Songbirds in Snow (US 2016)

Updated October 4th: Here are the Scott Catalogue numbers:

5126 Golden-crowned kinglets
5127 Cedar waxwing
5128 Northern cardinal
5129 Red-breasted nuthatches
a. Block of 4, #5126-5129
b. Convertible booklet pane of 20

Updated August 4th: The first day ceremony is at 1 p.m., not 11 a.m. as stated earlier.

Here is the Digital Color Postmark for this issue: songbirds_dcp_vscIt measures 2.94” x 1.31”. The B&W postmark is the standard four-bar First Day of Issue.

Updated July 27th: The first day ceremony will be held at 1 pm in Rooms C123-124.

s_songbirdsUpdated July 22nd: On August 4, 2016, in Portland, OR, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Songbirds in Snow stamps (Forever® priced at 47 cents) in four designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) double-sided booklet of 20 stamps (Item 681100).

The stamps will go on sale nationwide August 4, 2016.

Each of these four new stamps celebrates a different songbird that brightens cold winter days. The birds featured in the stamp art are the golden-crowned kinglet, the cedar waxwing, the northern cardinal, and the red-breasted nuthatch. The illustrations, painted in acrylic on canvas boards, depict each bird perched on a snow-covered branch. The artist was Robert Giusti. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps.

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices™. Post Offices may begin ordering stamps prior to the FDOI through SFS Web.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
songbirds_waxwingCustomers 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:⁄⁄⁄shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. 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:

Songbirds in Snow Stamps
United States Postal Service
Attn: Ruth Traynor
PO Box 2089
Portland, OR 97208-2089

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. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by October 4, 2016.

There are ten philatelic products for this stamp issue:

  • songbirds_kinglet681106, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $75.20.
  • 681110 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (Set of 4), $15.95.
  • 681116 First-Day Cover (Set of 4), $3.64.
  • 681121 Digital Color Postmark (Set of 4), $6.48.
  • 681124 Framed Art (Set of 4), $40.00.
  • 681125 Framed Art (Golden-crowned Kinglet), $10.00.
  • 681126 Framed Art (Northern Cardinal), $10.00.
  • 681127 Framed Art (Cedar Waxuling), $10.00.
  • 681128 Framed Art (Red-breasted Nuthatch), $10.00.
  • 681130 Ceremony Program (random single), $6.95.

Technical Specifications:

songbirds_cardinalIssue: Songbirds in Snow Stamps
Item Number: 681100
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail Forever
Format: Double-Sided Booklet of 20
Series: N⁄A
Issue Date & City: August 4, 2016, Portland, OR 97208
Art Director: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Designer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Typographer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Artist: Robert Giusti, Bridgewater, CT
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville , NY
Press Type: Muller A76
Stamps per Booklet: 20
Print Quantity: 600,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Nonphosphored Type III, Block Tag applied
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
songbirds_nuthatchProcessed at: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Stamp Orientation: Horizontal
Image Area (w x h): 1.05 x 0.77 in.⁄26.67 x 19.56 mm
Stamp Size (w x h): 1.19 x 0.91 in.⁄30.23 x 23.11 mm
Full Booklet Size (w x h): 2.38 x 5.76 in.⁄60.45 x 146.30 mm
Press Sheet Size (w x h): 4.76 x 23.29 in.⁄120.90 x 591.57 mm
Colors: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
Plate Size: 880 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “P” followed by four (4) single digits
Marginal Markings: Header. “Songbirds in Snow” • Twenty First-Class Forever Stamps • Plate numbers in peel strip area • USPS LOGO • © 2016 USPS in peel strip area • Golden-crowned Kinglet • Cedar Waxwing • Northern Cardinal • Red-breasted Nuthatch • Promotional text in peel strip area

From the USPS, June 29th:

s_songbirdsCommemorative Forever  Stamps
First-Day-of-Issue Dedication Ceremony
Thursday, August 4, 2016
1:00 p.m.
American Philatelic Society: APS Stampshow 2016
Oregon Convention Center
Rooms C123-124
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Portland, OR 97232

Songbirds in Snow Forever Stamps
With Songbirds in Snow, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates four birds that brighten cold winter days.

The sight of birds sitting on a snowy tree branch and the sound of their songs and calls bring joy in the depth of winter. Though many birds migrate to warmer climes before the snow falls, some hardy birds have ways to cope with the cold and to find food year-round. The booklets of 20 stamps will available on in early July for pre-order and will be delivered shortly after Aug. 4.

Is_songbirdsn winter, much of their day is spent looking for food; they consume large quantities to supply the energy to keep warm at night when temperatures plummet. Fluffing their feathers creates an insulating layer of air, and their winter plumage can contain up to 30 percent more feathers than in summer. Many birds are able to slow their metabolism, lower their body temperatures, or even reduce their heart rate to help them conserve energy. Some species gather in groups to search for food and to snuggle together at night to maintain body heat.

Winter birds will search for roosting places that provide protection from precipitation, wind, and predators. They generally choose the same kinds of habitats that they use for nesting, including cavities in trees, thickets, birdhouses, shrubs, or evergreen trees.

Four winter birds are celebrated here: the golden-crowned kinglet, the cedar waxwing, the northern cardinal, and the red-breasted nuthatch.

songbirds_kingletEven the smallest birds will thrive in the winter cold if they can find food. The golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) is only a little larger than a hummingbird, yet it can survive nighttime temperatures of 40 degrees below zero. The tiny birds roost in evergreen forests and huddle together in small flocks high up in the branches to help them stay warm. Wary of taking food from a birdfeeder, its winter diet is made up mainly of dormant insects and their eggs as well as overwintering caterpillars.

songbirds_waxwingThe cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) gets its name from its favorite winter food, cedar berries, and the red, waxy tips of some of its wing feathers. One of the few North American birds that thrives on a diet of mostly fruits, the cedar waxwing also consumes the winter fruits of the juniper, mistletoe, crabapple, and other plants. It generally inhabits open woodlands and hedgerows, but in winter it will join a flock around fruiting plants, including those in backyards and gardens, to feed.

songbirds_cardinalA spot of bright red against the white of a snowy tree branch signals the presence of a northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), one of winter’s most colorful and beautiful birds. Found in thickets along the edge of forests or in shrubby, overgrown fields and hedgerows, as well as in backyards, cardinals usually appear in pairs but can gather in small flocks during the winter to forage for food. Their diet is mainly seeds and fruit, but they also eat insects. During the winter, cardinals are frequent visitors to birdfeeders; sunflower seeds are a favorite food.

songbirds_nuthatchThe red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), with its distinctive call like a tiny toy horn, prepares well for the season by caching conifer seeds, its preferred winter food. Stashed in cracks and openings in tree bark, the seeds are collected by the bird as it walks headfirst down the trunk. It lives mainly in coniferous forests, but the inquisitive little bird is attracted to birdfeeders, drawn particularly to sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet.

Design Brief:
The Songbirds in Snow stamps feature four species: the golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa), the cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), and the red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis). Illustrator Robert Giusti painted the original designs in acrylic on canvas board, depicting each bird perched on a snow-covered branch.

Booklet layout: songbirds_booklet

songbirds_apsAmerican Philatelic Society press release June 28th:

Four new Songbirds in Snow commemorative stamps will be issued August 4 during a stamp dedication ceremony at the American Philatelic Society’s annual summer StampShow in Portland, Oregon.

The four new stamps will be issued during a ceremony at 1 p.m. Thursday, August 4 in room C123-124 of the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, Oregon.

“With the StampShow set among the natural wonders of Portland, the U.S. Postal Service will be issuing a great set of stamps,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, “Not only are the stamps a fine addition to any collection, but they will make a wonderful gift to start a collection for someone new to the hobby.”

The stamps feature four birds in snowy scenes: the golden-crowned kinglet, the cedar waxwing, the northern cardinal, and the red-breasted nuthatch. The stamps feature acrylic-on-canvas board paintings by artist Robert Giusti.

The APS StampShow, the nation’s largest annual postage stamp show and exhibition, will take place August 4-7 in the Oregon Convention Center. Public hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public. Complete details are available on the show website:

The American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library are located at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Centre County, Pennsylvania. The nonprofit organizations are dedicated to the hobby of stamp collecting and have a worldwide membership of about 30,000 members.

An Open Letter to the Philatelic Community

June 23, 2016

by Wade Saadi
President, World Stamp Show-NY 2016

wsslogoWell, the big show is over and many of us who have been planning this extravaganza for more than decade are finally catching our breath. It gives us all a chance to reflect on what we planned and how it all turned out, with the goal of sharing that knowledge and experience with the Boston 2026 team preparing America’s next international philatelic exhibition.

We know you have some immediate questions of us, so allow me to let you know what’s what.

Did the show make money? The simple answer at this time is that it looks like we will make a modest surplus when all is said and done. Just how much is yet to be determined, as we still await invoices from the Javits Center, Freeman our decorators, and several other major suppliers. Really! Final bills can take several months to receive and confirm, or dispute their charges, as our colleagues running Washington 2006 well know. Nothing different here. But initial estimates definitely have us in the black.

How many people came to the show? While thousands of people took advantage of online pre-registration through our web site (thank you!), many thousands more were walk-ins. That wasn’t unexpected. Their hand-written registration slips are being processed now and being added to the attendance database, which will be cleansed of duplication and reported on when ready. Keying these additional registrations into the database on people’s arrival would have caused much longer lines and required additional manpower and equipment that would have been cost prohibitive. So doing this afterwards made sense, and kept thousands more dollars to our bottom line. Hiring help or lining up volunteers to get a “click count” of people going onto the show floor would not have given us accurate numbers. How many times do you think people went in and out over their visit to get food or see the Jenny on display in the lobby, go downstairs to attend first day ceremonies or meetings or auctions, visit the NYC sites and then returning? You get the idea. Waiting for a true count will be worth the delay in getting these legitimate numbers out in just a few more weeks.

What are attendees saying? You can probably imagine the hundreds of emails I have been receiving from visitors around the world congratulating the show committee on putting on a spectacular show. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many and truly appreciated by everyone. Several show-goers passed along suggestions for improvements that we are reviewing and will get these to the Boston team. All feedback continues to be much appreciated.

Were dealers pleased? In the song “Home on the Range” there’s a line that goes, “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word.” That pretty well sums it up. Several dealers reported recouping their booth and show costs after the first two days of the show. I saw patrons three-deep at one dealer’s booth continually that first weekend. That wasn’t every dealer’s experience, but those I’ve reached out to or contacted me were extremely happy with the turnout and the results. The same can be said for the many postal administrations manning booths.

Our Committee is in the process of preparing an official report that will be presented to the APS Board in August at Stampshow in Portland. I will be giving attendees to Saturday’s APS membership meeting a brief review of the show, answering some of the remaining questions above.

The biggest challenge awaits us: How do we capitalize on this great event for the good of philately’s future? Every one of us should be working on that now. Can we find an easy way to inform casual collectors of upcoming shows in their area on a regular basis to help bolster attendance? How about inviting them to attend a local stamp club meeting to foster their budding philatelic passion, or join the APS or a specialty society? Can we help them start a new stamp collecting club?

I can’t end this message without giving a heart-felt thanks to everyone who assisted making World Stamp Show-NY 2016 such a success. Hundreds of collectors (and some of their family members!) came forth before, during and after the show offering their time and talents in a variety of roles for a few hours or days on end. And remember—everyone was a volunteer! That fact was even more impressive to the professionals at the Javits Center, Freeman Decorating and others who put on shows like this all the time and get paid for doing the many tasks our volunteers took upon their yoke, albeit a happy burden.

Isn’t that our ultimate legacy? The people we meet along the way who become our friends and share our philatelic passion eventually eclipse the very pieces of paper we so eagerly seek.

See you in Portland,

Wade Saadi

U.S. National Postal Museum Honors Three

[press release]
National Postal Museum Announces Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award Recipients
Cheryl R. Ganz, William H. Gross, Richard H. Winter Honored

NPM-exterior2The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum today announced the 2016 Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award recipients, Cheryl R. Ganz, William H. Gross and Richard H. Winter. They will be honored at a museum-hosted gala event in Washington, D.C., Oct. 22.

The Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award (SPAA) was established in 2002 to honor and celebrate living individuals for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of philately. This achievement may include original research that significantly advances the understanding of philately, exceptional service to the philatelic community or sustained promotion of philately to the benefit of current and future collectors.

The SPAA medallion is a three-inch, gold-plated bronze disc depicting a sunburst with eight straight and eight wavy rays. Derived from the family coat of arms of James Smithson, founding benefactor of the Smithsonian Institution, the sunburst became the Institution’s official seal June 3, 1966, and is incorporated into the official flag flown by Smithsonian facilities and Smithsonian-sponsored expeditions throughout the world. As such, it is a universally recognized symbol of enlightenment and learning that links the Smithsonian’s history with its future. The medallion is suspended from a grosgrain neck ribbon in Smithsonian blue and yellow.

“There are millions of stamp collectors in the world, and many of them work to support the hobby,” said Allen Kane, museum director. “But the three people we are honoring with these lifetime achievement awards have had a profound impact on the field of philately in significant ways over long periods of time.”

About the recipients:
npm_Cheryl_R_GanzCheryl R. Ganz, Ph.D., FRPSL (born 1950) is an internationally known philatelic expert, author, exhibitor and researcher specializing in aerophilately and zeppelin mail. In 2002, her acclaimed “Come Take a Ride on the Hindenburg” became the first display-class exhibit to win a World Series of Philately grand award. In addition to collecting and exhibiting with distinction, Ganz was an accredited literature judge who led efforts to standardize literature exhibiting and judging. She was the youngest member of the Ameripex ʼ86 organizing committee, a founding director of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and was president of the American Air Mail Society (AAMS). She edited The Zeppelin Collector newsletter for 36 years.

She joined the staff of the National Postal Museum after earning a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago and became chief curator of philately in February 2008. Ganz curated an impressive array of exhibitions and brought the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery to life, selecting many of the 20,000 philatelic items on display. In 2014, she edited a volume about the National Philatelic Collection titled Every Stamp Tells a Story: The National Philatelic Collection.

Upon her retirement in 2014, Linn’s Stamp News credited Ganz with “reshaping the public’s view of stamp collecting.” In recognition of “significant and lasting contributions” to the museum, the Smithsonian granted her emerita status. Ganz is vice-chair of the U.S. Postal Service’s Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee. Her previous awards include the AAMS Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Aérophilatéliques Gold Medal, Mortimer L. Neinken Medal, Alfred Lichtenstein Award, Carlrichard Bruehl Medal, Elizabeth C. Pope Award, Saul Newberry Award and the U.S. Classics Society Distinguished Philatelist Award.

William H. “Bill” Gross (born 1944) has, over the past quarter-century, diligently assembled one of the finest collections of 19th-century U.S. stamps and postal history ever formed. His renowned exhibits have scored a virtually unprecedented 98 points at two separate Fédération Internationale de Philatélie-accredited shows and won the Grand Prix National at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition. He has also built world-class stamp collections of Hawaii, Switzerland, Great Britain, France and Colonies, Scandinavia and British North America. Gross received the Collectors Club of New York’s Alfred F. Lichtenstein Award in 2011.

Almost unique among high-profile collectors, Gross publicly shares his passion for philately. Through his numerous collecting accomplishments, trade of the Inverted Jenny plate block for the One-Cent Z-Grill, and the generosity he and his wife, Sue, have shown in donating millions from the sale of portions of his non-U.S. stamp collections to charitable causes, he has generated more positive media exposure for the hobby over the past decade than any other single collector.

Philately’s most philanthropic supporter, Gross donated the entire press run and proceeds of “William H. Gross Collection—United States Classics 1847–1869: A History of United States Stamps” to The Collectors Club and other organizations. As lead donor to the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the National Postal Museum, he enabled the museum’s expansion and creation of the finest permanent, public exhibition of philatelic material anywhere in the world, promoting stamps and stamp collecting to nearly 500,000 visitors each year and inspiring future collectors.

Richard F. Winter, RDP, FRPSL (born 1937) comes from a stamp-collecting family and collected France and Colonies as a youth. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1959 and served 27 years in the Navy. His years at sea led to a fascination with stampless overseas mail, the steamships that carried the mails across the Atlantic Ocean and the complexities of foreign rates and treaties. He coauthored North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840–75 (with Walter Hubbard, published 1988) and edited United States Incoming Steamship Mail, 1847–1875 (by Theron J. Wierenga, published 2000). His magisterial two-volume study of the subject, Understanding Transatlantic Mail (published 2006–2009), received numerous national grand awards and a large gold at London 2010, a rare achievement in the philatelic literature class.

Winter edited the foreign mails section of The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues for 27 years and currently edits the North Carolina Postal Historian. He has authored more than 100 articles. His previous awards include the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Elliott Perry Cup (1988), Stanley B. Ashbrook Cup (1990), Lester G. Brookman Cup (1996, 2006, 2014) and Distinguished Philatelist Award (1997). He has received the American Philatelic Society’s John N. Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research (1999), the American Philatelic Research Library’s J.C.M. Cryer Research Award (2001) and the Collectors Club of New York’s Alfred F. Lichtenstein Award (2003). He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (2008) at Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

About the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum
NPM-interior2The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at

Zais Edges Nilsestuen For APS Presidency

Mick-ZaisIn one of the most contested American Philatelic Society elections in recent years — while maintaining an air of civility — Mick Zais of South Carolina (right) has been elected President for a three-year term that begins at APS StampShow 2016 in August. [Links go to the candidates’ statements.]

Zais defeated Ken Nilsestuen of Ohio by a mere 3.5% of the vote.

For Board of Vice Presidents, the three-person ticket of Trish Kaufmann, Jeff Shapiro, and Bob Zeigler upset the slate that included incumbents Alex Haimann and Yamil Kouri, plus newcomer John Barwis. The “BVP” is the disciplinary body of the APS, hearing cases that cannot be resolved by an APS staffer.

For Secretary, a position that is rarely contested, Steve Schumann defeated Mark Butterline.

McCann,-Peter-#2-smile-5-03-08aFormer president Peter McCann (left) returns to the Board as a Director-at-Large, polling significantly more votes than any other candidate. He will be joined by Mark Schwartz, Rich Drews and Michael Bloom. The one candidate not elected was Gordon Eubanks, but less than 5 percent of the vote separated Eubanks from Schwartz.

Kristin Patterson and Steve Zwillinger, both coming off terms as Directors-at-Large, easily won election to the American Philatelic Research Library Board of Trustees. Hugh Lawrence was also elected to the APRL Board, in voting by Founders, Patrons and Fellows of the Library.

Here are the complete voting results released by the APS:


*Mick Zais Columbia, SC 2,016 51.7%
Ken Nilsestuen Akron, OH 1,882 48.2%
Other   3 0.1%

Board of Vice President (run as a team of 3)

*Patricia (Trish) Kaufmann Lincoln, DE    
*Jeff Shapiro Fayville, MA 2,220 56.9%
*Robert Zeigler Indianapolis, IN    
John Barwis Holland, MI    
Alex Haimann St. Louis, MO 1,676 43%
Yamil Kouri Lexington, MA    
Other   4 0.1%


*Stephen Schumann Hayward, CA 2,151 55.9%
Mark Butterline Maynard, MA 1,698 44.1%


*Bruce Marsden Short Hills, NJ 2,306 59.8%
Edwin Andrews Chapel Hill, NC 1,549 40.2%

Director-at-Large (Four Open Seats)

      Percentage of Total Ballots
*Peter McCann University Park, FL 3,049 77.2%
*Mark Schwartz Philadelphia, PA 2,748 70%
*Rich Drews Palatine, IL 2,724 68.9%
*Michael Bloom Portland, OR 2,627 66.5%
Gordon Eubanks Pebble Beach, CA 2,583 65.4%
Other   8  


APRL Board of Trustees

APS Member-elected (Two Open Seats)

      Percentage of Total Ballots
*Steven Zwillinger Silver Spring, MD 2,915 73.8%
*Kristin Patterson San Jose, CA 2,777 70.3%
Mark Banchik Great Neck, NY 1,322 33.5%
Other   4  

APRL Founder/Patron (Elected by Founders, Patrons, and Fellows of the APRL)

*Hugh Lawrence Encinitas, CA 36


The Next U.S. International Show

boston2026Even though the dust hasn’t settled yet on the 2016 U.S. international stamp show, work is under way on the next one, Boston 2026.

Actually, some of the planning began in 2007, a year after the previous “international,” Washington 2006.

Each country is allowed by the International Federation of Philately, to host one “international” a decade. For the U.S., these are held in years ending in 6, except for years that end in 47 and 97 — because the U.S. issued its first stamps in 1847. Thus, the U.S. show in the 1990s was Pacific 97.

One of the first steps is to get the approval of the national stamp collecting federation, which in the U.S. is the American Philatelic Society.

“We were ‘anointed’ last year,” Boston 2026 president Nancy Clark tells The Virtual Stamp Club.

“It’s going to be a fabulous gathering in Beantown,” Clark added. ”There are always invited special rarities that are superb and that you don’t see any other time.”

But it won’t just be world-class exhibits.

“You’re going to have post offices from around the world, you’re going to have dealers from around the world,” she said in the VSC interview.

Clark and others are also looking forward to seeing old friends from other countries.

“As my daughter likes to say, ‘You’re going to a reunion.’

Will there be anything at the show for more casual collectors or even the general public?

“Absolutely, Lloyd, you know my reputation is built on some substance,” Clark replied. “There will be meat and potatoes philately going on in an area that is for beginners.”

According to Yamil H. Kouri, Jr., a member of the Boston 2026 committee, noted that Boston is the fifth largest metro area in the United States. About 22 percent of the U.S. population and 52 percent of Canada’s live within a one-day drive of Boston.

The theme of the show will be the 250th anniversary of the United States.

The show will be held at the Boston Convention Center in the Seaport district.

boston2026logo“We’re going to be taking up the entire convention center,” Clark told The VSC. “It’s downtown, it’s right next to the main post office area where they do all the sorting and stuff, straight on the Silver Line [of the rail transit system] right out of the airport, it’s very easy to get to, and you’re within walking distance of anything downtown.”

The Boston 2026 committee is strongly allied with the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum in Weston, MA, and the Northeast Federation of Stamp Clubs, which puts on Philatelic Show each year in Boxboro, MA. The latter has already paid the $10,000 down payment to reserve the convention center.

The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel is attached to the convention center, but in 2019, a second attached hotel should be completed and open. The Committee also promises two nearby moderately-priced hotels.

Asked at an open meeting during World Stamp Show-New York 2016 about the Boston show’s logo (shown above), publicity chair Tom Fortunato — who handled the same job for Washington 2006 and WSS-NY16 — replied that logos for “internationals” often change during the long gestation period. Boston 2026 executive director Mark Butterline pointed out that there is no standout icon for Boston, unlike New York’s Statue of Liberty or Washington’s Capitol dome.

Asked at the meeting about Boston 2026’s “vision,” Kouri replied, “different than the New York Show.”

Lazaroff Completes 50-State Sweep

chris_yellowstone01American First Day Cover Society Immediate Past President Chris Lazaroff is shown in this photo taking a sneak peak in Yellowstone National Park at what would become his 300th first-day ceremony in 50 states. That’s right: Chris has now attended at least one ceremony in every state, as well as a few territories and a District. I’ll have the story in an upcoming issue of Linn’s Stamp News.

His first ceremony was in 1982, but he didn’t get serious until 1989. Wyoming was the last state he needed.

Recovered Jenny Invert Turned Over To APRL

jennyfound08Sundman Also Decides To Extend Reward Offer

June 2, 2016 — The recovered Jenny Invert stamp, stolen in 1955 from a major stamp show, was turned over Thursday to its owner, the American Philatelic Research Library. Making the announcement and then displaying the stamp was APRL executive director Scott  English, while standing in front of an actual JN-4 biplane on display at World Stamp Show-New York 2016. (Behind English, left to right, APRL president Roger Brody, Mystic Stamp Company president Donald Sundman, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.)

There was no amplification for the event, unfortunately.

The stamp was part of a block of four owned by Ethel McCoy. The block was removed from a display at the American Philatelic Society convention in Richmond, Va. McCoy left the stamps, if ever recovered, to the APRL. One was found in 1977, another in 1982, and then, for 34 years, it was a “cold case.”

jennyfound16Mystic Stamp Company president Donald Sundman in September 2014 offered a $50,000 reward for the recovery of the two missing stamps, and “I thought it would be found right away with the initial press coverage,” he told The Virtual Stamp Club. It wasn’t.

“Sundman probably never expected having to write a check,” English told the reporters and onlookers.

jennyfound03Then, last month, Keelin O’Neil (right) of Belfast, Northern Ireland, brought the stamp in to the Spink USA auction house in New York, seeking to sell it. He had found it in his grandfather’s collection. Spink sent it to the Philatelic Foundation for an appraisal, and it was determined that it was one of the two missing stamps, although it had been altered to hide its identity.

O’Neil’s reaction? “Shock, more than anything,” he told The VSC. “When I found out it was stolen, I wanted to return it to its rightful owner.”

“I don’t think he had a choice,” Sundman says. “When the Philatelic Foundation jennyfound24recognized that the stamp was stolen, they contacted the FBI, so he wasn’t getting the stamp back, once it went to the Foundation.”

However, O’Neil is getting the $50,000 reward, as presented by Sundman during the news conference.

The U.S. Justice Department then took a few weeks to determine who that “rightful owner” was.

jennyfound04“This was good citizenship,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “They did the right thing and they ought to be commended for it.”

O’Neil tells The VSC he’s surprised at all the attention the recovery of the stamp is getting, and also how much attention stamp collecting is getting at WSS-NY.

“Now I actually feel kind of hopeful” that the one remain stamp from the “McCoy Block” will surface, Sundman said in The VSC interview, because of the press coverage for the return of the stamp. Among those covering the news conference were the local affiliates for CBS, NBC and Fox, New York 1, and Reuters print and television.

Sundman’s original reward offer ran through the end of World Stamp Show-New York 2016, which is Saturday, June 4.

jennyfound06“I told Roger [Brody, president of the APRL], ‘I’ve got to have a time limit on this, because I don’t want my grandkids to have to pay off this reward,” Sundman told The Virtual Stamp Club. (At left, Brody receives the recover stamp, Jenny Invert position 76, from Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director in Charge, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation.)

However, he is now extending it through the end of 2016, at the request of English.

“The more I thought about it, I think it’s great for the hobby and great for the APS, and so I’ve decided to do that today,” he said.

mccoy76jennyTo mask the stamp’s identity, someone altered the left-side perforations and regummed the stamp, which removed the penciled number applied in 1918. However, because the two-color printing process in 1918 was so rudimentary, the centering of each stamp is different enough that the Philatelic Foundation was able to identify it anyway.

The stamp will reside at APS/APRL headquarters in Bellefonte, Pa., “to share it with our members for awhile,” English told reporters.

How much is the recovered stamp worth? While the best-condition copy of the error stamp sold during this show for $1,175,000, another not-as-good copy, also “reperfed” sold the following day (June 1) for $190,000. “We won’t know [the value of the recovered stamp] until we sell it,” English said.