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

Philosateleian Blog

George Washington letter sells for nearly $1.5 million

It’s not often that the sale of an old letter makes the mainstream news. An exception was made for a letter sold last week, however.

According to reports, Christie’s sold the letter written by George Washington in 1788 for almost $1.5 million. In the letter, the first U.S. President explained to the addressee his support for the then unratified Constitution.

This news blurb was not stamp-related per se, and the only reason the sale was noted at all by a major media outlet was because of the letter’s connection to George Washington. Nevertheless, there is a philatelic tie-in in that there would be no stamps, and no stamp collecting, without letters.

Summer 2013 update for The Philosateleian

I have some great news this morning for users of The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album. The Summer 2013 Supplement (103 KB, 2 files, 8 pages) is now ready for you to download, print, and add to your stamp album!

This new supplement includes spaces for the newest United States postage stamps, and as always, it is absolutely free; all you need is a printer and a few pieces of paper. Download the supplement now, and happy collecting!

Reasons for a theme

In the May issue of the Philosateleian Post Horn, I asked, “What topical collections do you have? And what are your reasons for collecting those themes?”

Longtime reader Marion R. quickly responded with her thoughts:

My interests range from animal rights to mental health on stamps, cinderellas, slogan postmarks, and covers. The topics I collect relate both to my profession as a licensed psychologist as well as to my work as an animal rights activist.

Other topics I collect are naval covers from ships my father-in-law served on, Titanic, tall ships, holidays, local post covers, New Jersey, dogs, cats, parrots (I live with a large flock of birds), and more.

Topical or thematic collecting is a great way to bring together non-philatelic interests with philately.

I certainly agree with that statement. As I mentioned in the Post Horn, I collect landscape stamps because I enjoy seeing different natural sites from around the world that I don’t necessarily have the opportunity to visit in person.

How about you? What drives you to collect a particular topic or themes?

APS gets chance to raise extra cash

According to an e-mail message distributed by the American Culinary Federation this morning, the philatelic organization has a chance to raise some extra cash today and tomorrow.

The Centre Foundation, which provides assistance to charities in the county in which the APS headquarters is located, is offering to match donations made by 6 p.m. ET on Thursday.

To qualify for matching funds, donations must be at least $25. If you are interested in giving, see the Centre Foundation’s APS donation page.

APC error label update

Back in January, we mentioned the existence of Automated Postal Center error labels that featured designs incorrectly printed on paper that already bore preprinted designs. These error labels looked like they had been accidentally overprinted.

John Ryskamp, a contributor to U.S. Stamp News, recently wrote to let us know that there are by his count 83 different error varieties. You have to count each possible printed rate (forever, first class large envelope, priority, etc.) to reach this total, and the glossy blocks that appear over the preprinted mailbox image can apparently be found with both square and rounded corners.

While APC labels are somewhat outside the mainstream, there’s certainly opportunity for specialization, and the “wrong paper” errors, as Mr. Ryskamp calls them, provide some interesting variety.

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