Poland with over 579,000 inhabitants. It is situated on the Warta River, and is one of the oldest cities in Poland, making it an important historical center. Poznań's impressive cathedral is the earliest church in the country, containing the tombs of the first Polish rulers: duke Mieszko I, king Boleslaus the Brave, king Mieszko II, duke Casimir I the Restorer, duke Przemysł I and king Przemysł II.
Today Poznan is a vibrant centre for trade, industry, and education. Poznań is Poland's 5th largest city and 4th biggest industrial centre. It is also the administrative capital of Wielkopolski (the Greater Poland Voivodeship). Increasingly the city is attracting tourists from all over the world.
Canada Post is issued this beautiful souvenir sheet to celebrate the 300th anniversary of four portraits that function as a record of early cultural and political diplomacy between the First Nations and the British Empire, and a negotiation that affected the course of power relations in North America. In the days before photography, the power of the painted portrait was supreme. It spoke to the connections between people and historical events, and to have one’s likeness preserved was a privilege most often reserved for the wealthy and powerful. Today, those portraits provide invaluable records of days long past—of the people and occasions deemed important to a culture.
In 1710, a delegation of “Four Kings”—three from the Five Nations Confederacy of the Iroquois and one from the Algonquin nation—travelled to London accompanied by colonial leaders, and had an audience with Queen Anne. The aboriginal representatives were being courted for their alliance in England’s war against France. Their visit created a sensation among Londoners, who wrote poems, ballads and songs about them. To commemorate their stay, the Queen commissioned court painter John Verelst to paint a portrait of each of her visitors. The paintings of the Four Indian Kings were held in the Royal Collection for more than a century before being acquired by the Government of Canada as national treasures in 1977.
The set of four stamps featuring Verelst’s paintings were designed by David Sacha and Karen Satok of the Toronto-based firm, Sputnik Design Partners. A close-up of Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, Emperor of the Six Nations, is featured on all pieces of the issue. The London 2010 Festival of stamps logo overprint is present in only 50,000 of these souvenir sheets.