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

Philosateleian Blog

Bat’s Private Post honors Princess Diana, 2020 Summer Olympics

Bat’s Private Post of Beverly Hills, California, on July 1, 2021, issued a total of eight different stamps commemorating two different subjects.

A set of two stamps marked the 60th anniversary of the birth of the late Diana, Princess of Wales (1961–1997). Both stamps feature a photograph of Princess Diana.

60¢ and $5 Bat’s Private Post Princess Diana stamps
Bat’s Private Post Princess Diana local post stamps

A release distributed with the stamps indicates the 60¢ value covers USPS and Bat’s Private Post fees to mail a letter up to one ounce in weight or a large postcard within the United States, while the $5 value pays the Bat’s Private Post fee for delivery of articles to locations close to the local post’s normal area of operations.

The second set of stamps issued by the California local post on July 1 celebrates the 2020 Summer Olympics, also known as Tokyo 2020. The games, postponed last year due to COVID-19, have been rescheduled to begin later this month.

Bat’s Private Post 2020 Summer Olympics stamps
Bat’s Private Post 2020 Summer Olympics local post stamps

Two designs are used for each of three different denominations (5¢, 60¢, and $1.25). One is based on a 1920 photograph of Duke Kahanamoku (1890–1968), who popularized the sport of surfing but also earned five Olympic medals in swimming, including gold medals in 1912 and 1920. Kahanamoku was previously honored on a United States postage stamp in 2002.

The other design depicts a geisha, a professional female Japanese entertainer.

According to Bat’s Private Post, the 5¢ stamps pay the fee for delivery of a letter or postcard to the USPS, while the $1.25 stamps cover U.S. and local postage for carrying letters bound for international destinations.

Purgatory Post commemorates astronaut Michael Collins

On July 6, New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post issued a pair of 11-sola local post stamps commemorating astronaut Michael Collins (1930–2021), who died in April following a battle with cancer.

Pair of 11-sola Purgatory Post stamps honoring Michael Collins
Purgatory Post Michael Collins local post stamps

Collins is probably best remembered as the member of the Apollo 11 crew who stayed on board the command module orbiting the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first manned moon landing; however, prior to that mission, he also served as pilot on Gemini 10. He would later servce as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Director of the national Air and Space Museum.

One of Purgatory Post’s new stamps pictures an Agena Target Vehicle used during the Gemini 10 mission, while the other depicts the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia.

Helen Keller featured on BRE’s simulated cinderellas

The latest addition to my accumulation of business reply envelopes bearing cinderellas or preprinted stamp-sized images arrived last week in a mailing from Helen Keller International. Besides the organization’s address and typical BRE markings, the envelope bears two black-and-white images with photographs of Helen Keller with simulated printed perforations or die cuts, one with Keller’s name and the other reading “Happy Birthday.”

Helen Keller International business reply envelope bearing two pre-printed stamp-sized images
Helen Keller International business reply envelope

As I’ve commented before, I think BREs with labels affixed are far more interesting from a philatelic standpoint. When it comes to envelopes with preprinted images, however, this is about the best I’ve seen. The subject matter is not just the usual flowers and birds, but an actual historical figure and the mailing organization’s eponym.

To the unknown designer who created this, well done.

Hainan Island landscape stamp album page created

Earlier this week, I created half-size album pages for a couple of landscape stamps that have been awaiting attention for a while now. I’m very well pleased with how the page for Hainan Island, China, turned out, and wanted to share it here.

Hainan Island landscape stamp album page
Hainan Island landscape stamp album page

It appears that the last time I created any album pages for my landscapes collection prior to this week was in August 2019! I know life has been busy, but that’s a long, long dry spell. At that rate, I would need centuries to get through all the landscape stamps I’ve acquired but never got around to adding to my albums, but at least the pages I designed this week are a start.

American flag stamp puzzle completed

Years ago—at this point, I’m not certain exactly when it was, but I’m pretty sure that more than a decade has passed—my sister gave me a stamp-themed puzzle. I had never put it together, but over the past week and a half worked on it as time permitted, and finally finished assembling it.

The 550-piece puzzle features hundreds of tiny images of stamps overlaid on an American flag background.

American flag stamp puzzle
American flag stamp puzzle
American flag stamp puzzle detail
American flag stamp puzzle detail

I started by assembling the border, then the blue portion of the flag (since there were were far fewer pieces in that section). After that, I worked on pieces where the background was exclusively red or exclusively white. Finally, I filled in the gaps.

The most challenging aspect of this puzzle is that some of the stamps are reproduced multiple times. I would see part of a stamp on a puzzle piece and think to myself, hey, I saw the other part of that stamp a few seconds ago—but then discover that although I’d seen the same design, it was a different instance of the design, and the two puzzle pieces didn’t go together. Completing it was satisfying.

So, what’s next for this puzzle? My plan is to give it away in the next issue of the Philosateleian Post Horn so that another collector can have a go at putting it together.

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