Libmonster ID: TJ-516
Author(s) of the publication: K. V. MESHCHERINA

REPORT FROM THE EXHIBITION OF A UNIQUE COLLECTION OF SILVER STAMPS

Keywords: State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow exhibition, Mecca, silver stamps, Islamic countries

Who among us didn't collect postage stamps as a child? Among the many hobbies, this is one of the most exciting. It is believed that postage signs began to be collected from the moment they first appeared in circulation - from the middle of the XIX century. But a hobby can also turn into an art form. The magazine's correspondent was convinced of this by visiting the exhibition "Mecca on Silver Stamps of the Moscow Mint", which was held in Moscow, at the State Museum of Oriental Art from July 11 to 27, 2014. Its organizers are the Russian company "WT" and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation 1.

The items that made up the precious collection were made in 2013 at the Moscow Mint. This is 40 marks of silver of the highest, 999th, sample. They depict the sacred sites of Mecca (Saudi Arabia) - the main spiritual center of professing Islam, a place of pilgrimage for Muslims from all over the world. Such a collection will be the envy of any philatelist! Which is quite justified.

The originals were ordinary postage stamps issued in 24 countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.

The idea of creating the collection appeared back in 2006, when the same Mint in Moscow minted the "Golden Quran" from 162 plates of gold of the highest quality - the world's only exact copy of the oldest Islamic manuscript of the VIII century. "Quran of Uthman" in "gold execution".

The number of stamps - 40-was not chosen by chance. "40" is one of the sacred numbers in many religions and means harmony in nature between its visible and hidden manifestations.

The delicate and elegant silver stamps, made in full size-exactly the same size as their "paper" originals-required skill and patience from the minters. It is not easy to make plates as small as 0.1 mm thick. A whole team of scientists, technologists, designers and sculptors took part in the work. The result is exceptionally high quality products.

We asked V. V. Prusakov, General Director of the WT company, to tell us about the technology of manufacturing silver stamps:

- For the production of each stamp, a "mock-up" of gypsum was first prepared, then the relief was processed with a laser beam, and then the finished product was minted. For each silver copy, it was possible to achieve almost a 3D effect, i.e. to give the image a relief effect. Thanks to modern equipment, it was possible to get products that can be called jewelry; they have no analogues in the world. A new thin-leaf manufacturing technology was used. For advice on the selection of the collection, we turned to members of the Union of Philatelists of Russia and private collectors, including foreign ones.

Silver stamps of a unique collection - different shapes: from rectangular and square to diamond-shaped. Diamond - shaped - the only one in the collection-a copy of the same stamp from Mauritania.

Paper originals of postage stamps were issued at different times. The oldest of them - 1965-is from Saudi Arabia.

Some silver copies have the names of countries written in calligraphy on a general background, while others have lines from suras of the Koran. According to the designer of the collection M. A. Vdovchenko, special attention was paid to the accuracy of reproducing the elements of the letter - words and letters had to be drawn manually.

The subjects of silver stamps are diverse. Some depict the black stone of the Kaaba, others depict the holy water source Zam-zam, pilgrims. On one of them-from Saudi Arabia, 1985 issue-a geographical map and the designation of the highway from Mecca to Medina. On the other-1989 issue - the project of the King of Saudi Arabia for the reconstruction and expansion of the Forbidden Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca.

The first Deputy Director of the Museum told us about the place of the exhibition in the cultural and educational activities of the museum. General Director of the State Museum of Oriental Art T. H. Metaxa:

- The exhibition of silver stamps is the first experience of this kind in our museum. We've never displayed jewelry before. I would like to emphasize that visitors to the museum were presented not with historical artifacts, but with authentic works of art created by our contemporaries - masters of the Moscow Mint. I am especially pleased that Russian craftsmen turned to the topic of Islam , one of the great world religions. It is also noteworthy that the exhibition opened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Judging by the reviews, its visitors, first of all, connoisseurs and lovers of jewelry, appreciated the exhibition.

The exhibition of silver stamps was held in Moscow for the first time. Before that, last summer, it was exhibited in Tatarstan in the State Historical and Architectural Museum-reserve "Kazan Kremlin "and the architectural and historical complex"Bulgar". The exhibition was also held in August this year in the Crimea in the State Museum "Khan's Palace" (Bakhchisarai).

* * *

In conclusion, we note that attempts to make stamps not only from paper, but also from other materials, have been going on for quite a few years. The subject of admiration of philatelists are chocolate stamps, they were made in Switzerland in 2001 in honor of the 100th anniversary of Chocosuisse-an association of Swiss chocolate producers. Well-known stamps made of silk, for example, the silk stamp of the Polish Post office from 1958, as well as wooden stamps. To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in England in October 2005, stamps were issued with a dusting of fine sawdust obtained from the hull of the famous Victory ship, which was sunk in that battle and later raised from the seabed.2 It is known that the first postage stamp CDs appeared...

K. V. MESHCHERINA, Editor of the magazine "Asia and Africa Today"


1 See also the Arabic-language article in Al-Jazirah 2014, August 30, p. 22 - http://search.al-jazirah.com.sa/digital/gp.htm? xml_date=20140830

2 Norvic Philatelies // Bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar - 18 October 2005 - http://www.norphil.co.uk/2005/nelson.htm


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K. V. MESHCHERINA, MECCA "IN SILVER" // Dushanbe: Digital Library of Tajikistan (LIBRARY.TJ). Updated: 27.10.2023. URL: https://library.tj/m/articles/view/MECCA-IN-SILVER (date of access: 25.05.2024).

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