Britain's most spectacular commemoratives, No55: 1981 Butterflies 25p

Very few British stamps tackling nature themes have disappointed, but today they rely heavily on photography. Not so in 1981, when the set depicting beautiful native butterflies was the product of meticulous artwork.

The small moth-like chequered skipper shown on the 25p, which is threatened with extinction, is so-called because of its darting flight over meadows.

The glories of its open wings were presented against a subtle background of meadow flowers and grasses.

Design: Gordon Beningfield.
Printing: photogravure by Harrisons.