The work of an Italian painter was chosen for the 1966 Christmas stamp issue - The Virgin and Child by Carlo Maratta.
This masterpiece hangs in the Kunsthistoriche Museum in Vienna.
The stamps were placed on sale as early as 3 October (a little earlier than in previous years) so that they would be available for use on surface Christmas mail to overseas countries. The stamp was so popular that by mid December 1966 the entrie 27,000,000 stamps produced had been distributed to post offices.
This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 40 in July 1966.
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: http://www.nzsgb.org.uk/
Product Listing for Christmas 1966
Click on image to enlarge.
|Single Stamp||Single 3d 'The Virgin and Child' gummed stamp.||3d|
|Date of issue:||3 October 1966|
|Designers:||New Zealand Post Office, Wellington|
|Printers:||Harrison and Sons, England|
|Stamp size:||28mm x 43mm|
|Sheet size:||60 stamps per sheet|
|Paper type:||Chalk surfaced, multiple NZ and star watermark|
|Period of sale:||This stamp remained on sale until 31 July 1967.|