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Christmas 2011 stamps from Liechtenstein

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Philatelie Liechtenstein has come up with a novelty for this year's traditional Christmas stamp. For the first time the stamps probably in greater demand than any others in the year are being issued in self-adhesive form. This is in response to repeated requests from customers.

As this year's Christmas face-design subjects Christmas cribs have been chosen. A section taken from the "Crib at the parish church of St. Gallus, Triesen" is shown on the first stamp. This depiction of the nativity scene is a relief mural handcarved in 1925-26 to a commission from Anton Frommelt, then parish priest of Triesen, by the Tyrol artist Johannes Troyer from sketches left after his early death by Josef Bachlechner. In 1994 the relief was restored as part of the church renovation.

The second stamp shows the "St. Florin parish church Vaduz crib". This crib was made between 1920 and 1925 from wood and bark by the South Tyrolese crib-maker Ferdinand Stuflesser. The 32 hand-carved attendant wooden figures (Holy Family, angels, ox and ass, shepherds, sheep and the Three Magi), which are up to 50 cm tall, were made by the same artist. Both crib and figures were restored in the 1980s.

A scene from the "Parish church of the Assumption Bendern crib" completes the 2011 Christmas issue. This crib was constructed in 1982 by the Liechtenstein pioneer crib-maker Heinz Ritter of Schaanwald, by Ambros and Richard Hagen of Tisis and by Peter Hasler of Gamprin. At the same time the existing group of carved and set wooden figures almost a meter in height has been augmented with three sheep carved by the Vaduz stone-sculptor and carver Engelbert Ospelt.

These exceptional stamps were designed by Stephanie Keiser.

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