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Philatelic Issue depicting Grandmasters

MaltaPost will issue a set of 28 stamps depicting Grandmasters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta between 1530 and 1798.

In 1530 Emperor Charles V granted by way of perpetual lease the Maltese Islands to the Knights of the Order of St. John under the leadership of Grand Master Philippe de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam.

In 1565, the knights led by Grand Master Fra' Jean de la Valette, courageously defended the Islands against the Ottomans. This battle, from which the Order emerged victorious, is recorded as the Great Siege of Malta. Following this victory, the knights built the city of Valletta and proceeded to transform Malta by undertaking numerous projects including a large new hospital, which at the time was considered to be among the best in the world. The knights left Malta in 1798 after surrendering to the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The stamps each carry a face value of €0.26 and depict portraits of the Grandmasters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The images of the grandmasters were lifted from: "Histoire de l'Ordre de Malte" written by René Aubert de Vertot (1655-1733), whereas the portraits of the last five grandmasters were drawn by Maltese artist Cedric Galea Pirotta. The stamps will be issued in a set of 3 sheets - 1 sheet of 8 stamps and 2 sheets of 10 stamps each. Each stamp measures 44mm x 31mm with a perforation of 13.9 x 14.0 (comb) and bear the Maltese Cross watermark. Each sheet measures 180mm x 113mm and the sheet of 8 stamps includes an illustration of an old map of the Maltese Islands. Printex Limited produced the set in offset and the issue consists of 36,000 of each sheet.

The stamps will available for sale in whole sheets as from Tuesday 30 September 2014 from all Post Offices in Malta and Gozo: online at or by mail from the Philatelic Bureau, MaltaPost p.l.c. 305, Qormi Road, Marsa, MTP 1001; Telephone: 2596 1740, e-mail:

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