Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vintage Christmas stamps


We know I don't use Christmas stamps, but... I've just listed some lovely vintage Christmas postage stamps in my etsy shop.

Above, vintage 1982-1983 Christmas stamps, 8 1982-1983 20-cent stamps. Four have artwork of Santa Claus, and four have artwork featuring outdoor winter scenes.

Vintage 1989 Christmas stamp booklet: Carracci artwork, mint condition

These stamps are in a vintage 1989 Christmas stamp booklet with Carracci artwork from the National Gallery. The booklet contains 20 25-cent stamps, all in mint condition.

From Arago:
"Lodovico Carracci’s “The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria” begins to move into the Italian Baroque style esteemed by Samuel Kress, who donated this and other paintings from that period to the National Gallery. The stamps, designed by Bradbury Thompson, were issued in sheets and books of twenty: a new format for Christmas stamps (Postal Bulletin, Oct. 19, 1989).

The lithographed, engraved design for the stamp represents only a portion of the composition of the painting, which includes Mary and angels above the sleeping Saint Catherine, for whom the painting is named. The scene illustrates the “mystic marriage” of Catherine, who dreamed Jesus “placed a ring on her finger to signify betrothal,” and indeed, she wears a ring in the painting (De Grazia 1996). While the luminous colors of the painting are not communicated on the stamp, the elegant forms of the mother and child are, with Jesus appearing more child-like in this version than in many other Christmas stamp images (De Grazia 1996)."

Vintage 1990 Christmas stamp booklet: Antonello artwork, mint condition

From the next year, I also have the Vintage 1990 Christmas stamp booklet with Antonello artwork. This booklet also contains 20 25-cent stamps, all in mint condition.

From Arago on this stamp:
"The stamp depicts Antonello da Messina's (c. 1430-1479) "Madonna and Child," which is housed at the National Gallery. Designed by Bradbury Thompson, the stamps were issued in panes of fifty stamps and booklets of twenty. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed the stamps by the offset/intaglio process."


Finally, a mixed lot of vintage unused Christmas postage, with the following items:

1 - 29 cent Jack in the box Greetings stamp, self-adhesive
2 - 20 cent Fra Filippo Lippi National Gallery Christmas Mary and Jesus painting stamps
1 - 22 cent Luca della Robbia, Detroit Institute of Arts Christmas Mary and Jesus on blue
1 - 6 cent toy train Christmas stamp

I know a lot of folks send holiday or Christmas cards, and if you're looking to dress up those items with some themed postage, these may be right up your alley.