Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

Orbis impresses with airplane cinderellas on reply envelope

Life has been exceptionally busy over the past few weeks, and I have a little bit of a backlog of blog posts to churn through now. I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll get through them all quickly, but I do have some interesting material to share.

The first such item is from Orbis, a nonprofit organization that provides training to healthcare professionals in developing nations in order to treat and prevent conditions that can lead to blindness. In 1982, the organization began operating its first “Flying Eye Hospital,” an aircraft specially converted to function as a teaching hospital.

That “Flying Eye Hospital” is no doubt the reason for the inclusion of the silhouette of an airplane in the Orbis logo used on this business reply envelope that I recently received from the organization. Of greater interest from a philatelic perspective, however, are the two “Vision” cinderellas bearing a matching silhouette that are attached to the envelope.

Orbis business reply envelope bearing two cinderella stamps picturing airplane silhouette and word “Vision”
Orbis business reply envelope with airplane cinderellas

I believe the labels’ edges are die cut (measuring approximately die cut 11) since they appear to be far too clean to be regular perforations. I presume that the labels are self-adhesive.

Finally, I have to note that the printing quality on these is admittedly not great; you can probably see vertical lines in my scan, and those are actually present on the labels themselves. Nevertheless, they kind of sort of look like stamps, so they did catch my attention.

This business reply envelope is not the first mailing that I’ve seen from Orbis with a philatelic connection. Back in 2018, I received a cover from the organization with modified images of several Ethiopian stamps printed on the reverse. In both cases, I suspect the “stamps” were used simply as design elements rather than with any specific philatelic intent, but they are in my opinion very interesting.

Bat’s Private Post celebrates centennial of Four Horsemen

On March 6, Bat’s Private Post of Beverly Hills, California, issued a set of six stamps commemorating the centennial of the release of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The silent film released in 1921 propelled actor Rudolph Valentino to stardom.

8¢ and 60¢ stamps depict scenes from the filmwhile director Rex Ingram appears on a 10¢ value, screenwriter June Mathis on a second 60¢ stamp, and Valentino both on a $1.25 stamp with co-star Alice Terry and by himself on a $3 stamp.

Bat’s Private Post 8¢ & 60¢ stamps depicting scenes from The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Bat’s Private Post The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse local post stamps
Bat’s Private Post stamps picturing Rex Ingram, June Mathis, Alice Terry, & Rudolph Valentino
Bat’s Private Post The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse local post stamps

For more information about these new local post stamps, you can write to:

Bat’s Private Post
PO Box 11175
Beverly Hills CA 90213-4175
United States of America

Purgatory Post commemorates Perseverance Mars rover

New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post on March 2 commemorated Perseverance, the Mars 2020 rover that landed on the Red Planet on February 18, with the issuance of a new 4-sola stamp picturing the rover.

The 4-sola stamp was issued in miniature sheets of four.

Purgatory Post 4-sola stamp picturing Mars 2020 mission’s Perseverance rover
Purgatory Post Mars 2020 Perseverance stamp

Perseverance has several tasks including checking for evidence of past life on Mars, running tests in preparation for potential future crewed missions to Mars, and collecting rock and soil samples.

I think Purgatory Post operator Scott A. did a very nice job with this stamp. The color certainly evokes thoughts of Mars, and the font selection fits well on the stamp, too.

Scott tells me that with various spaceflight anniversaries plus other planned missions this year, collectors can expect additional space-themed stamps from Purgatory Post in 2021.

Spring 2021 update for The Philosateleian

The United States Postal Service has not released an exceptionally large number of stamps so far in 2021, but there are a few new issues that you might be starting to see showing up on your incoming mail. With that in mind, I’m happy to announce that the Spring 2021 Supplement (1.42 MB, 21 files, 58 pages) for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is now available to print and download.

If you think 58 pages is a big large for a regular supplement, you’re right. This update includes album pages for stock transfer and future delivery revenue stamps. All of those files are prefaced with “r_” to make them easy to identify; if you don’t collect fiscals, you can skip printing those files.

I welcome your feedback on the new and updated pages. Thank you for your continued interest in The Philosateleian!

Human Rights Watch joins faux postage movement

Several months have passed since I last wrote about a business reply envelope with preprinted stamp-sized designs being included in a mailing from a nonprofit organization, but in February I received a fundraising mailing from Human Rights Watch that included just such an item.

The designs inclue a flower, a fist, hearts, and a globe with a dove.

Human Rights Watch business reply envelope with preprinted stamp-sized artwork
Human Rights Watch business reply envelope

I think other BREs that I’ve seen with actual stamp-sized labels affixed to them are more appealing in general, but the trend seems to be for nonprofits to use the appracoh of having the designs printed directly on their envelopes.

(As this envelope doesn’t really fit into any of my collections, it’s now for sale in my online shop.)

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