Friday, December 31, 2010

Lunar New Year - Year of the Rabbit U.S. Postage Stamp to be Issued January 22

(USPS Press Release) On Jan. 22, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the fourth of twelve stamps in its Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which began in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Rabbit begins on Feb. 3, 2011, and ends on Jan. 22, 2012.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage in many parts of the world. In the United States as elsewhere, the occasion is marked in various ways across a diverse array of cultures. Parades, parties, and other special events are common.

Kumquats, such as those depicted in the stamp art, are given as gifts and eaten for luck at this time of renewed hope for the future.

Famous people born in the Year of the Rabbit include film director Francis Ford Coppola, athlete Michael Jordan, and actress Drew Barrymore.

Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the series with illustrator Kam Mak, an artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. The illustration was originally created using oil paints on panel.

Kessler’s design also incorporates elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps, using Clarence Lee’s intricate paper-cut design of a rabbit and the Chinese character—drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun—for "Rabbit."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pixar Films "Send a Hello" U.S. Postage Stamps on Sale August 19

(USPS Press Release) Since 1986, Pixar films have stretched the boundaries of our imagination with stories about unlikely heroes who explore the bonds of friendship and family. Now some of those heroes are the subjects of colorful new Send a Hello stamps that encourage people to connect with loved ones through the mail.

The Send a Hello stamps, which go on sale Aug. 19, are a natural outgrowth of the Art of Disney stamp series issued between 2004 and 2008. Originally intended as a series of three annual issuances depicting friendship, celebration, and romance, the Art of Disney stamps proved so popular that the Postal Service expanded the series to include issuances in 2007 and 2008 to celebrate imagination and magic.

Based on that success, the Postal Service was eager to work with the Walt Disney Company again, choosing to explore the Disney*Pixar films, which offer exciting, contemporary characters and strong themes involving family and friends.

This pane of 20 stamps includes five different designs featuring Pixar characters: Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars (2006); Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille (2007); Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story (1995); Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up (2009); and the robot WALL*E from WALL*E (2008).

Since the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was introduced in 2001, all seven Pixar films released since that time have been nominated and five of the seven have won, including Ratatouille, WALL*E and Up.

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Artist Edward Hopper's "The Long Leg" U.S. Postage Stamp to be Issued in August

(USPS Press Release) A sunlit painting by Edward Hopper is the tenth entry in the American Treasures stamp series. The Long Leg, painted in oil on canvas around 1930, depicts a boat sailing against the wind near Provincetown, MA. The stamp goes on sale in August.

Hopper was a very private man and an experienced sailor. The Long Leg allowed him to combine his love of the sea with his interest in architecture. The lighthouse in the painting is Long Point Light, at Provincetown. This work shows the artist’s characteristic use of light to insulate objects.

Art director Derry Noyes chose a sunlit painting by Edward Hopper for this tenth entry in the American Treasures series.

The Long Leg is in the collection of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, in San Marino, California. It is painted in oil on canvas; its size is 20 x 30 ¼ inches. The painting has been cropped for use in the stamp art.

The American Treasures series was inaugurated in 2001. It is intended to showcase beautiful works of American fine art and crafts.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Great Britain's Royal Mail to Issue First Ever "Motion" Stamps on January 11

The Royal Mail will issue a set of stamps in tribute of Gerry Anderson, creator of the iconic 1960's animated TV series Thunderbirds. These are the Royal Mail's first 'motion stamps,' which are printed with 36 microthin frames, resulting in a several-second animation.

The release of these special stamps mark 50 years of . . .

Read story at: Graphic Arts Magazine

2011 Great Britain Royal Mail Postage Stamp Program Debuts

(Royal Mail Press Release) There is something for everyone in the first half of Royal Mail’s action packed 2011 Special Stamp programme celebrating the very best of British.

January - FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson
2011 lifts off on 11 January with FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson stamps. Marking the 50th anniversary of Anderson’s work, the stamp issues pays tribute to the iconic characters, including Thunderbirds, Stingray, Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet, that have enthralled millions since they first arrived on our TV screens in the 1960s.

February - Musicals
Royal Mail treads the boards twice in 2011, first on 24 February with eight stamps celebrating popular Musicals of the past 100 years.

The Musicals stamps represent the evolving nature of musical theatre and are illustrated with a combination of performance photography and promotional posters.

March - Magical Realms
Issued on 8 March Magical Realms includes stamps reflecting the legendary tales of King Arthur and his court magician Merlin through to the million selling books of Sir Terry Pratchett and JK Rowling.

This issue salutes some of the fictional characters that have enchanted generations of readers: Rincewind, and Nanny Ogg, who appear in many of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Dumbledore and Voldemort from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Merlin and Morgan Le Fay from Arthurian legends, and Aslan and the White Queen from books by C. S. Lewis.

March - 50th Anniversary of WWF
Wildlife lovers should look out for 22 March 2011 when Royal Mail celebrates the 50th anniversary of the world’s leading environmental organisation, WWF. The Special Stamps will feature portraits of ten animals at the heart of WWF projects - African Elephant, Mountain Gorilla, Siberian Tiger, Polar Bear, Amur Leopard, Iberian Lynx, Red Panda, Black Rhinoceros, African Wild Dog and Golden Lion Tamarin. The issue also comprises a Miniature Sheet looking at the Amazon Forest as part of the Post Europ theme for 2011 which is Forests.

April - 50th anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company
On 12 April Royal Mail marks the 50th Anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with Stamps and a Miniature Sheet. Working with the RSC, Royal Mail selected six RSC productions of Shakespeare’s plays from the last half century for the Stamps and created a Miniature Sheet which comprises four stamps showing the theatres where the RSC has performed in Stratford-upon-Avon through the years.

May - Morris & Co
Designs for stained glass, wallpaper, fabric and ceramics illustrate the Morris & Co stamps issued on 5 May.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, commented: "This is by far the most exciting start to a year for Royal Mail Stamps. The year blasts off with Thunderbirds, Stingray and the amazing TV series of Gerry Anderson and the excitement doesn’t stop there. There’s something for everyone in the first half of 2011 with Musicals, Magical Realms and WWF just some of the themes dropping on the doormats across millions of homes in the UK and across the world."

New for 2011 pay-as-you-go subscriptions
Royal Mail now offers a range of subscriptions, for a choice of Mint Stamps, First Day Covers and Presentation Packs. New for 2011 are "pay-as-you-go" style subscriptions which allows customers to obtain every new Special Stamp issue on different themes. The six themes are Railways, Family, Classics, Heritage, Royalty and Sport.

A ‘Family’ subscription will include child and family friendly subjects such as Magical Realms, WWF, Thomas the Tank Engine and the Crown Jewels. ‘Classics’ includes FAB the Genius of Gerry Anderson, Musicals and the first part of the A-Z of the UK. Heritage includes Royal Shakespeare Company and Morris & Co; Royalty: annual Kings and Queens stamps and future Royal issues; Sport: London Olympic and Paralympic Games issues.

These new subscriptions are designed for customers with specific interests and can be set up by calling Royal Mail Customer Care on 08745 641 641 (+44 131 316 7483 outside the UK). Visit for information.

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2011 Canada Post Postage Stamp Program Debuts

New U.S. Postal Service Policy Designates All New First-Class Stamps as Forever Stamps

WASHINGTON — Postal patron Sean Swilling is tired of the inconvenience that comes with every change in the price of mailing a letter. That makes him just the type of customer the U.S. Postal Service wants to please with a policy designating all new first-class stamps as "forever."

Beginning in January, all new stamps good for 1 ounce of domestic first-class mail will forgo . . .

Read story at: Finance

2011 U.S. Postage Stamp Program Debuts

(USPS Press Release) Washington: From a former U.S. president to legends of Latin music to the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500-mile auto race to the garden of love, the 2011 commemorative stamp program has something for everyone.

The U.S. Postal Service today officially unveiled the images of its commemorative stamp program. Among this year’s honorees are former President Ronald Reagan, legendary author Mark Twain, award-winning actor and actress Gregory Peck and Helen Hayes, and Latin music giants Selena, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz.

In addition, former U.S. Congresswoman from Texas Barbara Jordan is the 2011 Black Heritage stamp honoree. Stamps will be issued to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the 50th anniversary of America’s first manned spaceflight and a celebration of Disney Pixar movie characters: Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars; Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille; Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story; Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up; and the robot WALL*E from Wall*E on Send a Hello stamps.

The Lunar New Year: Year of the Rabbit stamp, to be issued Jan. 22, will be a Forever Stamp for use in mailing a 1-ounce letter. Regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used in the new year, no matter how prices may change in the future, these stamps will always be equal to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

Since the first Forever Stamp, featuring the Liberty Bell, was issued in April 2007, 28 billion Forever Stamps have been sold, resulting in $12.1 billion in total revenue. Now that the Postal Service offers coils, booklets and Holiday Forever Stamps, almost 85 percent of its stamp program is Forever.

In addition, new designs will be issued for Purple Heart, Wedding and Holidays stamps in 2011. Stamps may be purchased at local Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

For more information and low-resolution images of the stamps in the 2011 series, visit the USPS Newsroom at

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Half of a Rare Postage Stamp Sells for $347,500

Half a rare German postage stamp dating from 1872 has sold for €261,000 (£221,300) at an auction in the southern German town of . . .

Full story at: The Guardian

Friday, December 10, 2010

Britain’s Historical Postal Treasures Snapped Up by Asian Buyers

After selling Britain’s rarest stamp to an Asian investor following its display at the 2010 International Philatelic Exhibition in May this year in London, Stanley Gibbons have recently experienced a groundswell of interest from Asian investors and collectors, snapping up tranches of rare stamps and also signed documents from such iconic figures as Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali.

This increase in focus from Asia is . . .

Full story at:

Some Post Offices still participate in Operation Santa

24 post offices still respond to kids' requests to Santa Claus

Holiday letters addressed to the fat man at the North Pole never make it there, but they do make it to "Santa."

The U.S. Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago. In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters in the program that became known as Operation Santa, according to the postal service website.

There are 24 post offices . . .

Full story at: Peoria Journal Star

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