Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
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Christmas 1979

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The 1979 Christmas Stamp Issue consisted of stamps depicting a sculpture of Madonna and Child, Christ Church in Russell and a Christmas Tree.

Issue information

Sculpture - 'Madonna and Child' by Ghiberti (1378-1455) - 10c
The original sculpture is in the Samuel H Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, United States of America.

Christ Church, Russell - 25c
This Anglican church, the oldest surviving in New Zealand, was built in 1835 when Russell was known as Kororareka.  It survived the sacking of the settlement in 1845, but was badly damaged.  The building was restored by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Christmas Tree - 35c
This stamp depicts a Pohutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) in bloom along the Thames-Coromandel coast.  Sometimes known as the 'Christmas' tree, this is the best known of New Zealand coastal trees because of its attractive wide-spreading habit and the profusion of red flowers it bears about Christmas time.

Stamp bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 22 in October 1979.

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:

Technical information

Date of Issue: 3 October 1979
Designers: D A Hatcher, Auckland
Printers: Courvoisier, Switzerland
Stamp Size: 25.7mm x 41.1mm
Sheet Size: 100 stamps per sheet
Process: Lithography
Perforation Gauge: 11.5 x 11.75
Paper Type: Granite, unwatermarked
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