Incredible ice and snow sculptures, including one created at the North Pole, will freeze their way onto this year's Christmas stamps, which see the highest ever face value for a special stamp set. Following the issue of definitive (NVI) stamps for the 40gr airmail rates, the Christmas stamps are in "the most used British and Overseas postage rates".
Scottish artist and sculptor Andy Goldsworthy created the amazing frozen artworks on these self-adhesive stamps.
|2nd class - Ice Spiral||1st class - Icicle Star||'E' rate - Wall of Frozen Snow|
|53p Ice Ball||68p Ice Hole||£1.12 Snow Pyramids|
Andy Goldsworthy hit the headlines in June 2000 when he placed 13, one-ton snowballs around London for a Brit Art exhibition.
The Ice Spiral (2nd Class) was made in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, at the Glen Marlin Falls, from reconstructed icicles.
The multi-pointed Icicle Star (1st Class) was made at Scaur Water, also in Dumfriesshire, by dipping the thick ends of icicles in snow then water, holding them until they froze together, occasionally using forked sticks as a support until they stuck, then breathing on the sticks first to release them.
Goldsworthy travelled to Japan to create the Wall of ice blocks on the 'E' Class stamp. The glowing globes of light at the heart of the blocks were created by carving at the snow with a stick almost through to the other side. Where the block is thinnest, the sun is brightest.
It?s back to Scotland for the intriguing Ice Ball (53p stamp - 40gr European airmail). To make this, Goldsworthy found pools of water that had iced over with sheets of different thicknesses. These were broken up and then the pieces were ?welded? together with water from dripping ice to form the hollow ball.
The Ice Hole (68p stamp - 40gr world airmail) was created in Capenhich, Dumfriesshire Scotland, by filling the arch of a branch with snow and making a hole which changed with the light.
Standing eerily inside the Arctic Circle are the four Snow Pyramids or spires, which Goldsworthy moulded from snow at Grise Fjord, Ellesmere Island for the £1.12 stamp [40gr international airmail].
Technical details: . The stamps, designed by Dick Davis, are printed in gravure by De La Rue. They will be in sheets of 50, and there will also be 'booklets' of 12 x 1st class and 24 x 2nd class stamps. Christmas airletters (in English and bi-lingual Welsh versions) will also show Goldsworthy ice sculptures.
Smilers Stamps for 1st & 2nd class values will be available from the same date. Shown here at the left is the 2nd class strip of 5 stamps with labels depicting ice sculptures of a polar bear, arctic hare, seal, penguin and ptarmigan. To the right is the 1st class strip with labels showing photographic images of a polar bear, harp seal, snowshoe hare, polar fox and snowy owl. The picture below shows early images of the whole sheets.
Mint set of 6 - £4.75
Mint Smilers sheets 1st class - £9.50       2nd class £7.50
Some PO FDCs also available - price on request.
Stamp cards 147x105mm with reproductions of the stamps (about 100x100mm) - £3.00 per set.
Christmas Greetings Cards - reproducing the stamp designs without the value and Queen's head. Size 150mm square - price £4.50 per set of 6.
All prices exclude postage & packing. To order and for prices in foreign currencies - please email us.
These postmarks were available for the date of issue and all should be available on first day covers. However some will be more plentiful than others, and some may only be available on specific 'official covers', with a very few on PO fdcs in collections. It may be many years before these appear on the resale market.
| Ref FD323
Bureau Official Postmark
| Ref FD324
Bethlehem, Llandeilo Official Postmark
| Ref M8779
Snow Hill, Birmingham
| Ref W8798
| Ref W8799
Hector Berlioz Bicentenary, "The Childhood of Christ", Nasareth, Caernarfon
| Ref M8826
Christmas, Chilwell, Nottingham
| Ref N8827
Christmas, Frostow, Sedbergh
| Ref N8828
Christmas, Crystal Peaks, Sheffield
| Ref N8829
Christmas, Winterburn, Skipton
| Ref S8827
Christmas, Snowhill, Enniskillen
| Ref W8839
Christmas, Cold Blow, Narberth
| Ref E8835
Snowball Hill, Maidenhead, Berks
| Ref E8836
Cold Christmas, Ware
| Ref E8837
The Wise Man, West Stafford, Dorchester Public House/Inn
| Ref L8825
Christmas Ice Sculptures, Freezywater, Enfield
| Ref L8822
Snow & Ice Sculptures, Freezywater, Enfield
| Ref L8823
Merry Christmas, Dartford
| Ref L8824
Snowy Fielder Waye, Isleworth
| Ref S8830
X3 Sunk on Exercise, Loch Striven, Dunoon
| Ref L8809
Merry 2003 Christmas to All, St Nicholas Road, London SE18
This page updated 4 November 2003 [7.2.05]
|14 January Birds of Prey||21 January Flowers Greetings Stamps Smilers Sheet||4 February Occasions/Greetings stamps and Smilers sheet||25 February Medical Science - DNA & Genome||4 March Hello SA booklet & Wales 1st reprint|
|25 March Fun Fruit & Vegetables||27 March New definitives, SA airmail booklets of 40gr stamps||29 April Extreme Endeavours||6 May 34p definitives||20 May Wilding II miniature sheet|
|28 May Wales 2nd class, 1st class gold reprints||2 June - 50th Anniversary of the Coronation||17 June Prince William of Wales||1 July High Value Definitive reprints||15 July British Journey - Scotland|
|29 July Cartoons Smilers Sheet||12 August Pub Signs - Europa||18 September Transports of Delight - toys||30 September Christmas Robin Smilers Sheet||7 October 250th Anniv. of British Museum|
|13 October Reprints of Country Stamps||4 November - Christmas: Ice Sculptures||18 December England World Cup - Rugby Winners|