US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: The story behind a unique ‘Charade’ first-day item

May 22, 2020, 8 AM
Over an 18-month period during 2002-04, three U.S. stamps were issued that have connections to the 1963 film Charade. In The Odd Lot, Wayne Youngblood recounts how he used this trio of stamps to create a one-of-a-kind first-day item.

By Charles Snee

The June 8 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Tuesday, May 26. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, May 23. While you wait for your issue to arrive your mailbox, enjoy these three glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

‘Charade’ first-day item was 18 months in the making

Are you a fan of the 1963 movie Charade starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn? If you are, you no doubt are aware of the film’s delightful philatelic storyline. Wayne L. Youngblood, in The Odd Lot, recounts how he created a unique first-day item using a piece of Charade sheet music and three United States stamps issued over an 18-month period during 2002-04. Among other things this required sending the music sheet to the U.S. Postal Service’s first-day cancellation unit three times. Which three stamps do you think Youngblood affixed to the music sheet? You’ll have to read the column to find out.

When wastepaper turns into postal history

In Modern U.S. Mail, Tony Wawrukiewicz highlights a postcard mailed in 1959 from Anaheim, Calif., without an address. “When such a card is determined to be unmailable or undeliverable, one has to wonder how it gets into the hands of collectors,” Wawrukiewicz writes. He then dives into several editions of the Postal Laws and Regulations and learns “that such matter without a return address was frequently treated as wastepaper and sold.” Information in the Domestic Mail Manual shows that this practice continued well into 1992, according to Wawrukiewicz.

Tip of the week: non-Scott listed Burkina Faso souvenir sheet

For their tip of the week, Stamp Market Tips columnists Henry Gitner and Rick Miller highlight a 1997 Burkina Faso souvenir sheet of four picturing gazelles and buffalo that is not listed in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Gitner and Miller point out that an example of the sheet sold in a recent eBay online auction for “a good deal more than the value of any contemporary Burkina Faso Scott-listed items.” Read the entire tip to learn what the winning bidder paid for the sheet.

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