Monday, June 15, 2009

Portugal Porcelain FDC

Portugal FDC
Name: Porcelain (Portugal - Turkey Joint Issue)
Date of Issue: 12 May 2009

This emission seeks to build a cultural bridge between Portugal and Turkey through pottery. This art, which is common to the Portuguese and to the Turkish peoples and which dates back to the dawn of our civilization, reveals through its evolution the various influences that the intercultural relations have suffered, as well as these peoples continuous assimilation and reinterpretation in search of their own ways of expression.

Oriental porcelain, especially Chinese porcelain, has always been highly valued, both in Portugal and in the rest of Europe. After the discovery of the ocean route to India, porcelain became much more accessible and found its way to religious services and to the best homes, replacing silverware which had been used until then.

Surrendering to the charm of this beautiful and exotically decorated porcelain from the Orient, Portuguese craftsmen soon began to reproduce it. At first they followed their models of inspiration closely, but from the 17th Century onward a specific grammar of ornaments emerged, as a result of the increasing stylization of the motifs.

Iznik earthenware, designated as such because of the location of its centre of production, shows that its artists sought inspiration from Chinese decorative techniques and vocabulary, also transforming it in the light of a new context.

One of the images (€0,32) that form part of this emission shows a graceful mosque lamp in Iznik earthenware from the 16th Century. On its neck we see some Arabic characters, most likely excerpts from a religious text. On the belly, decorated with cobalt blue, turquoise, green and red vegetalist motifs, we can see three suspension rings. Items such as this were commissioned by sultans and emirs for the decoration of mosques and mausoleums, where they hung above eye level.

Another image (€0,68) shows a beautiful cylindrical jar with handles, a Portuguese earthenware item produced in the early 17th Century. Painted in blue, the decoration is based on geometric and vegetalist stylized motifs, displaying on the neck the famous "baroque volutes ".

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