Friday, December 23, 2016

50 Years of Christmas Stamps

Australia Post celebrated 50 years of Christmas stamp issues in 2007. Australia Post has selected five classic Australian Christmas stamp designs to celebrate this 50th anniversary of annual stamp issue.

Each of these stamps expresses the artistic style, social mood and cultural values of its time.

Christmas 1957 - 2nd row stamp

The first Australian Christmas stamp used a figure of a small child kneeling from the 1776 painting The Infant Samuel by English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds. At the time of issue, it was felt that the biblical Christmas story was best represented by an European image, hence this image was selected.

Christmas 1977 - 1st row 3rd stamp

The "Surfing Santa" stamp design was thought to be inappropriate as the general Christmas stamp, although religious opinion had not found the image unacceptable. The majority of Australian liked the stamp, its design relevant to a time in which Australians felt confident and at ease with their identity.

Christmas 1984 - 1st row 4th stamp

The Madonna and Child stamp was depicted in the 1984 stamp design, using detail from a stained glass window made in 1938 for St Bartholomew's Church of England, Norwood, South Australia.

Christmas 1990 - 1st row 1st stamp

A shift of the Nativity from its traditional scene to the Australian bushland is seen in the 1990 stamp. It depicts baby Jesus being surrounded by the native koala and kangaroo. This stamp is issued at the height of the bicentennial decade during which Australian historic subjects, flora, fauna and nostalgic Australians were at the forefront of visual culture.

Christmas 1996 - 1st row 2nd stamp

The theme of Virgin Mary and Child had been a strong ones during the 1990s. After a period of economic recession in the late 1980s and the boom in information technology in the 1990s, a sense of unease and anticipation marked the period moving towards the new millennium.


Date of Issue : 1 Nov 2007
Postmark : Smithton (Christmas Hills) TAS 7330
Denomination : 3 x 45c, 50c and AU$1.10
Stamp Size : 26mm x 37.5mm and 37.5mm x 26mm (AU$1.10 stamp)
Paper : Tullis Russell
Printing Process : Lithography


Countries such as Austria and Cuba had issued stamps with Christmas themes before 1957, but Australia was the first country in the world to issue Christmas stamps each year.

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