US Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

New 21¢ Lincoln stamp issued on birthday; close-up photo of statue used for design

February 07, 2014 08:05 AM

  • The United States 21¢ Abraham Lincoln stamp issued Feb. 12 in Springfield, Ill.

  • This Carol M. Highsmith photograph was used for the design of the new Abraham Lincoln stamp issued Feb. 12 in Springfield, Ill. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division in Washington, D.C.

  • Lincoln statue sculptor Daniel Chester French on a 5¢ stamp issued in 1940.

America’s 16th president once again graces a current United States stamp.

Two 21¢ Abraham Lincoln stamps sharing the same design were scheduled to be issued Feb. 12 in Springfield, Ill.

The stamps will be offered in panes of 20 and coils of 100, and will go on sale in post offices nationwide on the day of issue.

A first-day ceremony was planned for 1 p.m. at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, Fifth and Adams streets, in Springfield.

The stamp shows a cropped photograph by Carol M. Highsmith of the Lincoln statue from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The original uncropped photograph pictured on page 24 is part of a Highsmith collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division in Washington, D.C.

Derry Noyes served as the U.S. Postal Service art director for the project.

Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders told Linn’s that Noyes cropped in tightly on the photograph, making the background barely visible.

“They were focusing in on the statue as a portrait of Lincoln, not as a Lincoln Memorial stamp,” said Saunders.

Highsmith’s photography has been used previously on U.S. stamps, including the $3.85 Jefferson Memorial stamp (Scott 3647) issued in 2002.

The Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall was constructed between 1914 and 1922.

Along with honoring Abraham Lincoln, the memorial has been the site of numerous historic events, including the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Opera singer Marian Anderson performed an Easter Sunday concert there in 1939.

The memorial is featured on a $1 violet brown stamp issued on Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12, in 1923, less than a year after the memorial was dedicated (Scott 571).

The 19-foot-tall Lincoln statue created by Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) is sculpted from 28 pieces of Georgia marble.

French was personally honored on a 5¢ stamp issued Sept. 16, 1940, as part of the Famous Americans series (Scott 887). That stamp is shown on this page.

The Lincoln statue was shown previously on a 4¢ stamp issued May 30, 1959, as part of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial issue (Scott 1116).

The 21¢ Abraham Lincoln stamp satisfies the new additional-ounce and nonmachinable surcharge rates introduced Jan. 20.

The previous 20¢ additional ounce rate had been in place since April 2010.

Both formats of the Lincoln stamp were produced by CCL Label Inc. of Clinton, S.C.

A total of 120 million pane stamps were initially produced. Because of the way the pane is processed, post offices will be able to sell individual stamps from it.

Plate No. C111 will appear on every 20th stamp in the coil of 100 stamps. An initial run of 200 million coil stamps were manufactured.

Press sheets, both with and without the die cuts that normally separate individual stamps, will be issued. Each press sheet consists of three panes and sells for $12.60. A total of 1,000 press sheets of each type will be available.

Technical details for the new 21¢ Abraham Lincoln stamps appear in the text below.

21¢ Abraham Lincoln stamp pane of 20 and coil of 100

FIRST DAY— Feb. 12, 2014; city— Springfield, Ill., and nationwide.

DESIGN: existing photograph— Carol M. Highsmith; art director, designer, and typographer— Derry Noyes, Washington, D.C.; modeler— CCL Label Inc.; engraver— WRE.
PRINTING: process— gravure; printer and processor— CCL Label Inc., Clinton, S.C.; press— Dia Nippon Kiko; inks— Pantone Matching System 8 cool gray, PMS 7 cool gray, black; paper— prephosphored type II (pane), nonphosphored, type III, phosphor tagged (coil); gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 120 million stamps (pane), 200 million stamps (coil); format— pane of 20, from 60-subject cylinders; coil of 100, from 480-subject cylinders; size— 0.73 inches by 0.84 inches (image); 0.87 inches by 0.98 inches (overall); 5.25 inches by 4.825 inches (full pane); plate numbers— “C” followed by three single digits, plate number on every 20th stamp in coil; marginal markings for pane stamp— plate numbers in four corners (stamp side), “©2013 USPS,” plate position diagram, USPS logo, bar code 116800 in two corners (back side); USPS item Nos.— 116804 (pane), 774404 (coil).

First-day cancel ordering information

Collectors requesting first-day cancels are encouraged to purchase their own stamps and affix them to envelopes. The first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to Abraham Lincoln Stamp, Postmaster, FDOI Postmark, 2105 E. Cook St., Springfield, IL 62703-9998. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by April 15.

The Postal Service’s uncacheted first-day cover for the 21¢ Abraham Lincoln stamp is USPS item No. 116816 at $1.14.