February 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

The February issue of The American Philatelist is now online for APS members to view. Here are some of the highlights:

Silver Fever! by Michael Mahler. A short-lived hunt in Nevada for precious metals — especially silver — helped create some fascinating documents and philatelic gems in the form of revenue stamps.

A Mystery at Geestemünde by Lawrence R. Mead. How did British stamps from an island in the North Sea end up with cancellations applied at a German dock?
AmeriStamp Expo Your guide to this year’s American Philatelic Society’s convention and winter show in Reno, Nevada, where a charitable cause will share the spotlight.

Featured Columns
Collecting Coast to Coast. A Philatelic Fracas by Wayne L. Youngblood. A look back at James C. Jay, a much-maligned character who got into trouble by creating and using his own collectibles.

APRL Notes. How to Build a Masterpiece by Charles J. O’Brien III. The final architect on the new APRL shows how all the pieces came together to create this destination for scholarly research.

Stamp Classics. Belgium’s Second Commemorative Issue by Joseph Iredale. A late 19th-century international exhibition in Brussels prompted some new stamps, which were designed via a public art contest.

Worldwide in a Nutshell. Azerbaijan by Bob Lamb. Azerbaijan, a Turkish-speaking republic in the eastern Caucasus, created its first stamps in the wake of World War I but stopped for several decades.

High-Value Stamp Marks Queen’s 65th Anniversary of the Accession

On February 6, 1952, King George VI died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham House. His eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, who was in Kenya at the time, was proclaimed queen at the age of 25.

To commemorate the event, Royal Mail today issued a new sapphire blue £5 high-denomination definitive, with an iridescent overprint featuring the legend “65th Anniversary of Accession.”

The stamp features the familiar bas-relief portrait by Arnold Machin.

Queen Elizabeth II is Great Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

To mark the event, in addition to the stamp, Royal Mail is offering several commemorative covers, some which include a commemorative coin. For more information, visit www.royalmail.com/personal/stamps-collectibles-gifts.

Canadian Opera Takes Spotlight With Five New Stamps

Two significant Canadian-penned operas and three talented individuals who helped to put modern Canadian opera talent on the world stage are featured on five stamps to be issued February 4.

The permanent stamps that pay the first-class domestic rate (currently 85 cents) are produced in booklets of 10 and a souvenir sheet of five.

Three stamps shine the spotlight on award-winning bass baritone Gerald Finley, internationally acclaimed soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, and late director Irving Guttman, known as the “father of opera in Western Canada.”

Two stamps honor operas: the 1967 work Louis Riel, which romanticizes the life of the legendary Métis leader while Filumena is the tale of an Italian immigrant who was the only woman to be hanged in Alberta.

As with all stamp issues in 2017, these stamps have been treated with special tagging to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial. “Canada 150” will appear along the top of the stamps when they are viewed under black light.

Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition Friday Through Sunday, February 3–5

The Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition — which brings dealers, world-class exhibits, specialty societies, and philatelic friendship all under one roof — begins its three-day run Friday, February 3, at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium in Florida.

The show, sponsored by the Sarasota Philatelic Club, opens at 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday, closing at 5:30 p.m. the first two days and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail. There’s free parking and admission.

The show, featuring 200 frames of exhibits, is part of the American Philatelic Society’s World Series of Philately so winning single- and multi-frame exhibits are eligible for the final World Series competition set for August at StampShow in Richmond, Virginia.

The sold-out bourse will have 40 dealers carrying all collecting specialties. Clubs and societies scheduled to take part are the Auxiliary Markings Club, the Canal Zone Study Group, United States Possessions Society. The United Nations Postal Administration and U.S. Postal Service will be on hand.

Several lectures and meetings are scheduled, including an open forum on exhibiting sponsored by the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, “Finland Figure Cancels,” “Exhibiting in Iceland,” and a meeting of women exhibitors. There will be an awards banquet Saturday night.

Novice youth and adult collectors will find special areas just for them. Free appraisals of collections will be available. For more information, visit the club’s website, www.sarasotastampclub.com/show.html.

Little Known of Interpreter Featured on Canada’s 2017 Black History Stamp

Mathieu Da Costa — a 17th-century interpreter who is thought to be the first person of African descent to arrive in Canada — is featured on this year’s Black History stamp from Canada Post.

The domestic rate self-adhesive stamps sold in booklets of 10 are being formally issued February 1 at the start of Black History Month. The official first-day cover is canceled in Tadoussac, Quebec, where historians believe Da Costa may have come ashore.

Da Costa continues to fascinate and confound scholars. Admittedly little is known about Da Costa and there is no known portrait. From the few records that remain, historians conclude he was a free man who earned a living as an interpreter for Europeans who were trading with indigenous people in the New World. Believed to be of African or even Euro-African descent, his connection to Canada came in the year 1608 — the year Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec — when Da Costa signed a contract to work for French fur trader, explorer and governor of Acadia, Pierre Dugua de Mons.

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