The United States and Sweden are putting out a joint issue of four stamps each on Thursday, all devoted to aspects of philately, past and present.
The U.S. issue is in the form of a booklet containing two identical panes of four 22-cent stamps each. The Swedish issue is a booklet containing a single pane of four stamps.
The third stamp in both the American and Swedish panes bears a common design. The upper third of the stamp pictures two of five stamps issued by Sweden in 1938 to mark the tricentennial of the settlement of New Sweden at Wilmington, Del. Below that, pictured under a magnifying glass, is a 3-cent American stamp of 1938 picturing a painting of the landing of the Swedes. The common design is the work of Eva Tern of the Swedish Philatelic Service, who also designed the other Swedish stamps.
The "stamp-on-stamp" motif is carried out on all the American stamps, beginning with the one at the left of the pane, which encompasses a lot of postal and philatelic history of the 19th century. At the top is a section of a block of 12 2-cent George Washington stamps put out in 1883. On the left side are a model of a magnifying glass that belonged to Spencer Fullerton Baird, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1878 through 1887, and a model of a hand stamp of the same period submitted for patent approval.
On the right side is a membership card from the American Philatelic Association, the forerunner of the American Philatelic Society, which has become the largest philatelic organization in the nation and is celebrating its centennial this year.
Next to it is an 1886 accession card typical of the cards used to document donations to what was then called the U.S. National Museum, a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution now known as the Office of the Assistant Secretary for History and Art.
The card recorded the receipt by the museum of a pane of 10-cent Confederate stamps, one of the first philatelic donations received by the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian's National Philatelic Collection, which has grown to 16 million stamps and postal-related artifacts, is the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world.
The second stamp from the left shows a young boy working on his stamp collection.
The stamp at the far right of the strip shows one of the four miniature sheets picturing all deceased presidents that are to be issued in conjunction with the opening of Ameripex 86, an international stamp show to be held this year in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont.
The four 22-cent American commemoratives are multicolors, produced on a combination printing press using both intaglio and offset processes. The offset colors are yellow, flesh, blue, red and black. The intaglio colors are green, red and blue.
Collectors of first-day-of-issue cancellations have an additional 30 days for sending in their orders -- they must be postmarked no later than March 24 -- and the customary alternative ways of ordering.
Collectors acquiring the booklet themselves and affixing the stamps on their first-day covers, which must bear addresses, should send them to Customer-Affixed Envelopes, Stamp Collecting Stamps, Postmaster, State College, Pa. 16801-9991. No remittance is required.
Collectors preferring full processing of covers by the Postal Service should send their addresssed envelopes to Stamp Collecting Stamps, Postmaster, State College, Pa. 16801-9992. Personal checks are accepted, cash is not welcomed, and payments by postage stamps is rejected.
The Swedish issue will be sold by the U.S. Postal Service, and it will be possible to get combinations of the stamp issues. This material will be supplied by the Philatelic Sales Division, Washington, D.C. 20265-9997. Collectors wanting details of supplementary collectibles other than first-day covers should contact the division or the Stamps Division, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20265.