Perhaps not suprisingly, people born in the Chinese lunar Year of the Dog are said to demonstrate many attributes we commonly associate with man's best friend: honesty, intelligence and loyalty, with a passion for justice and fair play. According to the Chinese zodiac, these qualities were also set to influence planet Earth from 29 January 2006, as we welcomed in the next Year of the Dog.
It's believed that dogs have been an integral part of humans' lives for more than 12,000 years, as hunters, guardians and friends. Dogs now exceed 400 different breeds - each with its own characteristics and capabilities, from sight and speed, to smell and stamina. But for all their differences, these canine companions share one precious thing: a bond with human beings that no other animal has matched.
A Global Connection
The delightful dogs in our new stamps issue showed their links to the Chinese lunar calendar in the miniature sheet and miniature sheet first day cover - which also gave us a glimpse of the hundreds of different breeds with which these five shared our world. And, your heart would have melted when you saw our first day cover. Not only did our five favourites appear, but so too did eight other adoringly appealing pets.
Links to the East
The 2006 Year of the Dog collectables were beautifully presented in our presentation pack - including the five stamps, the miniature sheet and the two first day covers. Along with information on each of the breeds, it also provided insight into how dogs fit within Chinese philosophy and practices. It was a superb way to herald this auspicious New year and to display the first Braille stamp from New Zealand Post.
Your heart would have melted when you saw our 2006 Year of the Dog first day cover. Not only were our favourites displayed (five gummed and one self-adhesive stamp), but so too do eight other adoringly appealing pets - how could you resist?
Peel and Stick - Stamps the Easy Way
The 45c Labrador Retriever - pictured complete with guide dog harness - featured on two additional and very useful items. For stamps when and where you needed them, the 10-stamp self-adhesive booklet fitted neatly into pockets and purses, while the stamp dispenser provided ideal storage for 100 self-adhesive stamps.
A Rare Opportunity
The 2006 Year of the Dog was one of the few stamp collections chosen for 'limted edition' status - one of the most prestigous of our products and available to only 2,000 collectors worldwide. Each pack contained a unique miniature sheet, first day cover, colour separations of the $2.00 stamp and a special booklet which held plate blocks of each denomination.
These individually numbered and authenticated collections both delighted and informed, with fascinating information on how canines came to be such a rich and rewarding part of our lives - from their earliest days as hunters to today's more sophisticated roles as guides for the blind, rescuers in times of war and natural disaster, and 'therapists' for people needing to rediscover trust and love.
Product Listing for 2006 Year of the Dog
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||4 January 2006|
|Number of stamps:||Five gummed and one self-adhesive|
|Denominations and designs:||45c Labrador Retriever, 90c German Shepherd Dog, $1.35 Jack Russell Terrier, $1.50 Golden Retriever, $2.00 Huntaway|
|Stamps, first day cover and miniature sheet designed by:||Stephen Fuller, Wellington|
|Lunar illustrator:||Lindy Fisher, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Printer and process:||Gummed: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by offset lithography; Self-adhesive booklet: Australia Post Sprintpak|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||Gummed: 40mm x 30mm (vertical); Self-adhesive: 30mm x 25mm (vertical); Gutter strip of 15.71mm between 3rd and 4th stamp|
|Paper type:||Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive: B100 self-adhesive stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per coil:||100|
|Number of stamps per booklet:||10|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||Gummed: 14 x 14; Self-adhesive: diecut|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 3 January 2007.|