Arago: 34-cent Apple

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34-cent Apple

Along with a stamp depicting an Orange (Scott 3491), the 34-cent multicolored Apple definitive (Scott 3491) was issued on March 6, 2001, se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern. The stamps were issued in a self-adhesive convertible booklet pane of twenty.

The black, cyan, magenta, and yellow self-adhesive stamp was designed by Ned Seidler, printed on the Banknote Corporation of America Goebel 670 offset press, and distributed in panes of twenty, five stamps across and four down on the pane. Offset printing plates of five hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four offset plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears in the peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated 11¼ perforations with rouletting under the peel-off strip.

Selvage markings include “? Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET? ©2000 USPS” on the peel-off strip. The "2001" year date printed below the bottom frame line and “USPS” is microprinted right above and slightly to the right of the top of the fruit.

In late April the Postal Service issued a vending booklet of twenty of the Apple (Scott 3493) and Orange (Scott 3494) stamps. Also printed by the Banknote Corporation of America on the same press, the format is vertical, two across and ten down, the stamps arranged in blocks of four, six, six, and four on the pane. Offset printing plates of 480 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four offset plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the bottom left Orange stamp on the pane. The stamp has die-cut simulated 11½ x 10¾ perforations on two or three sides of each stamp.

Selvage markings also differed. The first and third peel-off strip read “Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET.” on the peel-off strip. The second peel-off strip reads “©2000 USPS ? Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET.”

The apple tree and its pomaceous fruit (Malus domestica) belong to the rose family Rosaceae. It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. It is a small deciduous tree reaching sixteen-forty feet tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown. Flowers are produced in spring with the leaves, white, usually tinged pink at first, 1-1.3 inches in diameter, with five petals and the fruit matures in autumn, and is typically two-three inches in diameter.

The apple is the state floral emblem of Arkansas (1901), state flower of Michigan (1897), and the state fruit of New York (1976), Washington (1989), Rhode Island (1991), West Virginia (1995), and Vermont (1999).

References:

Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 2001

Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

NETSTATE.com (http://www.netstate.com/states/tables/state_fruit.htm, http://www.netstate.com/states/tables/st_flowers.htm)


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