Royal Mail Stamp Guide 2017, Christmas, 7 November 2017

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07 November 2017
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asas-19860.jpg Children's Christmas
Royal Mail’s festive stamps are perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of the year. We take a look at the twelve 2017 Christmas stamps which will adorn our mail on the run up to 25 December.

Royal Mail’s festive stamps are perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of the year. We take a look at the twelve 2017 Christmas stamps which will adorn our mail on the run up to 25 December.

Great Britain’s festive stamps are seen by millions of people around the world and it must prove quite a task to come up with different designs and themes each year. For 2017 Royal Mail have gone for classic appeal, with Santa Claus, a snowman family and, for its bi-annual religious Christmas issue, depictions of Mary and the infant Jesus.

Christmas is, of course, one of the happiest childhood memories for many of us and so it seems fitting that the artwork of primary school age pupils features on two of the stamps in this issue. Each features a starry night sky and strong use of primary colours with simple and eye-catching designs showing the perennially popular and instantly recognizable subjects of Santa Claus and snowmen.

Royal Mail uses a Christian Christmas theme every two years and for 2017, has gone for historic paintings of the Madonna and Child – again, easily recognizable and for many people all over the world, a symbol of what the festive season is all about, despite the encroachment of commercialism.

Madonna & Child

The eight Madonna & Child stamps feature six historic paintings of Mary and Jesus which show the pair in a variety of poses, with the mother of Jesus wearing her familiar headdress in all but one of the works of art.

Each of the paintings presents a close bond between the mother and son, with the baby Jesus either nestling beside his mother or sleeping against her. 

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Children's Christmas

Since 1966, Royal Mail has encouraged children across the UK to design the nation’s Christmas stamps. The inaugural contest was followed by competitions in 1981 and 2013, and this year’s version attracted more than 200,000 children whose entries fell into two age groups – 4-7 years and 8-11 years.

The initial judging took place in March and April then in May the Prince of Wales chose two winning illustrations from 24 shortlisted entries: ten-year-old Ted Lewis Clark with a Santa drawing, and nine-year-old Arwen Wilson with a depiction of a snowman family. 

Stamp details

Christmas 2017

Madonna & child

Issue date: 7 November, 2017

Design: Royal Mail Group Ltd, based on initial concept ideas by Kate Stephens

Stamp size: 24mm x 28mm (standard); 34mm x 28mm (large)

Printer: De La Rue Security Print

Print process: Gravure

Perforations: 14.5 x 15

Phosphor: Bars as appropriate

Gum: Self-adhesive

Children’s design competition

Issue date: 7 November, 2017

Design: Royal Mail Group Ltd

Stamp size: 24mm x 28mm (standard); 34mm x 28mm (large)

Printer: De La Rue Security Print

Print process: Gravure

Perforations: 14.5 x 15

Phosphor: Bars as appropriate

Gum: self-adhesive

 

1st: The Madonna and Child (1845) by William Dyce

1st Large: The Madonna and Child (1845) by William Dyce

2nd: Virgin and Child (c.1520) attributed to Gerard David

2nd Large: Virgin and Child (c.1520) attributed to Gerard David

£1.17: Virgin Mary with Child (detail) attributed to Quinten Massys

£1.40: The Small Cowper Madonna (detail) by Raphael

£1.57: The Sleep of the Infant Jesus (detail) by Giovanni Battista

£2.27: Saint Luke Painting the Virgin (detail) by Eduard Jakob von Steinle

 

1st: Santa by Ted Lewis-Clark

1st Large: Santa by Ted Lewis-Clark

2nd: Snowman family by Arwen Wilson

2nd Large: Snowman family by Arwen Wilson