The landscapes of Middle-earth were forged in the imagination of the author J. R. R. Tolkien from places he had visited and the mythical lands he had encountered during his studies of ancient texts. His detailed descriptions of this land enabled the reader to imagine them within their mind in great detail.
When New Zealand director Peter Jackson released the first part of his epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings all these thoughts became three-dimensional, and the country of New Zealand, where all the filming was undertaken, underwent an astonishing metamorphosis to become a place of cinematic wonder and fantasy.
Filming for this movie masterpiece began on 11 October 1999, when Peter and his cast and crew of more than 2,500 people started on their journey to more than 100 locations throughout the country. Their goal: to re-create J.R.R. Tolkein's marvellous story and his world of deep, hidden valleys, barren wastelands, remote mystical mountains and lush, low valleys.
Peter Jackson found all of these places in New Zealand, forging the landscape we now recognise as Middle-earth. Waikato farming country was transformed into warm, comfortable Hobbiton, the starkly rocky Mount Ruapehu became Mordor, and the South Island's Mount Sunday proved the perfect location for the magnificent city of Edoras.
All eight stamps featured on the Home of Middle-earth miniature sheet, together with a stunningly evocative image of the mighty warrior Aragorn and Legolas, prince of the Elven kingdom of Mirkwood. The two fought with passion and bravery, playing vital roles in the battles that determine the fate of Middle-earth.
A se-tenant block of the eight stamps was available as well as the four blocks of two stamps.
Presenting the Best
For your personal collection of the best Home of Middle-earth stamp products, you could look no further than the presentation pack. Breathtaking scenes from the movie trilogy complimented the gummed first day cover, miniature sheet, and self-adhesive booklet.
The Home of Middle-earth gummed first day cover portrayed New Zealand's uninhabited landscapes - vast expanses well suited to movies of all genres. The self-adhesive first day cover depicted Sam and Frodo on their way to Mordor, which was filmed in the Tongariro National Park.
Our booklet of self-adhesive stamps comprised of 10 miniature pieces of cinematic history - six 45c Ford of Bruinen/Skippers Canyon and four 90c South of Rivendell/Mt Olympus stamps. These were neatly packaged and presented with a photograph of three of our movie heroes.
An Awesome Foursome
Giant-sized images of the movie scenes from the Home of Middle-earth collection dominated the four maximum cards - while their 'real-life' counterparts reminded us of the power of movie-making in transforming often well known landscapes into fictional masterpieces.
The Full Story
New Zealand Post's limited editions are highly sought after by collectors around the world - and the Home of Middle-earth limited edition was no exception. With only 2,000 copies ever produced, (each individually numbered and authenticated), you could read more about the people and places behind the filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy - a unique insight into the cinematic journey required to create the world of Middle-earth.
Product Listing for The Lord of the Rings - New Zealand The Home of Middle-earth
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||7 July 2004|
|Number of stamps:||Twelve|
|Denominations and designs:||45c (gummed and self-adhesive) The Ford of Bruinen/Skippers Canyon, 90c (gummed and self-adhesive) South of Rivendell/Mt Olympus, $1.50 Edoras/Erewhon, $2.00 Emyn Muil/Tongariro|
|Designer:||Frans Lenzen, CommArts Design, Wellington|
|Printer and process:||Gummed: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin; Self-adhesive: SNP Sprint, Australia by offset lithography|
|Stamp size and format:||Gummed: 40mm x 30mm (horizontal); Self-adhesive: 25mm x 30mm (horizontal)|
|Paper type:||Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive dispensers and coils: CPI C90 self-adhesive paper; Self-adhesive sheets and booklets: CPI C100 self-adhesive paper|
|Perforation gauge:||Gummed: 14; Self-adhesive: diecut|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||Gummed: 50; Self-adhesive: 45c - 100, 90c - 50|
|Number of stamps per booklet:||10|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B format.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 6 July 2005.|