The Isle of Man Post Office is marking the Chinese Year of the Ox, which begins on February 12, with a new set of endearing stamps designed by Manx artist Jay Cover. One of the stamps contains a nod to the ancient myth of the race between creatures to determine the order of the 12-year cycle in the Chinese zodiac calendar – a race in which the rat (which was last year’s zodiac) leapt past the ox to become the first creature in the cycle.
It is the first time triangular stamps have been created by any of the British postal administrations, which also encompasses the Royal Mail and the Channel Islands. The set has been designed so that the stamps all line up in the same orientation in the stamp sheet. This means that the triangle’s apex is at the top of two designs and the bottom of the other two, which inadvertently lends one of the designs an even greater resemblance to the Laughing Cow, but makes for a pleasing layout nonetheless.
Cover’s Year of the Ox stamp collection will be available through the Isle of Man Post Office in a number of forms, including imperforate sheetlets and a presentation pack.