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.

But it also lies partly in the positioning of the bird, with its body inside the letter slot, suggesting wisdom as well as cuteness.

Design: Ken Lilly.

Printing: gravure by Harrisons.