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New Royal Mail stamp issue chronicles the history of Buckingham Palace

buck_634x323Royal Mail today launches a ten-stamp issue that celebrates the history of Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of The Queen.
Six stamps explore the different appearance of this iconic building over the centuries while a four-stamp miniature sheet celebrates the opulence of its interior.

Royal Mail commissioned the artwork used for the 2014 stamp. The watercolour of the present day exterior of the Palace was painted by the artist Chris Draper.

The stamps are available from www.royalmail.com/buckinghampalace Opens in new window, by phone on 08457 641 641 and in 10,000 Post Offices throughout the UK

ASBPlargeBuckingham Palace is one of the few remaining working royal palaces in the world today and provides the setting for ceremonies and formal entertaining, as well as the Prime Minister’s weekly audience with The Queen.

Andrew Hammond, Royal Mail spokesperson, said; “This stamp issue illustrates the development of Buckingham Palace from the private house built by the Duke of Buckingham 300 years ago to one of the most iconic buildings in the world.

“Buckingham Palace is one of the most recognised landmarks in the UK and is a source of pride to the nation; it forms a huge part of our heritage, so it’s fitting Royal Mail has been able to dedicate a stamp issue to this most famous of addresses.”

MZBPlargeThe history of Buckingham Palace can be traced back to the early 17th century, when a mulberry garden was established on the site to breed silk worms. A house built near the garden for Lord Goring in 1633 was replaced, after a fire, on a larger scale by the next occupant, Henry Bennet, Secretary of State to King Charles II and later first Earl of Arlington. In 1698, Arlington House was acquired by John Sheffield, who was created Duke of Buckingham in 1703.

It was the Duke of Buckingham who transformed the site by demolishing the existing building and erecting an ambitious brick house with a three-storeyed central block and flanking pavilions.

This basic plan of Buckingham House formed the core of the future palace and dictated all subsequent development. Facing the Mall – the grand tree-lined avenue running along the north side of St James’s Park – and with a large formal garden at the back, it was an impressive residence benefitting from an excellent location and magnificent views.

In 1761, King George III bought the house as a private residence following his marriage to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh-Strelitz. However, it did not make for a comfortable home. By this time, many features of Buckingham House were out of fashion. To adapt the house to his tastes and needs, King George III put architect Sir William Chambers in charge. After Queen Charlotte settled in the upstairs rooms in 1775, the residence was known as the Queen’s House and became the centre of royal life.

The main developments by John Nash in the early 19th century to transformed it into a Royal Palace, and Queen Victoria’s expansion of the building created a new front facing the Mall.

The 20th century saw King Edward VII set about redecorating much of the interior in its distinctive white and gold décor.

- See more at: http://www.royalmailgroup.com/new-royal-mail-stamp-issue-chronicles-history-buckingham-palace#sthash.mLRCfsgC.dpuf

Video: Linns Stamp News Monday Morning Brief

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editor Charles Snee discusses a few significant events in the stamp world last week and what to look for in the coming week.This week’s stories for April 14, 2014, include:

  • April Fools’ Day USPS press release backfires
  • Stamp shortage strikes Nicaragua
  • Scott catalogue update
  • Vintage Circus Poster stamps set for May 5

Read more: Linns Stamp News

Harvey Milk Forever Stamp to be Dedicated at White House May 22

milkWASHINGTON, April 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The official first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp will take place at the White House May 22.

Harvey Milk was a visionary leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk’s achievements gave hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination. Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, ensuring equality and providing needed services.

His remarkable career was tragically cut short nearly a year after he took office, when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated.

In 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

May 22 is Harvey Milk Day in California.

The stamp image will be previewed at a later date and a public dedication ceremony will take place in San Francisco May 28. Additional details will be forthcoming.

 

Video: Linns Stamp News Monday Morning Brief for April 7

Published on Apr 7, 2014

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Donna Houseman discusses a few significant events in the stamp world last week and what to look for in the coming week.

This week’s stories for April 7, 2014, include:

• Harvey Milk stamp design revealed

• American Stamp Dealers Association starts search for new executive director

• Scott catalogue update

• Wilt Chamberlin stamp coming this year?

Songbird Stamps Take Flight

Songbirds_Block_0

DALLAS, April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — You don’t need a smartphone to tweet once the Postal Service issues 10 colorful Songbirds Forever Stamps. The dedication ceremony took place yesterday in Dallas at the Trinity River Audubon Center, 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way (formerly South Loop 12).

Read the rest of this entry »

USPS reissues Yes I Do stamp at 2-ounce rate

yesidoUSPS is continuing its celebration of weddings with its most recent addition to the popular Wedding stamp series — the Yes I Do stamp.

The stamp was dedicated during a recent ceremony at the Saint Louis, MO, Stamp Expo.

First issued in 2013, the Yes I Do stamp is being sold at the 2-ounce stamp price. It’s intended for the heavier weight of a wedding invitation. Customers also can use the stamp for other mailings, such as oversized cards or small gifts that require extra postage.

The stamp design highlights the words, “Yes, I Do” nestled in a bouquet of flowers in the shape of a heart on a white background.

Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), at Post Offices nationwide or at ebay.com/stamps.

USPS tries to spark interest in slow selling “Jenny” stamps

uninvertedjenny

In an apparent attempt to spark interest in its “Inverted Jenny” reissue, the USPS published a press release today (yes, April Fools Day) entitled “Misprinted Stamps Escape Postal Vault”. You may recall that last year the USPS issued $2 stamps depicting the famous 1918 misprinted Curtis Jenny air mail plane. The USPS has refused to say how sales of the pricey stamps are going, but observers suspect that they’re not exactly flying off the shelves. One measure of the stamps’ success (or lack thereof), is the count of “limited edition” uninverted stamps that have been reported. So far, only 15 of the 100 double invert sets have been verified, despite the fact that dealers are offering $25,000 apiece for the sheets. That suggests that only about 15% of the 2.2 million sheets printed have been sold.

Here’s the press release:

Misprinted Stamps Escape Postal Vault

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Postal Service has printed 100 additional sheets of stamps of the recently issued $2 Inverted Jenny stamp but with the plane flying right-side up. These very limited edition stamps were circulated with the recent issue of stamps mimicking the most famous stamp error in U.S. history. Customers who purchased the new Inverted Jenny stamp could have a very limited edition of the famous stamp.

Unique to this stamp issuance, all sheets were individually wrapped in a sealed envelope to recreate the excitement of finding an Inverted Jenny when opening the envelope and to avoid the possibility of discovering a corrected Jenny prior to purchase.

“We are leveraging the incredible story behind the rare collectible as a creative way to generate interest in stamp collecting while highlighting the role the Post Office Department had in developing the commercial aviation industry,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

Individuals purchasing ‘corrected Jenny sheets’ will find a congratulatory note inside the wrapping asking them to call a phone number to receive a certificate of acknowledgement signed by the Postmaster General.

The 100 sheets were distributed randomly among the nation’s Post Offices and at the Postal Service’s Stamp Fulfillment Center which accepts stamp orders online at usps.com/stamps, and by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724). Additionally, some of the 100 also were randomly distributed at ebay.com/stamps

The Backstory on Creating the Misprint’s ‘Misprint’
The idea for creating the “misprinted misprint,” came to light after the Postmaster General mentioned the stamp to customer groups shortly after it was previewed in January 2013.

“Our customers were enthusiastic about printing a new version of the most publicized stamp error in U.S. history as a great way to spur interest in stamp collecting,” said Donahoe. “Some jokingly commented that we should be careful to avoid repeating the same mistake of nearly a century ago. That was the impetus behind this initiative. What better way to interest a younger generation in stamp collecting?”

The Jenny Story
Two eerie occurrences took place surrounding the nation’s first airmail flight that took place 1918. The pilot got lost, flew in the wrong direction and crashed. And due to a printing error of the      24-cent Curtiss Jenny airmail stamp created to commemorate this historic event, the biplane was depicted flying upside down on one sheet of 100 stamps that was sold to the public.

In 1918, in a rush to celebrate the first airmail flight, the Post Office department issued the 24-cent Curtiss Jenny stamp. Because the design required two colors, sheets were placed on the printing press twice — first to apply red ink and a second time to apply blue ink.  This process was given to human error — as stamp collectors at the time well knew.

A Washington, DC, Post Office clerk — who had never seen an airplane — sold a sheet of 100 stamps mistakenly showing the biplane upside down. For nearly a century, stamp collectors have chased the Inverted Jennys and have accounted for nearly all 100 of them.

 

Video: Linns Stamp News Monday Morning Brief for March 31

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editor Chad Snee discusses a few significant events in the stamp world last week and what to look for in the coming week.

This week’s stories for March 31, 2014, include:

• British Guiana 1856 1¢ Magenta receives new cert
• American Philatelic Society launches search for executive director
• Scott catalogue update
• Spider-Man swings onto computer-vended postage

Australian floral emblems bloom onto stamps

Australia Post is featuring national and state floral emblems in a new stamp issue available now. These floral emblems are striking examples of Australia’s flora and form part of the nation’s identity and floral heritage.

The four domestic base-rate (70c) stamps depict the Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha, Tasmanian Blue Gum Eucalyptus globulus, Waratah Telopea speciosissima and the Common Heath Epacris impressa. The three large letter rate ($1.40, $2.10 and $3.50) stamps depict the Cooktown Orchid Dendrobium phalaenopsis, the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw Anigozanthos manglesii and Sturt’s Desert Pea Swainsona Formosa respectively.

Image of the stamps in the floral emblems stamp issue

“Australians have a love of flowers and these floral emblems are not only visually stunning, but are symbolic of our nation,” said Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Mr Michael Zsolt.

Australia’s national flower, the Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha is featured on one of the 70 cent stamps. It has been a popular national flower in Australia for more than 100 years and it has been included in Australia’s coat of arms since 1912.

The Golden Wattle was officially proclaimed as the national floral emblem by the Minister for Home Affairs, Robert Ray on 1 September 1988 at a ceremony held at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Australia’s state floral emblems also featured in the new stamp issue are:

  • Tasmanian Blue Gum Eucalyptus globulus was proclaimed the floral emblem of Tasmania in 1962.
  • Waratah Telopea speciosissima was proclaimed the floral emblem of New South Wales in 1962.
  • Common Heath Epacris impressa was proclaimed the floral emblem of Victoria in 1958.
  • Cooktown Orchid Dendrobium phalaenopsis was proclaimed the floral emblem of Queensland in 1959.
  • Red and Green Kangaroo Paw Anigozanthos manglesii was proclaimed the floral emblem of Western Australia in 1960.
  • Sturt’s Desert Pea Swainsona formosa was proclaimed the floral emblem of South Australia in 1961.

The designer of the stamps is Jo Muré of the Australia Post Design Studio.

The associated products with this stamp issue include a first day cover, stamp pack, a maxicard set, two postcards, a medallion cover, booklets of 10 and 20 x 70c self-adhesive stamps, and rolls of 100 and 200 x 70c self-adhesive stamps.

The Floral Emblems stamp issue, released 24 March 2014, is available now at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps while stocks last.

 

Stamp distribution centers to consolidate; no immediate change in order process

From USPS News Link:

grandcentralUSPS is streamlining its stamp distribution and fulfillment networks, including transferring the management of Stamp Distribution from Supply Management to Stamp Services.

The changes will help create a world-class distribution network, on par with best fulfillment practices that are currently being used by other large national retail operations. And they will have no immediate effect on the stamp ordering and fulfillment process. Post Offices should continue ordering stamps as usual, until further notice.

Future changes include the closing of Stamp Distribution Centers in Atlanta; Binghamton, NY; Kansas City, MO; Phoenix; and Portland, OR. The closings will take place no later than Sept. 20, 2014.

The new, consolidated Stamp Distribution network will operate primarily out of a location within the Stamp Fulfillment Services facility in Kansas City, MO, and a secondary location in Dulles, VA. This new network is scheduled to launch by Sept. 20, 2014.

Changes in the fulfillment system are needed to create a distribution and fulfillment operation that supports the growing number of direct-to-consumer stamp orders received from online channels, including eBay. The new system also will improve stamps distribution to more than 34,000 postal retail outlets and partners such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Staples.

The changes include greater use of automated equipment to provide order processing 7 days a week and fulfillment and delivery times of 5 days or less. The consolidation also will improve inventory management, reduce destruction of stamps and help keep retail offices fully stocked with a variety of stamps.

Employees affected by these changes have been notified according to established employment guidelines and procedures; for affected bargaining unit employees, notifications and procedures are in accordance with the applicable bargaining agreement.

Further information will be announced as it becomes available.

Read more: USPS News Link Story – Improvements in stamp distribution.