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PostBeeld has recently acquired a large amount of Europa stamps and we feature here a selection with the theme History, all from the year 1982. The first is from Portugal, showing King Emanuel I (1469-1521) on his way to meet Pope Leo X in the year 1514.

Malta, the Redemption of the Islands in 1428. The stamp on the left shows a Maltese paying 30,000 gold coins to regain the islands, which had been mortgaged to a Sicilian lord by the king of Aragon. The stamp on the right shows the Declaration of Rights drawn up by the Maltese in 1802 in resistance to the restoration of rule by the Knights of Malta, who had ruled them for two and a half centuries.

Finland’s 1982 Europa stamps show (left) the front cover of the first book printed in Finnish, in 1543 and a scene showing Mikael Agricola, the author, and the first university in the country, Turku Academy, founded in 1640.

The Gibraltar issue marked the 40th anniversary of the Allied invasion of North Africa in the Second World War. On the left Spitfire fighter planes with the Rock of Gibraltar in the background and the 17p stamp shows the French General Henri Giraud  meeting American General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Represented on the 26-pence stamp is the Great Famine of 1845 to 1850 in Ireland that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of peasants.  For one-third of the people, the potato was the major item of diet. As a result of the failure of the potato crop, a million died of starvation and disease. The image on the stamp is a reproduction of a drawing from a London newspaper of the time. The 29p depicts the coming of Christianity to Ireland during St. Patrick’s mission to the island of Ireland in the 5th century.

Ivan Visin (b.1806 -d.1868) was a naval captain and explorer. Visin was born in Prčanj, in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, then under occupation of the French. Commissioned by the government of the Austrian Empire, he circumnavigated the globe in the vessel above – the Splendido – between 1852 and 1859. The journey started in Antwerpen and ended successfully in Trieste.  For this undertaking of historical importance for the empire, he had been decorated with the Merito Navali flag of honour, the greatest maritime decoration for exploration for peaceful purposes, by the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef. The trophy is on display in the Birth of Our Lady church in Prčanj. Later, Visin became an honorary citizen of Trieste.

Tukey’s 1982 contribution on the above stamp sheet has the Sultanhan caravanserai (traveller’s resting place) shown on the left pairing. It was built in the 13th-century. It is one of the three monumental caravanserais in the neighbourhood of Aksaray and is located about 40km (25 miles) west of Aksaray on the road to Konya, one of Turkey’s great cultural centres. The right hand side pair indicate the “Silk Road” Turkish trade routes to the Orient.


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