2004 Annual Board Meeting Committee Report
The committee has four regularly participating members who communicate as
needed, mainly by phone. I have recently had an email from another USSS member
who specializes in 20th Century essays and proofs, and I am attempting to "sign
Several articles are pending about previously unreported essays and proofs that
have been offered for sale. Also pending is an update of the Chairman's article
about the essays and proofs of the Overrun Countries series (that appeared in
the December, 2003, issue of The Specialist), based on several communications
received from members and one from a non-member who was given a photocopy of the
article by another member! The Chairman also has agreed to write the "essays
and proofs" chapter for the Society's Encyclopedia of United States Stamp
Ron Burns wrote an article that appeared in the March issue of our journal,
about his analysis of a pair of black die proofs as being the first printed of
the so-called "Roosevelt proofs." The Chairman delivered an article to the
editor (published in the June, 2004 issue) about the issuance by The Philatelic
Foundation of a certificate that "authenticated" a souvenir card cut-out as a
"genuine die essay" of one of the stamps from the Famous Americans Series. This
article also describes in detail the incredible amount of die and transfer roll
work that went into the production of the souvenir card in question.
As I reported previously, I am attempting to keep all of my writing within the
pages of The Specialist, intending that it be the journal of record for U.S.
essay and proof material at least of the 20th century.
The Committee offers heartiest congratulations to Essay-Proof Committee members
George Brett and Barbara Mueller, who (along with Tom Alexander) have been named
as recipients of the 2004 Smithsonian Philatelic
Achievement Awards. The awards
were presented at a black-tie dinner on May 22 hosted by the National Postal
Museum. Because of physical infirmity, George was not able to attend, but he
prepared a video to be played during the ceremony. Barbara attended in
person. This is a well-deserved tribute for these two exemplary scholars.
2003 Annual Board Meeting Committee Report
The committee has four regularly participating members who communicate
as needed, mainly by phone.
Current research includes efforts to try to report on previously
unreported essays and proofs that are mentioned in the literature or are
offered for sale, either through dealer lists or auctions. The Chairman
has written to a number of auction houses to try to get advance notice
(and computer scans) for upcoming sales so that we can report
prospectively rather than historically, but we have had no luck so far. Also,
Barbara Mueller and James Patterson both participated in the
editing of the Society's Glossary of Terms for the Collector of United
Recently published articles include a pair of articles by James
Patterson in the December, 2002 and January, 2003 Specialist that
discussed design sources of (primarily) 20th century stamps, based on an
old Smithsonian Institution pricelist that Lou Robbins made available. In
the May, 2003 Specialist, the Chairman wrote about Louis Schwimmer,
the previously unreported staff artist for the New York City Post Office
who designed the "Four Chaplains" stamp. For July, August and
September, USSS Chairman Roger Brody had a three-part article running
under the Committee's masthead about his set of drawings for the Second
Bureau Issue attributed to Raymond Ostrander Smith. In October, 2003,
the Chairman wrote a brief report about some Prexie large die proofs
that were offered in a Jacques Schiff sale. Finally, the Chairman
presented an article appearing in the December, 2003 Specialist that
tries to assemble all available information about previously unreported
large die proofs and essays of the American Bank Note Company for the
Overrun Countries Series.
The Committee Chairman has available the Smithsonian's "design source"
list available as a scanned file. In the introductory comments in the
December, 2002 article that reproduced this listing, USSS members were
invited to send an e-mail to the Committee Chairman if they were
interested in obtaining a copy. Only one member so responded.