Sepac 2017 – Traditional Handcrafts


Malta – The culture, history and also the traditional handcrafts of Malta are a legacy of the various powers that ruled over these Islands throughout the centuries. These inspired the development of those skills necessary to support various activities not least fishing and transportation.

In this philatelic issue, local artist Tony Calleja, captured four traditional handcrafts namely boat building, the craft of bamboo fish traps, the art of weaving and also the original local art of tberfil.

A boat builder is shown on the 26c stamp. The firilladghajsa and luzzu were the most popular boats of the past. This trade is now fading away, as more efficient materials are replacing the use of timber.

The craft of bamboo fish traps is depicted on the 59c stamp and includes a man handcrafting a typical trap (nassa). These were first made with disa, a fine reed-like material, however this is now being replaced by European Postal Administration Cooperation) logo and will form part of the joint stamp issue folder. The theme for this year’s SEPAC collection is ‘Traditional Handcrafts’.

The art of weaving, featured on the 1.00 stamp, dates back to prehistoric times. Every family had its loom and needs such as clothes and blankets were woven at home. This craft too is fast disappearing. The original art of tberfil was applied to decorate Malta’s traditional methods of transport.

The original art of tberfil was applied to decorate Malta’s traditional methods of transport.
The 3.51 stamp portrays an artist decorating the wheels of a horse-drawn carriage (karozzin). The craft of “Tberfil” is associated with Malta’s old buses and also appears on trucks and horse-racing sulkies. Nowadays, this art-form is less visible, however one can still spot elements of tberfil on random trucks and vans.

Issue Date: 28.06.2017
Designer: Tony Calleja – Original Photography: Miranda Publishers
Process: Offset
Size: Sheet Size: 118mm x 185mm Stamp Size: 44mm x 31mm
Values: €0.26, €0.59, €1.00, €3.51