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Postby aukepalmhof » Wed May 13, 2020 9:46 pm

2020 speronara postcard.jpg
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2020 speronara 1.jpg
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2020 speronara 2.jpg
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About Europa 2020 - Ancient Postal Routes

PostEurop is the trade association that has been representing European public postal operators since 1993. Its 52 members in 49 countries and territories collectively operate 175,000 retail counters, employ 2.1 million people, and link 800 million people daily. One of PostEurop's campaigns is the Europa stamps which are issued annually by European postal administrations. The theme for this year's offering is 'Ancient Postal Routes'.

Malta's submissions focus on two stamps. The first stamp features a map of the Mediterranean Sea with Malta, Sicily, and Italy at its core. Being an island, key naval routes are highlighted such as the Malta/ Pozzallo, Malta/ Messina and Malta/Naples routes. A vessel is known as l-Ixprunara or 'speronara' feature on the left-hand side.
These small merchant vessels originated in Malta and became a popular means of marine transport. Using both sail and oars they were swift and convenient, ferrying passengers and cargo (including mail) around the Mediterranean.

The second stamp bears a portrait of Francisco de Tassis who was a 15th-century pioneer of the postal service in Europe and tasked by Emperor Maximillian I to reform the courier system in Burgundy and the Netherlands. In time, this new postal system grew as deTassis founded new postal stations in major European cities, thereby guaranteeing a complete service over the years. De Tassis commercialized this service by establishing fast and stable connections that evolved into the globalized postal network service we have today. His portrait portrays him as a successful entrepreneur complete with symbols of his role and standing in society - a letter, coins, and a cylindrical postal container.

Aak to Zumbra a Dictionary of the World’s Watercraft gives for the “speronara”:
Malta: Fast cargo vessel of the central Mediterranean Basin; built until the late 19th century. Sharp bow with a curved stem that projected high above the gunwale, ram-like projection extended beyond the stem. Rounded, vertical stern or a long counter. Strong sheer, flat floors, cambered deck; deep removable bulwarks; small types undecked. Tall rudderhead on the round sterned type. Oculi. Rigged with 1-3 masts. Most set lateen sails, (as seen on stamp); the small open boats used spritsails. Jib to a very long bowsprit.
A 2-masted boat might use 18 – 20 oars. Reported lengths 8 – 15m, width ca. 4.5m.

More is given by Wikipedia:

Malta 2020 0.59 and 2.00 Euro, sg?, scott? and on Malta 1982 20c is shown also given a “sperronara” viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15914&p=18564&hilit=ta+pietro+saliba#p18564
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