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Portugal Stamps

Commemoratives of 1923-1925

The Commemorative Portugal stamps of this period celebrate a historic first flight and the lives of two of the "giants" of Portuguese literature.

The multiple-subject large commemorative sets of Portugal stamps shown on this page are grouped by design type, instead of the usual ascending order by denomination.  Hopefully, this will enable the design description tables to occupy less space, and it will make the descriptions much easier for the website visitors to follow.

The sixteen pictorial Portugal stamps shown above (Sc. #299-314) were issued on March 30, 1923 to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the First Aerial Crossing of the South Atlantic from Lisbon, Portugal to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between May 30 and June 17, 1922.

The common design features portraits of Epitácio Pessoa, the President of Brazil, António José de Almeida, the President of Portugal,  and portraits of the two aviators, Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho.  The central design also features methods of transoceanic travel in 1500 and in 1922.

The thirty-one pictorial Portugal stamps shown above (Sc. #315-345) were issued on November 11, 1924 to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Birth of Luís de Camões (c. 1524-1580).

The seven common designs, in the order that they are shown above, are as follows:

  • Camões at Ceuta.  Camões enlisted in the Portuguese Overseas Militia in 1549.  During a battle with the Moors at Ceuta (Morocco), Camões was injured and lost the sight in his right eye.
  • Camões saving the Lusiads.  During his later militia service in the Orient, Camões was shipwrecked near the Mekong River along the Cambodian coast.  It was during this time that he was working on the manuscript of The Lusiads.  According to legend, he swam ashore while holding his manuscript above his head, to prevent it from being ruined!
  • Luis de Camões.  From an old print of uncertain origin.
  • First Edition of The Lusiads.  The Lusiads was first published in 1572, right after Camões return to Lisbon from the Orient.
  • Camões dying.  At the time of the defeat and annexation of Portugal by the Kingdom of Castile in 1580, Camões wrote the following to a Portuguese military officer:  "All will see that so dear to me was my country that I was content to die not only in it but with it".
  • Tomb of Camões.  His tomb is located near the tomb of Vasco da Gama in the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon.
  • Monument to Camões.  The monument, completed in 1867, is located in the Largo de Camões, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The thirty-one pictorial Portugal stamps shown above (Sc. #346-376) were issued on March 26, 1925 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Camilo Castelo-Branco (1825-1890).

The six common designs, in the order that they are shown above, are as follows:

  • Castelo-Branco's house at Sao Miguel de Seide.
  • Castelo-Branco's study.
  • Camilo Castelo-Branco.  Portrait from a 19th Century drawing.
  • Theresa de Albuquerque.  She is a character in the novel by Castelo-Branco entitled "Amor de Perdição" ("Love of Perdition" or "Sinful Love").
  • Mariana and Joao de Cruz.  They are also characters in the novel "Amor de Perdição".
  • Simao de Botelho.  He is another character in the novel "Amor de Perdição".

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Portugal Postage Stamps

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Commemoratives of 1923-1925


Luís de Camões
Portrait c. 1577

Luís Vaz de Camões
(English: Camoens) (c. 1524-1580) is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet.  His verse has been favorably compared to that of Shakespeare, Homer, Virgil, and Dante. 

Though he did write lyrical poetry and drama, he is best known for his monumental epic poem, "Os Lusíadas"
("The Lusiads"), a fantastical interpretation of Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India.  The epic poem consists of 10 cantos, having a total of 1,102 stanzas.

During his service in the Portuguese Overseas Militia from the 1550's to the 1570's, he was able to travel to the farthest reaches of the Portuguese Colonial Empire.  It was during these travels, that he wrote
The Lusiads, which was published after his return to Lisbon.

Camões died in Lisbon on June 10, 1580. The day of his death is now celebrated as a national holiday in Portugal.   He is buried near the tomb of Vasco da Gama in the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon.

Camilo Castelo-Branco
19th Century Etching

Camilo Ferreira Botelho Castelo-Branco
(1825-1890) was a prolific Portuguese writer.  His writing style combines the sentimental aspect of Romanticism with his own personal combination of sarcasm, bitterness, and dark humor.

Castelo-Branco led a very turbulent life from the very beginning, having been born out of wedlock and then orphaned during his infancy.

He was later educated in medicine and theology, but he ultimately chose to become a writer. 

Unfortunately, Castelo-Branco grew up in a Roman Catholic country, during a time when acts of passionate misbehavior were serious felonies!  As a result, he was incarcerated twice, and it was actually during his times in prison that he did some of his most prolific writing.

During Castelo-Branco's lifetime, he wrote over 260 books, which include novels, plays, and essays. 

On June 18, 1885, Castelo-Branco was created the
Viscount of Correia Botelho by King Luis I, in recognition of his contributions to Portuguese literature. 
Being unable to write anymore, due to age and infirmity, he was also granted a pension by the Portuguese parliament.