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Jeff Dugdale  |  Nov 06, 2021  |  0 comments

This wonder of elegance was the fifth essay produced by the designer to this particular remit, but it was well worth waiting for.

With its narrow frame and bevelled border, the high-value from the Royal Silver Wedding set of two is a stunningly handsome stamp.

A bold but distinguished design, based on a regal photograph by Dorothy Wilding, it resembles the photo-portraits of the King and Queen that many British families had on the walls of their lounges during the war years, in order to assert their national pride and keep up their spirits.

Jeff Dugdale  |  Nov 05, 2021  |  0 comments

A stamp marking the development of the astronomical telescope as an achievement of the millennium, and name-checking Isaac Newton as a pioneer of the science, carried a very simple and yet absolutely breathtaking image.

It’s a photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, presenting false-colour imagery of the gas giant Saturn, the most visibly dramatic planet in our solar system, against the backness of space.

The planet’s mysterious and fantastically complicated ring system, first observed by Galileo in 1610, is made up of ice, rock debris and dust, with the darker Encke gap caused by the presence of the tiny moon Pan between the inner and outer elements.

Jeff Dugdale  |  Nov 04, 2021  |  0 comments

This stamp depicts a magnificent piece of regalia worn only once in any monarch’s lifetime: the solid gold St Edward’s Crown first used for the coronation of King Charles II, who had it made to replace the one destroyed by Oliver Cromwell.

Reproduced in gold and a very regal shade of red, the image is classier than it would have been if it had attempted to show the emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls which adorn the crown in full colour.

The glorious detail remains, including the cross pattées and fleurs-de-lis above the ermine border, the gold monde at the intersection of the arches and the jewelled cross atop it.

Jeff Dugdale  |  Nov 03, 2021  |  First Published: Nov 02, 2021  |  0 comments

One of the most joyous Christmas issues ever took as its theme that beloved personality of the British winter, the robin redbreast.

Whilst four of the stamps were akin to Christmas card images, the lowest value was a gem.

Its simple beauty lies partly in the contrasts between the red of the postbox and that of the bird’s plumage, and between the silvery white of the smattering of snow and the silver of the Queen’s head.

Jeff Dugdale  |  Nov 03, 2021  |  First Published: Nov 02, 2021  |  0 comments

The set of six marking the centenary of Nobel Prizes broke new ground in that each used a different printing technology.

The 40p, for example, was a scratch-and-sniff stamp and the 2nd class changed colour when exposed to heat.

But the star was the 65p, Britain’s first holographic issue.

Jeff Dugdale  |  Nov 03, 2021  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2021  |  0 comments

In an attempt to plug the hole it had punched in its traditional issuing policy, the GPO insisted this was not an issue honouring Shakespeare himself, whose 400th birthday it was, but one commemorating the Shakespeare Festival as an event.

Nevertheless, this was a ground-breaking and controversial issue, the first to depict a commoner.

In a multi-coloured set of five showing scenes from plays, the only recess-printed stamp, and the only one to name the play in question, was the monotone top value in deep slate purple illustrating the hapless Hamlet contemplating mortality.

Guy Thomas  |  Nov 02, 2021  |  0 comments

This year’s Christmas stamp issue from Royal Mail, released on November 2, differs significantly from those of recent years to allow for the inclusion of ‘barcoded’ stamps for the first time.

Their designs follows that of the large-format 2nd class Machin definitive issued in business sheets in March.

The digitally scannable element (technically not a barcode but a data matrix code) is to the right of the pictorial element, separated from it by a line which resembles a perforation.

Guy Thomas  |  Nov 02, 2021  |  0 comments

Royal Mail issued a set of eight stamps on October 19 to celebrate the passion of rugby union, marking the 150th anniversaries of the formation of the Rugby Football Union and the first international match.

The dynamic designs feature famous players and iconic moments in key international matches within living memory, giving equal billing to the four nations of the British Isles.

They also give equal coverage to the men’s and women’s games, even though the first Women’s Home Nations Championship was staged as recently as 1996.

Guy Thomas  |  Nov 02, 2021  |  0 comments

Royal Mail released 12 gummed stamps and a six-stamp self-adhesive miniature sheet on September 17 featuring the superheroes and supervillains created by DC Comics, an American comic book publisher.

The latest in a series of issues driven by lucrative licensing agreements rather than a desire to celebrate British culture, it was produced in partnership with Warner Bros Consumer Products.

Along with the Star Wars issue of 2015 and the Star Trek issue of 2020, the DC Collection issue means that the three biggest sets in Royal Mail’s history (comprising 18 stamps each) have all been dedicated to American fiction franchises.

Jeff Dugdale  |  Oct 31, 2021  |  0 comments

The only joint entry in our countdown is the the oddest se-tenant pair ever.

Not having much to boast about for the Europe in Space theme of 1991, Britain commissioned a France artist to come up with an imaginative angle.

Accompanying a lower value pair entitled Man Looking At Space, the 37p stamps purported to show Space Looking At Man.

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