World Stamps

By George DeKornfeld

New Zealand Christmas stamps feature designs from stained-glass windows

November 04, 2015 11:19 AM

  • New Zealand Post issued five Christmas stamps Nov. 4 featuring designs taken from stained-glass windows around New Zealand.

Pardon me, but wasn't it just summer? The windows in my house are closed, the wood stove is fired up, and I'm sitting here in my stamp den wondering what on earth happened to the warm weather in the Northeast.

Time seems to be speeding along at never-before-witnessed speeds, or so it seems, providing yet another in a long list of examples where my parents spoke truth, in this case when they'd say that “time flies.”

Clearly this perception isn't experienced when we're young, when even a single day can feel like it drags on forever. At the time I recall thinking my parents might have a screw or two loose.

Today, now with a good bit of mileage already behind me, I get what they were talking about.

So as we race toward the end of 2015 it should come as no large surprise that around the globe stamp issuing-agencies are starting to roll out their Christmas and holiday stamps. Having always appreciated all things stained glass, New Zealand Post's contribution to the season, issued Nov. 4, caught my eye.

Printed by Southern Colour Print Ltd. using offset lithography, these stamps will be available as three die-cut self-adhesives stamps; a set of five stamps with water activated gum individually printed in panes of 25, perforated 14; and a miniature sheet of five.

The 80¢ stamp depicts an angel as seen in the stained-glass window of St. Mark's in Carterton, New Zealand, an Anglican church built in 1875. The $1.40 denomination shows a white dove from the windows of St. Aidan's Anglican Church in Remuera, Auckland.

The $2 stamp shows Jesus and Mary from the windows of St. Mary's-In-Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland, another Anglican church, this one established in 1860.

The $2.50 denomination illustrates what has come to be called the “New Zealand Christmas Tree,” a Pohutukawa, as seen decorating the glass at the Christchurch Hospital Nurses Memorial Chapel.

The $3 depicts the Three Wise Men from the windows of St. Benedict's Church in Auckland.

The miniature sheet is printed on translucent paper with die-cut perforations that mimic the classical style and shape of stained-glass church windows, resulting in a very eye-catching item that will look stunning on mail pieces, in a thematic Christmas collection, or perched on an album page all on its own.