Isle of Man – Manx Winter by Julia Ashby Smyth

Isle of Man - Manx Winter by Julia Ashby Smyth

Isle of Man Post Office is delighted our 2022 Christmas stamp issue depicting Manx winter scenes illustrated by local artist Julia Ashby-Smyth. This issue represents the final Isle of Man stamps to receive the royal approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and is therefore the last use of her effigy upon a Manx stamp. 

The Isle of Man Post Office’s relationship with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II began when the Island gained postal independence on 5th July 1973, since then each stamp released has received the royal approval of Her Majesty, displaying her royal cypher or effigy. This collection is the final issue to be approved and to feature the cypher or effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. 

This collection of Manx winter scenes has been beautifully illustrated by local artist Julia Ashby-Smyth, a freelance illustrator whose much-loved works can be sighted across our Island, particularly throughout book illustrations and local branding. 

Julia states “I love detail, much of my work being quite intricate, telling stories layer upon layer, throughout an image; my avid interest in the Manx landscape, its folklore, mythology and symbolism often permeating through to paper.”

Isle of Man Stamps and Coins General Manager, Maxine Cannon said: “For me and a great number of colleagues, both past and present, there could have been few jobs where every day of our working life we were mindful of our deep and long lasting association with Queen Elizabeth II. This set of stamps by talented local artist Julia Ashby-Smyth represents the final collection of stamps to receive Her Majesty’s approval, making them a piece of our Island’s postal history. Julia’s seasonal artworks are a beautiful depiction of our Island throughout the winter months and make for the perfect festive issue.”

Artist Julia Ashby-Smyth said “I am delighted and honoured that these watercolours have been chosen for the new ‘winter’ issue. Inspired by captured moments, most often whilst out walking, bundled up in layers of wool, the cold air nipping at my nose, these scenes bring back many happy memories. The Agneash image, for instance, was painted after a very happy day sledging down snowy slopes. I walked home through an entirely golden pink landscape, even the seagulls were pink. Winter light is exquisite, creating spectacular colours, deeply hued shadows and extraordinarily beautiful skies.”

Issued on 2nd November 2022, the collection is available as a Stamp Set, Self-Adhesive Set, Sheet Set, Self-Adhesive Sheet Set, Presentation Pack, First Day Cover, Self-Adhesive First Day Cover and a limited edition special cover in honour of the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

Technical Details

Text: Julia Ashby-Smyth

Design: Isle of Man Advertising & PR

Sheet Size: 155mm x 155mm

Format: Sheets of 20

Process: Offset lithography

Colours: 4

Paper: 413 True White Litho FSC 110

Perforations: 11.5 per 2cm

Stamp Size: 31mm x 25.96mm

Printer: bpost

Date of Issue: 2nd November 2022

Limited Editions: Presentation Pack 1100; First Day Cover 1500