No, I stand corrected -- Klopstockia was the fictional country from the hilarious 1932 Paramount farce "Million Dollar Legs," starring W.C. Fields (shown here), Jack Oakie and Lyda Roberti. The stamp is actually from a real nation called...Karakalpakia. Without further ado, the stamp, and then some information on the country, one few Americans have heard of:
Karakalpakia is an autonomous republic of Uzbekistan (a former Soviet republic), occupying the western part of the country. It has a population of 1.2 million, about evenly divided among Karakalpaks (a formerly nomadic group), Uzbeks and Kazakhs. The economy was once dominated by fishing, but the contraction of the Aral Sea (an ecological disaster over the past few decades) has changed that. Leading crops are cotton, rice and melons.
So what is Carole Lombard doing on a Karakalpakian stamp, especially considering that during her lifetime, it was part of the Soviet Union and few if any American films were shown there? Well, a number of small countries have tried to put themselves on the map by issuing stamps on topics that have nothing to do with their homeland -- but will draw attention (and revenue) from collectors. Many current stars are on stamps, as other countries' looser postal regulations allow their images to be put on stamps before they're deceased. (There are even phony stamps produced; for example, in 1999 there was a series of so-called Afghan stamps honoring Hollywood stars -- but the country was then under control of the Taliban, which prohibited movies. In those pre-9/11 days, few in the West were aware, and some neophyte collectors were duped.)
The Lombard stamp is part of a nine-stamp series honoring stars of classic Hollywood:
Cary Grant was one of the nine stars featured above. His name was also on another nine-stamp collection...but that sure doesn't look like him! (Unless it was an outtake from "I Was A Male War Bride.")
The image actually belongs to Clara Bow, as most film buffs would know.
If you're aware of any other countries where Lombard's image is on a stamp, tell us.