Malta Post has issued a set of four stamps celebrating traditional floor tile patterns commonly found in houses on the sister islands Gozo and Comino, situated in the Mediterranean Sea, where the country of Malta is located.
The tiles are known for their bold colours and geometric designs and were a feature of Maltese houses for many years; nowadays, they have been incorporated in many modern designs.
Such patterned tiles were introduced by the Ottomans and have been in use in the Mediterranean region since a long number of years. They were used to decorate palaces, mansions, humble homes and also commercial outlets.
- Date of Issue: Dec. 12, 2017
- Designer: Stephanie Borg
- Perforation: 13.9 by 14.0 (comb)
- Process: Offset lithography
- Denominations: €1.00, €1.16, €2.36 and €3.00
- Watermark: Maltese crosses
- Sheet size: 99 mm by 99 mm
- Stamp size: 35 mm by 35 mm
The tiles were individually hand made of several layers from a mixture of sand, marble powder and—at times—cement. The decorative layer is made of coloured metal oxides.
Although these tiles are making a comeback, only a few local tile makers are producing them using the traditional method. The demand has encouraged many commercial tile brands to produce tiles inspired by these designs.
The recent issue by Malta Post features four different patterns of Maltese floor tiles. They are ink drawn by local artist Stephanie Borg, who’s a self-taught artist, graphic and surface pattern designer that has combined her keen understanding of colour and linear form to develop a series of pattern designs.