Pirate coasts

28 06 2008

Haitian stamp showing Tortuga

Haiti, Scott 475, 1961, 37mm diamond
Without any visual scale indicated, Tortuga island shown here might be a tiny little rock outcropping or a huge landmass. In fact it is maybe twenty miles long and just off the northern coast of Hispaniola. This diamond-format stamp was issued by Haiti as part of its Privateer/Pirate issue playing up the history of the French and English buccaneers of the 17th century. (And long before the Pirates of the Caribbean films brought the name of the island back to prominence.) A pair of compass roses, one just off the lower left edge, further plays up the nautical theme with the idea of navigation by means of taking bearings off of the terrain.

Compared to its actual shape, Tortuga here looks a bit squashed West-to-East. It may be a reproduction of an antique map. Presumably the beaches highlighted here in a contrasting brown shade against the blue represent the coasts where they plied their trade.




3 responses

3 10 2008

Thanks for the cool info! : )

Is the stamp image public domain?
If not, what is necessary to license it?

: )aj+

4 10 2008

You are welcome to use this image which I scanned. Thanks for stopping by!

9 11 2008

Sometimes one picks a random site at google earth and finds Tortuga. One recognizes the name from the famous movie trilogy, and one finds an Article about Pirate Coasts. The world is great.

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