Living beings

Click here for other design errors

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Wrong person
This is not Miguel LILLO, but one of his associates named Padilla.
(ARGENTINA - 1966)

Wrong portrait.
No portrait was ever made of Francisco DE ORELLANA. We only know that he had lost one eye.
(SPAIN - 1965)

Wrong person
Instead of the explorer John CABOT, it was his son Sebastian who was pictured on this stamp.

Wrong person
This is not Jean-Nicolas CORVISART, but his nephew Louis.
(FRANCE - 1964)

Wrong person
This is not S. Dominic, but a Spanish monk who lived 2 centuries later.
(VATICAN - 1971)

Wrong person
This is not TIVADAR Puskás, but his brother FERENC Puskás.
(HUNGARY - 1954)

Wrong person
This is not Jean NICOT, the one who brought tobacco to Europe, but an unknown Dutch merchant, Jean NIQUET.
(FRANCE - 1961)

Wrong person
This is not a picture of Lt. John SHORTLAND, but a portrait of his father.
(AUSTRALIA - 1947)

Wrong person
Stamp commemorating the birth of Betsy ROSS as the designer of the first Stars and Stripes flag. Historians however agree that she played no part in its design, the claim was made by her grandson long after her death.

Wrong person
Instead of the Italian fencer PAVESI, it was the American fencer PEN that was pictured on this stamp.

Wrong commemoration
Rudolf HARBIG never participated to the Olympic games. He was a world record holder.
(GERMANY - 1968)

Wrong person
Pane of 20 stamps to pay tribute to famous personalities and events of the Old West. But instead of picturing the African-American cowboy Bill PICKETT, the stamp showed his brother. The mistake was corrected and a new sheet was issued.

Wrong design
Centennial of the discovery of gold by James B. Marshall at Suttons Field : the stamp shows the site with a large double-trunked tree of a species not even found in this area at that date.

Strange Queen
What is the Queen doing on the sheet featuring FAMOUS MEN ?
(AJMAN - )

Who is the wrong man ?
Both Italy and Belgium claimed that one of their citizens invented the dynamo. One of those stamps is certainly incorrect.
(BELGIUM - 1930)

Different tails.
How many tails has the Belgian lion ? One or two ?
(BELGIUM - 1912)

Drake or devil ?
According to the legend, the angel Michael is fighting a devil, not a drake.
(BELGIUM - 1965)

Wrong picture
No picture exists of Dr. Bernardo Monteagudo, depicted on this stamp. Furthermore he seems a lot younger on a stamp issued 12 years later.
(BOLIVIA - 1897)

Nurse or dactylo ?
The model for this stamp, issued to commemorate the Nurse association was not a nurse, but a dactylo
(CANADA - 1958)

Wrong picture and name
The pictures of LARSEN and PETROSIAN were mixed up. Furthermore PETROSIAN was written as PETROSSIAN.

Naked lion
A naked lion was soon given a tail and crest
(CHILE - 1904)

Wrong inventor.
This is not Rudolf DIESEL, but James WATT, pictured with his steam engine.
(GRENADA - 1987)

Wrong name
In a series with serpents, the names of 2 serpents were interchanged. He error was corrected, but some stamps … escaped.
(HUNGARY - 1989)

Wrong inventor.
This is not James WATT, but Rudolf DIESEL pictured with his engine.
(GRENADA - 1987)

Wrong name
In a series with serpents, the names of 2 serpents were interchanged. The error was corrected, but some stamps … escaped.
(HUNGARY - 1989)

Wrong fish.
The stamp from Israel shows the Peacock Kingfish 'Pygoplites diacanthus', not the Imperial Angelfish 'Holocanthus imperator', as can be seen on the correct stamp from the Maldive Islands.
(ISRAEL - 1962)

Wrong person.
This stamp pictures BOCCACE, not GIOTTO.
(ITALY - 1937)

Who won ?
The election od the 43rd president of the USA was a real thriller, as both candidates claimed the victory during weeks. Liberia wanted to be the first country to issue a stamp with the new president, and printed stamps featuring each candidate.
(LIBERIA - 2000)

Wrong name
This butterfly was wrongly named EUPHAEDRA ZADDACHI. The decision was taken to issue a new stamp with the correct name AMAURIS ANSORGEI.
(MALAWI - 1973)

Wrong person
This is not the young Mozart at the piano, but his friend Carlos Graf Firmien.
(MANAMA - 1971)

Wrong choice.
Any bird would have been suitable to illustrate airmailstamps, but not the ostrich, the only bird that cannot fly.

Wrong person.
This stamp was supposed to picture Father SERRA. Unfortunately, a picture of one of his colleagues, Father FALOU, was shown.
(MEXICO - 1968)

Wrong person, climbing water
The image of Archimedes on the stamp is from a bust in the National Museum of Naples, representing Archidamos III, a third-century BC king of Sparta. And the water is flowing uphill aas it leaves the top of the screw.
(ITALY - 1983)

Wrong name.
Mozart's portrait with Beethoven's name!

Wrong choice
Probably not such a good idea to illustrate aan airletter with an ostrich, the only bird which cannot fly !

Wrong person
This stamp honours Mary Peters,the 1972 pentathlon gold medal winner. Howevere on this stamp, Heidimarie Rosenthal from West Germany, who finished second was pictured.
(UPPER VOLTA - 1972)

Wrong name
This is not the ACTINIA EQUINA, but the ANEMONIA SULCATA. Correct on the stamp from Monaco.
(SPAIN - 1979)

Wrong tulip
Tulip with several more stamens than the six it ought to have
(MONGOLIA - 1960)

Wrong name
Wrong : Chelonia Midas - Correct : Eretmochelys imbricata (see stamp from Cuba)
(INDONESIA - 1966)

Floating whale
A whale cannot float on water
(SPAIN - 1960)

Wrong animal, wrong period
This Edaphosaurus was in fact a Dimetrodon, and the plant featured on this stamp did not exist at the same time.
(MALDIVES - 1972)

Wrong place
The Cocoanut palm tree featured on this stamp does not grow on the Cook Islands, but in Tahiti more than 800 km away.

Wrong name
Wrong : JANTHINA GLOBOSA. Correct : JANTHINA JANTHINA. A new corrected stamp was issued.
(KENYA - 1971)

Wrong name
Wrong : NAUTILUS POMPILEUS. Correct : NAUTILUS POMPILIUS. A corrected stamp was issued
(KENYA - 1971)

Wrong tree
The palmtree of this view of English Harbour is not correct
(ANTIGUA - 1938)

Wrong butterfly
This is not the MARPESIA PETREUS (red with long wings) but the DANAUS CHRYSIPPUS.
(ANTIGUA - 1975)

Wrong person
Instead of Ian DALTON, this stamp features W.C. WENTWORTH, co-founder of 'The Australian'.
(AUSTRALIA - 1974)

Wrong person
Stamp issued to commemorate the designer of the first Belgian stamp. It was however not Jakob Wiener, but J.H. Robinson.
(BELGIUM - 1987)

Wrong model
Stamps commemorating the Kings and Queens of England. As no picture existed of King William the Conqueror, the editor Charles Mc Miram proposed himself to be pictured on the stamp.
(BARBUDA - 1960)

Who is right ?
Both Italy and Belgium claimed that one of their citizens invented the dynamo. One of those stamps is certainly incorrect.
(ITALY - 1934)

Wrong name
Commemoration of the first Belgian stamp. In the lower left corner, the name of the engraver was added : Jacques WIENER. In fact the first dies of this stamps were prepared by the Englishman J.H. ROBINSON.
(BELGIUM - 1925)

Wrong chosen colour
Opium is extractedfrom plants with white flowers or white with a pink shade, not red.
(ITALY - 1977)

There is no known portrait of John BRISCOE, thus this representation is completely imaginary.

Wrong person
A portrait of Samuel de Champlain do not exist. This stamp is based on a portrait of the banker Michel Particelli d’Émery engraved by Balthazar Moncornet in 1654.
(CANADA - 1908)

One too much
The leaves of a maple tree grow two by two. You will not find three leaves growing from the same point.
(CANADA - 1964)

And why not ?
As no portrait existed of the explorer Henri Kelsey, the engraver of this stamp took himself as model.
(CANADA - 1970)

Wrong animal
This is not the UNAU COLEOPUS DIDACTYLUS, with only 2 claws (the stamp shows at least three). It is probably a Bradypus Tridactylus.
(COLOMBIA - 1960)

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)

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)

Other side
Reindeers do not live in the Southern hemisphere, only in the North.

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

Wrong team
This stamp illustrates a rowing event not, as might be expected, with the rowing four which had won a gold medal for the Federal Republic at Munich, but with the rowing four of the D.D.R.
(GERMANY - 1976)

Wrong portrait
Centenary of the Bethel Institution, founded in 1867 and taken over by Friedrich von Bodelschwingh in 1872. The portrait on the stamp however is of his son.
(GERMANY - 1967)

The engraver of this stamp was not the non-existing Mazelin, but the famous engraver Gandon, who could not use his real name for political reasons.
(FRANCE - 1945)

Wrong gender
The Neanderthaler skull discovered in Gibraltar in 1848 turned out to be the skull of a women.
(GIBRALTAR - 1973)

Wrong inscription
The portrait on this coin is Zeus. The inscription Philippos is located at the other side of the coin and means that is was issued during the reign of Philippos (II of Macedonia)..
(GREECE - 1956)

Wrong name
The Lycaena virgaureae had earlier been assigned to a new genus, and should have been called Heodes virgaureae.
(HUNGARY - 1959)

Wrong bird
This is not the bald eagle, but the Shrieking sea eagle. Correct on the Swedish stamp
(HUNGARY - 1962)

Wrong name
This is the common Brown Hare Lepus europaeus, not the Mountain (or blue) Hare Lepus timidus, a species of northern Europe.
(HUNGARY - 1964)

Wrong type
This shrimp is claimed to be a Pandalus borealis. But this is in fact a warmwater species Penaeus setiferus, not found in the Icelandic waters.
(ICELAND - 1971)

Geant oister of an impossible shape.
(IRELAND - 1982)

Wrong name
Wrong : Kapokier des Falaises Scheffler - Correct : Bombax Ceibe L.
(LAO - 1964)

Wrong name
(LAO - 1964)

Wrong name
Wrong : Eranthenum nervosum - Correct : Clitoria ternatea L.
(LAO - 1974)

Wrong name ?
This plant labelled Aloes is more likely to be a sisal than an aloe.
(LESOTHO - 1967)

Wrong name
Wrong : Coquillage fossile - Correct : Tribolonite.

Wrong animal
This is not the old world otter Lutra lutra as labelled, but the sea ohter of Pacific North America, copied from Brehm's Animal Life - and given a fish.
(MONGOLIA - 1966)

Mixed up
The cross-country female skier Marjo Matikainen from Finland has been mixed up with the alpine male skier Pirmin Zurbriggen from Switzerland. A corrected stamp was issued.
(NORTH KOREA - 1988)

Wrong name
Wrong : Brachyrus zebra - Correct : DENDROCHIRUS ZEBRA

Wrong name

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

Mixed up
The cross-country female skier Marjo Matikainen from Finland has been mixed up with the alpine male skier Pirmin Zurbriggen from Switzerland. A corrected stamp was issued.
(NORTH KOREA - 1988)

Mixed up
Two names of birds were mixed up : the bird on the 15t stamp is the 'Rhipidura rufifrons', on the 45t stamp the 'Pitta erythrogaster'.

Wrong person
Instead of the Swedish Christine Stückelberger, it is the German Gabriele Grillo, who won gold in another competition at the same games who was pictured on the stamp.
(PARAGUAY - 1984)

Wrong name and colour.
Wrong : SAXZITRAGA NIRCULUS - Correct : SAXIFRAGA HIRCULUS. Furthermore the flower is yellow, not blue.
(MONGOLIA - 1985)

Big flowers
The flowers are out of proportion camparing to the rest of the plant.
(MONGOLIA - 1986)

Big flowers
The flowers are out of proportion camparing to the rest of the plant.
(MONGOLIA - 1986)

Wrong design
The Boletus lurigus is not equipped with lamelles (flakes) but with small underneath pipes.
(NICARAGUA - 1985)

Wrong representation
The Xerocomus illudens is not equipped with lamelles (flakes) but with small underneath pipes.
(NICARAGUA - 1985)

No connexion
It is a little bit strange to find Captain Cook on a stamp from Penrhyn, as it is over 800 miles from the Cook Islands and was not discovered until many years after his death.
(PENRHYN - 1920)

Wrong person
In this series of famous doctors, instead of Dr. Innozenz PETRYCY, it was the philosopher Sebastian PETRYCY who was featured on this stamp.
(POLAND - 1957)

Out of place
In this series comemorating famous doctors, D. Sniadecki is out of place : he was a doctor in the chemistry.
(POLAND - 1957)

Wrong naam
(POLAND - 1967)

Wrong naam
Wrong : Vanessa urticae - Correct : Aglais Urticae.
(POLAND - 1967)

Wrong person
Instead of the Commander in Chief of the Paris Communes Jaroslav Dabrowski, the stamp shows the pianist and composer Henrik Dabrowski. A photograph of the composer was mistakenly used for a protrait of J.D. by a painter, and afterwards by the designer of the stamp.
(POLAND - 1975)

Not the correct dove
The dove has sonce long been an international symbol symbol of peace, but this birds howeverf, are not doves, but Trumpeter pigeons.
(POLAND - 1950)

Wrong name
If it is a Jaguar, then it is a Felis onza. But if it is a Panther, the name would be Felis pardus.
(POLAND - 1978)

Wrong plants
Series is supposed to show native plants. However the Lantana camara and the Canna indica are both plants of tropical American origin.

Wrong name
Wrong : Hosta ovata - Correct : Hosta Ventricosa.
(ROMANIA - 1964)

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)

Wrong picture
On the FDC issued to commemorate the death of the astronaut Alan Shepard was inadvertenly placed a picture of Yuri Gargarin. This was of course immediately corrected.

Wrong fish
This is certainly not a Tarpon, amongst other characteristics, the Tarpon has a blunt head and only one dorsal fin.

Wrong turtle
This is not a Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback turtle), but a loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)
(VIET NAM - 1975)

Wrong person
This is not the famous Swedish chemist Carl v. Scheele (as no picture exists from him), but probably his nephew.
(SWEDEN - 1942)

Bad choice
Stamps issued to commemorate a Botanical congress in Edinburgh, Scotland. But the stamps feature no flowers that grow wild in Scotland.

Wrong person, wrong date
This is not the Duke of Sully who was bald, but is son born in 1583. Furthermore Sully was not born in 1560 but in 1559.
(FRANCE - 1943)

As the engraver of this stamp had no portrait of Jacques Cartier, he took himself as model for this stamp.
(FRANCE - 1934)

Wrong tree
The palmtree represented in the garden of this castel does not grow in Jarnac.
(FRANCE - 1983)

Wrong person
Wrong writer : instead of Abdelhamid Benhaddouga, this stamp features Mohammed Dib
(ALGERIA - 2008)

Wrong bird
This is not a Columbia Jays, according to the painting of Audubon, but a Collie's Magpie Jays from Mexico.

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

Wrong person
The scientist who discovered the Schistosoma mansoni was not Piraja de Silva, but Theodor Bilharz.
(BRAZIL - 1960)

Wrong mosquito
This is not the malaria mosquito, but a common one which does not transmit this illness.
(MOROCCO - 1962)

Poor representation
Princess Diana is really pourly pictured on this stamp.
(DJIBOUTI - 1981)

Wrong person
The featured person is not Louis Blériot, but Roland Garros.

Wrong colour
The Aconitum pyrenaicum has yellow flovers, contrary to other species of the same family with blue flowers..
(FRANCE - 1983)

Wrong person
This is not Cabot, who discovered Newfoundland, but Charcot with his ship "Pourquoi pas ?"
(LAO - 1983)

Not the right place
In a series about reptiles is no place for a those insects

Wrong king
This is not Henry III but Edward II
(GRENADA - 1984)

Unknown person
The man with the beard is certainly not Alexander Fleming

This is not an "Endangered Species" anymore, the last Tasmanian Tiger died more than 5O years ago
(AUSTRALIA - 1981)

Wrong name
Wrong : Sea Hare Correct : Sacoglossan Sea Slung (on a new issue)