The Icelandic Book of Drawings – a new theme of Christmas stamp issue

October 6th, 2014 is glad to announce that Icelandic Post has already designed and is ready to release a series of Christmas stamps. The issue consists of three items that are to be put into circulation on the 6th of November.

This year the Christmas stamp motifs feature a medieval manuscript called the Icelandic Book of Drawings. The motifs consist of the following drawings: The Nativity of Jesus, the Adoration of the Magi and the Annunciation of Mary.

The Book of Drawings is unique amongst Icelandic manuscripts and the only manuscript of its kind in the Nordic countries. The book contains model drawings which were collected by artists in medieval times. Only thirty-six such medieval books of templates have been preserved in Western Europe and the Icelandic Book of Drawings is the only one to have been preserved in the Nordic countries.

The manuscript may have been owned by the Monastery of Þingeyri in medieval times, having been used by various artists until it came into the possession of manuscript collector Árni Magnússon around 1700.