U.S. # 4727
2013 33¢ Northern Spy
Northern Spy apples are renowned for their tender-crisp flesh and slightly tart taste with a hint of pear. Each large carmine red apple is packed with dietary fiber and vitamins A and C. The Northern Spy is also among the most versatile of apples, suitable for serving raw, baked, roasted, and especially in pies. But all of these advantages come at a cost, and for Northern Spy growers that price has always been a combination of time and patience.
The hardy winter apple originated in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, where Oliver Chapin settled and built a gristmill in 1789. A few years later, he planted an apple tree using seeds from Salisbury, Connecticut. That tree died before it could bear fruit, but sprouts taken from it by Roswell Humphrey were replanted and began producing apples 10 to 20 years later.
In 1852, the American Pomological Society listed the Northern Spy as a new variety of promise and worth cultivating. The stout red apple soon became popular throughout the northeast, where it is picked late in the season and can be stored for months. Yet patience is also needed at harvest time. Northern Spy trees may take longer to come into bearing – often ten years or more – and are susceptible to disease. But pie lovers throughout New England know the Northern Spy apple is worth the wait.
Artist John Burgoyne created the apple artwork for this stamp using watercolor with pen and ink before adding finishing touches with computer software.
Value: 33¢ domestic postcard rate
Issued: January 17, 2013
First Day City: Yakima, WA
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 200, with 10 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11 ½ x 10 3/4
Quantity Printed: 37,500,000 stamps
Apples have been pictured on U.S. stamps since 1966, when one was issued to honor Johnny Appleseed (U.S. #1317). Apples were also pictured on a pair of 2001 definitives (U.S. #3491 and #3193), the 2002 Greetings from Washington stamps (U.S. #3607 and #3742) and the 2012 Heart Health stamp (U.S. #4625).