The world of art and music

Click here for other design errors


Move the cursor over the small pictures for an enlarged view


A music score with six lines ?
A music score with six lines ?
(GERMANY - 1986)




Strange horn !
This horn constructed in a way it will never produce a sound !
(DENMARK - 1976)




Dissonant commemoration
Stamp issued to commemorate the composer SCHUMANN. Someone soon discovered that the music shown in the background was written by another composer, SCHUBERT. A new stamp was immediately issued, this time with music composed by Schumann.
(GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC - 1952)




Anachronism
The pipe organ of this church was built long after Verdi had died.
(ITALY - 1951)




Wrong painting
This painting of Dürer is known as The Lamentation for the Dead Christ. On this sheet it is surprisingly called Christ Weeping for His People.
(COOK ISLANDS - 1973)




Inverted painting
Pre-printed postcard with an inverted painting of VAN DIJCK. Compare with the real painting.
(BELGIUM - 1999)




Misspelt name
LOUVRE was misspelt LOUVRES
(YEMEN - 1969)




Language error
Wrong : Durer and Melencolia - Correct : Dürer and Melancholia
(AITUTAKI - 1986)




Bad design.
The violin in the postmark has no sound aperture behind the strings.
(GERMANY - 1989)




Inverted portrait
This portrait of Beethoven, from a drawinf of Klöber from 1818, is inverted
(HUNGARY - 1960)




Wrong title.
The correct name of this book is 'Le confessioni di un Italiano'
(ITALY - 1961)




Wrong painting
This is not 'The Adoration of the Shepheards' by van Hontorst, but another of his paintings 'The Adoration'.
(NEW ZEALAND - )




Bad restauration.
The mediaeval frescoes of this church had been vanished during centuries. During the restauration they were removed by accident. A local minor artist replaced them in time for the inauguration, but some time later the forgery was discovered (the artist included some portraits of his relatives, even from the filmstar Marlene Dietrich). The frescoes were cleaned off, only the stamps remain as witnesses of the fraud.
(GERMANY - 1951)




Wrong painting
Cranach never painted Adam and Eve together, as shown on this stamp of Panama, but painted them separately as can be seen on stamps issued by Dahomey.
(PARAGUAY - 1976)




Wrong name
This is not the ASSOMPTION, but obviously the ANNUNCIATION painted by Botticelli
(TOGO - 1969)




Wrong representation
The carol While Shepheards watched their flocks by night, states that the watching shepheards were all seated on the ground. On the stamp however, two are standing, one is kneeling, none is seated
(SAINT VINCENT - 1977)




Wrong painting
This is not the MADONNA OF THE BASKET by Corregio, but an allegorical motive called AMOR VISITING VENUS
(SAMOA - 1990)




Inverted painting
Inverted picture of the painting 'Le cachet de cire' by J.B. Chardin.
(FRANCE - 1946)




Wrong colour
The background colour of this portrait is not green as on the stamp, but light blue.
(NIGER - 1968)




Adapted painting
From a painting of Eugène Charpentier, the battle of Solférino. De soldier watching the scene was moved to fit on the stamp..
(FRANCE - 1966)




Wrong number of strings
Only four instead of six strings for this guitar, they dissapear in the center hole where they become five.
(CHILE - 1972)




Inverted
Inverted painting, compare with original
(LIBERIA - 1969)




Error in name and dates
Wrong : Juan Sebastian Bach (1714-1788) - Correct : Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
(PARAGUAY - 1980)




Wrong name and dates
Wrong : Adolf Wagner (1835-1917) - Correct : Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
(PARAGUAY - 1980)




Mispelt name
Wrong : Gioacino - Correct : Gioacchino
(PARAGUAY - 1980)




Error in name
Wrong : Frederico - Correct : Frédéric
(PARAGUAY - 1980)




Mirror image
The Lira de Braccio has been reversed on this stamp, making it impossible to play
(MALDIVES - 1985)




Small differences
The closing notes of 'The Trout' are illustrated on this stamp. But the rythm is wrong and the key is different from the original one.
(MALI - 1978)




Wrong painter
This painting was not made by Rubens, but by Sebastian del Piombo. The 2 other stamps in this Chrismas issue have no relation with Christmas
(ANTIGUA - 1978)




Wrong revolution
The painter Delacroix was born in 1798, and painted the Revolution of 1830, not the French Revolution of 1789.
(ARGENTINA - 1989)




Unfortunate illustration
The choice of the illustration for this Christmas airmail letter is a little bit unfortunate : it is a Doomsday Angel from Dürer's woodcut 'The whore of Babylon'
(AUSTRALIA - 1974)




Modified
Truncated portrait made by Matisse, and used without authorization. The signature of the painter was moved.
(FRANCE - 1991)




Coloured black and white ?
Why featured a coloured scene, as the original ia a black and white woodcut from Johannes Grüninger?
(AUSTRIA - 1966)




Just in time
The announcement leaflet showed a stamp with this statue facing right. The Post Office was forced to correct the stamp design before it was put on the market.
(BELGIUM - 1989)




No relationship
There is no relation between the Bolivian anthem and the music notes pictured on thi stamp.
(BOLIVIA - 1946)




Wrong music
Many errors in the music of ther National Anthem on the background. The most significant : the clef and sign signatures are missing at the beginning of the second and third line.
(BRAZIL - 1945)




Other colours
Same painting, different colours on a stamp from Upper Volta.
(BULGARIA - 1973)




Historical truth
On David's painting, Napoelon's mother was represented, although se was not present at his coronation. On a French stamp, she discretely disappeared.
(CAMEROON - 1969)




Wrong music
Centenary of the Chilean anthem : there is no connection breween the anthem and the notes featured on this stamp.
(CHILE - 1947)




Wrong note
The seventh note of the Cubanian anthem is a DO, and not a RE.
(CUBA - 1952)




Misspelt name
The name of the composer VILLA-LOBOS was misspelt VILLALOBOS.
(CUBA - 1981)




Wrong side.
The piano lid opens right on the stamp, on all pianos they open left.
(CUBA - 1974)




Wrong quotation
The stamp shows Act IV, scene I from Shakespeare's Othello, with the quotation : You are welcome, Sir, to Cyprus. However Othello is not welcoming Ludovico as implied, but is about to leave the stage angrily with the complete sentence ... goats and monkeys, a rather rude and very different sentiment.
(CYPRUS - 1964)




Father or son ?
Hans Holbein de Elder, who is believed to have lived from 1463 to 1524 painted this Adoration of the Three Magi. The stamp however attributes the painting to his som, Hans Holbein the Younger who lived 1497-1543
(DAHOMEY - 1971)




Inverted
Inverted portrait, compare with picture.
(DAHOMEY - 1974)




Incorrect notes
The 9th Nocturne by Chopin. Incorrect notes in the 1st and 3rd bat.
(DAHOMEY - 1974)




Wrong representation
Music fragment in Eb from a work from Gade. The stated metre is not in form in which it is given in the original score, having been transposed from alto clef to treble clef.
(DENMARK - 1967)




Unknown painter
The painting 'Pilate washing his hands' was not painted by Rembrandt as indicated, the painter is unknown.
(DOMINICA - 1969)




Wrong painter
This painting was not made by Rubens, but by Sebastiano del Piombo
(DOMINICA - 1978)




Wrong note
The 3rd note of the Aida marche is a Eb (Mi), not a Fa
(EGYPT - 1971)




Wrong painters
All stamps say that a painting of Correggio is shown. Yhis is only the true for one value (100 F), the two other paintings are from other painters.
(IVORY COAST - 1984)




Inverted
Inverted representation of this accordion
(FRANCE - 1990)




Anachronism
This is a modern instrument dat did not exist at Beethoven's time.
(FUJEIRA - 1971)




Different
The Mozart featured on this stamp does not resemble to any known portrait of him.
(FRANCE - 1957)




Wrong association
Beethoven did not use a harp in his compositions.
(FUJEIRA - 1971)




Anachronism
Modern instrument that did not exist at Beethoven's time.
(FUJEIRA - 1971)




Missing dot
A dot is missing after the third note.
(FINLAND - 1941)




Geese with ears
This well known folk song starts with : Fox, you have stolen a geese. There is however nothing in the original text indicating that the geese should be provided with long ears.
(GERMANY - 1958)




New musical composition
The designer of the stamp moved arbitrarily the notes on the background to fill the space, so that, for instance, measure 1 of the second trumpet became mesure 3 of the timpani.
(GERMANY - 1981)




One little detail
Almost perfect copy, except the board in the back ground : identical flowers on the stamp, but different signs in réality.
(BELGIUM - 1977)




Wrong place
The flat in the treble clef is misplaced, on C instead of the B-line,
(HUNGARY - 1959)




Missing notes
Part of Act I of Giuditta, an operetta of Lehar : two triple brackets are missing.
(HUNGARY - 1970)




Not an error
King David with two left hands. Not an error however, as this was correctly copied from a painting of Chagall.
(ISRAEL - 1969)




Wrong name
Wrong : Madonna col Bambino - Correct : Madonna di Senigallia.
(ITALY - 2001)




Wrong date
The stamps tells us that this painting was made in in 1590. But a closer look at the right upper corner of this painting reveals the real year : 1570
(NETHERLANDS - 1956)




Inversion
This painting from Rubens is showed reversed on the stamp.
(LIECHTENSTEIN - 1949)




Inverted
Inverted representation on the stamp of the original picture.
(FRANCE - 1937)




Wrong name
The Adoration by van Honthorst was misnamed The Nativity.
(NEW HEBRIDES - 1974)




Wrong painter
This painting was not painted by Frederico Fiori, but by Frederico Barocci. Correct on the Spanish stamp.
(NEW ZEALAND - 1969)




Not Polish
This woodcarving was executed by the German artist Veit STOSS of Nuremberg. The Polish form Wita STWOSZA on the stamp implies quite improperly that he was Pole.
(POLAND - 1960)




No Pole
This woodcarving was executed by the German artist Veit STOSS of Nuremberg. The Polish form Wita STWOSZA on the stamp implies quite improperly that he was Pole.
(POLAND - 1956)




Wrong name
This painting was not made by Marco Liberi, but by Pietro Liberi.
(ROMANIA - 1969)




Wrong painter
This painting is from Pieter Boel, not from Jacob Jordaens.
(ROMANIA - 1970)




From three to two
El Greco's Holy Trinity has been reduced to a duo, as the dove, representing the Holy Ghost was omitted on the stamp.
(SPAIN - 1961)




Wrong painter
This painting is by Antello de Messina, not by Crivelli.
(SIERRA LEONE - 1985)




Wrong hand
This tuba player is holding his instrument with the right hand, and thus has to play with the left one, which is impossible.
(UNITED NATIONS - 1989)




Wrong painter
This painting was not made by BOUTS, but by CRIVELLI.
(SIERRA LEONE - 1985)




Wrong painter
This painting was not made by MESSINA, but by BOUTS.
(SIERRA LEONE - 1985)




Wrong film
This is not a scene from the film Mutiny on the Bounty, but from another film also playede by Charles Laugthon.
(TONGA - 1985)




Missing piece
Pipe without mouthpiece
(UNITED KINGDOM - 1972)




Wrong representation
Cittern with tuning pegs halfway down the neck of the instrument.
(UNITED KINGDOM - 1972)




No English
Series of stamps dedicated to British composers. George Friedrich Händel however, was German, born and educated in Halle, Germany.
(UNITED KINGDOM - 1985)




Small modifications
Compared to the original tapestry of Bayeux, a dead body was removed, the others moved, and two bowmen were added.
(UNITED KINGDOM - 1966)




Wrong order
The order of the scenes of the Bayeux tapestry was not respected. The first stamp shows a scene that on the tapestry follows the scene on the third stamp.
(UNITED KINGDOM - 1966)




Strange harp
A portable harp with bars instead of strings is not a common instrument.
(UNITED KINGDOM - 1972)




Stolen sky
Someone found the origine of the clauds in the upper right corner of this stamp : an inverted part of the sky from a painting of Jacob Van Ruysdael.
(NETHERLANDS - 1985)




Promoted
In the thrillers of Agatha Christie, Hercule POIROT was never a police inspector.
(DOMINICA - 1996)




Inversion
Inverted portrait of Robert Burns.
(RUSSIA - 1956)




Error in name
The exact name of this painting by John Trumbull is 'The battle of Bunker Hill', not Bunker's Hill.
(UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 1975)




Lefthanded
Lefthanded player, correct on stamp from UCRAINA of 1918.
(ETHIOPIA - 1899)




Wrong name
The name of this painting of Henry Sandham is 'Birth of Liberty' , not 'Lexington & Concord1775'.
(UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 1975)




Error in name
The correct name of Heyse's novel is 'Das Mädchen von TREPPI, not 'von TERRPI'.
(SWEDEN - 1970)




Wrong name
The name of this painting is not La Lettre, but L'inspiration favorable.
(FRANCE - 1939)




Different colours
The real colours of this Bayeux tapestry are completely different from what is shown on the stamp.
(FRANCE - 1958)




Wrong name
This is not a 'Western cattle in Storm' but a painting by James McWhirter : Cattle in the Scottish Highlands.
(UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 1998)




Wrong name
The Bible scenery with the angel telling Maria that she will become pregnant is the Annunciation, not the Visitation.
(DAHOMEY - 1968)




Family work
This painting was executed by Breughel the Younger, who copied a work from his father, Breughel the Elder.
(GABON - 1972)




Not in line
The main building of the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam is larger than the front. Thus the roofs of both parts are not in line.
(NETHERLANDS - 1988)




Inversion
Inverted representation on the stamp, comparing to the original painting of Jeroen Krabbé.
(NETHERLANDS - 2000)




Construction fault
The strings of this violin do not stop at the tenders, but continue till the top.
(CANADA - 1962)




Musical errors
Errors in the music from Bach in the background.
(DAHOMEY - 1972)




Wrong scenery
This painting shows the Adoration of the Shepards, not of the Magi.
(AITUTAKI - 1975)




Wrong title
El cartero means 'the postman', but has nothing to do with this painting.
(CUBA - 1969)




Wrong name
Wrong : Guernica - Correct : Man standing.
(GHANA - 1993)




Wrong painter
This painting is not from Velasquez, but was made by Rubens.
(GUYANA - 1990)




Missing strings
Cello with only two strings.
(NETHERLANDS - 1992)




Mixed up
A. Dürer's paintings : The Four Apostles. Paul's head is featured with the caption Mark, Mark's head with the caption Paul.
(SOLOMON ISLANDS - 1978)




Not an exact copy
The painting on the wall was slightly moved from the original painting made by Whistler, and flowers were added.
(UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 1934)




Wrong music
Wrong transcription of the music piece on the lower part of the stamp.
(NIGER - 1972)




Why ?
Why not show the real painting ?
(MONTENEGRO - 2006)




Wrong disposition
The disposition of the conductor and the different instruments is completely oout of sense.
(CANADA - 1984)




Less panache
Napoleon leading his army through the St Bernard Pass on a white horse? Maybe on a painting of David. In fact, he travelled more safely, but with less panache, on a ... mule !
(CHAD - 1970)




Wrong piano
The black and white keys on a piano are not equally disposed.
(ROMANIA - 1962)




Inverted and wrong
Inverted FA-key and the two first sharps are FA and DO, not LA and MI
(GERMANY - 2003)




Missing voice
A line is missing on this music score with two voices
(GIBRALTAR - 1991)




Mirror image
As this conductor was right handed, this is a mirrored portrait
(MALDIVES - 1992)