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Julia Lee  |  Nov 07, 2011  |  0 comments

This year’s Christmas stamps, issued on November 8, feature illustrated scenes inspired by the Nativity, and specifically illustrating verses from the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

The stamps were designed by Together Design, from paintings by Peter Malone, and printed in gravure by De La Rue.

The sheet stamps are self-adhesive, but, as in every Christmas issue since 2004, the same designs also come in gummed format in the accompanying miniature sheet.

Julia Lee  |  May 08, 2013  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Football Association and the 140th anniversary of the Scottish Football Association with its Football Heroes miniature sheet, issued on May 9.

Eleven 1st class stamps portrayindividual British footballers who stood out in their generation, not least in representing their respective countries.

The designs form a composite image, and the miniature sheet places them all together in a team line-up.

Julia Lee  |  Sep 07, 2011  |  0 comments

The penultimate issue in the Kings & Queens series, which has been running since 2008, features the House of Hanover on September 15.

The Hanoverians were rulers of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in what is now Germany, and were prince-electors in the Holy Roman Empire.

They came to the British throne as the closest Protestant relatives of Queen Anne, with Catholics having been banned from inheriting.

Julia Lee  |  Mar 09, 2011  |  0 comments

Characters in Britain’s best-loved fantasy stories, from ancient myths to modern best-sellers, are brought together in the Magical Realms set, to be issued on March 8.

The eight stamps illustrate two different enchanters from each of four series of stories, using a combination of film images and newly-commissioned illustrations.

Depicted in artwork by Howard Swindell are characters from medieval Arthurian legend, and from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld comic fantasy series, the first of which was published in 1983.

Julia Lee  |  May 12, 2011  |  0 comments

To mark the 150th anniversary of the famous design company Morris & Co, Royal Mail issued a set of six stamps on May 5.

They feature examples of the company’s beautiful hand-crafted designs, fashioned in wood, fabric, wallpaper, ceramics and stained glass by six different artists.

The original company of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co was founded in 1861, and established a reputation for interior design, fine furniture and decorations.

Julia Lee  |  Mar 07, 2012  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s latest stamp issue, Comics, marks the 75th birthday of The Dandy, Britain’s longest-running comic book.

Issued on March 20, the set celebrates 10 different comics by featuring a classic front cover alongside an iconic character in each case.

British comics emerged from weekly ‘story papers’ such as Boy’s Own and The Magnet.

Julia Lee  |  Nov 05, 2012  |  0 comments

The artist behind world-famous children’s book The Gruffalo has illustrated this year’s Christmas stamps, issued on November 6.

Design agency Webb & Webb was commissioned by Royal Mail to devise the issue, and suggested Axel Scheffler as the illustrator.

In his distinctive style, he drew a range of seasonal, secular scenes including Father Christmas and various animals.

Julia Lee  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments

The Kings & Queens series of stamp issues which started in 2008 concludes with the House of Windsor & Saxe-Coburg-Gotha set on February 2, bringing the story of the British monarchy up the present day.

The five most recent monarchs are illustrated through contemporary portrait paintings, as in previous sets, with Queen Elizabeth II taking pride of place on the top value in her Diamond Jubilee year.

Following the style of the earlier issue in this series, a miniature sheet of four stamps highlights landmark events that have taken place during the dynasty.

Julia Lee  |  Aug 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating some of the world’s most beautiful artefacts in a spectacular collection of eight stamps featuring the Crown Jewels, the regalia of the British monarchy.

Issued on August 23, the stamps feature some of the most important and iconic pieces from the priceless collection.

This year marks the 350th anniversary of the making of many of the items shown, for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661 shortly after the Restoration of the monarchy.

Julia Lee  |  Jul 14, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s largest stamp commission since the Millennium series will be completed on July 27 with the issue of the third and final set of Olympic & Paralympic Games stamps illustrating the whole gamut of Olympic sports.

The release of the 10-stamp set has been timed to take place exactly one year before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.

Studio David Hillman was commissioned to direct the whole 30-stamp series, each of which has been designed by a different artist.

Julia Lee  |  Dec 06, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s first special issue of 2012 is dedicated to the author Roald Dahl on January 10.

A set of six sheet stamps celebrates some of his best-known children’s stories, with the aid of the instantly familiar illustrations of Quentin Blake.

In addition, a miniature sheet of four stamps marks the 30th anniversary of The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), one of his most popular characters.

Julia Lee  |  Jun 13, 2011  |  0 comments

The popular children’s book and television character Thomas the Tank Engine features on a set of stamps issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of his creator, the Reverend W Awdry.

The issue, on 14 June, includes six long-format stamps showing images from the television series Thomas & Friends, and a miniature sheet of four reproducing original illustrations from the books.

Wilbert Awdry (1911-97) had a passion for railways which had been instilled in him by his father.

Julia Lee  |  Jan 12, 2011  |  0 comments

The Classic Locomotives of England miniature sheet, to be issued on February 1, is the first of a series of four highlighting the contribution made by steam engines to British industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Across the public railway network, and also in industrial locations such as factories, quarries and docks, locomotives of all shapes and sizes were the workhorses of the national economy until as recently as the 1960s, cared for by a vast army of drivers and firemen, engineers and mechanics.

Philip Parker of Royal Mail Stamps said: ‘For many people, the age of steam meant bright-liveried passenger locomotives, but in the background a huge number of other less glamorous steam machines were playing a massive role.

Julia Lee  |  May 12, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a miniature sheet of four stamps to celebrate the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

It will be released on the Queen’s birthday, April 21, eight days before the wedding in Westminster Abbey on April 29.

The sheet features two different official engagement photographs of the couple by Princess Diana’s favourite photographer, Mario Testino, who is Peruvian.

Julia Lee  |  Feb 23, 2011  |  0 comments

Eight ultra-successful British musicals take centre stage on Royal Mail’s next set of stamps, to be released on February 24.

The illustrations used are based mostly on promotional posters for the shows, along with some photographs of performances.

All of them have enjoyed long runs in London’s West End theatre district, where several of them are still playing.