Displaying items by tag: Christmas stamp


The USPS issued the Our Lady of Guápulo stamp today. This Forever stamp was dedicated in a virtual ceremony and is now being sold at Post Office locations nationwide and online.

USPS dedicating official Angela Curtis, vice president, Retail and Post Office Operations. was joined for the ceremony by Tey Marianna Nunn, director and chief curator of the Art Museum and Visual Arts Program, National Hispanic Cultural Center.

The painting “Our Lady of Guápulo” was created in the 18th century by an unknown artist in Cuzco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Historians characterize the artists at this time as members of the Cuzco school. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, European painters worked with indigenous artists in and around Cuzco. The Europeans trained local artists in styles and forms that dominated European countries at the end of the Renaissance period and during the Baroque era.

“Our Lady of Guápulo” reflects a local variant of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain. The figure venerated as Our Lady of Guápulo originated as a sculpture, commissioned in Quito, Ecuador, in 1584 and transferred to a chapel in the nearby village of Guápulo in 1587. Closely resembling the Spanish holy image from which she originated, the statue was credited with many miracles. Represented by many artists since then, she is often portrayed dressed in an ornate, pyramidal robe fastened with a rosary, holding a flowered scepter in one hand and the Christ Child in the other.

Art Director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.

 The stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1‑ounce price. A pictorial postmark of the First Day of Issue location, New York City, is available at usps.com/shopstamps.

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

Published in News
Wednesday, 22 August 2018 00:00

The first Christmas stamps

Christmas is celebrated in many ways throughout the world so it’s no surprise that the philately for the holiday includes thousands of stamps and covers, most created since the mid-20th century. The Christmas theme is among the world’s most popular topical areas to collect.

Whenever we talk about “firsts,” a lot of contenders line up to make claims so it’s no surprise that there are a lot of firsts when it comes to Christmas stamps. That said, there’s little doubt that Canada can claim the first Christmas postage stamp connection, even if the stamp was not intended to specifically celebrate the holiday.

The 1898 2-cent stamp features a collage of Queen Victoria’s crown at the top, a Mercator map of the world with the nations and colonies of the British Empire displayed in red, “Xmas 1898” and the phrase, “We hold a vaster empire than has been.”

Two varieties of what many philatelists consider the world’s first Christmas stamp, Canada’s Imperial Penny Postage stamp of 1898. It was Canada’s first bicolor stamp and has major color varieties involving the colors of the ocean and land.

But why does it say “Xmas 1898?”
The stamp was issued December 7 and its use went into effect December 25, 1898, the inauguration of the Imperial Penny Postage rate (which was 2 cents in Canadian funds).

There is an oft-repeated story that Canadian Postmaster General William Mulock developed the stamp and proposed that it be issued on November 9 to “honor the prince,” meaning the Prince of Wales. But when Queen Victoria asked “what Prince?” in a displeased manner, Mulock realized the danger, and answered “Why, madam, the Prince of Peace.”

Other Christmas Stamp Firsts:
Some have long held that Austria issued Christmas stamps on December 12, 1937. There is no Christmas imagery on the two stamps, which show a rose and signs of the Zodiac.

However, Kathy Ward, writing for the Christmas Philatelic Club, offers this: My suspicions were aroused when I purchased a first day cover of these stamps. On the cachet, it states that the Austrian post office issued the stamps to be used on ‘birth-day (sic) congratulatory letters.’ [That would explain the Zodiac symbols meaning an intent for year-round use.] A letter from Austria confirmed my suspicions: “The first official Christmas stamp of the Austrian Post has been issued in 1953.”

In 1939–40, Brazil issued a set of four semipostals to raise money for charitable institutions. The first stamp, issued December 20, 1939, shows the Three Wise Men and Star of Bethlehem (leftmost stamp below).

Caught in the grip of World War II, Hungary in 1943 issued three stamps depicting the Nativity.

The first United States Christmas stamp was issued in 1962 and featured a candle and wreaths in green and red.

Source: American Philatelic Society

Published in Firsts stamps