New Zealand is home to some truly beautiful stained-glass windows, which add character and charm to churches and buildings throughout the country. The Christmas 2015 stamp issue featured five vibrant stained-glass windows, ranging in design from the traditional to the contemporary.
Stained-glass windows date back to ancient times, with some existing in Britain possibly as early as the 7th century. The movement gained popularity in the Middle Ages as a way to convey narratives from the Bible to the masses, and has evolved over time to incorporate more colour and detail.
The colourful stamps in this issue featured Christmas-related imagery from stained-glass windows around New Zealand, ranging from central characters from the nativity story to the ‘New Zealand Christmas tree’, the pōhutukawa.
Stunning Self-adhesive Stamps
For local and international Christmas sending, three self-adhesive stamps were also available in denominations of 80c, $2.00 and $2.50.
An Innovative Miniature Sheet
As part of this special Christmas issue, we created a unique miniature sheet that encapsulated the theme of stained-glass windows. The miniature sheet was printed on translucent gummed paper and was die-cut in the shape of traditional stained-glass church windows.
The design of the miniature sheet first day cover cleverly incorporated the translucent miniature sheet to depict an actual stained-glass window. Through the top of the window pane, views of New Zealand's Christmas tree, the pōhutukawa could be seen.
Festive First Day Covers
In addition to a miniature sheet first day cover, this issue included a gummed stamp first day cover and a self-adhesive stamp first day cover. The gummed first day cover featured an image of the nativity window from St Michael’s Anglican Church, Wellington, and the self-adhesive first day cover featured further detail of the window on the $2.50 stamp from the Christchurch Hospital Nurses Memorial Chapel.
The Christmas 2015 stamp issue included three convenient self-adhesive booklets, each with ten stamps.
The $2.00 and $2.50 self-adhesive stamps included the ‘International Par Avion’ symbol to help identify them for international use. We also included ten international air stickers in the international booklets.
A dispenser of 100 x 80c stamps was also available for domestic postage.
Product Listing for Christmas 2015
Click to enlarge image.
|Date of issue:||4 November 2015|
|Number of stamps:||Five gummed and three self-adhesive stamps|
|Denominations:||Gummed: 80c, $1.40, $2.00, $2.50, $3.00|
|Stamps and first day covers designed by:||Hannah Stancliffe-White, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours with synseal overgloss|
|Stamp size and format:||Gummed: 40mm x 30mm (vertical); Self-adhesive: 30mm x 25mm (vertical)|
|Paper type:||Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper; Dispenser box stamps: Avery Dennison 210gsm B90 Kraft Back WLK6 Adhesive; Booklets: Tullis Russell 210gsm red phosphor PSA stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||Gummed: 14; Self-adhesive: Die-cut|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A and B formats.|
|Period of sale:||
These stamps remained on sale until 3 November 2016.
First day covers remained on sale until 3 January 2016.