Stamp Madness Stampionship Begins

Two contemporary stamps from Canada and New Zealand issued in the same year in the aftermath of World War II have reached the championship round of the American Philatelic Society’s inaugural Stamp Madness contest. The finalists prevailed over 14 other stamps via popular votes in the bracket-style contest held over the past few weeks through Facebook and Twitter.

The public and APS members are encouraged to vote for their favorite through this link. Those voting in this round will be eligible for philatelic prizes after the contest ends at midnight April 10. A random draw will be made from those picking the winning stamp. Prizes also will be rewarded from our Predict the Winner Preview contest. Prizes include books with stamps from the U.S. Postal Service and copies of the new APS book, Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps (2016), by Charles Posner.

Both the Canada and New Zealand stamps overcame some negative odds to reach the finals, including both scoring triumphs over entries from the United States.

Please vote to make your favorite the 2017 Stamp Madness champion.

Canada, from our Americas bracket, is the Eastern (sometimes Ontario) Farm scene stamp (Scott catalog No. 268) of 1946. The stamp defeated Chad Crafts stamp in the first round, the India Taj Mahal in the second, and just bested the U.S. World’s Fair stamp in the semifinals by securing a solid 63 percent of the vote. The stamp illustrates vital farm products and activities. The scene is a composite from four photographs. The farm house is from a photograph taken in Eastern Ontario, the barn from a farm in Western Ontario, the silo from Central Ontario, and the ploughmen and horses from Quebec. Designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz, vignette engraved by Warrell Hauck, and printed by Canadian Bank Note Co.

New Zealand, which we had seeded No. 4 in the Pacific Division, features the Southern Alps and Chapel (Scott 256) and is part of the New Zealand Peace and Victory stamps, a set of 11 produced by Bradbury Wilkinson. The 9-cent stamp, dubbed A Spirit of Thankfulness, shows the chapel window at Waiho Gorge. The Franz Josef Glacier can be seen through the window. This stamp has done very well in Stamp Madness. In the opening round, it defeated a Switzerland showing alpine viaducts, and it followed with a somewhat stunning victory over the pre-tournament favorite, the U.S. Project Mercury of 1962. In a close semifinal, New Zealand turned back the Laos Elephants stamp of 1958 by capturing 53 percent.

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APS Announces Dealer Advisory Council Results

Today, the American Philatelic Society released the results of the first-ever Dealer Advisory Council. The APS Board of Directors created the Council at its December 6, 2016 meeting to:

Serve as an advisory group to the APS Board of Directors and staff on matters that impact the dealer community, including show locations, membership initiatives, and growth of the hobby.

The Council will be made up of: APS Vice President Trish Kaufmann, APS Dealer Representative Eric Jackson, Kim Kellerman (Rasdale Stamps), Roy DeLafosse (Roy E. DeLafosse, Ltd.), Irving Miller (Miller’s Stamp Company), Telah Smith (Telah W. Smith), Bob Sazama (Robert M. Sazama), and Jim Dempsey (A&D Stamp & Coins). Mark Reasoner, President, American Stamp Dealers Association and Dick Kostka, President, National Stamp Dealers Association will serve as ex officio members of the Council.

“Stamp dealers have a unique view within our hobby from recognizing market trends to building personal relationships with collectors of all walks,” said APS President Mick Zais, “They have invested in the long-term health of the hobby and on behalf of the Board, we thank the candidates for their leadership.”

APS Vice President Trish Kaufmann, the only dealer serving on the APS Board, will be the Chair of the Dealer Advisory Council. “The APS and its membership is one of the strongest forces in the health of the hobby. The Council will work to identify, prioritize, and offer specific recommendations to the Board to help improve the market,” Kaufmann stated.

“As a dealer, I want to thank the APS Board for taking several great steps to bring dealers to the table. It won’t be easy work, but I’m sure dealers are ready and able to do their part.” added APS Dealer Representative Eric Jackson.

The first meeting of the Council will be in May. Date and call-in information will be provided, along with an agenda and meeting minutes for APS members. For more information, contact Scott English, Executive Director at scott@stamps.org or 814-933-3814.

Robert Panara Stamp – Distinguished American

Robert Panara (Distinguished Americans series)
Robert Panara (Distinguished Americans series)

Robert Panara (1920-2014), an influential teacher and a pioneer in the field of deaf studies, will be honored with a new stamp formally issued April 11. It is a nondenominated two-ounce forever stamp with a current value of 70 cents.

A first-day ceremony will start at 10 a.m. in the Robert F. Panara Theatre at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where Panara taught for 20 years. The institute is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

The 16th stamp in the Distinguished Americans series features a 2009 photograph of Panara shown signing the word “respect.” During his 40-year teaching career, Panara inspired generations of students with his powerful use of American Sign Language. Panara taught at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. for nearly 20 years and at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf another 20.

During his teaching career, Panara, a Bronx native, inspired generations of students, and his powerful use of American Sign Language to convey Shakespeare and other works of literature, made him much beloved and respected by students and colleagues alike.

Panara, who passed away in July 2014 at the age of 94, was an avid poet, and lover of Shakespeare and theater, according to the institute’s website. Panara’s poem “On His Deafness,” written in 1946, has been reprinted many times and won first prize in the World of Poetry contest in 1988. A biography of Panara states that the poem is about “how deaf people can ‘hear’ with an ‘inner ear’ of imagination.”

Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with an existing photograph by Mark Benjamin, official photographer of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

April 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

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

World War I by Ed Dubin and Al Kugel. April marks the 100th anniversary of the United States officially joining the Allied forces of World War I. Dozens of philatelic objects tell the tale of Americans’ involvement before the war, on the home front, on the battle lines, and after the Armistice.

Philately and Philanthropy — The American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library present their special annual section thanking donors for their many appreciated contributions in 2016.

Stamp Classics. El Salvador’s Iconic Volcano Stamps by Joseph Iredale. A volcano appears on the first stamps of El Salvador; but which peak is it? Look closely at these four stamps and you’ll see a creative design element.
Collecting Coast to Coast. Diving in the Philatelic Backwaters by Wayne L. Youngblood. Some curious-looking cancellations were administered by devices and in ways we can figure out; some of the back stories remain a mystery.

Expertizing. Upon Further Review by Mercer Bristow. When examining stamps, the APS expertizing committee will work with clients to fill in some gaps not covered by the certificate.

Worldwide in a Nutshell. Bahawalpur by Bob Lamb. Known as a Princely State, Bahawalpur was settled in the 18th century and issued its first stamp under the authority of the Pakistani Post Office after Pakistan and India separated in 1947.

New Author Combines Mysteries and Stamps

A new author has created a world where mysteries found in stamps are pursued and unraveled by young detectives. And you can get a nice sample of the work right now via the internet for free for a very limited time.

In a nod toward the styles of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, Carl Wildrick has crafted a trilogy of philatelic-related mystery books for young people.

The first book – The Finder, about Carter Owens, The Accidental Philatelist — can be downloaded free as an eBook via Amazon through April 1. It is available at http://amzn.com/B01N00EEMQ.

The second in the series, The Seeker, will be available as an eBook for free on April 2 only at http://amzn.com/B01MSYEJ9L.

The third book in the trilogy, The Fighter, has just been released.