The 1978 Andrea della Robbia
Christmas stamp is one of the few Christmas issues reproduced from a sculpture. Mother and child have solemn expressions, and the two cherubim, represented only by sets of wings and haloed faces, are only slightly more cheerful. Modest in size, the original relief was made of white terra-cotta glazed with enamel, and would have been used as a contemplative image, the sorrow of the mother being something viewers could sympathize with and meditate upon (National Gallery 1994). The traditional stamp, designed by Bradbury Thompson, represents the entire sculpture, and was issued in sheets of 100 stamps (Postal Bulletin, September 7, 1978).