U.S. # 4846a
2014 46¢ Year of the Horse Imperforate
Lunar New Year
This stamp celebrates the Year of the Horse, which began January 31, 2014 and ended February 18, 2015. The Chinese drums pictured are part of the traditional New Year festivities. The drumsticks are painted red for good luck.
Rhythmic beats from ceremonial drums announce the arrival of the Chinese New Year and provide the music for the lion dance. Beginning on the second new moon after the winter solstice, the Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the time to start preparing fields for planting. Travelers often journey many miles to return to family for the most important holiday of the year.
In addition to the drum presentations, an important custom during this time is decorating with the color red. It is found on lanterns, door hangings, money envelopes, and even ceremonial drumsticks. The deep, rich color represents good fortune and joy.
Peonies also decorate homes and businesses. These red or pink flowers are thought to bring prosperity, as well as add color to wintery days. The gift of a potted peony is a token of love and a symbol of new growth.
The artwork on these stamps was created by Kam Mak. They were the first commemorative stamps produced by CCL Label Inc, which was formerly part of Avery Dennison.
Value: 46¢ First-Class rate
Issued: January 15, 2014
City: San Francisco, CA at the Chinese Culture Center
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed By: CCL Label Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 108 with 9 panes of 12
The Year of the Horse stamp is the seventh in the Lunar New Year series. It is the second series celebrating the Lunar New Year. The designs for this series have been created by Kam Mak, who was born in Hong Kong and grew up in New York’s Chinatown. Each stamp pictures a different aspect of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The cut-paper design and Chinese character name in calligraphy were also part of the previous series.
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 and have continued issuing imperforates in the years since.
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.