Monday, April 25, 2011

Korea-Portugal Diplomatic Relations - 50th Anniv

Date of Issue: April 15, 2011

Designers: Turtle ship - Eunkyung PARK (Korea), Nau - Telmo Gomes (Portugal), Background - Atel. Acacio Santos/Helder Soares (Portugal)
First Day of Issue postmark depicts old ships of both countries (Turtle Ship and Nau)

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Portugal, Korea Post and its Portuguese counterpart, CTT are issuing, through collaborative works, a joint stamp featuring the old ships of the two countries - Korea's "Turtle Ship" and Portugal's "Nau." The backdrop of the the sheet features the painting of Navy Maneuvering (housed in Jinju National Museum) from the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty.

Turtle Ship - As a pioneering warship of the Joseon Dynasty, the Turtle Ship was conceived in 1592 by Admiral Yi Sun-Shin who anticipated a Japanese invasion. The shape portrayed by Admiral Yi Sun-Shin himself as follows: "Planks are laid on the upper deck of the ship, and on those planks, narrow cross-shaped ramps are placed to enable people to travers, with blades lodged on the remainder of the ship's surface. The front section of the ship is shaped like the head of a dragon, while the rear section takes the shape of the tail of a turtle. There are gun ports fore and aft and also six gun ports port and starboard respectively. Yi Sun-Shin, Korea's venerated admiral, utilized the Turtle Ship as an assault ship and gained victory in 23 naval battles over 7 yeard under the spirit of "If you want to live through combat, you will certainly die. But if you are willing to die at combat, you will certainly live."

Nau - As the armed commercial vessel of Portugal in the 16th century, Nau was able to haul a heavy load, unlike previous vessels, and thus produce higher profits. It could be loaded with ample provisions, crew and passengers. It could also be mounted with more cannons designed to defend against pirate attacks. In general, Nau was equipped with 3 decks, 3 masts (2 square-shaped and 1 triangle-shaped) and a forecastle and an after castle. Its loading capacity ranged from 120 to 1200 tons. At the time, Nau played a leading role on the maritime route between Lisbon, Portugal and Goa, India.

Many thanks to my friend Park Choonjong, Korea through for sending me this stamp sheet and the stamps on cover posted on same day of issue.

Text source: Brochure issued by Korea Post

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