Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Christmas:  7 November 2017

Royal Mail’s Christmas stamps feature secular and religious imagery in alternate years.  This year’s set has two distinct themes, with eight featuring depictions of the Madonna & Child and four including the two winning designs from a children’s Christmas stamp design competition.    As usual the low value stamps are in standard and large letter definitive size and self adhesive. 

There is also conventionally-gummed miniature sheet containing all Madonna and Child stamps, and booklets of 12 x 1st and 12 x 2nd stamps (two of each).

There are two Smilers Generic sheets.  The conventional one has Madonna & Child stamps, with 8 each of the 2nd and 1st class, and one each of the other stamps. This means that once again there will be only one set litho-printed stamps in each sheet.   10 of each of the 1st and 2nd class competition design stamps are included in a second sheet.  I have no indication as to whether any of these are available in the Smilers Personalisation service.

 2017 Christmas stamps low values. Christmas 2017 stamps - high values.
2017 Christmas Competition stamps.
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Madonna & Child designs:

Virgin and Child (detail) attributed to Gerard David © Museo del Prado,
Madrid, Spain/ Bridgeman Images;

The Madonna and Child (detail) by
William Dyce, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017;

Virgin Mary with Child (detail) attributed to Quinten Massys, Royal
Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid, Spain © Erich Lessing;

The Small Cowper Madonna (detail) by Raphael © National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA /Bridgeman Images;

The Sleep of the Infant Jesus
(detail) by Giovanni Battista Sassoferrato, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France © Erich Lessing;

Saint Luke Painting the Virgin (detail) by Eduard Jakob von Steinle, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.

Competition Winners:

2nd class: Arwen Wilson (9), Family of Snowpeople.
1st class: Ted Lewis-Clark (10) Father Christmas in the sky.

2017 Christmas miniature sheet

The standard Generic Smilers Sheet has no text on the labels, only a winter's scene all in white/grey.
It contains 8 of each of the 2nd class and 1st class values, and 1 of each of the airmail values.
2017 Christmas Madonna stamp generic sheet.

A second Generic Smilers has 10 each of the 1st class and 2nd class Competition Winners.
2017 Christmas Competition Generic stamp sheet.

Initial supplies of booklets contain 6 Madonna stamps and 6 Competition stamps.  Royal Mail have also produced booklets of 12 Madonna stamps in each value to be used as 'reserve stock' in case their prediction of usage of the mixed booklets is low.   All are available from Tallents House and will be distributed on their standing order service.  [Product codes: 1st mixed - UB408; 2nd mixed - UB409; 1st Madonna - UB410; 2nd Madonna UB411]
All booklets seen have been printed on SBP2 paper with the text arranged LUSU LISI

Detail of 2nd class mixed booklet. Detail of 1st class M&C booklet.

Technical details:

The Madonna and Child stamps were designed by Royal MailLtd based on initiral concept ideas by Kate Stephens (original artists shown above).  Children's Comptition: Ted Lewis-Clark and Arwen Wilson for Royal Mail Ltd.  Miniature sheet: border designed by Supple Studio featuring typography by John Stevens.

The self-adhesive stamps are 24 x 28mm, perf 14.5 x 15 in sheets of 25/50 with phosphor bands as appropriate, and are printed by De La Rue Security Print, in gravure.   The gummed Miniature Sheet and booklets are printed by International Security Printers in gravure.  The generic sheets are printed by International Security Printers in litho.  The miniature sheet is 179 x 74mm.

Products issued, available from Royal Mail: 

Set of 12 stamps, miniature sheet, 2 x generic Smilers sheets, Booklets of 12 x 1st & 12 x 2nd, each containing 6 Madonna & Child and 6 Competition winners, Booklets of 12 x 1st & 12 x 2nd containing Madonna stamps only.

First day covers (set of 12 or MS) -- Presentation pack -- Stamp cards (set of 13)

Special Postmarks

Special postmarks available for the day of issue  were shown in Royal Mail's Postmark Bulletins (download here)

This page created  26 October 2017

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UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic