Wilt Chamberlain F.D. Ceremony

by Lloyd A. de Vries, Virtual Stamp Club
Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service (closeups); Mark Saunders, USPS (overhead shots); Lloyd de Vries

[The posting about the stamps themselves is here. This entry is about the first day ceremony.]

Late in the second quarter, fans at the Philadelphia 76ers/Oklahoma City Thunder were told by the announcer and saw a message on the scoreboard telling them to stick around at halftime for the stamp ceremony. wiltcer21 wiltcer20And surprising for a first day ceremony at an event like this, most of them did!

The first day ceremony had to be short, no more than half the halftime period, so that the Sixers and Thunder players could warm up for the second half. The only speech was pre-recorded, and delivered by U.S. Postal Service General Counsel Thomas J. Marshall on the scoreboard’s video screen. wiltcer19The lights remained off, and the audience was treated to a light show. For a change, those in the “cheap seats” had the best view. wiltcer04 wiltcer03 wiltcer02 wiltcer01The images were repeated on the center-court scoreboard video screen. wiltcer05wiltcer06 wiltcer07 wiltcer08Marshall and the other guests were introduced by the arena announcer; the biggest cheers and applause were for former Sixers legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving. Those sitting or standing courtside didn’t get as good a view. wiltcer09But as you can, there was a good turnout by the press. wiltcer10 wiltcer11Here are the guests before the ceremony: wiltcer12Wilt’s sisters Selina Gross and Barbara Lewis; NBA legends Sonny Hill and Wali Jones; Pat Williams, Orlando Magic Senior VP.
Back row: NBA Executive Charles Rosenweig; Marshall and Erving. wiltcer13Not in the group photos before the ceremony, but on the court for the ceremony, was Harvey Pollack, a living link to Wilt Chamberlain: He was the public relations director for the Philadelphia Warriors when Chamberlain played and also the team’s statistician. He is today still the chief stats man for the Philadelphia 76ers –  the only individual still working for the NBA since its inaugural 1946-47 season. Pollack kept score during Chamberlain’s 100-point game, on March 2, 1962, and made the sign on which Pollack had hand-lettered “100,” which Chamberlain holds in his famous post-game photo. Pollack is 92!wiltcer24There were two USPS retail areas inside the main entrnaces to the Wells Fargo Center, and a retail truck outside the venue as well. In the top photo, American Philatelist editor Jay Bigalke services FDCs at one of the inside USPS booths. (He may no longer be producing his own cachets, but Jay still brings his own inkpad to first day ceremonies.) In the upper right are Chris Lazaroff and Foster Miller.wiltcer23First day ceremony programs free to anyone making a purchase at one of the three retail units. wiltpgms wiltpgms2wiltcer15 The outdoor truck (above and below). wiltcer14The truck was parked near the 18-foot-tall statue of Chamberlain, and, before the game, someone with a philatelic or postal bent got to the statue. wiltcer16 wiltcer17 wiltcer18Well, Wilt is smiling, so he seems to have taken the “stamping” well.

Video from the USPS (edited by VSC):

An edited version of the ceremony.

Interviews with Julius Erving, Thomas Marshall of the USPS, and Selina Gross, one of Wilt Chamberlain’s sisters.

Christmas Magi First Day Ceremony

[Our main article on the stamp is here.]

This even was held November 19, 2014, in St. John’s Church on LaFayette Square in Washington, D.c. Photos courtesy U.S. Postal Service and taken by Daniel Afzal of the USPS. magi_unv01Members of the St. John’s choir sing “We Three Kings.”

magi_unv03Louis J. Giuliano, a member of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors (left) and Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, Rector of Saint John’s Church, unveil the stamp design. magi_unv02Giuliano and Leon are joined by Nancy Mathis, President and CEO, First Take Communications of Washington, DC. She is an active member of the church.

Rudolph First Day Ceremony Photos, Video

The first day ceremony for the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stamps was held Thursday, November 6, 2014, at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. These photos are stills from a video provided by the USPS. The video is at the end of this page. (Our coverage of the stamps themselves, with illustrations, technical details and FDC information, is here.)rudolph_fdoi03From left to right are Allen Kane, director of the museum. Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing/Sales Officer and Executive Vice President of the USPS; Rebbeca Crouch, founding principal, DC Scholars Public Charter School; Caroline Williamson (not further identified). Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe; and Gerald Roane, Postmaster of Washington DC.

rudolph_fdoi01USPS CMO Nagisa Manabe. We believe this is the first time she has been a speaker at a first-day ceremony.
rudolph_fdoi02Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe

rudolph_fdoi04Caroline (the little girl) was so interested in the stamp image that PMG Donahoe had to tap her on the shoulder and tell her to face the cameras. rudolph_fdoi09rudolph_fdoi05The Postmaster General seems to be enjoying himself. He probably was. He told The Virtual Stamp Club at the Hot Rods first-day ceremony that these events are the best part of his job. rudolph_fdoi10First PMG Ben Franklin watches over a “Create A Stamp Collection” area at the NPM. rudolph_fdoi11rudolph_fdoi12 rudolph_fdoi13This PMG, unlike some of his predecessors, almost always sticks around to sign autographs after first-day ceremonies. rudolph_fdoi14 rudolph_fdoi15 rudolph_fdoi16
And here’s a video from the USPS:

U.S. Winter Fun/Wreath F.D. Ceremony

Check back for updates, but here are some photos, courtesy Mark Saunders of the U.S. Postal Service (caption help by Foster Miller):

wfuncer03The snowman checks out his stamp and others. Apparently, he likes it.

wfuncer09Interim executive director of Stamp Services Cindy Tackett officiates at her first first day ceremony in that position. She stayed at the ASDA stamp show for the rest of the day, too, talking to collectors.

wfuncer07aThe audience at the first-day ceremony included several VSC members, including Foster Miller and Jay Bigalke (circled in the upper right).

wfuncer13A string trio from the Julliard School of Music played.

wfuncer33The autograph line after the ceremony. It’s too bad Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee chair Janet Klug always wears such drab clothing that she gets lost in any group photo….

wfuncer26Jay Bigalke of Linn’s uses his tablet to video the actual wreath that was the basis for the Global Wreath stamp design. In the background, over his right arm, you can see original artwork for one of the Winter Fun stamps. (information courtesy Foster Miller.)

wfuncer34From left to right, Janet Atkinson, designer of the Ice Skating Winter Fun Stamp; Michael Owens, designer of the Silver Bell Wreath Global Forever Stamp; Cindy Tackett; Gisele Valera, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Business, USPS, and “Dedicating Official” for the ceremony.

wfuncer16That’s ASDA president Mark Reasoner helping unveil the new stamps.

wfuncer17The actual unveilings of the stamp designs.

wfuncer37CSAC chair Janet Klug and Global Wreath artist Michael Owens signing autographs.

wfuncer40A closeup of Owens signing a ceremony program.

wfuncer47Owens and Valera pose with a presentation plaque featuring the stamp he designed. These are regularly given out to first day ceremony participants.

wfuncer43Atkinson poses with the blowup of the Winter Fun stamps.

wfuncer49Sally Anderson-Bruce, who took the photograph of the Silver Bells Wreath


Bruce “Batman” Wayne Collects Stamps

Score another for philately!

It was mentioned in one of the 1967 TV episodes, and confirmed recently at New York Comic Con by the comic books’ current co-editors. You can read the story here. The episode is Episode 51, second season, “A Piece of The Action,” and you can see Bruce and Dick examining stamps, starting at 2:47. One place to watch the episode is here.

The VSC radio feature on this is here.

Photos from Batman F.D. Ceremony

batceremony01dunaier_batmanFans gathered at New York Comic Con at the DC Entertainment booth at the USPS Launch of the Batman Stamp at New York’s Comic Con, on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/Invision for U.S. Postal Service/AP Images) If you look carefully at the photo, you can spot Virtual Stamp Club member and inveterate Mets fan Gary Dunaier (detail on the left).


batceremony07Above, Greg Breeding, Jim Cochrane, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio

batceremony05DC Entertainment Co-Publisher and legendary comic book artist Jim Lee.

batceremony06 Batman joined DCE Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, USPS Stamp Sheet designer Greg Breeding, and U.S. Postal Service’s CIO Jim Cochrane for the unveiling.

batceremony04 The quintessential image from this ceremony.

All photographs by Dario Cantatore/Invision for U.S. Postal Service/AP Images. used by permission of the USPS.


Added October 22nd:: These cancellations are also available, two of which may be used as first-day postmarks. They are all available from Cancellation Services in Kansas City, but requests for these five should be sent to a different post office box 449992, zip 64144-9992:


Added October 11-12:

Added October 3rd: Local post offices may use several pictorial postmarks in connection with this issue:

info_008_10 info_008_4info_008_7info_008_9info_008_10From the October 2nd Postal Bulletin:

batmansheetOn October 9, 2014, in New York, NY, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Batman stamps (Forever® First-Class Mail® priced at 49 cents) in eight designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) souvenir sheet of 20 stamps (Item 588400). The $9.80 Batman souvenir sheet may not be split, and the stamps may not be sold individually.

The stamps will go on sale nationwide October 9, 2014.

Showcasing eight unique designs in a pane of 20 stamps, this new issuance from the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the 75th anniversary of Batman. Four versions of the iconic DC Comics super hero are depicted from four eras of comic book history. In addition, there are four circular stamps showcasing the evolution of the Bat-Signal. The background illustration features a silhouette of Batman standing on a bridge with the skyline of Gotham City looming above him. The verso side of the pane features two illustrations of Batman and text about the history of the character. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp pane.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Batman Stamps
Special Events Coordinator
380 West 33rd Street, Room 4032
New York, NY 10199-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by December 8, 2014.

There are nine philatelic products for this stamp issue:

  • 588406, Press Sheet with Die cut, $88.20 (print quantity 2,500).
  • 588408, Press Sheet without Die cut, $88.20 (print quantity 2,500).
  • 588410, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (random), $11.95.
  • 588416, First-Day Cover (set of 8), $7.44.
  • 588421, Digital Color Postmark (set of 8), $13.12.
  • 588424, Framed Art, $39.95.
  • 588430, Ceremony Program (random), $6.95.
  • 588431, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
  • 588432, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Postmark, $1.99.

Technical Specifications:

batmansheetIssue: Batman stamps
Item Number: 588400
Denomination & Type of Issue: Forever First-Class Mail
Format: Pane of 20 (8 designs)
Series: N/A
Issue Date & City: October 9, 2014, New York, NY 10199
Designer: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Art Director: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Typographer: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Modeler: Donald Woo
Manufacturing Process: Offset/Microprint
Printer: Banknote Corporation of America/SSP
Printed at: Browns Summit, NC
Press Type: Alprinta Model 74
Stamps per Pane: 20
Print Quantity: 80 million stamps
Paper Type: Phosphor Block Tagged
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive adhesive
Processed at: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit SC
Colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
Stamp Orientation: Round/Vertical
Image Area (w x h):
Round: 0.84 x 1.42 in./21.34 x 36.07 mm
1.04 x 1.04 in/26.42 x 26.42 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 0.98 x 1.56 in./24.89 x 39.62 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 8.5 x 7.25 in./215.90 x 184.15 mm
Press Sheets Size (w x h): 25.5 x 21.75 in./ 647.70 x 552.45 mm
Plate Size: 180 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: N/A
Marginal Markings:
Back: © 2014 USPS • USPS logo • Plate position diagram • Barcode (588400)
• Promotional text • Batman logo and Trademark Information • DC Comics
• Batman images • Batman Story line

October 1st: see below for the two first-day postmarks.

Later September 28th: USPS press release, complete images.

Batman Honored by U.S. Postal Service to Celebrate 75 Years of the Timeless Super Hero
Eight Limited Edition Forever Stamps Celebrate Batman’s Evolution in Comics
[Click on the images for larger versions]

batmansheetWASHINGTON, D.C. and BURBANK, CA — The U.S. Postal Service, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, is proud to announce that Batman, one of DC Comics’ most beloved characters, will be immortalized in a Limited Edition Forever postage stamp collection.

The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the Limited Edition Forever Batman Stamp Collection Set will take place in “Gotham City,” at 10:30 a.m., Oct. 9 at the Javits Center to kick off New York Comic Con 2014.

In honor of Batman’s 75th anniversary as the protector of Gotham City, he will join the elite ranks of American pop-culture icons that have been given this honor. The stamp collection will feature multiple images of the Caped Crusader from artistically distinct periods across his comic book history, exhibiting the evolution of the Dark Knight over the past seven-and-a-half decades.

“The U.S. Postal Service has a long history of celebrating America’s icons, from political figures to pop-culture’s most colorful characters. We are thrilled to bring Batman off the pages of DC Comics and onto the limited edition Forever Batman stamp collection, marking his place in American history,” said U.S. Postal Service Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe.

“Over the past 75 years Batman has captured the imagination of fans around the world — from comic books to television, film, video games and beyond,” said Jim Lee, renowned comic book artist and co-publisher of DC Entertainment. “Today Batman is more relevant than ever and his popularity continues to expand, reaching the generations to come in the next 75 years and beyond.”

Showcasing eight unique designs in a pane of 20 stamps, the Batman Limited Edition Forever Stamps celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Super Hero. The set includes Batman depicted from the four eras of comic book history as well as the four incarnations of the famed Bat emblem:

batcircle1 batman4The Modern Age, top row.

batcircle2 batman2The Bronze Age, second row.

batcircle3 batman3The Silver Age, third row.

batcircle4 batman1and the Golden Age, bottom row.

Batman’s Legacy
First appearing in the comic book Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands March 30, 1939, featuring artwork by Bob Kane and a script by Bill Finger, Batman emerged from the shadows to become the one of the world’s most popular Super Hero and dominate media. In feature films, television shows, radio, video games, publishing and merchandise, this most human of Super Heroes has battled some of fiction’s greatest villains using his intellect, cunning and an arsenal of gadgets to further his quest for justice.

These stamps chronicle the evolution of the character, from his origins to present day. Batman spans generations fighting for justice in the pages of the comics, on the silver screen, and in the imaginations of fans across the world.

The Batman Limited Edition stamps are being issued as Forever stamps and always will be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

batman1September 28th: USA Today has a few more details and a design image. The articles says there will be eight designs depicting four eras; the one shown here is from the bottom row.and “highlights Batman as first envisioned by creator Bob Kane…”

More designs below.

September 18th: The USPS is listing this issue on the Events Calendar on its national website. The listing says the first day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on October 9th at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. No further details are available at this time. The unannounced event listing was first reported by Jay Bigalke in Linn’s Stamp News.

However, New York Comic Con is being held at the Javits Center October 9-12. As of September 19th, there were no references or event listings about the stamp on NYCC’s website.

Earlier, as detailed here, Linn’s expected the stamp to be issued this past summer.

And at a press briefing during StampShow 2015 in Hartford in August, USPS Stamp Services chief Susan McGowan said there was one still-unannounced issue, a blockbuster, in the 2014 stamp program.

Batman made his debut in 1939, 75 years ago….although that issue of Detective Comics was published in May, 1939. McGowan indicated in August that the USPS was still negotiating with someone about that “blockbuster.”


First day postmarks:

DCP Size: 3.22″ x 1.38″
B&W Size: 2.51″ x 1.20″

Breast Cancer Research semi-postal reprint

Breast Cancer Research semi-postalThis will be issued some time in September, with the “2014” year on it. The design is similar to the earlier versions. It will sell for 60¢ (the current 49¢ first-class rate plus an 11¢ surcharge. The format is a pane of 20.

From the September 18th Postal Bulletin:

On September 30, 2014, in Sacramento, CA, the U.S. Postal Service® will reissue the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp priced at 60 cents, in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 553000).

The Breast Cancer Research First-Class® semipostal stamp, is being reissued in 2014. Semipostals are stamps sold at a surcharge to raise money for a particular cause. Originally issued in 1998, the stamp art depicts a woman standing with her right arm raised, reaching behind her head in the position recommended for breast self-examination. The drawing of the woman’s body is set against a background of pastel colors from yellow to violet that cover the entire face of the stamp. Across the top of the stamp are the words “Breast Cancer.” Circling the figure’s right breast are the phrases, in all caps, “FUND THE FIGHT.” and “FIND A CURE.” Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp using original artwork by Whitney Sherman.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Breast Cancer Research Reissue
Customer Relations Coordinator
2000 Royal Oaks Drive
Sacramento, CA 95813-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service™ will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by November 30, 2014.

There are three philatelic products for this stamp issue:

555306, Press Sheet with Die cuts, $144.00
(print quantity 1,000).
555308, Press Sheet without Die cuts, $144.00
(print quantity 1,500).
555316 First-Day Cover, $1.04.

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Breast Cancer Research Stamp
Item Number: 553000
Denomination & Type of Issue: Nondenominated First-Class Mail Semipostal (60 cents)
Format: Pane of 20 (1 design)
Series: N/A
Issue Date & City: September 30, 2014, Sacramento, CA 95813
Designer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Art Director: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Typographer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Artist: Whitney Sherman, Baltimore, MD
Engraver: N/A
Modeler: Donald Woo
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint
Printer: Banknote Corporation of America/SSP
Printed at: Browns Summit, NC
Press Type: Alprinta 74
Stamps per Pane: 20
Print Quantity: 20 million stamps
Paper Type: Raflatac, USPS-P-1238
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive adhesive
Processed at: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit SC
Colors: PMS1365 Yellow, PMS322 Light Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area (w x h): 0.84 x 1.42 in./21.34 x 36.07 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 0.98 x 1.56 in./24.89 x 39.62 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 5.92 x 7.24 in./150.36 x 183.90 mm
Press Sheets Size (w x h): 21.72 x 23.68 in./ 551.69 x 601.47 mm
Plate Size: 240 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “S” followed by six (6) single digits
Marginal Markings:
Front: Plate numbers in four corners of pane
Back: © 1998 USPS • USPS logo • Plate position diagram • Barcode (553000) Breast Cancer proceeds explanation • Promotional text

Hot Rods Race Into L.A. Museum

There was a “dedication” ceremony for the Hot Rods stamps on August 27th at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Mark Saunders of the U.S. Postal Service took these photos and provided them to The Virtual Stamp Club. His press release follows. Our information on the issue, including FDC servicing information and technical specifications, can be found here. And our report and photo essay from the first-day ceremony in June is here.

lahotrod66lahotrod66The two cars shown on the stamps are position before the start of the ceremony.

lahotrod67Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, the cars’ owners and other dignitaries unveil the stamps, which initially went on sale June 6th.

lahotrod68PMG Donoahoe and others listen to the speeches.

lahotrod69Afterward, the PMG and other dignitaries signed the event program. Several members of the Claude C. Ries (Southern California) Chapter of the American First Day Cover Society can be seen on the line.

lahotrod70Unlike some of his predecessors, PMG Donahoe not only sticks around for these autograph sessions, but chats with the collectors and others.

Two more photographs are at the end of the USPS press release describing this event:

California Hot Rods Get Postal Service Stamp of Approval
Postmaster General, Car Owners, Provide Backstories
LOS ANGELES — The two iconic hot rods that modeled for the Postal Service’s recently issued Limited Edition Hot Rods Forever stamps took center stage today at the Petersen Automotive Museum. There, the car owners and one of the car builders joined the Postmaster General in revealing the backstories on these cruisers and how the stamps came to be.

“These Hot Rods stamps personify the beginning of America’s fascination with customizing fast cars,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in presenting the stamps. “And they’re just as popular today as they were decades ago. Just like the cars they celebrate, these stamps are timeless in that they’re good for mailing First-Class letters anytime in the future.”

Joining Donahoe in dedicating the stamps were Bruce Meyer, owner of the red ’32 Highboy McGee Roadster featured on the stamps and co-chair of the Museum where the car is displayed; and Mark Graham and Vern Tardel, owner and builder respectively of the black ’32 Frank Rodgers Deuce Roadster featured on the stamps; and Barry Meguiar, Host of “Car Crazy”.

The Stamps Backstory
“We chose these hot rods after stamp artist John Mattos conducted extensive research,” explained Donahoe. “He found the McGee roadster that was featured on a 1948 cover of Hot Rod Magazine which is often referred to as the ‘Holy Grail of Hot Rods.’ In his research, John also received recommendations to feature any car built by Vern Tardel.”

Donahoe noted that Graham, of Sioux Falls, SD, purchased Tardel’s roadster second-hand on eBay.

“With an estimated 12 million hot rodders in America today, I applaud the Postal Service for recognizing that Hot Rods will forever be a symbol of our American Culture,” said Meguiar, who emceed the event.

The Frank Rodgers Roadster
Graham said he has been enamored with Tardel’s work for many years and always wanted to own a Tardel, 32 Ford Highboy Roadster. About four years ago he found the Frank Rodgers Roadster on eBay. Graham bought it sight unseen with just 600 miles listed on it and had it shipped to Tardell’s Santa Rosa, CA, garage to be fine-tuned and shipped to South Dakota.

“It’s been my dream to own this car since the 1960s,” said Graham, “And now, to have this iconic car on a stamp is truly a hot rodders dream.”

“I’ve been building hot rods since the sixties,” said Tardel. “I am truly honored to see the USPS issue a stamp with one of my cars, celebrating this great American tradition.”

The McGee Roadster
Meyer, an avid car collector, considers himself the custodian of the McGee he purchased in 1993. A purist, he had the car restored to its original 1947 condition by the So-Cal Speed Shop.

“The Postal Service honoring Hot Rods and Hot Rodding is a giant step in the long over-due recognition and appreciation of this pure American art form,” said Meyer. “Hot Rods are like jazz and baseball when it comes to American achievements, and the McGee Roadster is the Holy Grail of early hot rodding. Kudos to the Postal Service!”

Available in booklets of 20 stamps, customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) or at Post Offices nationwide and on eBay at ebay.com/stamps.

Designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, the two stamps were digitally created by artist John Mattos of San Francisco.

lahotrod72 lahotrod71

Snowflake stamped envelopes

Illustrations added October 21st. Note that the indicia are slightly different than the original stamp designs.snowflake_env2

Added October 4th: A nice offer from the United Postal Stationery Society, and open to all collectors, not just UPSS members:

The United States Postal Service has recently announced a new set of 5 postal stationery envelopes depicting various holiday designs and scenes. These envelopes are available in 3 different “mixed” packs of 10 through the “Stamp Fulfillment Center” in Kansas City.  The envelopes are packaged as follows:

2 different “Snowflake” designs in a pack of 10
2 different “Winter Fun” envelopes in a pack of 10
1 “Poinsettia” envelope in a pack of 10

For each collector to obtain all 5 envelopes would cost approximately $30 plus domestic S/H. However, the United Postal Stationery Society will purchase packages and split them into individual sets of these 5 new and different envelopes for $7.50 per set, which includes free S/H to domestic (USA)  addresses.  We understand they will be available for only a short limited time, and if we waited for the next edition of “Postal Stationery” for this offer, it would be too late.   So we are sending emails to all members for whom we have addresses.

If interested contact upsspubs@aol.com  and indicate how many sets you would like.  Payment details can be arranged later.  We plan to order the sets shortly, so do not delay if interested.

Note that delivery may take up to 3 weeks.

From the October 2nd Postal Bulletin:

snowflake_envOn October 1, 2014, in Washington, DC, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue three sets of 10 Holiday Stamped Envelopes with seals (Forever® First-Class Mail® priced at $9.95 each) in pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) #10 Stamped Envelopes.

The envelope sets will go on sale October 1, 2014.

This holiday season, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue three different festive sets of 10 Holiday Stamped Envelopes, including seals. The stamped envelope artwork is based on stamp art. The Winter Fun set includes five stamped envelopes displaying a red cardinal and five stamped envelopes featuring a child building a snowman. The Poinsettia set includes 10 stamped envelopes, each featuring a bright, cheerful rendering of America’s favorite holiday flower. The Snowflakes set includes 10 envelopes featuring two designs — five of each design. Both snowflakes featured in the artwork were photographed with a digital camera attached to a microscope. The seals included in each of the three sets complement the stamp designs.

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase the new stamped envelope sets at the Postal Store® website at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Holiday Stamped Envelopes
Special Events
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by November 30, 2014.

These four items are considered Philatelic Products and will be issued in the following formats:

  • 789834, Snowflakes packet of 10 with seals (2 designs), $9.95.
  • 688634, Poinsettia packet of 10 with seals (1 design), $9.95.
  • 689834, Winter Fun packet of 10 with seals (2 designs), $9.95.
  • 689817, Holiday Stamped Envelopes FDC (Set of 5), $3.70.

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Holiday Envelopes: Snowflakes
Item Number: 789834
Denomination & Type of Issue: Forever First-Class Stamped Envelope
Format: #10 Regular Envelope Packet of 10,
2 designs
Issue Date & City: October 1, 2014, Washington, DC, 20090
Art Director: William J. Gicker, Washington, DC
Designer: Jennifer Arnold, Washington, DC
Typographer: Jennifer Arnold, Washington, DC
Existing Photos: Kenneth G Libbrecht
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset/Microprint “USPS”
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville , NY
Press Type: Mueller, A76
Folding Machine: W&D #527
Print Quantity: 330,000 (165,000 each design)
Paper Type: 61# Postal Envelope, Block, Type III
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive adhesive
Processed at: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Stamp Orientation: Horizontal
Envelope Size: (w x h): 9.5 x 4.13 in./241.30 x 104.78 mm
Image Size (w x h): 1.23 x 1.13 in./31.19 x 28.60 mm
Colors: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, PMS 7671 U Purple, PMS 431 U Grey
Marginal Markings: Sustainable Forestry Initiative Logo

August 21st: #10 envelopes with two designs, sold in packages of 10, and available at the end of September. First-day postmarks will be available.The designs will be based on the Snowflakes stamps from 2013.