World Stamps

Gimmicky Austria stamp printed on felt of tennis ball

Aug 9, 2023, 8 AM
The Austria 2021 €7 Dominic Thiem Men’s Singles Champion at 2020 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament stamp (Scott 2961) is popular with collectors of Austria, collectors of gimmicky stamps and sports topical collectors.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Generally speaking, collectors either love gimmicky stamps, or they hate them. Not many collectors are neutral in their feelings on the subject.

We use the definition of gimmick as “a novel device or idea designed primarily to attract attention or increase appeal, often with little intrinsic value.” Postage stamp gimmicks include stamps printed on unusual materials or issued in odd or unusual shapes.

A popular gimmicky stamp is the Austria €7 stamp (Scott 2961) picturing Dominic Thiem, the men’s singles champion at the 2020 United States Open Tennis Tournament.

The self-adhesive die-cut stamp was issued Oct. 25, 2021. The stamp is round like a tennis ball and was printed by silk screen (a stenciling process) on tennis ball felt.

The stamp design features the likeness of Thiem grinning in victory above his signature at the bottom of the ball.

Thiem was born Sept. 3, 1993, in Weiner Neustadt, Austria. He has been ranked as high as No. 3 in men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals.

The stamp meets our definition of being gimmicky by its tennis ball shape and having been printed on tennis ball felt by silk screen.

The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the stamp at $16.50, the new-issue minimum of double face value, in both mint, never-hinged and used condition.

You can usually find the mint stamp offered at between $12 and $20. Used examples are far scarcer, but the demand for them is also less.

In addition to collectors of Austria and collectors of gimmicky stamps, this stamp appeals to sports topical collectors.

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