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Maritime Malta Series VI - Vessels of the Order - Set

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Block of 4
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Technical details
  • 27.03.2018
  • Sean Cini
  • Offset
  • Sheet Size: 118mm x 185mm - Stamp Size: 44mm x 31mm
  • €0.26, €0.42, €1.00
About Maritime Malta Series VI - Vessels of the Order

The sixth issue from Maritime Malta series consists of 3 stamps featuring vessels dating back to the Order of Saint John.

For many years, warships, such as the galley, were used by the Mediterranean naval powers. In fact this type of ship served for many years as the backbone of the Navy of the Order of Saint John. The Galley was characterised by its long, slender and shallow hull. These vessels were usually painted red with a white waterline and while most vessels at the time had sails, however the primary method of propulsion was the human strength of prisoners.

The 26c stamp depicts a model of the common galley, also known as Sensile. This was armed with five bronze cannon on the bow and propelled by 26 oars on each side. Three to five people were needed for each oar and this vessel was also rigged with two lateen sails. This model is on display at the Malta Maritime Museum.

The 42c Stamp depicts a model known as the Demi Galley or the Half Galley. This was introduced in 1742 and was a smaller version of the common galley. The development of this galley came at the time when availability of prisoners as oarsmen was scarce hence the smaller number of rowers needed. This galley was equipped with one large calibre bronze cannon on the bow. This model is on display at the Malta Maritime Museum and it is considered as the only surviving Demi Galley model known.

The 1 stamp shows a model of a brigantine. This was the ceremonial barge of the Portuguese Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena and was painted green with a white waterline. It was fitted with nine oars on each side and was not designed for long voyages, with storage space kept at a minimum. It is documented that Grand Master de Vilhena travelled to Gozo in this vessel. This model underwent extensive restoration in 1964 and it is on display at the Malta Maritime Museum.
Source: Joseph Abela (Heritage Malta)

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