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

Philosateleian Blog

Another solo usage of the 14¢ American Indian stamp

As you’re probably aware if you’ve been reading my thoughts for any period of time, covers showing solo usages of the 14¢ American Indian stamps are, as they say in the South where I grew up, scarcer than hens’ teeth. That’s why I was very happy to be the high bidder on a cover sent to New Jersey stamp dealer and researcher Elliott Perry in 1924.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian cover mailed to Elliott Perry

The 14¢ stamp on this cover paid for two ounces of postage as 2¢ per ounce plus the 10¢ registration fee that was in effect until 1925.

Some might argue that being addressed to a known philatelist reduces the significance of the cover, but I see no reason not to consider it a legitimate commercial solo usage of the stamp, and I’m more than happy to include it in my collection.

New business reply envelope from St. Joseph’s Indian School

I first saw a business reply envelope with pre-printed stamp-sized images from St. Joseph’s Indian School in August of last year, and acquired a couple more before 2019 came to an end. It wasn’t until I checked my post office box today, however, that I encountered another example from the South Dakota nonprofit.

Business reply envelope with pre-printed stamp-sized images from St. Joseph’s Indian School
St. Joseph’s Indian School business reply envelope

As part of a Christmas fundraising mailing, the imagery on this envelope is unapologetically holiday-themed with a manger scene, a bell with the word “Noel,” and a cardinal with the wording “Season’s Greetings.”

I’m curious to see if any more gussied-up BREs turn up from this or any other nonprofits before the end of this year. Stay tuned!

FINCA envelope shows off pseudo postal markings

There wasn’t much in the mailbox today, but an envelope from the non-profit FINCA caught my eye due to how it was decorated.

The front of the envelope bars a red and blue border that’s evocative of the air mail envelopes of old.

Front of non-profit envelope from FINCA
FINCA envelope

But it’s the back of the cover that really caught my attention. It bears pseudo postal markings intended to appear to originate in Brussels, Berlin, New York, Cairo, and Indonesia.

Reverse of non-profit envelope from FINCA
FINCA envelope (reverse)

I don’t know if the designer of the envelope had a particular interest in postal markings or philately, or if he or she ran across images of various postmarks somewhere and thought they would just look pretty, but either way, I have to admit that the end result caught my attention.

Purgatory Post issues Keniston Bridge stamp

Purgatory Post continued its series of stamps picturing covered bridges in New Hampshire with the release last week of a stamp picturing Keniston Bridge. The green and black 15-sola stamp’s first day of issue was November 2.

15-sola Purgatory Post stamp picturing Keniston Bridge
Purgatory Post Keniston Bridge stamp

According to the State of New Hampshire’s Keniston Bridge webpage, the structure named after a prominent family in nearby Andover was built over the Blackwater River in 1882. The original construction cost was only around $745, but “rehabilitating” the bridge in 1981 cost the town closer to $80,000.

The state of New Hampshire has dozens of covered bridges, so this series that borrows its frames from the United States Pan-American Exposition issue of 1901 is one that will continue the foreseeable future.

I have a new letter opener

As you may recall, my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary earlier this year, and when she asked me what I’d like for an anniversary gift, my response was virtually immediate: a letter opener. And that’s exactly what she got for me!

Letter opener with buffalo horn handle
Letter opener

My new letter opener has a handle that the seller described as being made of buffalo horn. Whether that means bison or water buffalo, I don’t know, but it is most definitely more substantial than what it replaces, a cheap plastic letter opener that I got as a freebie at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Philadelphia in 2003. I think that one came from the National Guard booth, but whatever lettering was on it has long since worn away, so I say it was time for an upgrade.

What do you use to open your incoming mail?

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