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

Philosateleian Blog

Bat’s Private Post issues set of four for WLPD 2021

While I’ve previously mentioned this year’s World Local Post Day stamps issued by Philosateleian Post and Purgatory Post, those are not the only private local posts to prepare stamps celebrating the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Bat’s Private Post on January 25 also released four different designs for World Local Post Day 2021.

Section of envelope bearing four Bat’s Private Post World Local Post Day 2021 stamps
Bat’s Private Post World Local Post Day 2021 stamps

The $5 Thai eggplant, $8 mangosteen, $35 horned melon, and $45 prickly pear cactus stamps shown in the above photo are actually cutouts from freightsheets prepared by Bat’s Private Post. According to a press release, “freightsheets are used by the local post to deliver unsealed articles in BPP’s designated delivery area and adjacent areas.“

The press release goes on to state that usage of the postage on regular envelopes like the one shown in the image above is perfectly acceptable. “Unlike postal stationery issued by the USPS, BPP permits the use of cut squares to pay postage on letters and parcels.”

Besides postage, each of the four freightsheets includes space for the sender’s and recipient’s addresses, plus a description of the fruit or vegetable pictured thereon. An example of the $8 Mangosteen freightsheet postmarked on January 25 is pictured here.

Bat’s Private Post $8 mangosteen lettersheet
Bat’s Private Post $8 Mangosteen lettersheet

Commercial usages of modern private local post stamps are extremely difficult to find on cover. Can you imagine trying to track down examples of these lettersheets used in the normal course of business? I have to say, they are a very interesting concept, and something that I haven’t seen from any other local post.

August Wilson FDC features American playwright

As a general rule, I’m not all that into first day covers. That’s not to say they’re unattractive—some cachets are very nice indeed—it’s just not an area in which I have a great deal of interest.

The foregoing does not, however, mean that I don’t appreciate a nicely prepared FDC when it shows up in my post office box. The August Wilson FDC shown here was serviced in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 28, 2021, and sent my way by a generous reader.

First day cover bearing Forever August Wilson stamp
August Wilson FDC

I wasn’t familiar with August Wilson (1945–2005)—I’ll freely admit I’m not the popular culture expert in my household—but a quick search revealed that he was a successful American playwright whose works have been performed by actors ranging from James Earl Jones to Samuel L. Jackson. That sounds like a pretty good legacy!

Thanks to K.M. for sharing.

Only half a cover, but a wholly commercial usage

The most recent addition to my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover is a cover fragment mailed from Ohio to Denmark in August 1932. The 14¢ postage covered the then recently-introduced 8¢ per ounce rate for air mail within the United States and surface mail to Europe, plus 3¢ per half ounce for air mail within Europe.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from Chillicothe, Ohio, to Copenhagen, Denmark

The cover was at some poit in the presumably distance past cut down to probably about half of its original size, probably to make it fit more nicely on an album page. I bought it because it’s a difficult solo usage that fits into my collection, but it’s definitely not the nicest example I own.

I can remember a stamp or two that I wish I had left alone, and perhaps you can think of a stamp or cover that you didn’t treat quite as well as you wish you had. Still, I would like to think that in today’s collecting world, a cover such as this would have been preserved intact as a piece of postal history. The visual impact of a full cover instead of a fragment like this is indisputable.

Purgatory Post issues 2021 World Local Post Day stamp

World Local Post Day 2021 is coming up this Monday, January 25, and participants like me will be issuing stamps celebrating the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post got a bit of a jump on the rest of us, however, by issuing its World Local Post Day stamp on January 5. The 21-sola stamp pictures a strawberry.

21-sola Purgatory Post stamp picturing strawberry
2021 Purgatory Post World Local Post Day stamp

Scott A. printed the stamp on a glossy-surfaced paper, and to paraphrase my non-collecting wife’s reaction, it looks like the real deal.

Scott says his stamp’s design is inspired by Mexico’s Exporta series of the 1970s through the 1990s, and I have to hand it to him: his design makes that of my upcoming Philosateleian Post stamp look like a poor cousin in comparison. Not every local post stamp is a home run just like not every United States stamp is a home run, but Purgatory Post’s new stamp is the sort of result we local post operators aim for even if we don’t always achieve it.

Surface almost completely scraped off 22¢ stamp

I checked my post office box on Friday for the first time in over a week, and it was pretty well packed with everything from cards and letters to non-profit solicitations. Among the items was the January–February 2021 issue of The Philatex, the San Antonio Philatelic Association’s newsletter.

At first glance, I thought postage on the envelope had been short-paid with just a pair of stamps, but then I realized that the remnants of a third stamp still adhered to the right of the others.

Front of cover from San Antonio Philatelic Association with scraped 22¢ stamp
San Antonio Philatelic Association cover with scraped 22¢ stamp
22¢ United States stamp with surface almost completely scraped off
22¢ United States stamp with scraped surface

It’s not unusual to see surface scrapes on stamps with water-activated gum that have been used in recent years, but this is excessive! There’s nothing left except “USA,” the 22¢ denomination, and a tiny piece of the lower right corner of the stamp’s design.

My initial guess at which stamp this is was wrong, but it didn’t take me long to track it down once I cracked open my Scott Specialized Catalogue. Can you identify it?

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