Issue Dates: 1870-1898
Scott Catalogue Value: $739.30
Mystic Price: $550.00
You Save: $189.30
Early Portugal collection contains 64 stamps and five album pages. Two stamps – #57 and #106 – are in mint condition while the remainder are postally used. Highlights include large #110-31, the 1895-1905 King Carlos set that is missing only #123 to be complete. Also features many of the Series of 1870-84 stamps (combined catalogue value of approximately $300).
No one knows who the original Portuguese were, but cave paintings found by researchers date as far back as 18,000 B.C. Although Portugal is very close to more well-known urban centers of Europe, it has always been rather isolated from the rest of the world. The pastoral scenes of an earlier, simpler life still exist there. However, Portuguese culture could not escape the ancient influences of invaders from every direction. Those influences are evident today in the farming methods still used, learned centuries ago from the Romans, and in the architecture derived from the Moors.
Travel brochures call it “sunny Portugal,” where tourists flock to the Mediterranean beaches, or play golf in the warm air. But there is more to Portugal than fun in the sun. Its history, architecture, folk art, and simple way of life are also attractive. A religious country, Portugal is the final destination of millions of pilgrims who make their way every year to one of the most famous holy places in the world. Fatima, a small town in the very center of Portugal, is one of several places that Catholics believe Mary, the mother of God, appeared in 1917 to three small shepherd children. Pilgrims continue to flock to Fatima on the thirteenth of every month to commemorate the spiritual events that reportedly took place over 90 years ago.
In the isolated rural areas of Portugal, potters still bend over their wheels. Women sit in the doorways of their homes making lace and embroidering while the men make baskets, copper pots, and urns. Country fairs occur regularly in the large towns. On any day of the week, tourists can buy anything from clothing and jewelry to brightly colored terra cotta stoneware.
It is said that the Portuguese have the “greenest thumbs” in Europe. Botanical gardens, and fountains spilling over with clear, cool water, are the envy of many gardeners. Portugal’s most famous garden is actually a 250-acre forest, where a visitor could spend days walking along the secluded paths past waterfalls, reflecting pools, and hundreds of local and exotic plants.