Two new stamps dedicated to two great navigators, serve to show a new technique of philatelic printing on wood paper, alluding to the material used to make the ships with which these characters crossed the seas in search of adventure.
The design of the stamp shows the silhouettes of Luis Vaez de Torres and Pedro Fernández de Quirós, colored in this type of paper that simulates a panel of wood, with the color and the streaks typical of this material.
Also, the two stamps united, share an outline of “Austrialia” that reproduces the first page of the Memorial of 1610 on “AUSTRIALIA incognita.” Separating them, each of them will keep a part of the country.
Luis Vaez de Torres was a navigator in the service of the Spanish Crown, who in 1605 left with Fernandez de Quirós on an expedition to discover a new continent in the South, and they found the strait that even today bears his name and that separates Australia from New Guinea, the Strait of Torres.
His expedition companion, Pedro Fernandez de Quirós, a Portuguese servant of the Spanish Navy, sailed for the southern continent, discovering the island known today as Espíritu Santo.
About the discovery of Australia have existed and there are many theories. Many authors assign the invention of the word “Austrialia” to Quirós, in the belief that he named his islands “Australia del Espíritu Santo”, while he actually called them “Australia del Espíritu Santo”, in honor of the Austrians who reigned in Spain.
Among those who defended the theory that Quirós discovered Australia long before Willem Janszoon, Abel Tasman or James Cook, was a late nineteenth-century archbishop of Sidney, Patrick Francis Moran, and was taught in Catholic schools for many years.
Based on this belief, the Australian poet James McAuley wrote an epic poem called Captain Quiros in 1964, which shows Quiros as a martyr for the cause of Christian Catholic civilization.
The two stamps have a value of 1.35 euros each and will be issued in sheets of 16 stamps each.