This is the first set of "Painting" stamps issued by Dubai. It is unusual that no paintings showing Middle Eastern scenes, nor individuals were used for any of the Painting series. This set was issued to appeal to the topical collectors of Painting stamps. The three portraits selected for this issue are from paintings hanging in the National Gallery in London. The selection was based on whether they would be suitable for reduction to stamp size, and the format of the issue was prepared on the instruction of the agent, to mainly appeal to collectors.
In a letter dated 27 February 1995, from Harrison & Sons, Ltd., Mr. J.F. Harley, the company archivist wrote, "You may be amused to learn the reason for using the portrait of Thomas Earl of Arundel. With the agent, I helped choose the paintings and my Sales Director then lived in Arundel, a town in Sussex, and we thought it would be appropriate to use the painting of the Earl of Arundel as a respect to him".
This issue is difficult to fully understand as the postal announcement, catalogs and price lists describe the three sheets and souvenir sheet differently. The postal announcement described the sheets as having decorative borders and the "miniature sheet" as having plain borders. Another catalog states the "souvenir sheet" is also found imperforate. The imperforate items are proofs of the stamp and have irregular and odd sized borders. If anyone has additional information please contact the author.
1R - A Peasant Boy Leaning on a Sill - Murillo
1R - The Straw Hat - Peter Paul Rubens
1R - Thomas, Earl of Arundle - Peter Paul Rubens
Each stamp was issued in a separate sheet of six (2 x 3), whereas, the souvenir sheet of six stamps (2 x 3) was issued in tete-beche pairs. The small sheetlest for each issue is often mistaken for a souvenir sheet, which it is not.