Collectors Club Exhibits at COMPEX 2017

[press release]
COMPEX 2017 – GUEST EXHIBITS BY COLLECTORS CLUB OF CHICAGO

This year at COMPEX, we are once again privileged to announce that the esteemed Collectors Club of Chicago has been invited to present over 140 frames of exhibits by its members in a special section of the show. Many of these members have received high awards nationally and internationally. This is the second year that the Collectors Club of Chicago will be participating in COMPEX, and we are delighted that our visitors will have the opportunity to view these wonderful exhibits. Please be sure to stop by to see them.

COMPEX 2017 will be held on the weekend of May 19, 20 and 21, at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, IL. Please note that this is the weekend before Memorial Day weekend.

Hours of the show are: Friday and Saturday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free!!!

COMPEX 2017 (Combined Philatelic Exhibition of Chicagoland) is comprised of 9 Chicago area clubs holding their individual exhibits under the same roof at the same time. Member clubs of COMPEX will present a wide variety of exhibits for the viewing pleasure of all in attendance.

This special exhibit by the Collectors Club of Chicago is in addition to the regular exhibits by the members of the COMPEX clubs.

Once again, COMPEX will have its traditional Youth/Beginners Booth with free stamps and activities for new collectors of all ages, whether they are new to the hobby or just started on their collections. Information about collecting is also available for those wanting to get started in the hobby, regardless of age.

A bourse of approximately 40 dealers, including a few postcard dealers, will be participating to fill the needs of all levels of collecting interests. The United States Postal Service and the United National Postal Administration will participate with their respective postal products available for purchase. We will also welcome post card and coin dealers. Contact Charles Berg for details (see below for contact information).

In addition to exhibits and dealers, several local area clubs will be holding their society meetings during COMPEX, including the Chicago Philatelic Society with a program by Tom Horn. Tom is in charge of Special Projects at the American Philatelic Society, and the Chicagoland Chapter No. 5, Germany Philatelic Society will also present a program still in the planning stage. Other societies have not finalized their plans as yet and details will be announced at a later date. Please be sure to check the show program and this website for details.

Make your plans now to attend COMPEX 2017 on the weekend of May 19, 20 and 21. There will be something of interest for all attendees!!

For further information regarding COMPEX 2017, please contact Show President Charles Berg, email stampkingchicago@hotmail.com, Phone 773-775-2100 or Stamp King Facebook. The COMPEX website is here.

Vimy Ridge (World War I) (Canada 2017)

[press release]
New stamps to be issued with France mark 100th anniversary of Canadian sacrifice and victory in the Battle of Vimy Ridge
This significant First World War action was pivotal in our history

OTTAWA – On April 8, 2017, Canada Post will issue commemorative stamps to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, an impressive victory in the First World War that was a coming-of-age moment for Canada.

The joint issue with France will feature two stamps, one designed by Canada Post and the other by France’s La Poste, honouring the bond that the battle on French soil forged between the two nations.

At 5:30 a.m. on April 9, 1917, the first wave of soldiers in the nearly 100,000-strong Canadian Corps emerged from their muddy trenches. The Corps was ordered to seize a heavily fortified and strategic height of land, Vimy Ridge, in northern France. The ridge had been a virtually impregnable German-held position since early in the war and had withstood several previous assaults, at great cost to the Allies.

Advancing on the heels of a ferocious artillery barrage that pounded the German defences, the Canadians crossed a treacherous no man’s land, attacked up hill and played a vital role in helping Allied forces capture Vimy Ridge.

It was one of the most impressive Allied victories of the First World War – but it came at a heavy price. Nearly 3,600 Canadians were killed and more than 7,000 were wounded over four days of bitter fighting. The Canadian soldiers’ bravery, determination and skillful precision at Vimy earned Canada international accolades. To this day, the Battle of Vimy Ridge is considered by many to be one of the defining moments that helped to forge a proud, more independent identity for a nation that was still relatively young.

“The Battle of Vimy Ridge saw thousands of Canadians make the ultimate sacrifice and is the best-known chapter in our country’s proud First World War history,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post. “The valour of Canadians at Vimy a century ago is a poignant reminder of the enormous price paid so we can live in freedom.”

The Canadian stamp was designed by Susan Scott of Montréal and features the two towering pylons of Walter Allward’s Vimy monument, which represent France and Canada. The sheer scale of the monument reflects Canada’s important contribution to Allied victory in the First World War. In the foreground of the stamp is a figure of a grieving man, one of the monument’s statues, symbolizing loss and grief. The ridge behind the monument on the stamp recalls the site of the battle itself.

Also represented on the stamp are the thousands of names inscribed around the base of the monument. They are a memorial to all the Canadians who died in France during the First World War and had no known grave at the time. Laurel sprigs surrounding the monument’s two towers on the stamp represent the victory and tragic loss of life. A maple leaf on one sprig represents Canada, while an oak leaf on the other represents France.

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial was featured on a stamp Canada Post issued in 1968, commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War.

About the stamps
Available in a booklet of 10, the domestic rate stamps measure 41 mm x 30 mm and feature lithography in a four-colour process and two special inks. A Canada souvenir sheet at the Canadian international rate featuring two stamps – one designed by Canada and one by France – measures 130 mm x 85 mm and includes lithography and offset gravure printing. An official first day cover with a single domestic rate stamp and a joint official first day cover with both stamps at the Canadian international rate measure 190 mm x 112 mm and feature a four-colour process and one special ink.

Canada Post and France’s La Poste unveiled stamps to honour the Canadian soldiers who fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada (left), was joined by Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post, to unveil the Canadian stamp. France’s stamp was unveiled by His Excellency Nicolas Chapuis, Ambassador of France to Canada, and Benoît Georges, representative of La Poste for the Americas. Photo by Denis Drever\Canada Post.

En Francais:
Une émission conjointe avec la France souligne le centenaire de la victoire du Canada à Vimy et les sacrifices de nos soldats
Cette importante bataille de la Première Guerre mondiale est un événement charnière de notre histoire

OTTAWA – Le 8 avril 2017, Postes Canada émettra des timbres commémoratifs pour souligner le centenaire de la bataille de la crête de Vimy, une victoire remarquable qui donna au Canada son identité propre.

Cette émission conjointe du Canada et de la France est composée de deux timbres, l’un conçu par Postes Canada et l’autre par La Poste (France), pour illustrer le lien que ce combat en sol français a créé entre les deux nations.

À 5 h 30 le 9 avril 1917, la première vague des quelque 100 000 soldats canadiens sort des tranchées boueuses. Le corps d’armée doit prendre une partie stratégique très élevée et puissamment fortifiée du nord de la France, la crête de Vimy. Dès le début de la guerre, les Allemands avaient envahi cette position, la rendant quasi impénétrable. Elle avait déjà résisté à plusieurs assauts, forçant les alliés à combattre au prix de grands sacrifices.

Dans la foulée d’un terrible barrage d’artillerie qui a pilonné la défensive allemande, les soldats canadiens traversent une zone périlleuse, attaquent l’ennemi en amont et jouent un rôle primordial dans la prise de la crête de Vimy par les forces alliées.

Cette victoire est l’une des plus impressionnantes des forces alliées, mais le tribut payé est très lourd. En quatre jours de combat sans merci, près de 3 600 Canadiens sont tués et plus de 7 000 subissent des blessures. La bravoure, la détermination et la précision des soldats canadiens à Vimy ont valu au Canada les éloges du monde entier. À ce jour, la bataille de la crête de Vimy est considérée par plusieurs comme faisant partie des grands moments qui ont permis au Canada, encore relativement jeune, de se forger une identité distincte et empreinte de fierté.

« La bataille de la crête de Vimy a coûté la vie à des milliers de Canadiens et elle représente un volet incontournable du rôle de notre pays dans la Première Guerre mondiale, affirme Deepak Chopra, président-directeur général de Postes Canada. Le courage des Canadiens à Vimy il y a cent ans est un douloureux rappel de l’énorme prix payé pour la liberté. »

Le timbre Canadien, conçu par Susan Scott de Montréal, représente les deux colonnes jumelles du majestueux Mémorial national du Canada à Vimy, chef-d’œuvre de Walter Allward, qui représente la France et le Canada. La taille imposante du monument évoque l’importante contribution du Canada dans la victoire des alliés et la fin des combats de la Première Guerre mondiale. La vignette représente à l’avant-plan une des statues érigées sur le monument, celle d’un homme affligé symbolisant le deuil. Derrière le monument, la crête rappelle le site de la bataille.

Illustrés également sur le motif sont les milliers de noms gravés autour du monument, évoquant le souvenir de tous les Canadiens qui sont morts en France durant la Première Guerre mondiale et dont le lieu de sépulture est inconnu. Les branches de laurier qui forment un cercle devant les deux tours du monument représentent à la fois la victoire et la perte tragique de vies humaines. La feuille d’érable symbolise le Canada, alors que la feuille de chêne symbolise la France.

Postes Canada a émis en 1968 un timbre orné du Mémorial national du Canada à Vimy à l’occasion du 50e anniversaire de l’armistice qui a mis fin à la Première Guerre mondiale.

À propos des timbres
Proposés en carnets de 10, les timbres au tarif du régime intérieur mesurent 41 mm x 30 mm et sont lithographiés en quatre couleurs au moyen de deux encres spéciales. Un bloc-feuillet Canada au tarif du régime international en monnaie canadienne et composé des deux timbres – l’un conçu par le Canada et l’autre par la France – mesure 130 mm x 85 mm et il est imprimé selon les techniques de lithographie et d’héliogravure. Un pli Premier Jour officiel comportant un seul timbre au tarif du régime intérieur et un pli Premier Jour officiel conjoint comportant les deux timbres au tarif du régime international en monnaie canadienne mesurent 190 mm x 112 mm et sont imprimés en quadrichromie avec une encre spéciale.

Strawberries (U.S. 2017)

Updated April 27th: You can now order a strip of 500, SKU #760315, $15.00.

Updated April 17th: Here is the pictorial first-day postmark for this issue: It measures 2.89″ x 1.31″.

Updated March 31st:
On May 5, 2017, in Acton, MA, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the 3-cent Strawberries stamp, in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) coil of 10,000 stamps (Item 760300). The stamp will go on sale nationwide May 5, 2017.

In 2017, the U.S. Postal Service will issue Strawberries, a new 3-cent definitive stamp featuring an illustration of three ripe, red strawberries surrounded by leaves and hulls, and three smaller green strawberries in various stages of growth. A small white flower from the strawberry plant completes the picture. Art director Derry Noyes designed this stamp using an existing illustration by John Burgoyne, created with pen, ink, and watercolor.

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. Each cover must have sufficient postage to meet First-Class Mail requirements. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/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:

FDOI — Strawberries Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

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 July 5, 2017.

Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows:

  • 760316 First-Day Cover, $0.96

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Strawberries Stamp
Item Number: 760300
Denomination & Type of Issue: 3-cent Denominated, Mail Use
Format: Coil of 10,000 (1 design)
Series: N/A
Issue Date & City: May 5, 2017, Acton, MA 01720
Art Director: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Designer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Typographer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Existing Photos: John Burgoyne, West Barnstable, MA
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville, NY
Press Type: Muller A76
Stamps per Coil: 10,000
Print Quantity: 200,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Nonphosphored Type III
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Colors: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area (w x h): 0.73 x 0.84 in./18.54 x 21.34 mm
Stamp Size (w x h): 0.87 x 0.98 in./22.10 x 24.89 mm
Plate Size: 594 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “P” followed by four (4) single digits
Coil Number Frequency: Plate numbers every 27th stamp below stamp image

From the USPS March 24th:

The Strawberries 3-cent stamp will be available in coils of 10,000 when issued May 5. It features an illustration of three ripe, red strawberries surrounded by leaves and hulls adjacent to three smaller, green strawberries in various stages of growth. A small white flower from the strawberry plant completes the picture. Art director Derry Noyes designed this stamp using an existing illustration by John Burgoyne. The first-day-of-issue will be in Acton, MA.

[May 5 is the first day of Philatelic Show in Boxborough, Mass., approximately 5 miles from Acton.—VSC]

Green Succulent Global Forever (U.S. 2017)

Updated April 19th:
Technical Specifications:

Item Number: 564500
Denomination & Type of Issue: Forever® International Rate
Format: Pane of 10 (1 design)
Series: N/A
Issue Date & City: April 28, 2017, San Francisco, CA 94188
Art Director: William J. Gicker, Washington, DC
Designer: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Typographer: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Existing Photo: Erika Kirkpatrick, Laguna Niguel, CA
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville, NY
Press Type: Muller A76
Stamps per Pane: 10
Print Quantity: 100,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Nonphosphored, Block Tag
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Colors: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, PMS Cool Gray 7C
Stamp Orientation: Round
Image Area (w x h): 1.20 x 1.20 in./30.48 x 30.48 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 1.41 x 1.41 in./35.81 x 35.81 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 8.50 x 4.09 in./215.90 x 103.89 mm
Plate Size: 180 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “P” followed by five (5) digits
Marginal Markings:
Front: Plate numbers in four corners of pane
Back: ©2017 USPS • USPS Logo • Barcode (564500) on each stamp • Plate Position Diagram • Promotional Text

Updated April 17th: Here is the Digital Color Postmark for this issue: It measures 2.97” x 1.23″.

Updated March 31st:
On April 28, 2017, in San Francisco, CA, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Green Succulent Global Forever International rate stamp, in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 10 stamps (Item 564500). The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 28, 2017.

Green Succulent is a new Global Forever International rate stamp, which can be used to mail a 1-ounce letter to any country where First-Class Mail International service is available. The stamp features a photograph of an Echeveria, a succulent native to the Americas. The art director was William J. Gicker. Greg Breeding designed the stamp using an existing photograph by Erika Kirkpatrick.

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices.

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 usps.com/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:

FDOI — Green Succulent Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

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 June 28, 2017.

Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows:

  • 564510 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $13.95
  • 564516 First-Day Cover, $1.59
  • 564521 Digital Color Postmark, $2.30

Technical Specifications will follow in two weeks.

From the USPS, March 24th:

The Green Succulent Global Forever international rate stamp will be available in panes of 10 stamps to be issued April 28. It can be used to mail a 1-ounce letter to any country where First-Class Mail International service is available. The stamp features a photograph of an echeveria, a succulent native to the Americas. William J. Gicker was the art director and Greg Breeding designed the stamp with an existing photograph by Erika Kirkpatrick. The first-day-of-issue will be in San Francisco.

[April 28 is the first day of WESTPEX stamp show in San Francisco —VSC]

USPS Revamps Philatelic Catalogue

from the Postal Bulletin
USA Philatelic Redesign

We are excited to announce the redesign of USA Philatelic, a robust vehicle that provides knowledge and personal insight into the creativity of stamps to inspire stamp collecting. Readers will now have access to exclusive background information about stamps, learn new ways to create beautiful mail, and explore new philatelic products in the Product Spotlight section.

Throughout USA Philatelic, readers will also find opportunities to enhance their experience with the USPS® Augmented Reality (AR) app. By scanning the page with the USPS AR icon, readers will discover interesting information about stamps and products, or gain a glimpse of the first-day-of-issue stamp ceremony — and that’s just the beginning of the USA Philatelic transformation!

We have distributed the USA Philatelic spring edition (SKU 00000014) to Postal Retail Units nationwide, and additional copies can be requested through eBuy2 by searching for the appropriate SKU number. The Material Distribution Center will fill all orders.

Customers who are interested in receiving a free issue should call 800-STAMP-24 or go to www.usps.com/philatelic to add themselves to the USA Philatelic subscription listing.

Medieval Castles (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Stamps feature robust medieval castles

The Hague – PostEurop’s annual European design competition puts castles in the spotlight this year. PostNL is therefore issued on February 20 the stamp sheetlet ‘Dutch Castles’ featuring the medieval moated castles Doornenburg and Ammersoyen in Gelderland.

The 52 cooperating postal companies in Europe have been publishing stamps with a common theme since 1956. This has taken place via PostEurop since 1993.

Contrast between the two castles
The late medieval Dutch castles Doornenburg with its square tower (13th century) and Ammersoyen with the round tower (14th century) have been chosen for this international stamp sheetlet as examples of recognisable fortified dwellings of the Middle Ages. The contrast between the castles is shown by overlapping photos including a historical letter and the outline of the floor plan. Both castles have broad moats for defence against hostile attacks. Additionally, Doornenburg Castle is familiar to many Dutch people as the setting for the popular 1960s Dutch TV series “Floris”.

Classic illustration
With this stamp sheetlet, The Hague designer Bart de Haas wanted to demonstrate the robust nature of castles. “Doornenburg and Ammersoyen are classic castles, just as you might have imagined them as a child: tall, with striking towers and a moat crossed by a drawbridge. They still look medieval now, even after restoration following bombings in the War. I was able to bring back more classical elements in the stamp sheetlet using images of coats of arms and old prints.”

Availability
The ‘Dutch Castles’ stamp sheetlet comprises ten International stamps with two different images. These stamps are marked ‘Internationaal 1’ and are intended for mail items up to 20g with worldwide destinations. The stamps were available from 20 February at all Bruna stores as well as via collectclub.nl. The stamps are valid until further notice.

Dutch Postal Agency Expands Food Deliveries

[press release]
PostNL further expands food delivery

From now on, PostNL will deliver food products seven days a week via the special food network. More and more people are buying their food products online, both in cities and in rural areas. PostNL delivers shopping, meal boxes and specialty products such as meat and sports nutrition for various providers. Since February 2017, PostNL has also been delivering Marley Spoon and De Krat meal boxes.

Special food network
In order to increase convenience for consumers, online providers of food products are increasing the number of days on which delivery can take place. In addition, consumers can receive more accurate information on the delivery time via the PostNL app. The time period within which PostNL will deliver has been shortened to 30 minutes. PostNL aims to be the best logistics provider for online food in the Benelux region. A special food network has been developed for this with its own IT application through which senders and recipients can track their orders in real time. More than 30 food vendors deliver their products throughout the Netherlands with PostNL, including Ekoplaza, Marley Spoon, Hoogvliet, Sligro, De Krat, Mathijs Maaltijdbox, Ekomenu and Samen een Koe Kopen.

PostNL cool box
Food products are transported in the PostNL cool box, which was developed in collaboration with the University of Wageningen. This cool box keeps the products at the right temperature so that they stay fresh. The sealed cool boxes are opened at your front door and after being unloaded, are taken away again by the deliverer. This means that the cool boxes can be reused up to 500 times and the food vendors do not need to pack the products in cartons or boxes themselves. This saves on packaging, which benefits the environment.

John Hotchner’s Philatelic Bucket List

A United States Bucket List
By John M. Hotchner

Not so long ago bucket lists burst on the scene. If your nose was in your albums and you missed it, the idea was put forward that all of us approaching the September of our lives should make a list of those things we wished to do or see before December 31st of our lives.

Well, here I am at about October 25, and as a charter member of the procrastinators’ club, I’m just getting to this task. I’ve recently done such a list with a worldwide perspective, and found it interesting to put a laser-like focus on what I really want to get done. A friend who saw it suggested that I ought to narrow the scope to U.S. philately only, and provide it here as a means of encouraging our U.S. collector community members to do their own lists.

The size of the list is an issue. Some are satisfied with ten items. It is said that too many disappointments are the result of too many expectations, but I’ll chance it. Thus, my list presented here is 20 items; which actually works out to one a year until I’m 93. That seems do-able, if maybe a tad ambitious.

But the point is not so much to get it all done as to help the mind to have a sense of what is really important versus what is passing fancy. This can be useful for resource allocation–what will we spend both time and money on–and for sense of satisfaction as items are crossed off.

Given that no one wants to reach the end of the list and have nothing to live for, so to speak, my method will be to add something to the list every time I cross something off. It is important to have a challenge to get up for every morning!

This is a highly individual exercise. Which is a way of saying that my list won’t work for you. But perhaps it will serve as a guide on the sorts of things that you want to consider for your own list. So, even those of you who are at March 1st of your lives, I hope you will do this exercise. Dream big!

Here is my effort:

1. Find a U.S. Scott #613, the rotary press-printed 2¢ Black Harding, perf 11. There are about 65 examples known, and I believe there are more waiting to be discovered. Since buying one is out of the question (Cat. Value: $40,000), I measure every 2¢ Harding I come across. Maybe lightening will strike!

2. Get up enough courage to start collecting U.S. revenues. I have a set of Scott album pages, but the project looks daunting. Yet much of it is affordable, and interesting, and I want to get started, but just have not been able to nd the time–or make the time.

3. Solve the mystery of the 3¢ Servicewomen commemorative of 1952, Scott #1013, which features four servicewomen as portrayed by professional models. I know the name of one. Who are the others? Research in the les of the USPS, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Defense Department have failed to bring the names to light. Someone must know.?

4. My hoard of Korean War postal history awaits. I bought a first class exhibit several years ago, and have my own material gathered over 30 years to add to it; and continue to find new covers. The task now is to recast and improve the exhibit.

5. My U.S. clipping files have as much unfiled material as what is in the folders. This is a project that needs some serious work.

6. Get used copies of the USIR-watermarked 8¢ Sherman (Scott #272a) and $1 Prexie (#832b) for my collection.

7. Do or update at least one one-frame exhibit a year: Pending are #C22 international uses, C32 international uses, methods of marking repaired and rejected material in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and The Naked Maja in U.S. philately. (Readers may notice a theme here: there is an awful lot of exhibiting going on, but it has become over the years one of my favorite creative outlets, and I can’t get enough of it!)

8. Update my 1934 and 1935 Christmas seal multi-frame exhibits.

9. Encourage those who can make it happen to get a U.S. philatelic periodical on U.S. newsstands. I’m convinced that this could make a real difference in bringing 30-somethings and beyond into the hobby.

10. Give a presentation on U.S. Error, Freak and Oddity Collecting at the Royal Philatelic Society, London.

11. Reread the George Brett book on Giori Printing; the best exposition of a complex subject that marked a turning point (in the mid-1950s) in U.S. stamp production; enabling multicolor printing, and bringing life to what had been almost entirely a monocolor stamp program.

12. Convince Scott Catalogue editors to include the Allied Military Government issues from Austria, France, Germany and Italy in the U.S. Specialized Catalogue; not to mention the Korean issues. Scott includes Ryukyus, but that is only a good start.

13. Organize a 40-year accumulation of Washington-Franklin (3rd Bureau Issue) local precancels, and while I’m at it, try to discover a Scott #544, the 1¢ Rotary Press sheet waste stamp; often seen precancelled.

14. Do a booklet or book on the 60+ instances where living people are shown on U.S. stamps. This has been one focus of my Linn’s reporting over the years, and there are many interesting stories to be told.

15. Find for my mourning covers collection, a cover to or from a funeral home that was sent to a dead letter office (preferably in Deadwood, South Dakota).

16. Make sense, and maybe an exhibit, of a 50-year accumulation of U.S. postal cards with printed messages on the back that show the everyday and often mundane activities of Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; from birth to death.

17. Judging at the next U.S. international: 2026 in Boston!

18. Write an article on U.S. postal counterfeits each year for the book-length Fakes Forgeries Experts, produced under the auspices of the International Association of Philatelic Experts (AIEP).

19. Spend some time every day, washing, organizing, cataloguing, and putting stamps in my albums. It is surprising how easy it is for that set of activities to take last place.

20. Be around, at age 97, to celebrate and ponder the glorious 200th anniversary of postage stamps in the year 2040, and maybe even the equally glorious 200th anniversary of U.S. postage stamp general issues in 2047. Medical science is making great strides in extending life!

Fulfilling some of the entries in this list will depend upon luck (rather than bucks), medical practitioners, help from friends, will power, and the grace of God. But hopefully in 20 years or so, I can look back and say I’ve crossed at least half off the list. Now, get started on your list!


Should you wish to comment on this column, or have questions or ideas you would like to have explored in a future column, please write to John Hotchner, VSC Contributor, P.O. Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or email, putting “VSC” in the subject line.

Or comment right here.

U.S. Scott Catalogue Update (March 2017)

5156 $6.65 Lili’uokalani Gardens
5157 $23.75 Gateway Arch

5158 (49¢) Flag coil stamp (Banknote printing), serpentine die cut 11 vert.
5159 (49¢) Flag coil stamp (Ashton-Potter printing), serpentine die cut 9½ vert.
5160 (49¢) Flag booklet stamp (Banknote printing), microprinted “USPS” on right end of fourth red stripe, serpentine die cut 11¼x10¾ on 2 or 3 sides
a. Booklet pane of 10
b. Booklet pane of 20
5161 (49¢) Flag booklet stamp (Ashton-Potter printing), microprinted “USPS” on right end of second white stripe, serpentine die cut 11¼x10¾ on 2 or 3 sides
a. Booklet pane of 20

5162 (49¢) Flag ATM booklet stamp (Ashton-Potter printing), microprinted “USPS” on left end of second white stripe near blue field, serpentine die cut 11¼x10¾ on 2, 3 or 4sides
a. Booklet pane of 18
5163 (34¢) Queen Conch shell, serpentine die cut 11¼x10¾
5164 (34¢) Pacific Calico Scallop shell, serpentine die cut 11¼x10¾
5165 (34¢) Alphabet Cone shell, serpentine die cut 11¼x10¾
5166 (34¢) Zebra Nerite shell, serpentine die cut 11¼x10¾
a. Horiz. or vert. strip of 4, #5163-5166

5167 (34¢) Alphabet Cone shell coil stamp, serpentine die cut 9¾ vert.
5168 (34¢) Zebra Nerite shell coil stamp, serpentine die cut 9¾ vert.
5169 (34¢) Queen Conch shell coil stamp, serpentine die cut 9¾ vert.
5170 (34¢) Pacific Calico Scallop shell coil stamp, serpentine die cut 9¾ vert.
a. Horiz. strip of 4, #5167-5170

5171 (49¢) Dorothy Height

U695 $6.65 Lili’uokalani Gardens stamped envelope

Daisies (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Canada Post “picks” Daisies for 2017
Annual flower issue timed for spring and newlyweds OTTAWA Ð Once again, Canada Post will welcome spring and delight future newlyweds, gardeners and collectors with their annual spring flower issue. This year, the domestic-rate Permanent stamps will focus on two colourful varieties of daisies:

  • While named after a shoreline village in Ohio, the lakeside daisy is now almost exclusively found on southern Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island. Designated “threatened” on both federal and provincial species-at-risk lists, the perennial plant thrives in development-prone areas of exposed bedrock with scant soil.
  • The usually lavender showy fleabane is found in wet meadows and open forests in higher elevation areas of British Columbia and Alberta.

For 2017, all stamp issues will include references to Canada’s sesquicentennial. For the Daisies issue, the words “Canada 150” are printed on the stamps in microtype. Due to the popularity of this issue for wedding invitations and stationery, the 26 mm (W) X 32 mm (H) stamps are available in booklets of 10 or coils of 50 — with the coil liner printed with the lyrics of Harry Dacre’s 1892 classic song, “Daisy, Daisy.” A two-stamp Souvenir Sheet, prepaid postcards of both designs and strips of four and 10 stamps from the coil are also available. An Official First Day cover featuring both stamps is canceled in Tobermory, Ontario. The stamps were designed and illustrated by Debbie Adams, of Adams + Associates Design Consultants Inc. and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group. The souvenir sheet The Official First Day Cover