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Brasiliana 2013 – 170th Anniversary of Brazilian Postage Stamps, the Bull’s Eye

Brasiliana 2013 – 170th Anniversary of Brazilian Postage Stamps, the Bull’s Eye
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This issue celebrates one of the most important events in the history of Brazilian postal communications, the launch of the stamp, and publicizes the World Philatelic Exhibition BRASILIANA 2013.

The Bull's Eye postage stamps were the first stamps issued by Brazil on 1 August 1843, having face values of 30, 60, and 90 reis. Brazil was the second country in the world, after Great Britain, to issue postage stamps valid within the entire country. The unusual name derives from the ornamental value figures inside the oval settings and the arrangement of the stamps in the sheet permitted se-tenant pairs that looked like a pair of bull's eyes.

There are countless stamps that feature the artwork of the Bull's Eye and thus reconstruct postal and philatelic memories to keep them alive and in touch with current events. On top of this, these issues reinforce the importance of stamps for domestic and international communications. This reinterpretation has already appeared on the centenary of the Bull's Eye, in 1943, in a souvenir sheet with the images of Emperor D. Pedro II and President Getulio Vargas.

In 1981, the Bull's Eye was again in the spotlight, in the context of the commemorations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Philatelic Club of Brazil. On that occasion, the three stamps were placed side-by-side on a single sheet envelope, as a way of expressing the Club's way of enabling philatelists to swap stamps. In 1983, the Bull's Eye was remembered once again to celebrate its 140th anniversary and to publicize the BRASILIANA, held in Brazil, which is one of the most important philatelic exhibitions in the world.

In 1990, the 30 reis version of the Bull's Eye was included in a souvenir sheet next to the Penny Black, the first British postage stamp, which was 150 years old at the time. The souvenir sheet also featured images of Queen Victoria, D. Pedro I and Rowland Hill.

It appeared on two occasions in 1993: once in a souvenir sheet publicizing BRASILIANA 93 and again in a series of stamps featuring the "Turma da Monica" cartoon characters, both commemorating the 150th anniversary of Brazilian postage stamps.

The act of paying tribute to the 170th anniversary of the Bull's Eye in 2013 consolidates the tradition of always using later issues to draw attention to the first Brazilian postage stamps, with the aim of maintaining a presence in philatelic scenarios, especially in view of its historical value to philately worldwide. This trend will surely continue into the future, since these issues represent a way of reaffirming the cultural and institutional importance of postage stamps and philately, both in their earliest days and in modern times.

The Golden colored 90 reis stamp from the current issue is the last in the series that started in 2011, issued to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the Brazilian postage stamp. The souvenir sheet, which features a reinterpretation of the 30, 60 and 90 reis stamps on a bronze, silver and gold colored background, represents the culmination of the series.

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