Arago: 52-cent Flowers & Doves

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52-cent Flowers & Doves

The Postal Service released the 52-cent Love stamp on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1994, at Niagara Falls, New York, a traditional honeymoon destination.

Both Ron Sheaff, a USPS art director, and Lon Busch, an airbrush artist, designed the stamp. It was conceived as a set (with the 29-cent Scott 2814), both featuring different arrangements of doves and flowers. Sheaff and Busch based their stamp design on an actual Victorian photograph from the John Grossman Collection of Antique Images. It depicts two white doves facing each other in a wicker basket filled with roses, carnations, and baby's-breath blossoms.

This 52-cent stamp satisfied the first-class two-ounce rate, which meant that patrons could use it for weighty wedding invitations. The 1994 52-cent Love stamp replaced the 1991 52-cent stamp with lovebirds (Scott 2537), issued for the same purpose.

The size of this stamp, 0.91 by 1.19 inches (23.1 by 30.2 mm), is smaller than the previous first-class two-ounce rate Love stamps. Its size is between that of a commemorative and definitive, a size which also has been used for Christmas stamps since 1990.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing's combination offset-intaglio D press printed this stamp. It was sold in a pane of fifty stamps and is a traditional 'lick and stick' stamp.

References:

Kloetzel, James E., ed. 2009 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers. 87th ed. Sidney, Ohio: Scott Publishing Co., 2008.

Linn's U.S. Stamp Yearbook. Sidney, Ohio: Linn's Stamp New, 1994.


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