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Agatha Christie

150th Anniversary of the
National Portrait Gallery

(click to enlarge)

August 25, 2006
offset lithography, perf 14
Scott #1164  -   perf. 13½   -  36×36 mm

Agatha Christie
Antigua & Barbuda
Central African Republic
Great Britain - 1990
Great Britain - 1991
Great Britain - 2016
Isle of Man - 2003
Isle of Man - 2006
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
Somali Republic

One of a set of eight stamps issued by the Isle of Man Post in conjuntion with the National Portrait Gallery London, for the 150th Anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery.

In 1930, Agatha Christie was commissioned to write Manx Gold, a mystery story serialized in the Daily Dispatch. It contained cryptic clues to the hiding places on the island of four £100 treasure-hunt prizes, with the idea of enticing vacationers to the Isle of Man — and it worked!

the complete set (Scott 1163-70):

unknown artist
Ewan Christian

Ewan Christian was a distinguished church architect, who belonged to the Christian family of Milntown in the north of the Island, but more importantly for this stamp issue, he was the architect who designed the National Portrait Gallery in London, on a site directly to the north of the National Gallery. Sadly he died before he could see his work completed. During his lengthy career he worked on over a thousand churches and vicarages throughout Britain, including St Thomas' Church, Douglas; Marown Parish Church; Christ Church, Laxey; and on the Chapel of Ease at Cronkboume. His list of personal commissions was the largest recorded of any of the great Victorian architects. He was elected President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the highest honour that can be bestowed on an architect.

John Gay
Agatha Christie

In 1930 the crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie was commissioned to write a mystery story which was serialized in the Daily Dispatch. It was entitled Manx Gold and it contained cryptic clues to the hiding places on the Island of four E100 treasure-hunt prizes. The hope was that the story would tempt visitors to the Island to search for the prize.

Harry Furniss
Sir Hall Caine

Sir Hall Caine was one of the most popular Victorian romantic novelists. His titles sold hundreds of thousands of copies and many of his stories were made into films. He lived in considerable style in Greeba Castle in the centre of the Island and was a well-known personality as well as a friend of royalty.

John Condé, after John Russell
William Bligh

Captain William Bligh was stationed in the Isle of Man in the mid-1770s, sailing from Douglas on the vessel Ranger chasing smugglers across the Irish Sea. During this time he met the Heywood and Christian families, members of which were to play such a crucial role in the infamous mutiny on the Bounty in 1789.

Sir Thomas Lawrence
Lady Maria Callcott

Lady Maria Callcott came to the Isle of Man as a young girl but was soon travelling the world exploring many countries collecting seeds which she brought back to Kew Gardens. She was a talented artist and drew sketches of the landscapes she saw on her tours. She also wrote travel journals and children's books, the most famous of which was Little Arthur's England.

Henry Warren
John Martin

The English painter John Martin was a frequent visitor to the Isle of Man. He specialised in grand biblical landscapes which often caused a sensation when they were exhibited. It is said that he got some of his inspiration from the Manx countryside. Whilst he was on holiday in the Island in 1854 he suffered an attack of paralysis and died. He is buried in Braddan cemetery.

Stephen Hyde
Sir John Betjeman

Sir John Betjeman visited the Isle of Man many times and was extremely fond of it. He wrote affectionately of its whitewashed walls and fuchsia hedges, of its glorious scenery and its happy tourists. He particularly liked travelling on the Island's Victorian railways. For many years he was Patron of the Mananan Festival in Port Erin.

Herbert Lambert
Sir Edward Elgar, Bt

Sir Edward Elgar, one of the greatest English composers, visited the Isle of Man in 1914 to adjudicate at the annual Manx Music Festival. He was impressed by Manx singers and urged them to form a Manx National Choir, which he said would be able to take its place amongst the great choirs of the world.