1980 Christmas

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1980 Christmas
Cat. Mint Unhinged Fine Used
10c "Madonna and Child with Cherubim" by Andrea della Robbia 239a $0.45
25c St Mary's Church, New Plymouth 239b $0.55
35c Rural Summer Picnic Scene 239c $0.80
Set of 3 239d $1.70
First Day Cover - 1 October 1980 239e $4.25
… Three Stamps : 10c (239a), 25c (239b), 35c (239c)
The Christmas 1980 issue has three stamps.

The 10 cent stamp features the "Madonna and Child with Cherubim" by Andrea della Robbia (1435 - 1525) - a terra-cotta sculpture covered with enamel glaze using a technique developed in the 1430s and 1440s by his uncle Luca. The glazed coating gives the colours of della Robbia's works a degree of durability impossible for sculpture that was simply painted. The sculpture is part of the Andrew W. Mellon Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

The 25 cent stamp features a drawing of Saint Mary's Church, New Plymouth - the oldest stone church in New Zealand. Construction began in March 1845 and the church opened for worship in September 1846. The Land Wars of the 1860s strongly affected the Parish and tombstones and memorials in the church bear witness to the conflicts between settlers and local Maori at that time.

The 35 cent stamp illustrates a couple having a Christmas Day picnic in the height of summer. The Southern Hemisphere's summer at Christmas time has led to radically different traditions from their Northern Hemisphere counterparts.

The Postage Stamps of New Zealand Volume VIII
Edited by B. G. Vincent FRPSNZ
Published 1998 by The Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand Incorporated (ISSN 0-9597883-1-X)
Pages 323 - 324, 342 - 343
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