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14th September 2022

Rosalind Dease (b.1928) designed a number of stamps both in her own name and with her then-husband, David Gentleman (b.1930), who is this country's most prolific stamp designer.  Special Christmas stamps were first issued in 1966, so Rosalind's set of three which feature children playing with toys, were in the vanguard of a fresh, contemporary style. She undertook meticulous research into dolls and toys for the designs; the rocking horse is typical of the 1880s. Rosalind's daughter, Fenella was the source of inspiration for the girl in very 1960s clothes. The Queen's head in gold was the new, commemorative version and, unusually for the time, the stamp is horizontal because it was thought that people addressed envelopes close to the top before affixing the stamp. 326,078,360 rocking horse stamps were sold, which gives some idea of the enormous number of stamps produced during the Queen's reign. The Postal Museum is a valuable resource, and its background to this set by Rosalind Pease makes clear the complex process involved in producing a new stamp design. 

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