Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bob Hope Stamp First Day Cancellations

The USA Philatelic Web site Beyond The Perf takes a look at the development of the Bob Hope first day cancellations shown here.

The site reports, "The Bob Hope First Day of Issue postmarks represent both what is best and what is most difficult to achieve in pictorial postmark design: an image that truly expresses the subject and is striking enough to excite collectors, yet can be rendered in the small scale and simple forms required of a cancellation. How do you convey the unique talent and larger-than-life quality of an American icon like Hope within these restricted parameters?"

It goes on to say, "Among the research materials used in the development of the stamp design was a reference file showing drawings of Hope by noted artist Al Hirschfeld. The design team had always felt that these drawings would be ideal to incorporate in the cancellations but expected that copyright and legal restrictions would prevent their use."

The first day ceremonies for the Hope stamp were held aboard the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway in San Diego on Friday, May 29, 2009 which would have been the comedian's 106th birthday.

Hope made two appearances aboard the Midway in a career launched in the 1930s and including military shows from World War II to the Persian Gulf War. He died in 2003 at age 100. His widow, Dolores Hope, celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday night in Los Angeles but was unable to attend the ceremony according to the Associated Press.

Hope was the first person recognized by Congress as an honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces, even though he never officially served in the military.

Collectors have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store Web site at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Bob Hope Stamp
PO Box 85530
San Diego, CA 92186-5530

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by July 30, 2009.

To see the preliminary postmark designs for the Bob Hope first day cancellation, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM