March 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

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

The Old Man of the Mountains (Scott 1068) by Charles Posner. Before the gigantic rock outcropping known as the Old Man of the Mountains collapsed, it was the centerpiece in 1955 for a stamp honoring New Hampshire.

David Pearce Cover by Paul Goodwin. A 19th-century cover holds correspondence between 18th-century privateers detailing encounters during times of war and peace.

The Boston Negative Cancels by Bob Grosch. A 19th-century experiment with canceling devices resulted in some interesting postal history from New England known as the Boston Negative Cancels.

Stamp Classics. The Belgian Congo Series of 1894 by Joseph Iredale. As a private citizen, the king of Belgium seized control and ran roughshod over the Belgian Congo, the huge interior of Africa. Despite the calamity, some interesting stamps were produced.

Collecting Coast to Coast. Is a Postal Marking Ever Truly Obsolete? by Wayne L. Youngblood. Evidence shows that old and outdated canceling devices and auxiliary marking handstamps sometimes take on a new life.

Visiting the British Empire. Barbados by Noel Davenhill. Different pigments, perforation devices, modifications, and watermarked paper all caused complexities among early stamps from the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Worldwide in a Nutshell. Nagorno-Karabakh by Bob Lamb. This mountainous enclave about the size of Delaware in the southern Caucasus has close ties to Armenia. One major catalog lists its stamps; another doesn’t.

APS 2017 Stamp Madness Contest

What historic postage stamp is the best of the best? Can a classic Canadian farm sow more votes than beautiful French irises? Can an Olympics stamp from Mexico run the table or will a 1962 U.S. space stamp rise to the top? Does the entry from tiny Chad have a legitimate chance? What about India, Great Britain and the others?

Welcome to our bracket-style head-to-head 2017 Stamp Madness contest [Enter Contest Here]. In four rounds of voting, we’ll choose a champion stamp and some lucky contestants will win fun philatelic prizes.

We have two simple contests. The first is our Preview Contest in which APS members, via the e-newsletter link sent today (voting closes March 22), are picking the stamp they think will win the overall championship. We’ll randomly choose the winner from the group that picked the winning stamp. One vote per person please and only members of the APS are eligible for the top prize (a 2005 U.S. Stamp Yearbook with $51.43 in face value stamps). A runner-up will receive the book Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950.

Our second contest, also a Preview Contest, is open to the public for voting (voting also closes March 22) and prizes (top prize The Civil War, a book published by the USPS in 1995 that includes two panes of 20 stamps; runner-up prize the Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950 book).

The stamps represent four regions — the Americas, Europe, Pacific, and Afro-Mediterranean — and they will square off to create a Final Four and eventual champion. Please choose your favorite stamp in each elimination round via Facebook and Twitter, which will lead to a final showdown and eventual champion. Again, we’ll choose at random from the “winning” stamp’s pool to award a prize.

The contests begin today! The first two rounds have the Americas vs. Afro-Mediterranean and Pacific vs. Europe. Good Luck!

THE STAMPS

The Americas
United States (Seeded No. 1) – The design for the New York World’s Fair stamp of 1964 (Scott 1244) was created using the artwork of architectural illustrator John C. Wenrich, who worked on both the 1939 and 1964 New York fairs. The stamp features two of the fair’s prominent icons – “The Rocket Thrower” sculpture and the Unisphere globe.

Continue reading “APS 2017 Stamp Madness Contest”

APS Survey Results Released

Today, March 14, the American Philatelic Society released the results of a survey of more than 3,000 members and 800 non-members looking at services provided by the APS and giving insight into what collectors want to see.

The survey was conducted through Survey Monkey and the results were analyzed by David Paddock, a long-time APS member and expert in the field of market research.  Paddock agreed to donate his time to lead focus groups at StampShow 2016 in Portland, Oregon and producing the report of more than 120 pages for the APS leadership and members. The key takeaway from the report was a desire to see greater education services provided on-demand through the APS website.

“There are some great insights into how our members and the collecting community at large view APS services,” said Scott English, APS Executive Director, “We have some work to do to better promote some services, like expertizing, circuit sales, and the library, and make sure they meeting the needs of our members.”

The results were presented to the APS Board of Directors at the AmeriStamp Expo in Reno, Nevada, held earlier this month.

“Thank you to David for donating his time and to all those who contributed to this survey,” said English. “The results will help us bring positive changes to the way we serve our members.”

This is the first survey performed by the APS since 2006.

Author of ‘One-Cent Magenta’ Will Speak at Cleveland Stamp Show

Stamps returned to the national news this week when CBS This Morning broadcast a feature story on the British Guiana 1-Cent Magenta.

Reporter Jan Crawford went to the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., where she showed the exhibit now housing the prized rarity, and interviewed its owner, show designer Stuart Weitzman, and James Barron, the author of a new book about the stamp.

Weitzman purchased the stamp in 2014 for $9.5 million and has loaned it to the postal museum for the exhibit.

Barron, a New York Times reporter, this week released his new book, The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World. The book chronicles the stamp’s history and travels by following its nine owners.

Stamp collectors heading to the upcoming Garfield-Perry Stamp Club’s March Party March 23 to 25 in Cleveland will have a chance to hear more, as Barron will be on hand to speak. Barron is scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m. on March 25.

For more about the stamp show, visit garfieldperry.org. The original CBS story can be found on YouTube here:

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.