Saturday, 1 August 2015

Church of St. Trophime

The first ever stamp engraved by Albert Decaris was a lovely little design capturing some of the exquisite details of the cloister of the Church of St. Trophime in Arles, France. This stamp however was not the first Decaris stamp issued! The S.S. Normandie stamp discussed in an earlier blog holds those honours. The Normandie stamp was issued 23 April 1935, whereas the St. Trophime stamp was issued on 2 May, less than two weeks later. Perhaps he worked on the engravings at the same time and issue dates were chosen to reflect the subject matter. Well, it's a theory, anyway...

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The Church of St. Trophime was built in the 12th century, and it seems work in various forms was done at the site up to the 15th century. For instance the church cloister was completed in the early parts of the 13th century. At the time construction began on the church, Arles was the second largest city in Provence. It boasted a bustling port on the Rhone that dated back to Roman times. It was visited by many religious orders including the famous Knights Templar.

So who was the bloke the church was named after? According to church tradition, Pope Fabian sent out seven bishops to various locales to preach the gospels. One of these bishops was Trophime, and his destination was Arles, France. Here is a statue of the man in question...


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Now on to the stamp...



As I mentioned earlier the stamp was issued 2 May 1935. This stamp was both designed and engraved by Albert Decaris. The subject of the stamp is a beautiful pillar decoration from the cloister of the church. I haven't been able to find any images on the net as yet of an example of one of these pillars, but the search goes on. As does the search for a reasonably priced mint copy of the stamp for my collection.

Until next time...

Stay Decaris Crazy!

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