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1985 100th Anniversary Of The Statue Of Liberty's Arrival In New York

 
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Posted 05/22/2020   8:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Bluejay to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In 1985, the USPS issued a stamp (Scott US 2147) in commemoration of the Statue of Liberty and its designer-sculptor Auguste Bartholdi. The stamp was issued in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the statue's arrival in the US.



The statue - formally known as Liberty Enlightening the World - was originally constructed in Paris, then taken apart, crated and delivered to the US for reconstruction. The 214 wooden crates containing the 350 pieces of the statue arrived in New York City on June 17, 1885 aboard the French steamer Isère.

The crates sat largely undisturbed for more than nine months while construction on its base and pedestal was completed. Work on reassembling the Statue began in April 1886. It was dedicated on October 28th on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor; today, the island is known as Liberty Island. The 100th anniversary of its 1886 dedication was the primary focus of the Statue's centennial anniversary celebrations (the subject of a future post!), but the 1885-1985 anniversary was also worthy of acknowledgement and commemoration.


(Image from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, vol. 60 (1885 June 27); image from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division; https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001696549/)


The June 20, 1985 edition of the Postal Bulletin,) included the following description of the stamp's design. (I'm a bit amused by the wording used to describe the use of a computer and graphics/layout software in the creation of the design.)

"The Bartholdi stamp was designed electronically by Howard Paine of Washington, D.C. It features a portrait of the sculptor taken from a painting by Jose Frappa, which hangs in the Musee Bartholdi in Colmar, France, and a water-color painting by James Dean of Annandale, Virginia, depicting the Statue as seen across New York's harbor. The Frappa painting of Bartholdi, the painting by Dean and the type for the lettering were placed in a computer memory of an electronic scanning machine and merged to form a single image. Several elements were altered until the desired picture had been achieved."

The stamp is often referred to as the "Bartholdi stamp" (as seen in the Bulletin text above) and Bartholdi certainly is presented in a place of prominence in the foreground of the stamp's design, but 1985 was not a key anniversary milestone in the life of Bartholdi. He was born in 1834, died in 1904 and was married in 1876 - none of the years makes for a typical anniversary milestone in 1985 (151st, 81st and 109th anniversaries, respectively). As the Statue's designer, however, recognizing Bartholdi was an imperative and why not use the US arrival date of his beat-known and most important creation as the basis for a commemorative stamp?!

In this post, I present the two FDCs produced by Fleetwood for the stamp. On one, the cachet and story focus on Bartholdi, on the other the Statue itself is the focus. Each of the covers was postmarked in New York City on July 18, 1985 - the official location and date of the stamp's first day of issue.

Enjoy!






In future additions to this post, I will present the Fleetwood Maximum Card for the stamp, a philatelic-numismatic cover (PNC) featuring the Bartholdi stamp and a commemorative medal made from metal recovered from the Statue during its restoration and a special cover developed by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation as a fundraiser for its work restoring the Statue and the staging of its centennial commemoration.

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Edited by Bluejay - 05/22/2020 8:21 pm

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Posted 05/23/2020   10:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bluejay to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Following up on the two Fleetwood FDCs presented above, shown here is the Fleetwood Maximum Card for the 1985 US Bartholdi stamp.

The card features a portrait of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in the foreground, a close-up view of the head of Miss Liberty behind him and stylized elements of the US flag in the background. The artwork was created by illustrator and fine artist Shannon Stirnweiss; Shannon created the original paintings for dozens of Fleetwood First Day Covers / Maximum Cards.

The stamp/card was postmarked on July 18, 1985 in New York City, the first day of issue.




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Posted 05/25/2020   3:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent informative post!
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Posted 05/28/2020   12:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bluejay to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@modernstamps: Thanks for the positive feedback! I'm glad you've enjoyed the post.


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Posted 05/28/2020   01:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bluejay to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Next up is a philatelic-numismatic cover (PNC) featuring the 1985 Bartholdi stamp and a Statue of Liberty commemorative medal made from metal removed from the Statue during its repair and restoration while being readied for its 1986 centennial celebration and re-dedication.

The obverse features an upward-angled view of the head and shoulders of Lady Liberty; a bust of Frederic Bartholdi is presented on the medal's reverse.

The PNC was postmarked on the Bartholdi stamp's first day of issue - July 18, 1985 in New York, NY. The back of the cover includes brief information about the Statue of Liberty and references Bartholdi as the Statue's designer and Gustave Eiffel as the man who created its internal framework.

The cover was released by the Postal Commemorative Society (PCS) - one of many souvenir cover products issued by the company for collectors during the years (1970s and 1980s) it was an active creator in the philatelic hobby. Today, the company operates under the name of PCS Stamps & Coins though it emphasizes coin products over stamp products (a clear reflection of today's market).




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Posted 06/01/2020   11:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Statue of Liberty is a fascinating story. Glad you posted this Bluejay.

The Turks & Caicos also issued in 1985 a set commemorating the centennial of the 1885 arrival of the Statue, rather than the 1886 dedication year for which dozens of countries issued centennial tributes in 1986.

Sc. 661-664 and 665 the higher denomination souvenir sheet.
The 30 cent Sc. 662 depicts Bartholdi and the clad Statue, but also brings in Gustave Eiffel and the interior structure.

Eiffel, as mentioned in the last sentence on the last cover posted by Bluejay, was the engineer for the framework. The original engineer died in 1879, very early on in the project and before hardly any work was done. So Bartholdi turned to Eiffel. Although this was before the Eiffel Tower (1887-89), Eiffel was already well-known for railroad work, buildings, and importantly, bridges. It was he who had experience dealing with wind stresses and who designed the curtain wall approach and interior structure to support the skin. The statue was assembled at the Eiffel works in Paris. For me, he's the unsung creative hero in this.
- Jonathan


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Posted 06/01/2020   5:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bluejay to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@jleb1979: Thanks for posting the Turks and Caicos stamps, they're a great addition to the thread!

I knew that other countries had issued SoL centennial stamps, but I hadn't realized one had issued stamps specifically for the 1885 arrival centennial. I might have to add them to my collection!

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Posted 06/01/2020   7:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A handful of countries issued tributes to the Statue of Liberty in 1985, but as far as I can tell, it is just Turks and Caicos that are specifically treating the arrival. From what I see of the others issued in 1985, they are just generic SofL tributes indistinguishable from the plethora of 1986 issues, many of which I find kind of boring now.

The full set will set you back like $6 on either eBay or in Hipstamp if memory serves.
I suspect a postally used one would be a real find.



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Edited by jleb1979 - 06/01/2020 7:23 pm
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Posted 06/03/2020   7:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bluejay to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Next up for my look at the 1985 Bartholdi stamp is a cover created by the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation as a fund-raising tool for its work in restoring the Statue of Liberty and its staging of the centennial celebrations. Lee Iacocca served as the Foundation's Chairman - his leadership and relationships helped make the Foundation's fundraising efforts a major success.

The cover measures 8" x 6" and has a clear circular window on its front side so that the copper Seal of the Foundation incorporated onto the insert card can be seen. When the insert is removed, a black-and-white line drawing of the official Seal is visible (it's printed on the inside back panel of the envelope).

The copper used for the Seal came from metal removed from the Statue during its renovation and restoration. As an added bit of "special," the copper used for the seal was "space flown" - two small copper replicas of the Statue of Liberty flew on the space shuttle Discovery on its flight from April 12 to April 19, 1985. Upon its return, one of the replicas was melted and used in the creation of the copper Seal on these covers. (You can read more about it on the information card below.)

Side Note: The space shuttle mission (STS-51D) that carried the replica also carried the first incumbent member of the US Congress to go into space - Senator Jake Garn from Utah.

Presented first is the cover with information card inserted, then the cover without the insert and, lastly, is the information card on its own.





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Posted 06/03/2020   7:45 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have two of the 'Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation' covers listed above, if anyone would like one for the cost of postage let me know.
Don
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Posted 07/02/2020   5:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ham and Egger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bluejay ,nice coverage of the Statue of liberty here. I had the distinct privilege of being part of the renovation celebration on the 4th of July 1986 in NY harbor aboard the USS John F Kennedy. A memory that will not be forgotten.
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