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San Francisco Earthquake
San Francisco Earthquake

Last weekend, at a small local show, I found a wonderful cover in a pick-through box (Fig. 1). It is dated May 5, 1906 from a merchant in Chicago to Frank Buck, later a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, in Vacaville, CA. Applied to the front is one of the rarest of all U.S. charity labels. Read More

Loeffler Angel - The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Loefflers Angel Poster Stamp

It's been a long time since I've seen a truly remarkable use of a poster stamp image. At first glance one might say, good grief, a full proof sheet (see below) of Berthold Loeffler’s design for the 1908 Vienna Secessionist Art Show, known as the Loeffler Angel? But, in fact, that iconic design (Figure 1) was adapted, in 1980, for use by Kate Hendrickson, at the time an art dealer and now a full-time fine artist still working in Chicago. The story of its development follows. Read More

Semiotics and the Levant Fairs of Palestine
Levant Fairs of Palestine

"Semiotics is the study of signs and the messages they contain." This is the opening sentence of a marvelous book by Jack Child entitled Miniature Messages: The Semiotics and Politics of Latin American Postage Stamps, published by Duke University Press in 2008. There have been a number of similar books written about the stamps of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy, among others. I am unaware of any such work devoted to paraphilately. Read More

The Golden Potlatch of Seattle...
Figure 1

Named for the gift-giving festival of the Pacific Northwest Coast tribes, the Seattle Potlatch events were held from 1911-1914 and 1934-1941. The "golden" reference celebrates the 1897 arrival in Seattle of the first gold-bearing ship, the Portland , from the Klondike River mines. The festival was an attempt to keep up the promotional momentum that followed the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909. The events included naval displays, aviation meets and auto races as well as parades, concerts and exhibits, all designed to show how forward-thinking Seattle was. Read More

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