Saturday 19 October 2019

Christmas is coming early in some Post Office branches.

My fellow-blogger White Knight has seen the FDC producers' websites where this year's Christmas stamps are already on show (from 8 October), although I can't tell you about them until the issue date.

As usual there will be eight stamps, an unnecessary gummed miniature sheet and an even more unnecessary Generic Smilers sheet - unnecessary when you remember the original reason for producing these*.  You can see the low-resolution images here, and also on the websites here and here §.

Early release
But as these images are already out there for you to look at I see no problem in passing on these pictures of stamps purchased, I assume, in Hampshire posted at the Southampton/Portsmouth/IOW mail centre.   They aren't very clear pictures, and the postmark wasn't very good to start with, so I have digitally adjusted the close-up to show the date of 17 October!  Only these six stamps were on sale - the 2nd & 1st class, and Large stamps, and the £1.35 and £1.55.

* Generic Smilers Sheets were originally produced for collectors as an almost face-value substitute for the personalised Smilers Sheets, which cost much more.  The stamps were not the same as those in counter sheets or booklets, being printed by litho rather than gravure.  Some albums have spaces for these stamps although they are not separately catalogued by Stanley Gibbons.

But now that Smilers Sheets are no longer available these are purely a money spinner, and one which costs £18.40 for a basic set costing £10, leaving seven each of the 2nd and 1st class stamps to use for postage. 

§  You will also see, on the home page of that site, a commemorative cover related to today's happenings in the UK Parliament.  It's to be hoped that not too many have been printed, for the sake of the business, as things have turned out.  Whilst commemorative and political covers have long been collected within our hobby and by social historians and ephemera/memorabilia collectors, the ones produced for events that didn't happen - like the coronation of King Edward VIII - rarely turn out to be valuable.


  1. As the stamps on the miniature sheet are gummed they will be easier to remove for use by stamp collectors compared to the self adhesive ones.

    1. But the self-adhesive ones are the ones that people will use for posting cards/packets, the gummed ones will almost certainly only be bought by collectors.

      If you are buying just to get them used ... that's a different matter.

  2. I understand from German clients that over there a different printing method means a separate lsting

    John embrey

    1. Although a philatelist, I am not a collector so find the gummed Xmas miniature sheet useful (because all my 'collection' will end up on correspondence eventually). I seldom need Large stamps or to send stuff abroad; so a couple of Xmas themed ones should last me until the price rise in March. I prefer gummed stamps to self-adhesive ones as I fear lest they lose their stickiness by the time I shall use them - as often happens with envelopes. The remarkable thing about this year's Christmas issue is that there are just religious ones this year. The 'useless' Xmas stamps were the insipid non-religious stamps. I happen to be an atheist but Xmas is a Christian festival so I stick the religious ones on my cards & letters every year, because they are germane. Even better is that the 2019 ones are the most stylish and attractive ones yet and I shall be stocking up. I shall look forward to reading about them here as soon as we are allowed to.

    2. For what it's worth, the Christmas issue has started to appear on the RM web site. At the moment you have to go to as they haven't sorted out all their pages yet. Also most of the images are not in place, but it's possible to place orders.


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