Sometimes you know what to expect in your mailbox. At other times, you get a nice surprise.
Today was one of the nice surprises!
I certainly was expecting neither this first day cover bearing a copy of Britain’s Penny Black anniversary souvenir sheet nor the informational card included with it, both of which arrived in an envelope from Royal Mail.
When I initially saw images of the stamps online, I disliked how the outline of Queen Elizabeth’s profile is superimposed on the upper right corner of the anniversary stamps, but after seeing the stamps in person…well, they’re not horrible. I’m not saying there was no way to take a more inventive approach to the subject, but really, the stamps could be worse. It is the Penny Black, after all.
Why was receiving the FDC a nice surprise? Because I didn’t order it. That means either a) someone at Royal Mail decided to send it to me gratis, or b) one of my readers sent it to me. The latter seems more likely, but with no indication of who’s responsible, all I can say to the unknown benefactor is, “Thank you.”
Have you received any nice surprises in your mailbox recently?
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a sneak preview of Philosateleian Post’s new red-shouldered hawk stamp. Now, finally, the “official” press release about the stamp is available.
I plan to begin using this stamp on July 1. If you want a copy, see the press release for instructions on how to request one.
The red-shouldered hawk stamp is Philosateleian Post’s 25th different stamp design. I’m a little surprised I’ve made that many different stamps, especially considering that I’ve never produced more than three different designs in a single year. Although 25 is just a number, it does feel like a bit of a milestone.
New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post recently issued the latest in its series of stamps picturing covered bridges in the Granite State. The new 25¢ stamp pictures the Carleton bridge, which is located in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Scott A., who operates Purgatory Post, was kind enough to send some samples of his new stamp to me.
The stamp is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, it's the 160th issue produced by Purgatory Post. Congratulations, Scott! Second, this is the first stamp that Scott has perforated with a pounce wheel or tracing wheel. The tool, which is more commonly used in sewing, produces a neat row of tiny holes; the results are most obvious along the left edge of the stamp pictured above.
Scott's solution looks to be on par with paper cutters that have so-called “perforating wheels” that produce a roulette-like separation. The results may not be perfect, but they are still attractive and quite sufficient.
Stamp album page for Vintage Circus Posters souvenir sheet
If you got hold of one of the United States’ vintage circus poster souvenir sheets, and didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it, consider yourself lucky. The die cut versions of the controversial product were made available only in the U.S. Postal Service’s 2014 yearbook, while the variety without die cutting was available only in press sheet form, and sold out before the product was ever officially announced through USA Philatelic.
Due to the highly unusual nature of the souvenir sheet—one version available only in the yearbook, and the other available only as part of a press sheet—it’s not something that really fits into my collection, and I’ve chosen not to include a space for it in The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album. When David W. wrote to ask about it, however, I thought, why not offer a standalone page for those who do choose to collect it? So that’s what I’ve done.
You can download the special page from The Philosateleian’s extras section. It’s not something that will be included with the main album download, but it’s there if you need it for the circus poster souvenir sheet.