The issue, Ivory Manx Cats, features four stamps showcasing Lesley Anne's distinctive style and the familiar and much-loved tailless Manx Cat, one of the Island's most famous national symbols.
Each stamp includes a Celtic chain frame design and a patchwork quilt background incorporating emblems with flora and fauna evoking the spirit of the Isle of Man.
The 47p stamp displays a Manx Tabby with Mugwort on a Mugwort quilt, the £1.30 stamp two Manx Cats, ginger and black and white, on a Fuchsia quilt, the £1.57 stamps a Manx Cat with kittens on a Ragwort and Daisy quilt and, finally, the £3.68 stamp a Manx Cat with Harebells and rabbits on a Harebell quilt.
The stamps will be issued on 10th October and the collection includes stamp sheets, a four-page presentation pack folder holding a mint set of the stamps and a First Day Cover, with a full set of the stamps cancelled with the first day of issue using a unique postmark. The folder and information card inside the First Day Cover feature the history and mythology of the Manx Cat brought to life by Isle of Man writer Valerie Caine.
Lesley Anne is widely regarded as the most talented cat artist of this generation; at the very core of her work is the fact she loves cats and her art clearly reflects this. She has been illustrating and painting all her life, having studied at St Albans School of Art then working as an art teacher, where she met her future husband Evan before fulfilling her ambitions of becoming a fulltime mum and being able to paint as much as family life allowed. Lesley Anne's work has evolved into a recognisable genre and technique, where attention to detail is paramount to the appeal of her work.
Commenting on the new stamps, she explained: 'This commission gave me the opportunity to bring together some of my favourite things: cats, flora, fauna, and the designing and making of patchwork quilts, for the cats to be seen against. Each quilt embodies the spirit of the Island. The quilts echo this quotation, and are a comfortable and interesting place for cats to be.'
Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, added: 'We were very pleased to be able to work with an artist as respected as Lesley Anne to celebrate our very own Manx Cats, and we are delighted with the result. The stamps not only display the familiar image of this distinctive cat in a wonderful style, but also seem to capture something of each cat's character, from playful to inquisitive. The addition of the quilts makes the designs stand out, and the inclusion of well-known Manx emblems make this stamp set not only a celebration of our Manx Cats, but also of the Isle of Man itself.'
Ivory Manx Cats can be ordered here.
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