Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Christmas - 6 November 2007

As usual Royal Mail will issue a set of 6 Christmas stamps, a miniature sheet and a Smilers Sheet. This year’s Christmas stamps mark a return to a religious theme with traditional Italianate representations of angels created by Italian illustrator Marco Ventura who works on gesso coated paper. The stamps will be issued in definitive and large sizes. The two Madonna stamps were produced in reaction to a popular demand for stamps bearing an overtly Christian image and will be reissued in future years.

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Royal Mail Christmas miniature sheet 2007.

Stamp design and background

The Angels stamps feature illustrations by Italian illustrator Marco Ventura. He works in a style similar to those of Renaissance fresco painters drawing in pencil on gesso coated paper and then hand colouring the image.

Marco Ventura grew up with angels, son of a book illustrator, a Roman Catholic in Italy where angels flutter across the walls of every church. “Since I was a child I’ve been surrounded by images of Saints, Madonnas and flying angels with banners,” he said. He began as a teenager like any medieval apprentice, hand colouring his father’s pen and ink illustrations. His own work is traditional in technique, beginning with drawings in very hard pencil on paper prepared with a thin coat of gesso plaster. Angels bearing their messages of peace on earth spelled out in rippling banners are a common motif in Italian art from the Renaissance on. There were about 100 preparatory sketches, and originally a whole orchestra of angels - “angels playing music was I thought a nice combination and very appropriate for the Christmas theme” - before the final versions were selected. The horizon is at the same level in each so that the angels line up in the same landscape across the four stamps.

“When painting the Angels I liked the idea of them as neither female nor male, also I wanted them to be on the earth - not flying in the sky – as nice protective figures that please everyone with their music.”

The two Madonna & Child stamps feature two classic paintings of the image.
2nd class - William Dyce, c. 1827. In pearly light, the sweet faced young Madonna cradling her child before a limpid landscape, clearly shows the influence of Renaissance art, particularly of the young Raphael. Dyce led the way and in turn became a supporter of the radical group of young English painters, the Pre-Raphaelites.
1st Class - The Madonna of Humility, Lippo di Dalmasio, c. 1390-1400. Extensive damage and centuries of repairs have dimmed but not eclipsed the grace of The Madonna, crowned with 12 stars, against a disc of golden light, recalling Saint John’s vision of the Woman of the Apocalypse, “clothed with the sun”, in the Book of Revelation.

Technical details:
Angels: Formatting and typography by Rose Design. Madonna: Formatting and typography are by Peter Willberg.
The stamps have been printed by De la Rue Security Print in gravure. The small stamps are definitive size - 20 x 24mm - and the Large Letter stamps 30 x 24mm. The stamps will be die-cut on the self-adhesive sheets, the two Madonna stamps with elliptical perforations like definitives, and the Angel stamps perforated conventionally all round.
The stamps sold at PO counters and supplied to dealers have rouletted backing paper for easy separation, but the stamps in presentation packs have guillotined 'imperf' backing paper.
The 115x102mm Miniature Sheet will be conventionally gummed. It contains the six stamps, arranged as a block of 4 and a pair, within a border illustrated by Marco Ventura.
As the stamps are definitive-sized, the Christmas stamp booklets will be the same size as definitive books of 12.

Smilers Sheet

The generic self-adhesive Smilers® Sheet was designed by Rose Design and comprises 20 stamps: 8 x 1st class, 8 x 2nd class and 4 x 78p stamps set within a border and labels illustrated by Marco Ventura. The background features a snow scene with carol singers; thematic features include a cat, church, & Christmas Tree. The Smilers sheets are printed in litho by Cartor Security Printers. Click on the image for a larger one in a new window.

Royal Mail Christmas stamps 2007 - Smilers Sheet.

Norvic Philatelics First Day Cover

Our limited edition FDCs for this issue includes all 8 stamps with postmark W10775, Bethlehem - Price £9.50 (image of actual cover).
Norvic Philatelics 2007 Christmas First Day Cover set of 8 
stamps - image.

The Miniature Sheet cover with postmark M10768 Wesley Road - Price £8.95 (image of actual cover).
Norvic Philatelics 2007 Christmas First Day Cover miniature
 sheet of 6 stamps - image.

The Smilers Sheet will be available as
Set of 4 Norvic FDCs each with on quarter of the whole sheet, with a different angel postmark on each - £19.50
(note, due to the inclusion of 78p stamps the face value is higher than in previous years).
Norvic Philatelics 2007 Christmas First Day Cover 
for Smilers sheet - top left. Norvic Philatelics 2007 Christmas First Day Cover 
for Smilers sheet - top right.
Norvic Philatelics 2007 Christmas First Day Cover
for Smilers sheet - lower left. Norvic Philatelics 2007 Christmas First Day Cover 
for Smilers sheet - lower right.

Norvic FDC with three Smilers stamps 1 x 1st class, 1 x 2nd class , & 1 x 78p (postmark as shown: this is a mock-up) - £4.20
Norvic Philatelics 2007 Christmas First Day Cover for set of 3 
Smilers stamps.

Christmas 2007 presentation pack containing 8 stamps.

Products issued:

Post Office FDC with a full set of 8 stamps
Post Office FDC with the miniature sheet
Set of 6 Angel stamps or miniature sheet unused
Pair of Madonna & Child stamps unused
Presentation Pack
Set of 9 stamp cards (PHQ cards)
Smilers Sheet

Special postmarks available on the Day of Issue are shown below

Postmark: Snowman. Postmark: Christmas Tree text in English & Welsh. Postmark: first day of issue Bethlehem, also in Welsh. Postmark: Santa in his sleigh, pulled by 3 reindeer. Postmark: Christmas tree. Postmark: Holly.
Ref FD735
Official Bureau postmark
Ref FD736
Official Bethlehem postmark
Ref FD736N
Official Bethlehem non-pictorial postmark
Ref M10768
Wesley Road, Birmingham
Ref N10771
Happy Christmas, York
Ref W10775
Bethlehem, Llandeilo
Postmark: stained glass window. Postmark: Kneeling angel. Postmark: text as shown. Postmark: Bletchley Park Angels wings badge. Postmark: Christmas tree with Christmas greeting. Postmark: Angels international charity logo.
Ref N10772
Christmas Angels, GBFDC Association, Church, Lancashire
Ref M10769
150th anniv of Edward Elgar
Ref L10750
Dickens World, Chatham, Kent
Ref L10744
Bletchley Park
Ref L10743
A happy Christmas to one and all, Regal Way, Harrow
Ref L10742
Angels International for Children in Crisis, Midhurst
Postmark: angel playing violin. Postmark: angel. Postmark: angel, with Santa robe?. Postmark: angel praying. Postmark: cartoon angel. Postmark: Madonna and child.
Ref L10747
Christmas Common Oxfordshire
Ref L10746
Peacehaven, East Sussex
Ref L10745
Wing, Buckinghamshire
Ref W10774
Nasareth, Gwynedd
Ref W10777
Bethlehem, Llandeilo
Ref W10776
Bethlehem, Llandeilo, Carms
postmark: madonna.
Ref W10785
Holywell Common, Flintshire
This postmark was announced after the stamps were issued: if you wish to have a copy of this postmark on a FDC or on a plain envelope, please contact us as soon as possible.

This page was updated 20 November 2007

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2007 stamp issues
Visit our online shop!
The Beatles
16 Definitive LOVE booklet
Sealife of the British Coast
13 The Sky at Night
World of Invention
1 Glorious Wales Smiler Sheet
22 Abolition of the Slave Trade
27 Definitive & Country stamps
Celebrating England miniature sheet and Glorious England Smilers Sheet
Beside the Seaside
17 Wembley Stadium MS and Smilers
Machins 40th Anniversary miniature sheet, PSB & Smilers
Motor racing Grand Prix
17 Harry Potter books
26 Centenary of Scouting (Europa)
Endangered Species - birds
20 British Military Uniforms (I - Army) 
60th Wedding Anniversary of HM the Queen
8 Lest We Forget
30 Glorious Scotland Smilers


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Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB. -- UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic