Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Brazil : 03c Early issues - Republic issues

After the Crux-stamps, a new stamp was issued in 1891.

This new stamp symbolises 'liberty' after the era with the Emperor.
The image of 'Liberty' is very similar to the French "Marianne" stamps, and other liberty-images.

First the stamp(s) :

The stamp was issued in 2 colour variations and can be determinated quite easily.
Both variations have the same value in most catalogues.
Perforation vary from 12.5 to 14.

Liberty issue 1
Liberty issue 2

When we look at the bonnet of the Libery woman, we see similarities with the French Marianne :

French "Marianne" on a 1992 coin

Liberty (Marianne) - painted by E. Delacroix

Thistory of the red bonnet, and the special shape of the bonnet, is older then the Brazilian stamp (1891) or even the French Revolution (1789).

The story goes that the mythical King Midas was the first who wore the cap.
King Midas - the king in Greek mythology who turned everything he touched into gold - was one of the last kings in the dynasty of Phrygia (now Western Anatolia, in Turkey).
One day, the Greek mountain god Tmolos organised a competition between Apollon and Pan, to decide who was the best panflute player. Apollon - god of music - was given the victory, but King Midas disagreed and claimed that Pan was a better player.
As usual in Greek mythology, it's never smart to insult the gods, so Tmolos condamned Midas. As Midas was not worth having human ears, he was given donkey ears.
To hide his ears, he wore a so called Phrygian cap.

Phrygian cap, as worn by King Midas

We can encounter this Phrygian cap also in the national symbol of Argentina:
coat of arms of Argentina

But even in Brazil self, the cap is not unknown. However in another background.
In Brazilian folklore, the "Saci" is known, as a little gnome.
He has only one leg, smokes a pipe, and ... wears a similar cap.

Brazilian "Saci" with phrygian cap
a naughty one legged gnome
He's responsible for small incidents and accidents in and around the house.
Taking his cap, is also taking his power.

Finally, and maybe I'm too far away from the original idea, but as we are talking about gnomes...
The Belgian Smurfs might be related to them too... at least Papa Smurf has a red cap and is a kind of gnome (but a good one).
And isn't Papa Smurf fighting for liberty for his little smurfs ...

Papa Smurf - with red phrygian cap...

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