Monday, July 1, 2013

Charles Fuhrmann and Wolf Spritzer the Jewellers of the Netherlands Antilles

As of 2010, the Netherlands Antilles no longer exist; it was formerly a constituent state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The term is still used to describe the various islands in the Caribbean that were formerly Dutch colonial possessions. The Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist on October 10, 2010. 
Netherlands Antilles, Dutch Nederlandse Antillen, Papiamentu Antianan Hulandes,  group of five islands in the Caribbean Sea that formerly constituted an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The group is composed of two widely separated subgroups approximately 500 miles (800 km) apart. The southern group comprisesCuraçao and Bonaire, which lie less than 50 miles (80 km) off the Venezuelan coast. The northern group is made up of Sint Eustatius, Saba, and Sint Maarten (the southern part of the island of Saint Martin; the northern part, Saint-Martin, is an overseas collectivity of France). Although the northern islands are locally referred to as “Windward,” they lie within the Leeward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles chain. Curaçao and Bonaire are part of the Windward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles. The capital and largest city was Willemstad, on Curaçao. Yes you got it right. This island is famous for Curaçao,  a liqueur flavored with the dried peel of the laraha citrus fruit.

An ambitious Jewish watchmaker and goldsmith born in Romania, Charles Fuhrmann came to Curaçao as a young man in 1929 to escape persecution and seek his fortune. Almost immediately he met and began working with Wolf Spritzer, a Jewish watchmaker from Hungary who had arrived on the island two years earlier. Spritzer's small workshop was no more than a tiny room in the offices of a successful local ship chandler, with separate spaces for watch repair and jewelry making.

It was after World War Two that Spritzer & Fuhrmann became an international symbol for quality shopping on Curaçao. The store found a ready clientele in the thousands of US cruise ship passengers that began visiting the island.

These three stamps and the cover were issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the famous firm of Jewellers Spritzer and Fuhrmann on 27th September 1977. The first stamp (20c) depicts Bells outside Main Store in celebration. The next (40c) shows the location of the Antilles basking in the sun, and the last(55c) shows a jewellery item specially made for the occasion depicting the Antillean flag and a diamond ring.

Thank you Dear Maria for this lovely FDC.

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