Commemorative stamp

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Alexander Graham Bell commemorative issue of 1947 Can Alexander Graham Bell 1947-4c.jpg
Alexander Graham Bell commemorative issue of 1947

A commemorative stamp is a postage stamp, often issued on a significant date such as an anniversary, to honor or commemorate a place, event, person, or object. The subject of the commemorative stamp is usually spelled out in print, unlike definitive stamps which normally depict the subject along with the denomination and country name only. Many postal services issue several commemorative stamps each year, sometimes holding first day of issue ceremonies at locations connected with the subjects. Commemorative stamps can be used alongside ordinary stamps. Unlike definitive stamps that are often reprinted and sold over a prolonged period of time for general usage, commemorative stamps are usually printed in limited quantities and sold for a much shorter period of time, usually, until supplies run out. [1] [2]

Contents

First commemoratives

First Peru commemorative stamp issue, 1870 Peru locomotive2 1871 issue-5c.jpg
First Peru commemorative stamp issue, 1870
The $1 stamp included in the US issue of commemoratives, introduced on January 2, 1893 Columbian241-1$.jpg
The $1 stamp included in the US issue of commemoratives, introduced on January 2, 1893
New South Wales first commemorative stamp, 1888 Stamp New South Wales 1888 1p.jpg
New South Wales first commemorative stamp, 1888

There are several candidates for the title of the first commemorative. A 17-cent stamp issued in 1860 by New Brunswick, showing the Prince of Wales in anticipation of his visit is one possibility. [3] Often cited as the world’s first commemoratives are the sixteen stamps of the United States Columbian Issue, produced to celebrate the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago honoring the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. (Illustrated here is the $1 stamp from the series: "Isabella pledging her jewels.") [1] [4]

Abraham Lincoln
Issue of 1866 Lincoln 1866 Issue-15c.jpg
Issue of 1866

The United States 15-cent black stamp of 1866 depicts Abraham Lincoln and was the first stamp issued after his assassination in 1865, but it was not officially declared as a memorial to him. [5] The U.S. also issued a 5-cent stamp in 1882 showing the recently murdered President James A. Garfield. In addition, the United States issued stamped envelopes for the Centennial Exposition in 1876, although technically these are postal stationery and not stamps. The British Jubilee Issue of 1887 may be thought of as commemorative of the 50 years' reign of Queen Victoria, although there are no special inscriptions on the stamps, and they were intended as regular stamps. In 1870 Peru issued a 5¢ scarlet Locomotive and Arms stamp and is regarded as the first commemorative postage stamp, issued to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first railway in South America. [1]

First UK Commemorative stamps
Issue of 1924 British Empire pair 1924 issue-1p.jpg
First UK Commemorative stamps
Issue of 1924

Though the United Kingdom often set the precedent for postage stamps and their designs, they were the late runners with the issue of their first commemorative stamp, not issuing one until 1924 when it printed and released the British Empire Exhibition issue of 1924. [6]

Other premier commemorative stamps were issued by New South Wales in 1888 to mark its 100th anniversary; the six types all include the inscription "ONE HUNDRED YEARS". Commemoratives followed in 1891 for Hong Kong and Romania. In 1892 and 1893 a half-dozen nations of America and Spain issued commemorative stamps for the 400th anniversary of the West's discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.

Backlash

The appearance of commemorative postage stamps caused a backlash among some stamp collectors in the early years of stamp collecting, who balked at the prospect of laying out ever-larger sums to acquire the stamps of the world. This led to the formation of the Society for the Suppression of Speculative Stamps in 1895 to blacklist these excessive stamps. The organization broke up after unsuccessful attempts at getting collectors at large to comply with their wishes. Today early commemoratives are still prized by collectors. [1] [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Overprint

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Definitive stamp Postage stamp that is part of the regular issue of a countrys stamps

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Trans-Mississippi Issue

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Postage stamps and postal history of China

The history of the postage stamps and postal history of China is complicated by the gradual decay of Imperial China and the years of civil war and Japanese occupation in the 1930s and 1940s.

Postage stamps and postal history of Malaysia

The history of postage stamps and postal history of Malaysia, a state in Southeast Asia that occupies the south of the Malay peninsula and Sarawak and Sabah in the north Borneo, includes the development of postal services in these periods:

Postage stamps and postal history of the Bahamas

The postal history of the Bahamas begins in the 18th century, with the first post office operating since 1733. The earliest known letters date from 1802. In 1804 a straight-line "BAHAMAS" handstamp came into use. The Royal Mail Line initiated a regular mail service in 1841, and from 1846 used a "Crown Paid" handstamp along with a dated postmark for New Providence.

Postage stamps of Ireland Stamps issued by the Republic of Ireland

The postage stamps of Ireland are issued by the postal operator of the independent Irish state. Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland when the world's first postage stamps were issued in 1840. These stamps, and all subsequent British issues, were used in Ireland until the new Irish Government assumed power in 1922. Beginning on 17 February 1922, existing British stamps were overprinted with Irish text to provide some definitives until separate Irish issues became available. Following the overprints, a regular series of definitive stamps was produced by the new Department of Posts and Telegraphs, using domestic designs. These definitives were issued on 6 December 1922; the first was a 2d stamp, depicting a map of Ireland. Since then new images, and additional values as needed, have produced of nine definitive series of different designs.

Postage stamps and postal history of the Canal Zone

Postage stamps and postal history of the Canal Zone is a subject that covers the postal system, postage stamps used and mail sent to and from the Panama Canal Zone from 1904 up until October 1978, after the United States relinquished its authority of the Zone in compliance with the treaty it reached with Panama.

Columbian Issue

The Columbian Issue, often known as simply the Columbians, is a set of 16 postage stamps issued by the United States to commemorate the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago during 1893. The finely-engraved stamps were the first commemorative stamps issued by the United States, depicting various events during the career of Christopher Columbus and are presently much valued by collectors.

Presidents of the United States on U.S. postage stamps

Presidents of the United States have frequently appeared on U.S. postage stamps since the mid-19th century. The United States Post Office Department released its first two postage stamps in 1847, featuring George Washington on one, and Benjamin Franklin on the other. The advent of presidents on postage stamps has been definitive to U.S. postage stamp design since the first issues were released and set the precedent that U.S. stamp designs would follow for many generations.

Clair Aubrey Houston

Clair Aubrey Huston was an accomplished and chief postage stamp designer at the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) early in the 20th century. He was the great-grandson of Michael Leib (1759–1822), an American physician and politician. Huston worked at the BEP for more than 21 years and was the designer of numerous United States postage issues.

US Regular Issues of 1922–1931

The Regular Issues of 1922–1931 were a series of 27 U.S. postage stamps issued for general everyday use by the U.S. Post Office. Unlike the definitives previously in use, which presented only a Washington or Franklin image, each of these definitive stamps depicted a different president or other subject, with Washington and Franklin each confined to a single denomination. The series not only restored the historical tradition of honoring multiple presidents on U.S. Postage but extended it. Offering the customary presidential portraits of the martyred Lincoln and Garfield, the war hero Grant, and the founding fathers Washington and Jefferson, the series also memorialized some of the more recently deceased presidents, beginning with Hayes, McKinley, Cleveland and Roosevelt. Later, the deaths of Harding, Wilson and Taft all prompted additions to the presidential roster of Regular Issue stamps, and Benjamin Harrison's demise (1901) was belatedly deemed recent enough to be acknowledged as well, even though it had already been recognized in the Series of 1902. The Regular Issues also included other notable Americans, such as Martha Washington and Nathan Hale—and, moreover, was the first definitive series since 1869 to offer iconic American pictorial images: these included the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol Building and others. The first time (1869) that images other than portraits of statesmen had been featured on U.S. postage, the general public disapproved, complaining that the scenes were no substitute for images of presidents and Franklin. However, with the release of these 1922 regular issues, the various scenes—which included the Statue of Liberty, the Lincoln Memorial and even an engraving of an American Buffalo—prompted no objections. To be sure, this series presented pictorial images only on the higher-value stamps; the more commonly used denominations, of 12 cents and lower, still offered the traditional portraits.

1869 Pictorial Issue 1869 American postage stamp series

The 1869 Pictorial Issue is a series of definitive United States postage stamps released during the first weeks of the Grant administration. Ten types of stamp in denominations between one cent and ninety cents were initially offered in the series, with eight of these introduced on March 19 and 20, 1869 and the two greatest values being distributed somewhat later. During May, however, the Post Office began distributing a revised version of the 15-cent stamp, in which the original, poorly aligned frame had been modified ; and collectors consider this eleventh stamp an integral part of the Pictorial Issue. The two 15-cent stamps were assigned separate Scott Catalogue numbers: 118 and 119.

Puerto Rico topics have been featured on the stamps of Spain and of the United States. Spanish stamps are found at Postage stamps and postal history of Puerto Rico.

Territories of the United States on stamps representation of U.S. territories, not yet states, on stamps

Territories of the United States on stamps discusses commemorative postal issues devoted to lands that have been ceded to the nation or purchased by treaty in conjunction with both war and peace. Thirteen states have been created from colonial territories, two from independent republics, four from previous states in the Union, and an additional thirty-one from United States territories.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Lines of stamp classifications have blurred, By Rick Miller". Linn's Stamp News. 2010. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  2. "U.S. Commemorative Stamps". Alphabetilately. 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  3. Charles Connell
  4. Scott United States Stamp catalogue
  5. A Sharp Eye on collecting US Classics (Sharp Photography Publications, 2021) ASIN B091MBTGJ7 (read online)
  6. "1924 British Empire Exhibition issue". The British Postal Museum and Archive. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  7. "STAMPS, By Barth Healey, August 27, 1989". New York Times. 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.