Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A registered letter from Portugal

I’m back from London, back in Paris and back to work and I think 2011 will be as busy for me as 2010 was! Anyway…

For today I have selected a registered cover I have received from Portugal at the end of last year. This is a rather large cover that one of my contacts used to send me some philatelic material for my frog stamp collection. But he used some interesting stamps on the cover so I decided to share it with you.

As you see he first used a full souvenir sheet bearing a stamp with a high face value, 2 euro. This souvenir sheet is part of a set issued on the 30th of April 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the botanic garden of Madeira. The sheet picture a note view of a part of the garden. The two stamps on the right belong to the same set that contains four stamps in total. Each stamp picture a view of the garden and an endemic flower from Madeira. Here is the full set.

For the specialists the flowers that are pictured on the stamps are:

- the Madeira Giant Bellflower (Musschia aurea)

- the Madeira cranesbill (Geranium maderense)

- the canary buttercup (Ranunculus cortusifolius)

- the Madeira morning glory (Convolvuls massonii)

As you can see all the stamps are inscribed “Madeira” because they are actually issues from Madeira Island, not from Portugal mainland. Since 1980 stamps issued by Madeira are valid for postage in Portugal mainland and vice versa.

Just to be complete, the full set contains another souvenir sheet.

To be noticed also the cross in the perforation of the stamps, a security measure that becomes common now on stamps from Portugal.

The last stamp of the cover is part of another interesting set. It was issued on the 16th of October 2007 to celebrate the Royal Hunting Reserve of Mafra. This reserve was created by king João V as a leisure park for the royal family, between 1744 and 1748.

It was the ideal space for the Court to hunt, with woods occupying almost all the area. It is now a protected natural reserve with a rich fauna as seem to show the set of stamp. The set contains six stamps and one souvenir sheet.

On those stamps you can see the following species: Fallow deer (Cervus dama), Wild boar (Sus sorofa), Red fox (Vulpus vulpus), Red deer (CErvus elaphus), Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) and Bonellis’eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus).

I think that all those stamps are particularly nice, don’t you thing so? The set on the Mafra reserve is really impressive, isn’t it?

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