US Stamps

Colorful tulips to blossom on 10 new U.S. stamps April 5

Mar 20, 2023, 8 AM
Close-up photographs of tulips in bloom by Denise Ippolito will grace 10 United States definitive stamps to be issued April 5 in double-sided panes of 20 and rolls of 3,000 and 10,000 coil stamps.

By Charles Snee

Beautiful tulip blossoms in a rainbow of colors will burst forth on 10 United States definitive forever stamps to be issued April 5 in Woodburn, Ore.

The U.S. Postal Service has scheduled a first-day ceremony for the Tulip Blossoms stamps that will begin at 11 a.m. local time at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, 33814 S. Meridian Road, in Woodburn. The ceremony will be held during the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, which runs from March 24 through April 30.

Tickets are required to enter the festival. The USPS has purchased a limited number of tickets, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Collectors wishing to attend the ceremony are asked to register online with the USPS. According to the Postal Service, only one ticket will be issued per confirmed reservation for the ceremony. Attendees may invite up to four additional people.

Linda Malone, vice president of engineering systems for the USPS, will serve as the dedicating official.

The stamps feature close-up photographs of tulips that were taken by Denise Ippolito. Greg Breeding served as both art director and designer.

“Each flower fills almost the entire frame of the stamp, with just the top of the stem showing,” the Postal Service said.

According to the Postal Service, the stamps will be issued in three formats: a double-sided pane of 20 (which the USPS calls a booklet) and coil rolls of 3,000 and 10,000.

There likely will be gaps between each stamp in a roll, and the stamps will be on backing paper taller than the stamps. These features allow the use of automated equipment to affix the stamps to large quantities of mailpieces in a short period of time.

Based on the issue formats, it is likely that 20 Scott catalog numbers will be assigned to the Tulip Blossoms stamps: 10 for the stamps in double-sided panes of 20 and 10 for the coil stamps in rolls of 3,000 and 10,000.

A final catalog listing determination will not be made until Scott editors have examined the actual stamps.

The Tulip Blossoms coil stamps are horizontal in format, meaning they will have vertical serpentine die cuts at left and right and straight edges at top and bottom.

A plate number consisting of a “B” followed by four single digits will appear on every 27th Tulip Blossoms coil stamp below the stamp image, the USPS said. The “B” is shorthand for Banknote Corporation of America, and each digit represents one of the four process colors — cyan, magenta, yellow and black — used to print the stamps.

Illustrated on this page is the Postal Service’s preliminary artwork for a block of 10 Tulip Blossoms stamps from a double-sided pane.

Each stamp is inscribed “usa forever” in the top left corner reading down. The diminutive size of the lettering allows Ippolito’s photos to capture the viewer’s eye.

On her website, Ippolito informs readers about the new Tulip Blossoms stamps and states that an additional 10 of her close-up photos of flowers “will be featured as another Forever Stamp Collection.” She provides no additional details about the second set of stamps.

“I have always wanted to have one of my photos used as a stamp but to have an entire collection … beyond words,” Ippolito said. “Then to have two collections — even more astounding!”

“The money, though very generous, comes second to the prestige and sense of pride I feel,” she said.

“My family and close friends have all been very happy for me and understand that this is a lifetime achievement for me. This is such an honor; I am beyond thrilled.”

Breeding told Linn’s Stamp News how he came across Ippolito’s work and adapted it to fit the small space of a stamp.

“Because of the popularity of stamps with flowers, I decided to explore them from a different perspective,” Breeding said. “Working with the research agency Photo Assist, we discovered Denise’s many beautiful images.”

“Many of her flower photographs are extreme closeups and present the color and texture of tulips in a fresh way,” he said.

To read the rest of this story, subscribe to Linn’s Stamp News.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter
    Like us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter