Friday, October 17, 2014

Portugal: Faro Cathedral

Portugal issued this stamp in 2012 as part of a set of 6. Billed as a "route of cathedrals," the stamps show interior and exterior shots of important Portuguese cathedrals. This stamp happens to include a bit of the organ in the interior image. The two images, exterior and interior are divided by a colored bar. The perforations include an unusual Maltese cross; when stamps are separate from each other one can perceive half the cross. The current stamp is denominated "N" with the notation "20g." Presumably this pays rate rate for letters up to 20 grams in weight. Portugal uses Euro currency which is not indicated anywhere on this stamp.

It would seem that the Faro Cathedral organ was originally by Arp Schnitger, installed in the early 1700's. However it was greatly altered in the late 1700's. I was not aware that the German builder had exported instruments, but it would seem so. One went to Brazil, and was re-worked by Beckerath in the 1970's. I couldn't find much discussion about the Faro instrument. The cathedral has been the bishop's seat in this region of Portugal since the early 1500's.

Note: I was rooting around the website of Flentrop Orgelbouw this evening (two days after the initial post) looking for another instrument and in their works list saw two listings for Faro, Portugal. One was for the great organ! (The other was for the choir organ also in the cathedral.) Not Schnitger according to Flentrop but rather Uhlenkampf, in 1716. Flentrop did restoration work in 1974. Flentrop also provides a complete stoplist using modern formatting.