The Royal Mail has released a lovely set of Pre-Raphaelite stamps in time for the holiday season. The collection was chosen by designer Andrew Ross, who examined stained glass from churches throughout England in order to compile the artwork for the set of stamps. The final designs were taken from churches in Cumbria, Norfolk, Somerset, East Sussex and Wiltshire.The angel with the mandolin (middle) was designed by William Morris, while the Wise Man stamp (bottom middle) is from some stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones. The art for the 1st, 56p and £1.35 stamps are from stained glass created by Henry Holiday, who worked with Edward Burne-Jones in his studios.
"We are extremely privileged to have access to such a rich history of beautiful stained glass designs in churches and other buildings around the UK," said Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps, Royal Mail.
"These precious images of the nativity have a timeless appeal and are a wonderful way of telling the story of Christmas here and around the world."
It appears that the stamps already have a following - Wales online reports that a number of the Pre Raphaelite stamps were stolen before they were made available to the general public. As a result, "ANYONE offered Royal Mail’s newest commemorative Christmas stamps on the cheap is being asked to contact police after a new delivery was stolen in a burglary." The thieves weren't just desperate romantics, though - they also stole cash, phone cards and cigarettes.