Royal Mail’s Christmas stamps, released on November 5, take a religious approach this year, featuring classy biblical scenes created by paper-cut artists Hari & Deepti.

With clever use of light and shade, and depth of colour, they bring the Christmas story to life in intricate detail, with the Star of Bethlehem as a constant thread.

As in recent years there are eight self-adhesive stamps, including standard and Large versions of the 2nd class and 1st class values. The same designs also appear in a miniature sheet, which is conventionally gummed.

Designed by Charlie Smith Design, from Hari & Deepti’s artwork, the issue was printed by International Security Printers, the sheet stamps in gravure and the miniature sheet in litho.

2nd class

An angel appears to Joseph and tells him of the destiny of Jesus.

2nd Large

An expanded version of the 2nd class design.

1st class

Mary holds the new-born Jesus in the stable.

1st Large

An expanded version of the 1st class design.

£1.35

The star over Bethlehem.

£1.55

Jesus lying in the stable, watched over by farm animals.

£1.60

Shepherds tending their sheep marvel at the star.

£2.30

Three wise men follow the star to Bethlehem.

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

The presentation pack complements the stamp designs and is written by Ann Loades, a Professor of Divinity, with extracts from the Bible. Stamp cards and first day covers are also available.

 

PRICES

Set of 8 stamps   £10.00

Miniature sheet   £10.00

Presentation pack   £10.80

Stamp cards   £4.05

First day cover (stamps)   £12.60

First day cover (mini sheet)   £12.60

 

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   4/5

Christmas stamp issues alternating between religious and secular themes are a well-established tradition

QUALITY OF DESIGN   5/5

As usual, a lot of artistic thought and effort has gone into what is always a big-selling issue

WOW FACTOR   4/5

These stamps will look lovely on your Christmas cards as well as in your albums