Monday Morning Brief | All about stamp designs: winners, glowing eyes, and a lawsuit

Sep 25, 2017, 3 AM

Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty reveals some fascinating details about a painting to appear on a United States federal duck stamp, among other intriguing facts dealing with recent stamp designs.

Full Video Transcript:

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for September 25, 2017

This week’s Monday Morning Brief is all about stamp designs: a winning design, hidden designs, and a design mistake that launched a lawsuit.

First up is the winning design. On September 16, Bob Hautman’s acrylic painting of two mallards won the 2017 federal duck stamp art contest, and it will be pictured on the $25 duck stamp to be issued in June of next year. This is the third time that Bob has won the contest. His brothers Jim and Joe have each won five times.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service principal deputy director Greg Sheehan, who announced the winner of this year’s contest, congratulated Bob Hautman on his win, saying, “He is part of a collection of talented wildlife artists whose work has helped conserve habitat not just for waterfowl, but for a vast diversity of wildlife, and helped create and maintain hundreds of places where hunters, anglers and outdoors enthusiasts of all stripes can enjoy their passion.”

Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current federal duck stamp. Duck stamps also are purchased by stamp collectors and others as well.

For the hidden designs, we go from the natural world to a galaxy, far, far away. Great Britain’s Royal Mail has announced that it will issue its second set of Star Wars stamps October 12, a couple of months ahead of the premiere of the movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Four stamps in the set depict aliens, and another four show droids.

A close look at each stamp reveals that the design includes more than just the major character, there is also a spaceship or space vehicle, another character or a second image of the main character, and an additional scene.

For example, the C-3PO stamp also pictures the massive battle station Death Star II, the character Jabba the Hutt, and his palace on the planet Tatooine.

If you look at this and the other droid stamps under ultraviolet light, more details are revealed, including glowing eyes.

The lawsuit over a United States stamp design began with a case of mistaken identity.

A forever stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2010 was supposed to show the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, but instead pictured the replica from the New York New York Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

The sculptor of the replica, Robert S. Davidson, sued the Postal Service, claiming that he was owed money for the unauthorized use of his sculpture.

The case went to trial this September in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and testimony ended on the 20th.

Our Washington correspondent Bill McAllister reports that the lawyers for both the Postal Service and Davidson are likely to be called back in a few months for final arguments, and a written decision will probably come a few weeks after that.

For updates on this court case and other stamp news, read Linn’s Stamp News, visit the website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Denise McCarty.