Cvrsvs Pvblicvs fantasy stamps for the Roman Empire
During the Roman Empire’s glory days, the government maintained an official courier system known as the cvrsvs pvblicvs. The cvrsvs pvblicvs could be used by those who had the emperor’s special permission to transport messages and goods between locations.
Although the cvrsvs pvblicvs was not a postal system in the modern sense of the term, I thought it would be fun to imagine what the Romans’ stamps would have looked like if they had used stamps, so I created these fantasy stamps.
The stamps are inscribed “solvm officialis” to indicate that they were valid for official use only. There is a less common variant that anachronistically uses “lorem ipsvm” placeholder text—an obvious error that no doubt would have greatly displeased the emperor.
During last week’s San Antonio Philatelic Association meeting, I got to purchase a stock page of various cinderellas during the club’s silent auction. One of the items that really caught my eye was this blue and yellow poster stamp promoting Wisconsin Creamery Butter.
The label depicts a slab of butter on a plate and identifies Wisconsin butter as “the nation’s natural source of vitamins.” The text at the bottom indicates that it was commissioned by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Markets.
According to Wikipedia, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Markets were separate agencies until 1929; the combined agency operated under the name of the Department of Agriculture and Markets from that point until 1939, when its name was shortened to Department of Agriculture. Based on this information, we can conclude that the label could date to as early as 1929, but it was most likely produced in the 1930s.
Despite its visual appeal, this item doesn’t really fit into any of my collecting areas of interest. I’ve listed it on eBay in case it’s something you would like to have.
On Sunday, I stopped to check my post office box, and although it contained only a single envelope, it was a very interesting envelope indeed.
The cover contained neither note nor letter, but within was a delightful array of artistamps, at least some of them possibly local post stamps. In addition to the French stamp, the envelope bears a Postes de la Rivière Matouche Express Mail Service stamp tied with a Matouche Postes cancellation. A Google search turned up only a single reference to the existence of such items, but that was it.
Happily, the back of the cover did have a return address in Switzerland, so I’ve written a thank you note and mailed it off along with a sampling of my own philatelic creations. Hopefully the sender will respond and tell us more about his interesting stamps!
New Philosateleian Post local post stamp commemorates model railroading
On Tuesday, August 1, Philosateleian Post will release its 30th different stamp with a new issue commemorating model railroading. The stamp features a stylized silhouette of the front portion of a locomotive.
“When I was a kid, and we would go to visit my grandparents, my granddad would take me down to the basement to see his HO-scale train layout,” says Kevin Blackston, propietor of Philosateleian Post. “It’s a grand hobby and I’m pleased to be able to recognize it with this new stamp.”
In addition to the locomotive’s silhouette, the new 1-stamp stamp bears the legend “Gordon Cooper Special,” a tribute to Blackston’s late grandfather, Gordon Forehand (1936–2016).
Format: sheets of 48 (6×8). Design size: 28×28 mm. Separation method: perforated 12. Adhesive: water-activated dry gum. Printing method: inkjet.
To receive a mint single of Philosateleian Post’s model railroading stamp, or for first day cover service, send either $2 or a self-addressed stamped envelope and your request to:
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America
About Philosateleian Post
Founded in 2004, Philosateleian Post transports mail only from the proprietor’s home to the nearest mail receptacle or post office, and does not compete with any official mail service. For more information, please visit http://www.philosateleia.com/post/
One day earlier this week when I came home for lunch, I headed straight for the refrigerator and placed a newly-purchased sheet of stamps inside. Sarah looked at me like I had completely lost my mind, and maybe she’s right, but I wanted to cool off those stamps in a hurry so I could show her how they work.
The new Total Solar Eclipse stamp features a special heat-sensitive ink that when warm turns clear to reveal the surface features of the moon. When cool, the moon is represented only as a black disc. It doesn’t take much heat to spark the transition, either—just touching one of the stamps with your finger or thumb for a couple of seconds is enough.
Much like the new ball stamps, the Total Solar Eclipse is without question unnecessary and gimmicky, but I like it. Is it likely to attract droves of new collectors to the hobby? Probably not, but I have no problem with the USPS trying something new.
(For what it’s worth, I don’t usually put stamps in the refrigerator, nor do I recommend that you do so, either. It was simply a quick way to get the stamps back to their “normal” state.)