Reproductions of art on stamps can be nearly as beautiful as the originals.
One prime example is displayed on a new Canadian stamp depicting York Boat on Lake Winnipeg, a 1930 print by Walter J. Phillips.
The 90-cent international rate stamp is the 10th in the series recognizing Masterpieces of Canadian Art and the first in the series to feature a woodcut print.
York Boat on Lake Winnipeg depicts a group of men in a small, open boat. In the background is a small island with windblown evergreen trees beneath an overcast sky. Above the woodcut reproduction is "Art Canada." A gold trim surrounds the illustration.
All 10 stamps in the series were designed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier of Montreal.
Official first-day covers will bear a Winnipeg cancellation, which incorporates the artist's monogram and a cachet featuring a 1931 monochrome wood engraving on paper.
The stamps and first-day covers are available by mail from the National Philatelic Centre, 75 Ninian St., Antigonish, Nova Scotia, B2G-2R8.
If a stamp is popular, it is worth printing again and again, much to the delight of many collectors who want more and more stamps for their albums.
The latest example is the reprinting of the Statue of Liberty stamp in three new formats. The popular stamp has the same design as the one issued in 1994 but with a denomination change from 29 cents to 32 cents and a 1997 date.
The stamps are being issued in self-adhesive vendable booklets of 15 and 30 plus a self-adhesive convertible booklet of 20.
To obtain a first-day-of-issue postmark, send to Statue of Liberty Stamp, Postmaster, P.O. Box 85530, San Diego, CA 92186-5530. Requests must be postmarked by May 1.
Catching up on rates
At the same time that the United Nations Postal Administration issued its 1997 Flag Series stamps, it also released a set of six new definitives to meet current and makeup postage rates.
The designs of the new U.N. definitives feature a photo of the cherry blossom trees in the garden outside the United Nations in New York; the Peace Rose, which grows in the same garden; a photo of the official U.N. flag, a detail from a fresco by Italian artist Massimo Campigli showing the Palais des Nations (home of the U.N. Postal Administration in Geneva) and two illustrations portraying two sacred phoenixes descending to Earth to secure peace.
The new definitives can be obtained from the U.N. Postal Administration, P.O. Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-9992.