Royal Mail Honors David Bowie on a Set of 10 Stamps

Songwriter, performer, and music innovator David Bowie will be honored on a set of 10 commemorative stamps to be issued March 14 by Royal Mail of Great Britain.

Bowie — considered by many critics, music historians, and fans as one of the most influential musicians and performing artists of the modern era — would have been 70 on January 8, but died from cancer a year ago on January 10.

Six stamps will feature album covers: Hunky Dory; Aladdin Sane; “Heroes”; Let’s Dance; Earthling and ★ [Blackstar], which was released on the singer’s birthday, two days before he died. The arc of the vinyl album protrudes from the right hand side of each stamp.

Another four stamps will show Bowie performing on tours across four decades: The Ziggy Stardust Tour (1972); The Stage Tour (1978);The Serious Moonlight Tour (1983); and A Reality Tour (2004).

Endlessly innovative and pioneering, Bowie is widely regarded as having elevated his music to an art form. He also was a music composer and producer, writer, and actor, performing in movies (The Man Who Fell to Earth) and on Broadway (Elephant Man).

In its appreciation of Bowie after his death, USA Today used such phrases as “transformative,” “enduring chameleon,” “charismatic,” and “shape-shifter” to describe him.

This is the first time Royal Mail has dedicated an entire stamp issue to an individual music artist or cultural figure. Royal Mail has honored two other rock-era musical groups with stamps: The Beatles (2010) and Pink Floyd (2015). In addition to Bowie’s 70th birthday, the stamps coincide with the 50th anniversary of the singer’s first album.

Alongside the special stamps, first-day covers and a presentation pack, Royal Mail will offer several limited edition David Bowie souvenirs, some of which have an edition limit of just 950. Advance orders are being accepted on the Royal Mail website ( The set of six album stamps (£6.48) and four-stamp performance minisheet (£4.32) will cost approximately $13.60.

How to Prepare for a Visit to a Stamp Show

Assuming you are a collector, review and copy your want list into a simple easy-to-carry and easy-to-read format, and BRING it with you. There’s nothing worse than being at show surrounded by millions of stamps and not knowing what you would like to buy. Be sure to bring any other collecting tools you’ll need, and a couple of pens (they get lost) to scratch off your purchases.

Check to see what exhibits will capture your interest. You might be able to do this ahead of time if exhibit titles and descriptions are available through the show’s website or exhibit committee. Or, check the program as soon as you arrive.

For a very large show, such as StampShow sponsored by the American Philatelic Society, check the official website ahead of time to learn of special events, workshops, or meetings you might be interested in.

If you specialize in specific areas, you might be able to obtain a dealer’s list ahead of time to see if dealers specializing in those areas will be on hand. If that is not possible, ask at the registration desk or speak to the bourse chair, who might be able to guide you.

If you are new to collecting and attending a big show, like an international or national show, take a deep breath and don’t get overwhelmed. There should be a show program. Look it over carefully to match your interests with workshops, exhibits, meetings, dealers, and special events.

For a schedule of stamp shows taking place in your area you can visit the APS’s calendar of events online and search by date or location.

Southeastern Stamp Expo 2017 Jan. 27–29 in Atlanta Suburb

Southeastern Stamp Expo 2017 (SESE), sponsored by the Southeast Federation of Stamp Clubs, will be held at the Hilton Hotel Atlanta Northeast, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross, GA 30092 on January 27-29. Show hours are 10 a.m.– 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free; admission is $5 for the entire family all weekend and includes a drawing for a Penny Black.

U.S. Flag
U.S. Flag

The show will feature:
• Twenty-two dealers will have 40 tables of stamps, postal history, ephemera, and supplies.
• More than 170 frames of exhibits feature US and worldwide material.
• To celebrate the opening of the new Atlanta Braves’ Stadium, SESE will feature a cacheted event cover with commemorative postmark, by Chris Lazaroff.
• The USPS will hold a First-Day Ceremony for the new U.S. Flag forever stamp at 11 a.m. on Friday.
• APS President, Mick Zais will host an APS town hall meeting Saturday afternoon.
• Megan Orient, Manager of Shows and Exhibitions, will be staffing an APS table.
On Thursday, January 26, before the show, Gary Wayne Loew, author of Mastering Postal History, will teach an APS On the Road course, “Mastering Postal History: How to Read and Interpret a Cover.”

Visit the show, stay at the Hilton and enjoy the SESE hospitality suite, donation auction, the Stamp Explorers youth area and much more.

Presidential Inauguration Station Postmark

Today, January 20, is Inauguration Day in the United States. To mark the occasion of Donald J. Trump being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, the U.S. Postal Service is offering a special cancellation in Washington, D.C.

Inaugural postmarks have been a tradition in the United States since the late 1950s.

Here are the instructions from the USPS on how to obtain the postmark:

Pictorial postmarks are available only for the dates indicated, and requests must be postmarked no later than 30 days following the requested pictorial postmark date.

All requests must include a stamped envelope or postcard bearing at least the minimum First-Class Mail postage. Items submitted for postmark may not include postage issued after the date of the requested postmark. Such items will be returned unserviced.

Customers wishing to obtain a postmark should affix stamps to any envelope or postcard of their choice, address the envelope or postcard to themselves or others, insert a card of postcard thickness in envelopes for sturdiness, and tuck in the flap. Place the envelope or postcard in a larger envelope and address it to: Pictorial Postmarks, followed by the Name of the Station, Address, City, State, ZIP+4® Code, as listed below.

Customers can also send stamped envelopes and postcards without addresses for postmark, as long as they supply a larger envelope with adequate postage and their return address. After applying the pictorial postmark, the Postal Service returns the items (with or without addresses) under addressed protective cover.

The address for the Inauguration postmark is: Presidential Inauguration Day Station, Postmaster, 2 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20002-9998.

Lili’uokalani Gardens Stamp Dedication January 23

$6.65 Lili‘uokalani Gardens Priority Mail stamp.
$6.65 Lili‘uokalani Gardens Priority Mail stamp.

A special dedication ceremony for the United States $6.65 Lili’uokalani Gardens Priority Mail stamp will be held Monday, January 23, at 11 a.m. at the Shoroan Tea House, Lili’uokalani Gardens in Hilo. This is not a first-day-of-issue ceremony (none is planned for this stamp), but stamp sales and cancellations will take place at the Hilo ceremony.

Hilo Postmaster Alton Uyetake, Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe and Friends of the Lili’uokalani Gardens President K.T. Cannon-Eger will participate in the ceremony to unveil an enlargement of the stamp.

The stamp is being issued January 22 with a Kansas City, Missouri postmark. The new stamp meets the new rate for the Priority Mail flat-rate envelope that starts January 22.