ISLE OF MAN STAMPS & COINS UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE www.iomstamps.com

Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, a business unit of the Isle of Man Post Office has announced the launch of its brand-new website. The new site has a contemporary look and feel, is simple to use and navigate enabling customers to find all the information they need. The site has been developed to more effectively address the needs of our customers, both domestically and internationally.

New and enhanced features of the Isle of Man Stamps and Coins section of the site include:

A full range of existing and future collections, and money saving special offers available for purchase through the online stamps and coins shop and the ability to share details of these via social media channels.

Media Centre area with press information – here press contacts can register for an account and receive instant access to the latest press releases, product information and high resolution images.

Business and Individual accounts are available for on-going use with the ability to manage online preferences. Guest accounts are also available for adhoc use, both options offer a secure login.

The site is optimised for use on mobile and tablet devices as well as desktop computers, giving customers to opportunity to view and make purchases whilst on the go!

Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins commented: “We are delighted with the newly launched site. Our Stamps & Coins pages look fantastic and we have received really positive feedback from customers who have described the site as clean and modern, simple to use and easy navigate.

We believe one of the greatest benefits of the new website to be the improved presentation of our products offered and that this in turn should assist in increasing uptake through higher conversion rates and a better user experience via online channels. At the outset of the project our vision was to match the online experience of our products with the physical experience, we feel this has been achieved with the help of Isle of Man web site developers Dot performance.”

Andy Orton, Managing Director of Dot Performance commented on the new site: “The size and scope of the project demanded a comprehensive and collective approach to the digital strategy, to become more innovative, efficient and internationally competitive.

The research process involved benchmarking against over 30 similar international sites. Working in a design-led, co-operative creative process with the Isle of Man Post Office, we considered a multitude of user personas, all accessing the site across multiple devices to identify the needs of real-world users and putting the user experience front and centre of the design process. This was then developed into a solution which integrates seamlessly with the existing Post Office’s systems and business processes. The expected outcome being services are now much more immediate and greater operational efficiency will be achieved with multiple systems talking to each other.”

Island of Culture 2014 and stamp collection exhibition launched

On Monday afternoon Isle of Man Stamps and Coins and key representatives from the Post Office attended the official launch of the Island of Culture 2014 and stamp collection exhibition at the Villa Marina. The exhibition available to the public includes a collection of stamps reflective of eight cultural topics and will last for three weeks.

The collection produced and exhibited by Isle of Man Stamps and Coins showcases its latest issue which has been designed by Manx artist Juan Moore in addition to those with island links produced in the last 40 years. The exhibition is split into the eight themes in line with the latest issue – dance, drama, music, literature, visual arts, design, film and craft.

Towards the end of the launch event Geoff Corkish MBE MLC, Chairman of Isle of Man Post Office presented Hon Clare Christian BSc President of Tynwald and Patron of Island of Culture 2014 with a framed, commemorative set of the stamps with artwork produced by local artist Juan Moore. The stamps are the Isle of Man Post Office’s contribution to Island of Culture 2014.

Geoff Corkish MBE MLC, Chairman of Isle of Man Post Office commented: “2014 will be a vibrant and highly celebratory year. Events held over the duration will be a chance for everyone to celebrate our island of culture through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, cultural festivals, film and digital innovation and lay a lasting legacy for creativity on the Isle of Man. Juan Moore’s fabulous and outstanding Island of Culture stamp issue further adds to the celebrations. The stamps were specially created and show eight aspects of Manx culture.”

Michael Lees, Island of Culture Director said: “The Island of Culture 2014 stamps are iconic. Juan Moore the Manx artist who was commissioned to design these stamps has caught the imagination in his designs. They depict all aspects of the arts in a way that will appeal to all generations. I am delighted that they have gone on sale throughout the world and will arouse an interest worldwide. His daily blog throughout 2014 will continue the interest in his work and Island of Culture.”

To view and order the Island of Culture stamps please click here

A video introduction with interviews about the stamp issue and Island of Culture 2014 can be viewed here

Island of Culture 2014 will be marked with a set of new stamps

A year-long festival of the arts will be staged in 2014 to mark the Island of Culture and coinciding with the launch on January 6 will be the release of a celebration issue of stamps.

Born and raised in the Isle of Man, Juan Moore is a talented Manxman with degrees in illustration and computer animation respectively. His artwork has found acclaim in exhibitions featured in Cornwall, Wales, London, France and New York. Some of Juan’s artworks are part of both the Isle of Man Arts Council’s collection and the Manx National Art Collection.

His latest work will feature on a set of stamps to celebrate the Island of Culture having been commissioned to produce the new artwork celebrating eight cultural topics – dance, music, drama, literature, visual arts, design, film and craft, by Isle of Man Post Office. The stamps are Isle of Man Post Office’s contribution to the lasting legacy of the Island of Culture 2014 and Juan admits having his work showcased in this way is a real honour.

“It feels so good to have my artwork on the Island of Culture stamps. Art is always something that people have an opinion on and I hope my work will be noticed on these stamps. It is important to me that my work is not only thought-provoking, but that it is accessible to everyone. One of the aims of my work is for it to be as understood by not only those from an art background, but for someone who knows nothing about it” he said.

Juan added: “I generally get my ideas for my art from everyday life and once I have an idea I just paint. I’m a big fan of the white page and don’t always know where my journey is going to take me and what the end result is going to be like until I get painting. I love having something physical at the end of it and I’m really looking forward to seeing the actual stamps when they are issued in the New Year.”

Maxine Cannon, General Manager Isle of Man Stamps and Coins said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Island of Culture and our set of eight stamps, kindly designed by Juan, will be launched in conjunction with the actual launch of the festival on January 6. Culture means different things to everyone but there is set to be something to suit every taste throughout 2014, with a colourful spectrum of events planned by the Isle of Man Arts Council to celebrate the richness of our Island and its cultural scene.”

To view the Island of Culture stamps and to pre-order please click here.

Winter flora features on first miniature sheet of 2014

The talented work of Island-based artist Catherine James is showcased in the first miniature sheet of stamps of 2014.

The stamps capture the beautiful flora of the winter months from rose-hips, red holly berries, fir cones, hellebores to frost-lined ivy leaves.

From a very early age Catherine has enjoyed the love of painting. Being the seventh child in a family of eight children, Catherine found it difficult to be heard amongst the constant chatter so tended to say very little but read as many books as she could find and made drawings on any available paper and spent as much time as possible in the woods and fields of Santon.

In the text which accompanies the miniature sheet Catherine reflects on how bleak the Manx winters can be, wet and cold and how “Manannan’s mantle of mist” can make it difficult to see further than the bottom of the garden. She remembers waking up on many a winter’s morning to windows limned with frost patterns (before central heating) – a magical transformation with the sight of hoar frost-edged leaves, rusty bracken, teasels and sea holly all set against a backdrop of winter lace trees with the glowing colours of rose hips in the hedges. She also recalls the beauty of bright red holly berries with their shining spiked leaves and ivy bowers bearing beautifully aligned fruits that ranged in vibrant colours throughout the cold season.

Commenting on the stamps Catherine said: “I felt very privileged to be asked to design the stamps for the miniature sheet. There is so much beautiful flora in the winter and it’s lovely to highlight this in the stamps. Yes a Manx winter can be cold and dark, but it can be incredibly beautiful. Seeing my artwork in its final form as a miniature sheet is very rewarding indeed.”

Maxine Cannon, General Manager Isle of Man Stamps & Coins said: “We were thrilled Catherine agreed to design one of our first stamp issues of next year. Her artwork radiates a real wintery feel of the flora that surrounds our Island at this time of year however the colours it displays adds a warm, gentle glow.”

To view the Winter Flora miniature sheet and to pre-order please click here.

Christmas stamps are a celebration collection of Post Office history

A look back at the Isle of Man Post Office’s 40 year history entitled ‘A Christmas Stamp Gallery’ is the subject of this year’s Christmas stamps.

The set of six stamps depict Christmas stamps from years gone by showcasing a variety of aspects of Christmas from the Three Wise Men, stained glass windows, Winter birds, churches in the snow to Christmas trees.

Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Isle of Man Stamps & Coins said: “This year we felt it would be a fitting postal tribute in itself to feature designs selected from our portfolio of Christmas issues as a celebration collection in our 40th Anniversary year. There have been a significant number of Christmas stamps produced and it was a difficult task to select just six to make the issue. However we feel they capture a little bit of everything when it comes to Christmas and what it means to so many.”

She added: “I’m sure it will be welcome news to our customers that the local and UK stamp values will be available in self-adhesive form this year – perfect for those people who send a lot of cards! They will be available in both sheets and booklets.”

The overall issue has been designed locally by Emma Cooke of EJC Design who said: “This issue presented the perfect opportunity to revisit some of the beautiful Christmas Stamps that have been issued by Isle of Man Post Office over the last 40 years. With 162 previous Christmas Stamps to choose from, it was quite a challenge to narrow the selection down to just six stamps. I think the final selection makes a lovely set and I’m looking forward to seeing them on the Christmas post that comes through my letterbox.”

‘A Christmas Stamp Gallery’ will be officially issued on October 17. For an exclusive look at the stamps please watch our video
You can also pre-order the stamps online here

Designer Emma Cooke of EJC Design with the collection of Christmas stamps issued over the past 40 years

Designer Emma Cooke of EJC Design with the collection of Christmas stamps issued over the past 40 years

 

Wildlife artist Dr Jeremy Paul’s big cats paintings to feature on new stamps

As Dr Jeremy Paul celebrates 25 years as a professional full-time wildlife artist, Isle of Man Post Office features his latest paintings as the subject of a new stamp issue, due for release in September.

Jeremy Paul is renowned around the globe for his talents as a wildlife artist and is based in the Isle of Man. In his career he has painted birds to polar bears, seals to baboons and one of his most recent projects showcase ‘Big Cats.’ The new stamps feature some of the most characteristic species of cat – the tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard and cheetah. All are in danger mostly due to habitat loss, poaching and persecution. Most now inhabit a tiny fraction of their original range and many are confined to national parks and reserves.

The commentary to support the illustrations has been written by Jeremy and not only provides background information about each animal, but also a personal account of his experience with them whether it be in their natural habitat or a reserve.

The release of the Big Cats stamp issue on September 13 ties in with the opening of Jeremy’s new exhibition at the Manx Museum in the Isle of Man. The exhibition, which will run until January next year, will feature approximately 35 paintings that have previously been unseen, some of which Jeremy has been working on for the past year as well as some from his earlier career as an artist.

Jeremy’s artwork is also featured on a new miniature sheet of stamps ‘A Journey through Africa’ which depict his pictures inspired by his trips to Tanzania, Zambia, Alamibia and Botswana to name but a few. It also marks the 40th anniversary of CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. CITES regulates international trade in close to 35,000 species of plants and animals, including timber and aquatic species, to ensure that such trade is legal, sustainable and traceable. This miniature sheet is due for release on the same day (September 13) and adds to this wonderful new collection of stamps by the talented Jeremy Paul.

Dr Jeremy said: “When you see your artwork on a stamp it gives me such an enormous thrill. It’s fantastic to see and a real honour. I never dreamed that my paintings would feature on stamps and I know many artists are so envious of this opportunity. With stamp issues I have done in the past I get contacted by people from all over the world asking for a signed first day cover – it’s just wonderful.”

To view the Big Cats stamps and the Journey through Africa miniature sheet and to pre-order please click here.

Island-based wildlife artist Jeremy Paul in his studio with the ‘Big Cats’ stamps due for release on September 13

Island-based wildlife artist Jeremy Paul in his studio with the ‘Big Cats’ stamps due for release on September 13

A Classic Encounter…

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A Classic Encounter...

Considered one of the most dramatic TT races of all time, the 1967 TT saw Mike Hailwood duel with Giacomo Agostini. We mark this historic encounter with our truly-collectable stamped print, signed and numbered by racing legend John McGuinness.In a limited edition of 500, the print features fabulous archive images of the race and riders and includes two stamps from our ‘Greatest Race’ collection. The stamps are hand-cancelled with the TT Grandstand postmark for the 24th August marking the day of the Classic TT2013 Re-enactment Parade, recreating the excitement of the famous battle, with John McGuinness riding Mike’s Honda RC181 and Agostini riding his own 1967 Senior-race MV Agusta 500.Our full-colour print incorporates a full text by motorsport journalist and photographer on the reverse and comes in a colourful MGP card wrapover – but is also ideal for framing!The race truly deserves the name ‘classic’ – Agostini broke Hailwood’s lap record on the first lap at a speed of 108.38 mph. Hailwood responded with a second lap at 108.77 mph. At the half way pit stop, Hailwood had cut Agostini’s lead to a couple of seconds and by the fifth lap, the riders appeared to be in a dead heat. The closest of finishes appeared to be on the cards until disaster struck Agostini when his chain broke at Windy Corner. Hailwood went on to win at a record 105.62 mph.

A great race and a great collectable for all motorcycle fans…

This issue is available at http://www.iomstamps.com from 24th August with FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY. Spend £15 on any of our IOM Stamps & Coins Special Motorcycling products to claim a free TT Tarmac (a great novelty). Simply write ‘FREE TARMAC’ in the comments box at the Checkout at http://www.iomstamps.com to receive your FREE gift.

Isle of Man’s stamp of approval for the arrival of HRH Prince George of Cambridge

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In celebration of the birth of a future heir to the British Monarchy, Isle of Man Post Office is producing royal memorabilia items to mark this key moment in British history.

It follows the news the world had been waiting for, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw the arrival of their first child a baby boy on Monday (July 22) at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. Named George Alexander Louis, the Prince is third in line to the throne and weighed 8lbs and 6oz.

The premium product is the limited edition of 500 Postal Tribute which contains a commemorative cover with gold foil postmark, birth announcement card (fully authenticated) and a mint sheet of stamps, priced £25. There is also a silver-foiled special commemorative envelope available, priced £8.50, which features stamps of the proud parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accompanied by details of the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge. A special feature of this product is that there are two unique postmarks namely ‘Royal Avenue’ and ‘Windsor Road.’ Enclosed in the cover envelope is a dedicated information card with a specially-commissioned text by leading royal journalist and biographer Claudia Joseph. The stamps and birth announcement are also available on a sheet priced at £8.

Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, said:

“We were thrilled to hear the news of the safe arrival of the Royal baby HRH Prince George of Cambridge. As this is such a historic occasion we wanted to issue royal baby souvenirs in celebration. These products are bound to be popular with collectors of royal memorabilia around the world and I’m sure the news of the royal baby will be one of those moments in your life when you will always remember where you were when you first heard it. We send our warm congratulations to the Royal couple.”

She added:

“We will be sending a special cover to William and Catherine’s home at Kensington Palace as well as to the parents of the four babies who were born on the Isle of Man on Monday (July 22), in celebration that the birth of their child coincided with the much anticipated delivery of the Royal couple’s baby boy.”

Get your royal baby souvenirs now by ordering them online here

‘Magical’ murals showcased on new miniature sheet of stamps

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The work of renowned Manx artist John Miller Nicholson is showcased in a new stamp issue by Isle of Man Post Office in the centenary year of his death.

St Thomas’ Church in Douglas is one of the town’s most hidden treasures. Behind the exterior of the church located on a busy main road lies an awe-inspiring interior decoration of murals hand-painted by a house painting business based in Douglas ran by John Nicholson and his brother James in 1896. So much of what was portrayed was symbolic, such as the vertical decoration on both gables representing the Tree of Life. In the chancel there are angles, musical and flying. The Archangel Michael is shown fighting a many-headed dragon, representing the devil, whilst Archangel Gabriel brings news to Mary that she is to be the mother of God.

Meanwhile either side of the arches in the nave religious symbols abound with the Ark of the Covenant, Golden Candle Stick and the Table of Shewbread. The four evangelists appear as a man, lion, ox and eagle. Next comes the lamb, pelican and dove – being well known representations of the very foundations of truths of the Christian faith.

St Thomas’ Church was designed by Ewan Christian, an architect of Manx decent, who chose the architecture of the 12th century for its style. It opened on 1st August 1849 and in 1882 Canon Savage was appointed to St Thomas’. A keen antiquarian with knowledge of church architecture, he put forward the idea that the church would be enhanced if the walls were decorated in a form appropriate to its style of architecture and so transpired the relationship with self-taught artist John Nicholson.

Often signing his work ‘J.M.N’, John Miller Nicholson was born in Douglas on the 29th January 1840, the son of William Nicholson, house painter and decorator. He was an excellent draughtsman who developed his skills as an apprentice with his father’s firm and through meticulous study of life in the colourful, bustling streets of Victorian Douglas.

Today the murals have undergone some restoration to protect their beauty and are a must-see for anyone who is a fan of Nicholson or indeed is intrigued to see what artistic heritage is in store behind those church doors.

Commenting on the miniature sheet of stamps Reverend Brady of St Thomas’ Church said:

“The stamps are wonderful and they reflect the historical nature of St Thomas’ Church. The murals are almost like hidden gems as many people don’t even know they exist. To have this magnificent artwork showcased in postage stamps is a real delight for our church – the murals are magical and there’s no other church like it for its architecture and internal decoration on the Island.”

The St Thomas’ Church Murals miniature sheet collection is released on August 8 but to view them and to pre-order please click here

Photo: Reverend Ian Brady with the St Thomas’ Church Murals miniature sheet of stamps

Celebrating 225 years of The Times newspaper

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Isle of Man Post Office marks the 225th anniversary of The Times newspaper by commemorating some of the most significant events of recent history reported in this world famous publication.

The Times dates back to 1788 and has covered every news story in history. All the headlines reproduced in this unique new stamp issue, in association with The Times newspaper, capture the drama and immediacy of particular news events flashed across the world.

People of a certain age vividly remember where they were when they heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas in November 1963. They can recollect the excitement and pride as England won the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, dramatically beating West Germany 4-2 in extra time, at the Old Empire Stadium.

People can still talk about watching in awe remarkable television pictures of American Apollo XI astronaut Neil Armstrong stepping down onto the surface of the Moon in July 1969. Residents in the Isle of Man recall with particular pleasure going to a post office and buying the first postage stamps issued by their new independent Postal Authority, in July 1973.

Each one of these key moments in history are featured on the stamps as well as two other significant occasions when the supersonic airliner Concorde retired from service in 2003 after 27 years of service and Her Majesty the Queen’s state visit to the People’s Republic of China in October 1986 when she was shown the iconic Great Wall of China.

The six Newspaper Headlines have been carefully selected and these stamps will appeal to a wide variety of thematic collectors from those interested in aviation, American history, royalty, space, football and postal history.

Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Isle of Man Stamps & Coins said:

“Residents of the Isle of Man, stamp collectors and non-collectors alike from countries throughout the world will find something of interest in this engaging Newspaper Headlines set of stamps. People in the Isle of Man over a certain age will well remember going to a post office and buying the first commemorative and definitive stamps issued by the new independent Postal Authority, in July 1973, 40 years ago.”

Please visit our website at www.iomstamps.com to find out more about our Newspaper Headlines collection of stamps and products and to pre-order.