Royal Mail Announces Special 2017 Stamps

Royal Mail has announced its schedule for its “special stamp program” for 2017. Stamps to be issued include castles, birds, windmills, and more. A tentative issuance schedule is found below the press release. Additional stamp issues are anticipated to be announced at a future date.

[Royal Mail January 2, 2017 Press Release]

ROYAL MAIL REVEALS ITS SPECIAL STAMP PROGRAM FOR 2017
•    Royal Mail’s Special Stamp program commemorates anniversaries and celebrates events relevant to UK heritage and life
•    Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle and an official residence of HM The Queen, will be celebrated with a set of 10 stamps launched in February
•    The 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Desert ‘Dessie’ Orchid is included in Racehorse Legends. The stamp set features original artwork of eight champion horses achieving their greatest wins on UK race courses over six decades
•    The Wren, the most common UK breeding bird, is included in the  Songbirds issue – featuring 10 beautiful birds that herald spring and summer

Royal Mail’s 2017 Special Stamp program is set to showcase the “Best of British” in a range of subjects from some of the greatest racehorses from the past six decades to beautiful birds that herald spring and summer in the UK.

Windsor Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in world and an official residence of HM The Queen, is celebrated with iconic views of both the interior and exterior of the castle. Featured in the set is an image of the world-famous Round Tower that has dominated the Berkshire skyline for over 800 years.

Racehorse Legends will feature eight champion horses that achieved their greatest wins on UK race courses over the last six decades. The stamp issue features original artwork commissioned by Royal Mail of four flat racers and four national hunt horses captured in action during the course of their iconic wins. Included in the stamp issue is Desert ‘Dessie’ Orchid winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1989.

The Songbirds issue in May will present 10 beautiful birds that herald spring and summer in the UK.

2017 Special Stamp Program
January                       Ancient Britain
February                     Windsor Castle
April                            Racehorse Legends
May                             Songbirds
June                             Windmills and Watermills
July                              First World War: 1917
July                              Landmark Buildings
August                         Classic Toys
November                    Christmas

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017

Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017! The year 2016 was a very special year for the American Philatelic Society. Two blockbuster events occurred, one expected and one not.

Inverted Jenny, Position 76.
Inverted Jenny, Position 76.

The unexpected was the discovery and successful return in June of an Inverted Jenny airmail stamp (Scott C3a). The stamp, known as Position 76 for its location in an original 1918 sheet of 100, is one of four once owned by Ethel McCoy and stolen in 1955. Though two others had previously been located and another is still missing, it was a pleasure for this stamp to return to the American Philatelic Research Library, which received the rights to the stolen stamps via McCoy’s will.

American Philatelic Research Library.
American Philatelic Research Library.

The expected event was years in the planning and creating. The new 9,000-square-foot American Philatelic Research Library opened at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. A grand opening for the state-of-the-art facility was held in October.

The APS, celebrating its 130th anniversary, again sponsored two major shows and conventions — the AmeriStamp Expo in Atlanta and StampShow in Portland, Oregon. In addition, the APS played a major role and held a prominent presence at World Stamp Show-NY 2016, the international show held in the United States every 10 years.

Continue reading “Happy New Year! Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017”

Oscar de la Renta, St. Louis Arch, Hawaiian Garden on New 2017 U.S. Stamps

The United States Postal Service announced another grouping of stamps to be issued in 2017. Here are links to the other 2017 stamps previously revealed in September and another batch in November. No issue dates have been announced for these newly revealed 2017 stamps.

Here is the USPS press release on the new stamps:

Additional 2017 Stamps Announced
Renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta,
St. Louis’ Gateway Arch Featured

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service today announced more stamps to be issued in 2017.

“The new year is shaping up to be exceptional as the Postal Service continues to produce stamps that celebrate the people, events and cultural milestones that are unique to the history of our great nation,” said Mary-Anne Penner, U.S. Postal Service Director, Stamp Services. “We are very excited to showcase these miniature works of art to help continue telling America’s story as we add to the lineup of 2017 stamps announced earlier.”

Here are the newest additions:

Continue reading “Oscar de la Renta, St. Louis Arch, Hawaiian Garden on New 2017 U.S. Stamps”

January 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

January 2017 American Philatelist
January 2017 American Philatelist.

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

Alaskan Interrupted Mail by Steven Berlin. Uncommon and rare covers include those delayed by floods, earthquakes, ship mishaps, airplane crashes, and robberies.

Federal Use of Confederate Design Patriotic Covers of Northern Manufacture by James Milgram. A look at covers displaying Confederate designs that were manufactured and used in the North.

Superheores on Stamps by Timothy M. Bergquist. After spending decades on the pulp pages of comic books, popular superheroes have burst onto the stamp scene with a POW! BAM! and SPLASH!

1919 Texas Recruiting Flight by Don Jones. After World War I, the military found itself short of soldiers so it conducted a major recruitment campaign by dangling the new air service as a carrot.

Featured Columns
Stamp Classics by Joseph Iredale. A new column reviews some stamps from the golden era described by many as the first hundred years, 1840 to 1940. This month, a look at Thailand’s first official postage stamps and some provisionals that preceded them.

Collecting Coast to Coast: A Little Something Extra On That Cover by Wayne L. Youngblood. Messages from the Captain of the Watch, the Fiscal Director and others of interest are found in a review of private auxiliary markings that sometimes amuse or confound postal clerks, customers, and collectors.

Worldwide in a Nutshell: Antigua and Barbuda by Bob Lamb. The Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda had separate philatelic histories until they were joined together as one country.

The Nativity — The Manger

Not many nations — even those with a strong Christian base — put an image of the Nativity on their stamps much before the 1970s. As we saw in our Christmas Firsts blog, Hungary first put Nativity imagery on a stamp in 1943. (For argument’s sake, we’re calling the Nativity as depicting the Holy Family — Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus in a manger-like setting.)

The 2016 stamp with a silhouette design was just the third U.S. stamp showing a manger scene.
The 2016 stamp with a silhouette design was just the third U.S. stamp showing a manger scene.

The United States has rarely put an image of a manger scene or Holy Family on a stamp, instead for a religious motif at Christmas opting for master artworks of the Madonna and Child, along with the occasional angel. The first full Madonna and Child stamp was in 1966, followed quickly by a second in 1967. Two more were issued in 1973 and 1975, and in 1978, the Postal Service started a run of 22 consecutive years showing a Madonna and Child master artwork. No Christmas stamps were issued in 2000, and although it’s been more sporadic, the Madonna and Child imagery has appeared on 10 more stamps.

In 1970, the religious U.S. stamp showed a manger scene, presenting Nativity (1523), by Lorenzo Lotto, and in 1971, the stamp showed a detail from Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1505) by Giorgione, followed in 1976 by Nativity (c. 1777), by John Singleton Copley. Not until this year, did another manger/Nativity scene show up on a U.S. Christmas stamp. Interestingly, this year also saw a new Madonna and Child stamp.

It’s interesting to see how other nations present the Madonna and Child, some in traditional forms, sometimes in modernized images, and some depicting the Holy Family in that country’s traditional stylings.