stamp exhibition

  • Issue: May 1985
  • Designer: M. Pereg
  • Sheet size: 120 x 80 mm
  • Sheet of 3 stamps (25 x 40 mm)
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

The city of Jerusalem has been praised in countless ways - more so than any other city in the world. It has been described as "the City of God, the Eternal City, the City of the Prophets, the City of the Spirit and the Soul, the Beautiful City," to give but a few examples. It has also been described by referring to its physical characteristics - "Jerusalem - surrounded by hills" or "Jerusalem of Stone." The magic quality of its stone strikes every spectator - the stone which has served through its long history and down to our own times as the material commonly used for building in Jerusalem.

The roads of the Old City are constructed of stone in the age-old tradition as are the domed roofs of the houses with their varicoloured locally produced blocks. It was only natural, therefore, that when the builders and artists of Jerusalem were called upon to decorate the facades of their buildings, they should choose to work in stone rather than in bronze or iron. We thus find capitals and reliefs carved sometimes from hard limestone, sometimes from soft stone - some white, some coloured. Stone was also imported. Marble was brought from Turkey and Italy and engraved by the local craftsmen of capitals and reliefs.

Archaeologists have unearthed examples from different periods and cultures, all with one thing in common - the fine stone work in which these craftsmen excelled. This souvenir sheet illustrates typical examples of Jerusalem stone work from three different periods.

12th-13th century Crusader capital - a capital of a small marble column in Crusader style. Because of its natural design and the use of its floral motives we can find similar examples in Moslem art and architecture. Examples are to be found on pillars supporting the domes on the Temple Mount and the surrounding religious buildings. It was used from the 12th to 14th centuries. The subject of our illustration was uncovered in the course of excavations near the Temple Mount, south of the Hulda Gate and belonged to one of the buildings on the Mount.

18th-19th century relief - Jewish Quarter - a relief over the entrance to a private house in the Jewish Quarter dating from the 18th-19th centuries, of soft limestone. The outspread palm of the hand is found in the East serving as a charm against the evil eye and the devil, warning them to stop and not enter the house. It was used to decorate the doorposts and windows of both Jewish and Moslem houses during the period of Ottoman rule.

16th century relief, Ottoman period - this relief was embedded in the Wall of the Old City. Some 140 such reliefs have been found decorating the Wall's gates and towers and even parts of the Wall itself. Preliminary work was also done towards adding a similar quantity but these were never executed since work on the Wall was not completed.

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World stamp exhibition Tel Aviv "Israphil 85"