Thursday, January 20, 2011

Scottish - Not U.S. - Cattle in the Storm

Janet Klug in the Jan. 24 edition of Linn's Stamp News points out a rather interesting philatelic factoid in her 'Refresher Course' column about the 1898 $1 'Western Cattle in the Storm' stamp which is pictured here.

Often cited as one of most beautiful and best designed U.S. postage stamps ever issued, Janet says, " The design, however, is taken from a painting named 'The Vanguard' by Scottish artist James McWhirter. In fact, the cattle in the painting - and on the stamp - are moving through the snowy western highlands of Scotland."

According to The Swedish Tiger website,  the "...painting was copied, without the permission of the owner, Lord Blythswood, by an American Cattle Company as a sort of trademark.This image caught the attention of the Post Office Department and Raymond Ostrander Smith, the staff designer of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at the time, and it was adopted for the $1 design. Little did the designer know that the scene depicted was in Scotland, not the Western U.S., as was supposed. A full apology was later issued to the owner of the painting."

Click here to read the entire article, Stamp Collecting Terms Have Changed Greatly Over the Years by Janet Klug.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM