This beautiful stamp for European Music Year celebrates one of the greatest pieces of British music, Gustav Holst’s seven-part orchestral Planets Suite, by trying to capture the beauty of the heavens. Like the music, the design has real depth.

In the centre are Jupiter, the unmistakable ringed Saturn and the small red orb of Mars. The Moon appears at the bottom, and other images of the cosmos include gas clouds, a faint star, a spiral galaxy and, on the left, the Horsehead nebula in Orion. 

The infinity and mystery of the Universe is suggested as an endless miasma. 

Design: Wilson McLean.

Printing: photogravure by Harrisons.