Erik Nitsche: Brazil Postal Relics
Artist: Erik Nitsche
One of the most interesting, and little-known, facts in postal history is that Brazil became the second nation in the world to issue adhesive postage stamps -- just three years after Great Britain's famed Penny Black. Brazil's new postal reforms were the result of the work of J.D. Sturz, a Brazilian consul who was serving in Europe in the early 1840s. While in Europe, Sturz was able to see first-hand the workings of Britain's new postal system. Convinced of its efficiency, he returned to his homeland in 1842 and proposed that Brazil institute postal reforms similar to those of Great Britain's. While Great Britain's first stamp featured a portrait of Queen Victoria, the first stamps of Brazil departed from the precedent and featured the numerals of the stamp's face value. The stamp featured an intricately scrolled background to foil would-be forgers and a large numeral sixty. The figures of the face values had no other inscriptions, and their curious appearance led to their nickname the "Bull's Eyes." Today, Brazil's historic "Bull's Eyes" postage stamps are among the most sought-after and desirable of all the world's postage stamps. This artwork features a reproduction of Brazil's first postage stamp. In addition, the modern insignia of the Brazilian Post Office, a postal courier and mailbag carrier, and a 1906 mailbox are also featured.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day of Issue Proof Card for the U.S. 22¢ Stamp Collecting stamp issued January 23, 1986.
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