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

Philosateleian Blog

Buca di Beppo puts its stamp on advertisement

As a stamp collector, I’m always happy to see the hobby represented in a positive fashion in mainstream media. That includes advertising such as a flyer I received in the mail today from local eatery Buca di Beppo.

Fantasy stamp pictured in Buca di Beppo advertisement
Buca di Beppo fantasy stamp

As you can see, the fantasy stamp pictured in Buca di Beppo’s ad pictures the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which appears to be leaning because of a giant Buca sign attached to its side. The illustration even has small text below the stamp’s main design; on real stamps, that feature allows for the designer or printer to be credited, and it is common on stamps from many different countries. It’s not something I’m accustomed to seeing in advertising, however, and it’s a nice touch that gives Buca di Beppo’s “stamp” a more realistic look.

Have you seen any stamps, real or pretend, in non-philatelic settings recently? Leave a comment and let us know!

Orson Welles birth centennial celebrated by Purgatory Post

The man who directed one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time, and who (at least according to some accounts) through a radio broadcast sparked fears of an alien invasion, is the subject of the newest stamp from New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post.

Orson Welles may be best known for producing the film Citizen Kane, but he was also an actor, writer, and radio producer, creating a fictitious radio news broadcast based on H.G. Wells᾿ The War of the Worlds that was so realistic that some listeners allegedly thought Earth was actually being invaded by aliens.

Cover bearing a copy of Purgatory Post's Orson Welles stamp
Purgatory Post Orson Welles cover

Welles died in 1985. Had he still been living, he would have turned 100 years old earlier this month.

USPS issues stamp, forgets design

On April 1, the United States Postal Service issued its “From Me to You” stamp to celebrate National Card & Letter Writing Month. Due to an unexplained decision made during the design approval process, however, the stamp was issued with no design.

United States Forever stamp bearing the text 'From Me to You'
From Me to You stamp

Okay, okay, I’m probably being too harsh. I mean, the four words that make up the “design” of this stamp are in different sizes and colors. The 1991 “F” rate makeup stamp, stuck with a single font size and color, was arguably even less visually interesting.

Non-denominated United States stamp bearing text indicating the stamp, along with a 25-cent stamp, pays the 'F' rate
“F” Stamp Rate makeup stamp

On the other hand, that “F” rate stamp did have a border, so maybe it wasn't so terrible after all.

Granted, my negative opinion of the “From Me to You” stamp is hardly universal. When the Letter Writers Alliance blog covered the release of the stamp, comments were very positive overall. And my sister likes the stamp, too, so maybe my dislike of it is just my curmudgeonly old man side showing its face.

What do you think of the “From Me to You” stamp?

Penny Black anniversary cover a nice surprise

Sometimes you know what to expect in your mailbox. At other times, you get a nice surprise.

Today was one of the nice surprises!

Penny Black anniversary first day cover
175th Anniversary of the Penny Black FDC

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?

Red-shouldered hawk stamp press release

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.

Red-shouldered hawk stamp
Red-shouldered hawk

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.

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