Constantinople ~ 1420
stamp depicts a view of Constantinople as it was about thirty years
before the Turkish conquest in 1453. The map-maker, Christoforo
Buondelmonte was a highly cultured descendent of a great Florentine
family. Early in the fifteenth century he sailed to Rhodes and spent
the next fourteen years searching for ancient Greek manuscripts. His
book, Liber insularum Archipelagi was dedicated to Cardinal
Giordano Orsini; the initial letters of the eighty-two chapters of the
book spell out Christofus Bondelmonti de Florencia. Presbiter, nunc
misit Cardinal Iordano de Ursinio. MCCCXX.
Included in the book are nautical instructions,
"tourist" information on the Cyclades and the Ionian Islands, as well
as maps of coasts and cities, among which is the view upon which the
stamp is based.
The Turkish stamp shows a
portrait of Mohammed V with a map of the Dardanelles between the
Gallipoli peninsula in Europe and Anatolia in Asia Minor. Also seen on
the map are the trench lines of the Turkish military in its struggle
with the British.