newscontent= USPS News: Philatelic Releases FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 12, 2001 Stamp Release No. 01-063 Santas And Renaissance Art Featured On This Year's Christmas Postage Stamps WASHINGTON - The warmth and joy of the holiday season are captured on this year's Christmas and Holiday postage stamps, which depict Italian artist Lorenzo Costa's "Virgin and Child" on the Christmas stamp and charming images of Santa Claus on four Holiday stamps. The U.S. Postal Service will issue both stamps at separate ceremonies Oct. 10. The stamp depicting Costa's "Virgin and Child" will be issued at an 11 a.m. ceremony at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The museum is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2001. The original painting, part of the John G. Johnson Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is on permanent display at the museum. The Santa stamps, which feature four images that represent the rich folklore of Santa Claus, will be issued at an 11 a.m. ceremony at the Holiday World Theater at Holiday World, an amusement park in Santa Claus, Ind. "Our two Christmas stamps, Costa's 'Virgin and Child,' and the quaint 'Santas,' beautifully represent the season, offering a unique moment on the doorstep for our friends, families and customers, who eagerly look forward to the delivery of their holiday cards and letters," said S. David Fineman, Vice Chairman of the presidentially appointed Postal Service Board of Governors, who will dedicate the Costa stamp. The Christmas stamp features a detail of Costa's oil-on-panel "Virgin and Child," circa 1490. In this depiction, the Madonna is seated behind a waist-high, pearl gray parapet upon which she holds her standing Child. She wears a dark blue mantle over a white kerchief and red dress. Costa's work is well represented in major European galleries; this painting is a rare example of Costa's work appearing in the permanent collection of an American museum. Renaissance painter Lorenzo Costa (1460-1535) was born in the northern Italian town of Ferrara. In the 1480s he moved to Bologna, where he received the patronage of the ruling Bentivoglio family. Costa's work included altarpieces, frescoes, portraits and allegories, and his major commissions for Bolognese churches are considered among his best. In 1506 Costa succeeded Andrea Mantegna as the court painter to the ruling Gonzaga family in Mantua, where he remained until his death in 1535. The Holiday stamps feature four chromolithograph Santa Claus images (circa 1880s and circa 1915-20). Chromolithography is a color printing process developed in the early 19th century and became more efficient and very popular as the century progressed. The story of Santa Claus begins with St. Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop in Asia Minor. St. Nicholas was considered a generous gift giver and protector of children, and over time his reputation flourished throughout Europe. Eventually the legend of St. Nicolas became intertwined with the Christmas holiday. The chromolithographs featured on these stamps portray the character that we know today as Santa Claus. In the block of four designs the Santas pictured upper left and lower right probably date from the 1880s. They may have been designed in England and printed in Germany. People may have purchased these images and placed them in keepsake scrapbooks. The Santas pictured upper right and lower left were printed in Germany and probably date between 1915 and 1920. Santas such as these may have been used to decorate "lebkuchen," a traditional German cookie. Both the Santas and Costa stamps were designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Ariz. The Postal Service will also issue 34-cent versions of the previously released Holiday Celebration Hanukkah stamp and the Holiday Celebration Kwanzaa stamp Oct. 21. Since the issuance in 1966 of the five-cent stamp featuring the "Madonna and Child" by Hans Memling, Christmas stamps have had a devoted following. The Postal Service will also produce stamped postal cards featuring the Santas stamps. Each card features one of the four Santas designs and includes 21 cents postage, which is the current stamped card rate. To see an image of the "Virgin and Child" and Santas stamps, visit the Collector's Corner in the Postal Store at www.usps.com and click on "Stamp Release Schedule." To see previous releases, select "Index of Stamp Issues." All current stamps and other philatelic products, as well as a free philatelic catalog, are available by calling toll free 1 800 STAMP-24. A selection of current stamps and gift items are also available online at the Postal Store. # # # TECHNICAL DETAILS Issue: Santas Item Number: 883100 Denomination and Type of Issue: 21-cent Postal Stamped Card Format: $9.25 Postal Stamped Card Set Series: Holiday Celebrations Issue Date and City: October 10, 2001, Santa Claus, IN 47579 Designer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Art Director: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Typographer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Engraver: N/A Modeler: Banknote Corporation of America, Inc. (BCA) Manufacturing Process: Offset Printer: Banknote Corporation of America, Inc. (BCA) Printed at: BCA, Browns Summit, NC Press Type: Man Roland, 300 Cards per Set: 20 Print Quantity: 100,000 sets (2,000,000 cards) Paper Type: Phosphor tagged Gum Type: N/A Processed at: BCA, Greensboro, NC Colors: Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black Stamp Orientation: Vertical Stamp Image Area (w x h): 1.125 x 1.375 in./28.575 x 34.925 mm Card Size (w x h): 4.25 x 5.50 in./107.95 x 139.70 mm Plate Size: 20 cards per revolution Plate Numbers: N/A Marginal Markings: N/A Catalog Item Number(s) 551566 Stamped Card Set - $9.25 TECHNICAL DETAILS Issue: Santas Item Number: 551500 Denomination and Type of Issue: 34-cent Special Format: Pane of 20 (4 designs) Series: Holiday Celebrations Issue Date and City: October 10, 2001, Santa Claus, IN 47579 Designer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Art Director: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Typographer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Modeler: Donald H. Woo Manufacturing Process: Gravure Engraver: Armotek Industries Printer: Sennett Security Products (SSP) Printed at: American Packaging Corporation, Columbus, WI Press Type: Rotomek, 3000 Stamps per Pane: 20 Print Quantity: 125 million stamps Paper Type: Pre-phosphored, Type I Gum Type: Self-adhesive Processed at: Unique Binders, Fredericksburg, VA Colors: Magenta, Cyan, Yellow, Black Stamp Orientation: Vertical Image Area (w x h): 0.77 x 1.05 in./19.55 x 26.67 mm Overall Size (w x h): 0.91 x 1.19 in /23.11 x 30.22 mm Pane Size (w x h): 5.46 x 5.8125 in /138.68 x 147.63 mm Plate Size: 320 stamps per revolution Plate Numbers: "S" followed by four (4) single digits Marginal Markings: " 1999 USPS" - Price - Plate Numbers - Plate Position Diagram - Barcodes Catalog Item Number(s): 551520 Block of 4 - $1.36 551530 Block of10 - $3.40 551540 Full Pane of 20 - $6.80 551563 First Day Cover (set of 4) - $2.20 TECHNICAL DETAILS Issue: Santas Item Number: 665000 Denomination and Type of Issue: 34-cent Special Format: Vending Booklet of 20 (4 designs) Series: Holiday Celebrations Issue Date and City: October 10, 2001, Santa Claus, IN 47579 Designer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Art Director: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Typographer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Modeler: Avery Dennison, SPD Manufacturing Process: Gravure Engraver: Armotek Industries Printer: Avery Dennison (AVR) Printed at: AVR, Clinton, SC Press Type: Dia Nippon Kiko Stamps per Booklet: 20 Print Quantity: 201 million stamps Paper Type: Pre-phosphored, Type I Gum Type: Self-adhesive Processed at: AVR, Clinton, SC Colors: Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black Stamp Orientation: Vertical Image Area (w x h): 0.720 x 0.818 in./18.288 x 20.777 mm Overall Size (w x h): 0.870 x 0.982 in./22.098 x 24.943mm Full Booklet Size (w x h): 1.74 x 10.375 in./44.196 x 263.53mm Plate Size: 300 stamps per revolution TECHNICAL DETAILS Issue: Lorenzo Costa's Virgin and Child Item Number: 665200 Denomination and Type of Issue: 34-cent Special Format: Convertible Booklet of 20 (1 design) Series: Christmas Issue Date and City: October 10, 2001, Philadelphia, PA 19104 Artist: Lorenzo Costa, Painting courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art Designer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Engraver: Acitronics Art Director: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Typographer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Modeler: Banknote Corporation of America, Inc. (BCA)/Guilford Gravure Manufacturing Process: Gravure Printer: Banknote Corporation of America, Inc. (BCA) Printed at: Guilford Gravure, Guilford, CT Press Type: Cerutti, R118 Stamps per Booklet: 20 Print Quantity: 800 million stamps Paper Type: Pre-phosphored, Type II Gum Type: Self-adhesive Processed at: Guilford Gravure, Guilford, CT Colors: Black, Yellow, Cyan, Magenta Stamp Orientation: Vertical Image Area (w x h): 0.77 x 0.89 in./19.56 x 22.61 mm Overall Size (w x h): 0.91 x 1.19 in./23.11 x 30.23 mm Booklet Size (w x h) : 4.55 x 5.0 in./115.57 x 127.0 mm Plate Size: 500 stamps per revolution Plate Numbers: "B" followed by four (4) single digits Marginal Markings: " 1999 USPS" - Plate Numbers - Price - Peel here to fold - Self-adhesive stamps - DO NOT WET Catalog Item Number(s): 665240 Booklet of 20 - $6.80 665261 First Day Cover - $0.55 TECHNICAL DETAILS Issue: Santas (Double Sided) Item Number: 665100 Denomination and Type of Issue: 34-cent Special Format: Convertible Booklet of 20 (4 designs) Series: Holiday Celebrations Issue Date and City: October 10, 2001, Santa Claus, IN 47579 Designer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Art Director: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Typographer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ Modeler: Donald H. Woo Manufacturing Process: Gravure Printer: Sennett Security Products (SSP) Printed at: American Packaging Corporation, Columbus, WI Press Type: Rotomek, 3000 Stamps per Book: 20 Print Quantity: 1.5 billion stamps Paper Type: Pre-phosphored, Type I Gum Type: Self-adhesive Processed at: Unique Binders, Fredericksburg, VA Colors: Magenta, Cyan, Yellow, Black Stamp Orientation: Vertical Image Area (w x h): 0.77 x 1.05 in./19.55 x 26.67 mm Overall Size (w x h): 0.91 x 1.19 in./23.11 x 30.22 mm Booklet Size (w x h) : 1.82 x 7.45 in /46.22 x 189.23 mm Plate Size: 168 stamps per revolution Plate Numbers: "S" followed by four (4) single digits Marginal Markings: " 1999 USPS" - Price - Plate Numbers - "Peel here to fold - Self-adhesive stamps - DO NOT WET - Double sided" Catalog Item Number(s): 665140 Convertible Booklet of 20 (double sided) - $6.80 665163 First Day Cover (set of 4) - $2.20 HOW TO ORDER THE FIRST DAY OF ISSUE POSTMARK Customers have 30 days to obtain the first day of issue postmark by mail. They may purchase the stamps at their local post, affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them into a larger envelope addressed to: VIRGIN AND CHILD CHRISTMAS STAMP POSTMASTER 30TH AND MARKET STREETS PHILADELPHIA, PA 19104-9991 SANTAS HOLIDAY STAMP POSTMASTER 356 E. CHRISTMAS BLVD SANTA CLAUS, IN 47579-9991 After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service returns the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by November 10, 2001. Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers the first day covers for new stamp issues and postal stationery items postmarked with the official first day of issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by writing to: INFORMATION FULFILLMENT, US POSTAL SERVICE, DEPT 6270, PO BOX 219014, KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014, or by calling 1 800 STAMP-24. First day covers remain on sale for at least one year after the stamp's issuance. # # # For 226 years, the United States Postal Service has been the gateway to the household, binding friends, families and neighbors together. It is an independent federal agency that handles 46 percent of the world's mail volume, with annual revenues of $65 billion. The Postal Service is not funded with taxpayer dollars, but derives its revenues solely from the sale of postage and other products and services it provides. Through its unrivaled service network, the Postal Service delivers money, messages and merchandise daily to 135 million addresses, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. # # # e-mail mutmo didit!
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