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IN THE SPIRIT OF VALENTINE'S DAYthis month, the Postal Service is issuing two new stamps, Vintage Rose and Vintage Tulip — small reminders that love never goes out of style. Proving that the sentiment spans the centuries, the stamps feature artwork dating to the 1600s. The elaborate floral line drawings are based on engraved plates created by naturalist artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), whose works appeared in books intended for silk embroiderers and artists of all types.
To bring the stamps into the 21st century, USPS art director Greg Breeding worked with artist Jeanne Greco. The final black-and-white designs both include a small pink heart for a pop of color and metallic ink to give the illustrations a glossy sheen. To play up the intricate line work, the stamps were printed using the intaglio technique, a process based upon engraved plates like the drawings themselves.
More beautiful new issues fill the following pages, with popular series both continuing and coming to a close. The Celebrating Lunar New Year series marches on with the Year of the Ram stamp to kick off the new year. The final installment in the four-year War of 1812 series, The Battle of New Orleans stamp celebrates America's victory against the British in an effort to maintain independence. Two stamps — $1 Patriotic Wave and $2 Patriotic Wave — put a contemporary spin on the traditional American flag. And the elegant Water Lilies stamps feature close-up photographs of four flowers that bud on the surface of freshwater.
SKUs featured on this page: 012007
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