Bottling it

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Yugoslavia 1994 Ship in a Bottle booklet

As a child I was always fascinated by the puzzle of how it was possible to place a quite sizeable model of a ship inside a narrow-necked bottle. One of my uncles, an ex-navy man, had a beautiful example in his house but he wouldn’t reveal the secret of how the thing was made.

The cover of the 6-stamp booklet featured in this story shows ‘Derflinger’, a 16th Century Dutch-built fluyt – a ship designed to carry cargo and which required a small crew to sail.

Unfortunately I can’t find any information about ‘Harun el Rashid’, the ship at the bottom end of the bottle. If anyone has any knowledge of the ship I would be grateful to hear about it.

Looking left to right, top to bottom the stamps show ‘Revenge’, a British galleon built in 1577 and used in the Anglo-Spanish wars. Sir Walter Raleigh commanded Revenge in the Battle of Gravelines in 1588. Next we have the Grosse Yacht (1678), a royal yacht built for Prince William III of Orange (1650-1702). Then there is Christopher Columbus’s flagship Santa Maria, used for his first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1492.

Bottom left is a 15th Century Catalan Nava. variants of this design had been used during the 13th Century Crusades. Then there is the Mayflower, an English ship that transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England across the Atlantic Ocean to the east coast of America. Finally there is a carrack, a three- or four-masted ocean-going sailing ship that was developed in the 14th to 15th centuries in Europe.  The stamps were issued by Yugoslavia in 1994 and I still find the objects portrayed on the stamps fascinating!

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