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Monday Morning Brief | United States Nativity stamp

October 24, 2016 08:34 AM

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the Nativity stamp to be issued Nov. 3 by the United States Postal Service and also reports on Ireland’s dog license revenue stamps of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Full video transcript:

Greetings stamp-hobby friends! Happy United Nations Day and welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for October 24.

Well, here it is, a week before Halloween, and many of the big-box stores have already put up their Christmas trees and other assorted holiday decorations.

While I find this turbo-charged anticipation rather dismaying, my spirits begin to lift when I see the various stamps that the United States Postal Service issues for this festive time of the year.

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I am particularly looking forward to the November 3 issuance of the Nativity forever stamp. The design features Nancy Stahl’s illustration of the Holy Family at dawn, the star of Bethlehem illuminating from above the tender scene of Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus.

Designed by Greg Breeding, the Nativity forever stamp is the fourth U.S. Christmas issue to feature new original artwork by Stahl.

If you happen to be in the Washington, D.C., area on November 3, consider attending the first-day ceremony, which is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. at St. John’s Church in Lafayette Square, close to the White House.

One of the joys of stamp collecting is the knowledge gained from studying these fascinating bits of paper.

Although I’ve worked for Linn’s for 17 years, I am still amazed at the sheer variety of what’s out there to satisfy just about any interest.

For example, did you know that Ireland once issued dog license stamps? I didn’t either, until I read David Norris’ engrossing feature article about these revenue stamps in the October 24 issue of Linn’s.

For almost 60 years, beginning in 1866, an Irish dog license required 2 shillings’ worth of stamps for each dog, along with a 6-penny stamp for the actual license.

Norris writes that “the 6p stamps were petty sessions revenue stamps, overprinted with the words ‘for dog license.’”

The 6-penny dog license stamp shown nearby pictures Queen Victoria. Edward VII and George V also appeared on these stamps until Irish independence in 1922.

This unusual chapter in the history of revenue stamps came to a close in 1983, when dog license stamps were discontinued.

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Chad Snee. Have a great week enjoying our wonderful hobby. Cheers!