The U.S. Postal Service held a web conference with the philatelic press on November 4th. This is our report from that conference, posted that same day and updated over the next 2½ weeks. However, we have now spun off all the known issues into their own blog entries, so this page will no longer be updated. Click on the bold-faced subheads to go directly to those individual blog posts. Our overall 2015 U.S. stamp program table is now online here.
A simple list is at the bottom of this post. Battle of New Orleans date set: January 8th.
“Our goal this year is as soon as we have philatelic agreements signed,” said Cindy Tackett, acting director of Stamp Services of the USPS (left). “We’re going to get the information out to you … Our goal is to get this information out to you as soon as we can.”
However, Stamp Services is not announcing issues until it has reached “philatelic agreements” with the appropriate estates and rights-holders.
The agency hopes to lock in dates and first-day cities much earlier this year.
All the year dates this year (“2015”) will be in the upper right corner, a change from last year.
What we have so far; click on any image for a larger version:
Lunar New Year
The first issue of the year will be Lunar New Year, the Ram. Again, a design by Kam Mak, of a candy tray or “tray of togetherness” (“chuen-hop”). The tray is filled with dried fruits, candies, and other treats to provide a sweet beginning to the New Year.
The cut-paper icon of a ram from the previous series by Clarence Lee, plus Chinese characters in the grass-style of calligraphy by the late Lau Bun. This is the eight of the 12-stamp series. Issue date and city are not yet locked in, but it will be issued in January. The Year of the Ram begins on February 19th.
Forever Love stamps (2)
Same design for each stamp, but one is red with white lettering, the other the reverse.
From the USPS:
Lacy lettering in the shape of a heart spells out the word “Forever” on two stamps. One design features red lettering on a white background; the other is reversed, with white lettering on a field of red.
Artist Jessica Hische (pronounced “HYSH”) created the lettering that forms the heart, first drawing her designs by hand and then finishing the stamp art digitally. The red and white color scheme works well with other colors and adds a timeless feel to the design, which resembles filigree (delicate/intricate ornament).
The traditional colors of red and white would be appropriate for valentines, wedding invitations, baby announcements, anniversary cards, party invites, or any occasion that calls for a classic, timeless stamp.
Artist: Jessica Hische of Hazleton, PA / Philadelphia / New York (also did Sealed with Love and Love Ribbons)
Battle of New Orleans
Fourth and final stamp in the series, and of course it will be issued in New Orleans. That’s Andrew Jackson on horseback. This is an original painting by Greg Harlin, who also designed 2014’s Battle of Fort McHenry stamp. Below are the designs for the full sheet. Both the small vignette of Jackson on the reverse (by John Vanderlyn) and the “selvage” illustration on the front of the sheet (Oliver Pelton) are in the Library of Congress: The actual date of the battle was January 8, 1815; January 8, 2015, is a Thursday. Added November 13th: That will be the first day date.
$1 and $2 Patriotic Waves definitives
There is no issue date or even month for this issue; it will depend on current inventory of the Waves of Color $1 and $2 definitives. It’s the same artist as Color (Michael Dayer), and the stamps will come in panes of ten. The $2 is standard commemorative size, the $1 is the “special” size.
Water Lilies (4)
Illustrations of plants from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens n Washington, DC. These will be a booklet of 20, and issued some time in March. These were based on existing photos by Cindy Dyer, who also took the photos for the Ferns in early 2014.
From Me To You (1 design + stickers)
April is National Card & Letter Writing Month. The panes of 20 stamps includes 12 stickers, and the USPS information also refers to “decals.” The artist is Michael Osborne of San Francisco, who also did Love: Candy Hearts, Chacón “Madonna and Child, Our Wedding, Patriotic Banner (Presorted Standard), Presorted First-Class Spectrum Eagle, Yes, I Do, and Where Dream Blossom.
The Postal People seemed especially eager to know our opinions of this design, and, of those expressing opinions, none really liked it.
Below is the design of the complete pane of stamps: Civil War (2)
Designs are still being finalized, but, yes, the two events are the Battle of Five Forks and Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Mark Saunders of the USPS notes that the two sites are only about 20 miles apart. He didn’t say, but I’d guess that means just one first day ceremony, at A.C.H., some time in April.
For those who don’t know, Appomattox Court House is and was a different town than Appomattox. All of A.C.H. is now within the National Park. And another fun bit of trivia: The house in which the surrender was signed was, in the late 1800s, dismantled and taken to Washington, where the purchasers hoped to display it with an admission fee. It never happened. Some time in the early 20th century (1930s? About 1940?) the Park Service purchased the pieces, took it back to A.C.H. and reassembled it on the same site.
Summer Harvest (4)
The concept has been around for awhile, but these are new designs, reminiscent of the labels on fruit crates in the early 20th Century. These will be issued in June.The artist is Michael Doret.
This stamp commemorates both the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Revenue Cutter Service bill into law on August 4, 1790, and also the 100th anniversary of the formal establishing of the U.S. Coast Guard. The original oil painting (oil on masonite by William S. Philips) shows the cutter Eagle and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the standard aircraft used for rescues. The Eagle was also featured on a 1978 postcard. “We’re excited by this stamp,” said Tackett.
Wedding stamps (2)
No set date on this, but the USPS wants to give brides and grooms a choice of different wedding stamps. These are stylized black-and-white drawings of a “Vintage Tulip” (two ounces) and “Vintage Rose” (one ounce). They will be engraved stamps. “The artwork features details from engraved plates dating from the early 1700’s,” says the USPS. The designer is Jeanne Greco of New York, who also did King & Queen of Hearts a few years ago.
Also in the plans, but with no details yet available because the rights have not yet been nailed down:
- Music Icons #1
- Music Icons #2
- Legends of Hollywood
- Black Heritage
- “another notable African-American”
- Medal of Honor- Vietnam (3)
- New York 2016 – World Stamp Show. The USPS has not yet begun to design this stamp, so no word on what might be shown. “We haven’t even started development of that,” said Tackett. It probably will be issued at APS StampShow in August. That would make it likely for August 20 or 21 in Grand Rapids, Mich.”It will be designed with the collector in mind,” said Stamp Development Specialist Bill Gicker during the web conference. “We do want it to be special.”
Here’s a quick list of the 2015 program so far:
Lunar New Year
Forever Love Stamps (2)
Battle of New Orleans (War of 1812)
Black Heritage? (Rumored: Robert Robinson Taylor)
From Me To You
Civil War (2)
U.S. Coast Guard
NY 2016 World Stamp Show
Patriotic Waves $1 and $2
Wedding stamps (2)
Music Icon #1 (Rumored: Elvis Presley)
Music Icon #2 (Rumored: James Brown)
Legend of Hollywood (Rumored: Ingrid Bergman)
“another notable African-American”
Medal of Honor – Vietnam War (3)
The “Deep CSAC” list leaked in January 2014 was right about most if not all of the above issues. Here’s the rest of that list for 2015:
Black Heritage: Robert Robinson Taylor
Madonna & Child by Bachiacca
Hollywood: Ingrid Bergman
Music: James Brown
Science Fiction Writers