Musicians, Madonna on Christmas stamps

Friday, October 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ This year's Christmas stamps feature four colorful holiday music makers and a Madonna painting.

The holiday stamps go on sale Oct. 23 in New York City and nationwide the following day.

This year's Madonna is based on a painting done about 1520 by artist Jan Gossaert. It is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Two of the music-maker stamps feature a fanciful Santa, one on drums and the other with a trumpet. The others show reindeer playing panpipes and a horn. They were created by artist Diane Teske Harris of Billings, Mont.

All are 37-cent self-adhesive stamps.

Christmas stamps were first issued in 1961 and have become increasingly popular. The religious stamps featuring Renaissance Madonna paintings began in 1966.