Saturday, 27 February 2010


My friend John sent me two lighthouse postcards from Netherlands. TNT Post issued on August 4th, 2009 three sheetlets (six stamps) each featuring a different aspect of Brazil’s historical ties with the Netherlands. “The Netherlands and Beyond”series presents the major role John Maurice, the 17th century count and prince of Nassau-Siegen, played in Brazil. John Maurice was appointed the governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil (1637-1644) and commissioned cultural and nature researches in the country. Dutch artists and scientists described and illustrated the flora and fauna of the country in writings, drawings and paintings. The biologists’ observations and the artists’ illustrations were included in Historia Naturalis Brasiliae, a natural history book published in 1648.
From Historia Naturalis Brasiliae came the illustration to the 95 eurocent Priority mail stamp: the cashew tree and nuts. The native tree widely found in the northeastern Brazil was a novelty at that time.

The postcard shows sixteen lighthouses and the inscription "Lighthouses along the Dutch coast". A small country with a long maritime tradition, The Netherlands is home to a large number of historic lighthouses. For centuries, fires were lit atop brick towers to guide returning Dutch sailors, and even today the traditional Dutch word for a lighthouse is vuurtoren (fire tower).
There is strong interest in the country in lighthouses and their preservation, and many towers have been restored in recent years. There is also a national organization, Lighthouse Club Nederland, working for preservation of Dutch lighthouses.

No comments: