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

Philosateleian Blog

The Philosateleian adds revenue stamp album pages

The 15th anniversary of the launch of The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is coming up next year. I can hardly belive that I’ve been creating stamp album pages for that long, but I’m pleased to announce a significant expansion to my project: beginning today, The Philosateleian now includes free pages for United States revenue stamps!

While it’s true that I’ve offered pages for hunting permit or “duck” stamps for the past decade, this is the first time I’ve tackled pages for any other revenue or fiscal stamps. You can download and print Volume RI at your convenience, but I also wanted to go into a bit more detail on my approach to creating these pages.

What they are

This initial release includes pages for general revenues of 1862–1963, plus revamped pages for hunting permit stamps, which I’m relocating from Volume IX (back of book) to Volume RI. I think it’s fair to say that my general revenue album pages will be most useful for casual or intermediate United States revenue stamp collectors. Advanced collectors may find the pages lacking for reasons I will detail shortly.

My hope is to add pages for revenue stamps in other categories as time permits, but considering the many different categories of revenues, I didn’t want to hold back this initial batch until I had reached some arbitrary point of completion.

On that note, if there are revenue categories for which you would be particularly interested in seeing album pages, please let me know. I’m not making any promises, but I’m certainly willing to take your suggestions into consideration.

What they are not

As I mentioned earlier, advanced collectors may find my general revenue album pages to be unsatisfactory due to a couple of decisions I made during the design process.

First, the revenue stamps of 1861–71 were issued in several different formats: fully perforated, part perforate, and imperforate, the latter two formats resulting from the need to get stamps out the door as quickly as possible. In most cases, the part perforate and imperforate stamps are valued at significantly more than their fully perforated counterparts, and for this particular series, I’ve opted to include spaces only for each face- and color-different variety, not for perforation varieties.

That does not mean I won’t consider creating pages for the part perforate and imperforate varieties if there is sufficient demand, so again, if this is something you would like to see, please contact me.

Second, I’ve chosen to omit spaces for varieties with handstamped overprints. Although many of these have been assigned major catalogue numbers, they are also arguably particularly subject to being forged. Those varieties are generally moderately to very expensive stamps so I doubt this will cause consternation, but I am of course open to changing my mind if there is sufficient demand.

Summary

The Philosateleian’s new revenue stamp album pages are probably most appropriate for casual and intermediate collectors of U.S. revenue stamps. God willing, I’ll be able to add pages for more revenue categories moving forward. I hope you will enjoy these new pages, and welcome your feedback on what I’m doing.

Adanaland miniature sheet inspired by Night Mail

I’ve mentioned Adanaland stamps here in the past, but not, apparently, in over four years, my last write-up being on Adanaland’s souvenir sheet produced for the British Printing Society’s 2016 annual convention. It is therefore with great pleasure that I’m able to share scans of Adanaland originator Alan B.’s latest creations.

The first of these is a miniature sheet that Alan reports is based on Night Mail, a 1936 documentary about the postal train that then ran between London, England, and Glasgow, Scotland, on a nightly basis, as well as the postal staff who worked aboard the train. The sheet contains four stamps picturing a mail carrier, a pair of 2-pence stamps and a pair of 3-pence stamps, with each value appearing in two different colors.

Adanaland miniature sheet containing four 2-pence or 3-pence Night Train stamps
Adanaland Night Train miniature sheet

The 2-pence stamps bear the text, “Letters of thanks / Letters from banks / Letters of joy / From the girl / and the boy”; the 3-pence stamps, “And none will hear the postman’s knock / Without a quickening of the heart.”

The design “was set completely with [6-point] moveable type,” writes Alan. “The color scheme was evolved rather than planned but I like the effect.”

The second of Alan’s new creations is a label picturing a postboy on horseback with the numeral “3.” This label bears no indication of its place of origin, but Alan confirms that it is one of his productions.

Adanaland postboy label
Adanaland postboy label

Adanaland stamps are very interesting in that Alan prints them on a letterpress, whereas most modern stamps are created using a computer. (I use my computer to design my own Philosateleian Post stamps.) An argument might be made that they’re fantasy stamps rather than local post stamps since Alan does not generally use them on his outgoing mail, but I prefer to think of them as locals, and am always pleased to add such high-quality work to my collection.

Philosateleian Post postmark format revised

Today, June 20, 2020, Philosateleian Post began using a new format for the postmark used on outgoing mail.

The old format included the date in two-digit year/month/day format with the word words “PHILOSATELEIAN” and “POST” above and below the date, respectively. In contrast, the new format wraps “PHILOSATELEIAN POST” around the top of the postmark with the word “LOCAL” in the middle, and the full date in four-digit year/month/day format at the bottom.

Philosateleian Post postmark with “PHILOSATELEIAN POST” at top of postmark, “LOCAL” at center, and full date at bottom
Updated Philosateleian Post postmark

I have been wanting to go this route for several years, but was not able to find a date stamp manufacturer who could supply this particular format. The center portion of the round stamper in the do-it-yourself rubber stamp kit that I used to create my Philosateleian Post postmark is not quite wide enough for the full date as shown here, so I had been using a two-digit year, but that left some postmark dates ambiguous to recipients not familiar with my convention.

With the date moved from the center, I had some space available, and chose to insert “LOCAL” to clarify the nature of Philosateleian Post. Overall, I’m satisified with the result.

Purgatory Post issues Falcon 9/Crew Dragon local post stamp

Purgatory Post, a private local post based in New Hampshire, earlier this month issued a stamp commemorating the first manned flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 spacecraft and its associated Crew Dragon capsule. The 9-sola stamp was released on July 6.

Purgatory Post 9-sola stamp picturing Falcon 9 & Crew Dragon
Purgatory Post 9-sola Falcon 9/Crew Dragon stamp

NASA and SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon, which flew to the International Space Station, in May of this year. It was the first manned spaceflight originating from United States soil since the final mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2011.

The design of the new stamp is based on an artist’s rendition of the spacecraft in flight. As is generally the case with Purgatory Post issues, the Falcon 9/Crew Dragon stamp was released in miniature sheets of four.

Philatelic solo usages of 14¢ American Indian stamp

As I continue to work my way through writing up a backlog of 14¢ American Indian covers that I had acquired over the past two or three years, I’ve added two new articles to my online exhibit 14 Cents: the American Indian Stamp. Both are examples of solo usages of the stamp, but both are also very much philatelic in nature.

The first of the two covers has a cachet celebrating the Oklahoma Silver Jubilee held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1932. The second, from 1934, notes the 130th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, specifically commemorating Sacagawea.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and Oklahoma Silver Jubilee cachet
14¢ American Indian cover with Oklahoma Silver Jubilee cachet
Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and Lewis & Clark Expedition/Sacagawea cachet
14¢ American Indian cover with Lewis & Clark Expedition/Sacagawea cachet

In today’s world, the use of the 14¢ American Indian stamp with its picture of Hollow Horn Bear, a Brule Sioux, on covers having absolutely no connection to his tribe might be frowned upon. In the 1930s, however, the stamp seems to have been a popular choice for paying postage on any cover even remotely connected to Native Americans, probably because of the generic “American Indian” caption beneath Hollow Horn Bear’s portrait.

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