2012 45¢ Santa and Sleigh Imperforate
Before America was a nation, Sinter Klaas delivered small gifts to Dutch children living in New Amsterdam. As the country grew, the settlement became New York City, and the story of a generous bishop changed into modern-day Santa Claus.
Many Europeans celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6. A fourth-century bishop named Nicholas was revered for giving gifts to the poor, and it became a tradition for children to set their shoes by the hearth on the evening before his celebration. During the night, he would fill them with small treats of nuts and fruit. When the Dutch settled in the New World, they brought their customs with them, including visits from Sinter Klaas, as they called the saint.
A poem written by Dr. Clement Clark Moore changed the image of Saint Nicholas in the U.S. The common title comes from the first line: “Twas the night before Christmas.” Through this poem, written for his children, Moore introduced us to flying reindeer and a chubby driver able to slide down chimneys effortlessly. He filled stockings, rather than shoes, with gifts. Instead of having his own feast day, Santa Claus is now a major part of Christmas celebrations.
Santa’s flying sleigh full of toys is quite different from Sinter Klaas’ visits, but the wonder of gifts appearing in the night remains.
Art director Howard E. Paine used illustrations by Paul Rogers to create this playful and festive stamp pane.
Value: 45¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: October 13, 2012
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
The U.S. issued its first U.S. Christmas stamp in 1962. Since then, there have been both religious and contemporary Christmas stamps issued each year. The contemporary stamps often picture ornaments, reindeer, Santa or other aspects of Christmas festivities.
Scarce Modern Imperforates
The modern imperforate stamps are one of the hottest stories around. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released some issues as press sheets. The sheets with die cut perforations were issued in limited quantities.
To the surprise of many collectors, officials then issued a small number of press sheets without perforations. The uncut sheets were only available in Kansas City, Missouri, yet most sold out immediately. In an instant, the imperforate stamp sheets became modern rarities. For example, only 75,000 Baseball All-Star se-tenant sheets were issued compared to 118,000 Bugs Bunny sheets with the 10th stamp imperforate.
In a controversial move, the editors of Scott Catalogue announced they would not list or give numbers to these stamps because they did not fit Scott guidelines. This decision was strongly debated since the imperforate stamps are valid for postage. They eventually decided to give the stamps minor numbers.
Because they were issued in such limited quantities, these scarce modern imperforates can be difficult to find. Luckily Mystic purchased a small number of each imperforate stamp issued so you can add these modern rarities to your collection. Be one of the lucky few – order today.