Royal Mail Unveils Commemorative Merchant Navy Stamps

Royal Mail has unveiled a new set of Merchant Navy stamps to commemorate its contribution to British life over the last 200 years. Designed by Silk Peace, one set of six stamps features different merchant ships spanning two centuries.

A miniature sheet of four further stamps explores the vital role taken by the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. Both sets of stamps go on sale from today along with some of the associated collectors’ products that have also been designed by Silk Pearce.

“We believe this commemorative stamp issue will be valued by anyone with an interest in Britain’s nautical history, its development as a trading nation or the essential part played by the Merchant Navy during the Second World War,” said Catharine Brandy, design manager for stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail.

One of the principal design challenges for the main stamps was to identify paintings of six historically significant ships that could work together as a set.

Some images already existed in national collections or were privately owned but there were no suitable images of the diesel-powered, bulk cargo carrier ‘Lord Hinton’ that entered routine service in 1986.

The design team therefore commissioned a new painting by marine artist Ted Walker, who also painted the ‘RMS Britannia’ image used on one of the other stamps. Creative head, Peter Silk, said: “It’s always an honour to be asked to design Royal Mail stamps but we’re particularly excited about this project where we have worked on two complementary sets as well as the associated collectors’ products.”

The collectors’ products include: a special presentation pack holding both sets of stamps, a first day cover and two special postmarks.

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