National Postal Museum Opens
“From Royal Mail to Public Post” Exhibition Observing the 500th Anniversary of the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail
“From Royal Mail to Public Post” opened today, Oct. 21, at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. The exhibition, open through Jan. 16, 2017, chronicles postal reform in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom’s postal service, Royal Mail, observes its 500th anniversary in 2016. To mark the occasion, the National Postal Museum is presenting a temporary display of original documents from 1635 and 1840, pivotal years in the expansion and evolution of the country’s postal network. The exhibition includes the earliest known example of the world’s first stamp, the Penny Black, dated April 10, 1840, from the archives of leading British postal reformer Robert Wallace. These important documents chronicling postal reform in the United Kingdom are on loan from the private collection of British businessman and philatelist Alan Holyoake.
The Isle of Man Post Office issued a set of six stamps in August featuring the artwork of world-renowned artist, designer, and publisher Roger Dean.
The stamps in six different rates include one, the 45-cent stamp, that is based on a painting, Meeting Place, that is inspired by the island itself. The painting is part of an exhibition that runs through November 19 at Manx Museum in Douglas.
The 77-cent stamp has artwork titled Blind Owl Late Landing, using artwork from the as-yet released album Blind Owl from the rock group Yes. Dean, 72, has created more than 100 pieces of album art. Aside from Yes, clients have included Asia, the London Symphony Orchestra, and Rick Wakeman.
Today, October 10, is Columbus Day, once regaled as the opening of the Western hemisphere to the Old World and now the focal point among historians to reflect and interpret the archaic practices of territorial expansion of that time. Political and social views notwithstanding, Columbus certainly has a place in the world of stamp collecting.
When the 400th anniversaries of Christopher Columbus’ voyages were observed starting in 1892, there were celebrations noting the Italian-born explorer’s excursions to the Americas. Of particular note was the World’s Columbian Exposition, essentially a world’s fair, in Chicago. That’s when the United States Post Office Department issued its first-ever commemoratives, a handsome engraved set of 16, including several unprecedented high-denomination stamps. The stamps are called “Columbians” among collectors.
Chile issued dozens of stamps depicting Christopher Columbus, beginning with its first stamps of 1853 into the early 20th century. Here’s a sample of a few of the designs from 1901 to 1909 (Scott 56, 71, and 74).
Puerto Rico’s one-and-only commemorative stamp noted Christopher Columbus’ arrival at that island. The stamp (Scott 133) was sold and used only on November 19, 1893.
U.S. stamps depicting Columbus’ voyages were issued in connection with the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The 16-stamp set (Scott 230-245), cherished by many collectors, includes high denominations of $1, $2, $3, $4, and $5.
Italy, like the United States and Spain, marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyages with a set of souvenir sheets in 1992 (Scott 1887).
A Columbus commemorative cover meant to raise awareness of the affect of the explorer’s voyages on the original inhabitants of the Americas was postmarked on Columbus Day, 1992. The cover was created by the Syracuse (N.Y.) Peace Council.
A cover with a first-day cancel of a 1992 Columbus commemorative from Christiansted, Virgin Islands, along with an add-on of a second 1992 Columbus stamp postmarked at a stamp show.
Canada celebrates its hockey heroes with a booklet of six, a souvenir sheet, and international rate souvenir sheets, honoring great NHL goal scorers. The stamps were issued September 23. An unveiling took place at the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.
The Great Canadian Forwards stamp lineup includes: Phil Esposito (Boston Bruins), Guy Lafleur (Montreal Canadiens), Darryl Sittler (Toronto Maple Leafs), Mark Messier (Edmonton Oilers), Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings), and Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins). Five of the six individuals were in attendance at the unveiling event that was broadcast live on Canada Post’s Facebook page.
Norica’s PostNord has signed an agreement with Cartor Security Printing for the production of Swedish and Danish stamps. The design of stamps will continue to be conducted within PostNord.
The agreement is a way for PostNord to adapt to a changing market and to create better conditions for developing stamp production, said Britt-Inger Hahne, head of PostNord Stamps.
During 2017, the production of the Danish and Swedish stamps will gradually be transferred to Cartor Security Printing, a global value printing house that specializes in stamps. The businesses are located in France and England, and the printing house delivers to postal operators and other customers worldwide.
Among Cartor Security Printing’s many stamp clients are Royal Mail and the Channel Islands, Austria, Portugal, and Singapore.