Barbados

One of the best English language Caribbean islands for controlling the design and issue of its stamps. Here is an engraved design from the classic period showing Britannia with her trident. She is supposed to be ruling the waves but has more the look of a middle-aged lady in her doctor's waiting room. 



Britannia Victoria Barbados

Barbados was an early and staunchly Royalist colony, and its stamps  stuck with the Colony badge, of Britannia riding the waves, until the 1950s.

Chariot Victoria Barbados

This design, letterpressed by De La Rue, was first released in 1892. 

The 1938 issue, slightly larger than necessary and brilliantly engraved, is the collectors' favourite version. The horses are leaping from rather than struggling with, the waves. The queenly figure of Britannia has been replaced by the regal and bearded profile of King George V, and the fishy-looking tail to the chariot has been updated with a mechanical device that would do fine service on a paddle steamer. I shall have to call it 'iconic'.

But where did the design idea come from,in the first place? One clue, which might start me on a search, is the picture that I have from a holiday to Tunisia, taken in our hotel lobby:

Triumph of Neptune Qued Blibane


Here we see it was reproduced from a mosaic, known as the Triumph of Neptune recovered from a Roman villa at the house of Qued Blibane, near Sousse, and shown in the city museum (I have reversed the image so that you can directly compare Poseidon with dear old King George):

Poseidon Qued Blibane