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.

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

 

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.

Chinese Year of the Snake celebrated with miniature stamp sheet

David Cheung

David Cheung

Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present a miniature sheet of stamps to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Snake, which is issued to recognise our attendance at the China International Collection Expo to be held in Beijing later this year.

Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival and celebrates the start of new life and the season for ploughing and sowing.

2013 is the year of the black Snake and begins on February 10, shortly after the new moon in Aquarius, the humanitarian of the Zodiac. The Snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac which consists of 12 animal signs. It is the most enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the animal signs.

Chinese New Year festivities start on the first day of lunar month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. Before the start of the festivities, Chinese people spring clean their houses to sweep away any bad luck. On New Year’s Eve houses are decorated with paper scrolls with good luck phrases such as ‘Happiness’ and ‘Wealth.’ Families gather together for a large traditional meal. People will stay up till midnight setting off fireworks to frighten away evil spirits. Red symbolises fire which will scare aware evil spirits, so people dress head to foot in new red clothing. On New Year’s Day, children will wake up to find a red envelope filled with money and sweets under their pillows left by their parents and grandparents. Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival on the fifteenth day of the month. The lanterns are often hand painted with scenes from history or legend.

On the Isle of Man many Chinese inhabitants will be closing their businesses to celebrate this special time of the year. David Cheung, owner of China Town on Douglas Promenade explains what Chinese New Year means to him and his family. “It’s a very special time. It’s the top celebration for family and friends being together and a time for many traditions such as spring cleaning before the New Year and picking a special flower to have in the house. This year my family and I will be celebrating the New Year in Hong Kong with close family.”

He added: “I very much like the new stamps, they are nice and colour. I’m delighted to see the Chinese New Year recognised by the Isle of Man Post Office.”

Please visit our website at www.iomstamps.com to find out more about The Year of the Snake 2013 collection of stamps and products and to pre-order.

A Celebration of Coronation Commemoratives

Alex Downie OBE MLC

Alex Downie OBE MLC

A new set of stamps to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation will be issued next month.

For generations, commemorative souvenirs to mark the coronations of British monarchs ranging from medals, china or pottery drinking mugs, badges etc have been produced as treasured keep-sakes of these landmark occasions in British history. No doubt grand celebrations are sure to be repeated in 2013, the year that marks the sovereign’s diamond anniversary of her crowning country and will also be celebrated with new commemorative items. Pictured above is Alex Downie OBE MLC who has been a collector of coronation items for over 40 years and whose memorabilia features in some of the artwork within the overall stamp issue.

Commemorative souvenirs date back from the coronation of Queen Victoria through to our present monarch. They were and remain, remembrances of times when procession, pageants, firework displays, street parties and sports celebrated the coronation of a new King or Queen. Some could be bought while others were ‘awarded’ to young people, to be kept as a reminder of events that were high points in their lives.

Probably the shortest-lived royal souvenir in the Isle of Man was a replica of the St Edward’s coronation crown. It was made of 1200 lbs of confectionery rock and was eaten by schoolchildren on the day it had been made to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Known as the ‘Crown of Sugar’, it was exhibited for a short time in the front window of its maker, Johnson and Co. Then on Jubilee Day it was smashed into easily sucked pieces. Tickets were issued to children and they exchanged these at the shop for five-ounce bags of pieces.

There have been many other notable souvenirs including coloured souvenir postcards in 1902 to mark the coronation of King Edward VII, medals and flags. By the time of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II there were scores of commercial souvenirs. These ranged from men’s tie pins to royal-crested handbags. Virtually anything was packed decoratively, even pencils and paint boxes for children and tinned biscuits and chocolates. Only time will tell what this year’s coronation souvenirs will be!

Please visit our website at www.iomstamps.com to find out more about The Coronation of HM Queen 1953- 2013 collection of stamps and products and to pre-order.

First stamp issue of 2013

Lewis Chessmen Stamps

Lewis Chessmen Stamps

Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present this beautiful set of stamps, in collaboration with Manx National Heritage, to mark another return to the Island of the manuscript of the Chronicles of the Kings of Man and the Isles and the loan of six magnificent Lewis Chessmen showcased in the flagship exhibition ‘The Forgotten Kingdom?’ in an outstanding display at the Manx Museum.

The Chronicles are the earliest written accounts of the Island and document many of the most significant events of the medieval age. The Manx nation is fortunate enough to be able to witness the temporary return of these legendry, medieval manuscripts and the loan of a selection of the wonderful Lewis Chessmen in an outstanding display at the Manx Museum. The chronicles were written by monks at Rushen Abbey and have been in the collections of the British Library for over two hundred years.

Dot Tilbury, General Manager Isle of Man Stamps & Coins said: “When we heard the Lewis Chessmen and more significantly the Chronicles of Man were coming to the Island, we relished the opportunity to feature them in our stamp programme for 2013 and the results are stunning. The stamps will be officially launched on 11th January next year. The Chronicles teach us about early life in the Isle of Man, a time when the Island was the seat of power in a dominant sea kingdom that reached from the Irish Sea to the North Atlantic Ocean.”

The earliest and most important manuscript from the Isle of Man is The Chronicles of Kings of Man and the Isles, which is on loan from the British Library. The Lewis Chessmen were discovered on the west cost of the Isle of Lewis and were made around 1200AD probably in the city of Trondheim in Norway. Most of them are carved from pieces of Walrus tusk, though three are made from the tooth of a sperm whale. Six pieces from the iconic collection of the Lewis Chessmen on loan from the British Museum will illustrate the stories told in the exhibition and of course feature on the forthcoming new stamps.

The exhibition is at the Manx Museum – admission is free and is open from 10am –5pm Monday to Saturday until it comes to a close in March.

The stamps are available to pre-order now. To view them please click here or alternatively visit www.iomstamps.com

 

Lovely Words!

Bishop of Sodor and Man

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Wow, lovely words about our Lewis Chessman Stamps from Robert M E Paterson, The Bishop of Sodor and Man! How kind of him, we are very proud! :)

“I am delighted to see the 80p stamp with the figure of one of my predecessors on it – a Bishop of Sodor and Man from the twelfth century ‘Lewis Chessmen’. The Isle of Man Post should be congratulated on commissioning such an interesting, evocative and attractive set of stamps.

Robert Sodor as Mannin.

The Rt Revd Robert M E Paterson, Bishop of Sodor and Man”

Click HERE to order the stamps

www.iomstamps.com