Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
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Christmas 1962

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The Christmas 1962 issue featured the painting Madonna in Prayer by Sassoferrato. 

Issue information

Two paintings were considered for the 1962 Christmas issue, Madonna in Prayer by Sassoferrato and The Holy family by Titian. Both paintings were regarded as acceptable by the Christian Festivals Committee but the final choice was Madonna in Prayer which now hangs in the National Gallery, London. Sassoferrato was named Giovanni Battista at birth, born in Sassoferrato, Italy.

The stamp was very popular and it was awarded the Philatelic Societies of San Francisco award for the most beautiful stamp of the year.

Stamp Bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 26 on 12 September 1962.

Acknowledgments: Bulletin scanned and provided by John Biddlecombe of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link:

Product Listing for Christmas 1962

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 2 1/2d 'Madonna in Prayer' gummed stamp.

The 1962 Christmas issue depicted the painting Madonna in Prayer by Sassoferrato, which now hangs in the National Gallery, London.

2 1/2d

Technical information

Date of issue: 15 October 1962
Designers: New Zealand Post Office, Wellington
Printers: Harrison and Sons, England
Stamp size: 28mm x 38mm
Sheet size: 60 stamps per sheet
Process: Photogravure
Perforation gauge: 14.5 x 14
Paper type: Chalk surfaced, multiple NZ and star watermark
Period of sale: This stamp remained on sale until 12 January 1963.
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