Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

Purgatory Post honors four science fiction legends

New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post recently issued a miniature sheet of four stamps commemorating the birth centennials of four different science fiction authors all born in 2020: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, and Frank Herbert.

Miniature sheet of four Purgatory Post stamps picturing Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, and Frank Herbert
Purgatory Post science fiction legends miniature sheet

The 1-sola stamp in the sheet pictures Isaac Asimov (1920–1992), one of the “Big Three” science fiction authors (along with contemporaries Robert Heinlein and Arthur Clarke). Asimov is best known for his Robot, “Foundation,” and “Galactic Empires” series.

Ray Bradbury (1920–2012) is pictured on the 2-sola stamp. Fahrenheit 451 was one of Bradbury’s most famous works, but he also wrote more than two dozen other novels and hundreds of short stories.

On the 3-sola stamp, Ray Harryhausen (1920–2013) is pictured. Harryhausen was a visual effects specialist whose work appeared in movies such as Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts.

Finally, the 4-sola stamp from the sheet pictures Frank Herbert (1920–1986). Herbert is best known for the novel Dune and its sequels.

Postcard bears multiple Imperial Coldland Embassy cinderellas

It’s a treat to receive unexpected mail, especially when it’s something as highly decorated as this postcard that I received in the mail last week. The postcard with a 3¢ imprint depicting a bear purports to be from the Embassy of Imperial Coldland in Dearborn, Michigan, and was postmarked in Dearborn on January 22.

Postcard bearing multiple Embassy of Imperial Coldland stamps
Embassy of Imperial Coldland postcard

Along with the preprinted “postage,” the postcard has a United States postcard stamp that actually paid postage through the U.S. mail, plus three Imperial Coldland stamps: a 6¢ stamp reusing the bear motif with the bear apprarently printed inverted compared to the rest of the design, a 25¢ stamp picturing a figure in Asian garb, and an Imperial Coldland Embassy in USA stamp with a “1” in each corner. The design of that last stamp appears to depict a woman’s head, but the design is partially obscured by one the EIC postmarks.

My best guess is that these stamps may fall more into the micronation scene than anything else, but the way they were used would seem to qualify them as local post stamps. Sadly, I can’t tell you who created these stamps because they didn’t include a name or a return address, but if the sender reads this, I hope they’ll accept my thanks.

Oklahoma Bicycle Local Post issues star stamp

It’s not often that I can stump Google, but as of this writing, the search engine has nothing to offer concerning a first day cover that I received late last month. The envelope postmarked in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on January 22 bears a copy of a $1 Oklahoma Bicycle Local Post stamp featuring a star with the number 46 inside—an obvious reference to Oklahoma’s status as the 46th state to join the Union.

$1 Oklahoma Bicycle Local Post star stamp affixed to first day cover
Oklahoma Bicycle Local Post first day cover
$1 Oklahoma Bicycle Local Post stamp depicting star containing number 46
Oklahoma Bicycle Local Post star stamp

The sender, whose return address I’ve obscured for privacy purposes, included a small sampling of stamps but no note or other information. Although it seems obvious that Oklahoma Bicycle Local Post is a private local post, I have not found any references to it online, so that’s about all I know at this point. I’ve written a reply to the sender, and if I receive a response, I’ll share further details here.

Philosateleian Post FDC bears copy of World War II stamp

I feel like I’ve been running wide open with little to no time for blogging, but I didn’t want to get too far down the road without sharing an image of a first day cover bearing Philosateleian Post’s World War II stamp issued on January 27.

1-stamp Philosateleian Post stamp on cover mailed on first day of issue
Philosateleian Post World War II first day cover

The cover has a surprisingly legible San Antonio cancellation, and both the United States stamp and my Philosateleian stamp made it through relatively unscathed. As you can see, the Philosateleian stamp did suffer a surface scrape near the top right corner during processing, but I’ve seen much worse. It’s not unusual for lick-and-stick stamps to show up in my mailbox with a long strip coiled up into a little scroll, so I’ll call this one a win.

14¢ American Indian cracked plate variety discovered

It has been a while since I last added a 14¢ American Indian plate flaw to my collection, so I’m very excited about my latest acquisition: a mint single of Scott 565 with what appears to be a plate crack running from the top of the latter “S” in “STATES” across the foot of the “P” in “POSTAGE,” and then down from there to touch Hollow Horn Bear’s headdress in the stamp’s vignette.

14¢ American Indian stamp with plate crack running from latter “S” in “States” to vignette
14¢ American Indian stamp with plate crack
Boys Town business reply envelope bearing four pre-printed stamp-sized designs picturing flowers
14¢ American Indian stamp with plate crack (close-up)

The presence of the selvage along the bottom edge of the stamp leads me to believe this stamp is from the bottom row of one of the bottom two panes of 100 from a sheet of 400 stamps; however, I have no idea what plate number was used to print this variety.

Plate scratches comprise the majority of the other American Indian plate flaws that I’ve found, so finding an example of a cracked plate—a variety not listed in Loran French’s Encyclopedia of Plate Varieties on U.S. Bureau-Printed Postage Stamps—is a real treat.

Update (2020-02-09)

I previously identified this stamp as coming from the bottom row of one of the top two panes of 100 from a sheet of 400 stamps; however, as Scott A. pointed out in an email, the stamp in that case would have a straight edge at bottom due to how the sheets of 400 were cut apart. He’s absolutely correct, and I’ve updated this post accordingly.

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