Prehistoric Britain is laid out in these beautiful Royal Mail stamp illustrations

UK illustrator Rebecca Strickson designs a timeline of the UK’s prehistory for the latest Royal Mail special stamp issue.

Making the subject of prehistoric UK artefacts appeal to the masses is no small feat, yet illustrator Rebecca Strickson has managed to do so with her detailed designs for the latest Royal Mail special stamp issue.

Teaming up with Manchester agency True North, Rebecca’s stamp designs follow a timeline of prehistory. From an ancient ritual 11,000 years old to the Iron Age of around 300 BC, the images depict ambitious building projects and metal working.

Image: Averbury Stone Circles, Neolithic, located near Marlborough, Wiltshire. 

Rebecca has created line work illustrations layered over photography to tell individual stories of artefacts, comparing how they look today to how it might have been originally used.

Artefacts include Drumbest Horns, a Star Carr Headdress, the Battersea Shield and Mold Cape. The stamp illustrations also depict Skara Brae Village, Maiden Castle Hill Fort, Grime’s Graves Flint Mines and the Avebury Stone Circles. 

Image: Drumbest Horns from the Bronze Age, found in Northern Ireland and exhibited at the Ulster Museum, Belfast.

To portray the artefacts as accurately as possible, True North senior designer Sarah Dutton researched each one in depth with historians and experts from the British Museum, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and Ulster Museum to find out how they might have originally been used. 

“The challenge was in finding a creative solution that would apply to both sites and artefacts, showing the level of detail needed to tell their stories on two completely different scales,” she says.

Image: Skara Brae Village, Neolithic, located on the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

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Rebecca was able to see the Battersea Shield and Mold Cape at the British Museum to get an understanding of how they used to be worn. 

“The workmanship on them both is truly staggering,” she says. “These incredible artefacts, earthworks and places we treasure today deserve to be appreciated as the amazing feats they are.”

Image: Battersea Shield from the Iron Age, exhibited at The British Museum. 

Rebecca, based in Peckham, works mostly in illustration. She combines intricate hand-rendered aesthetic with a choice of subject for clients such as The O2, Channel 4 and Sony. 

The Royal Mail Ancient Britain Special stamp issue is now available from post offices and the Royal Mail website.

Image: Mold Cape from the Bronze Age, found in Wales and exhibited at The British Museum. 

Image: Maiden Castle Hill Fort from the Iron Age, located near Dorchester, Dorset.

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Image: Star Carr Headress, Mesolithic, found in north Yorkshore and exhibited at The British Museum.