ARIZONA: SONORAN DESERT, 10 Stamps 1st Day Postal Cover

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On April 6, 1999, the USPS issued a set of 10 stamps commemorating the Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest in the first of a series of several habitats found in the United States.  Shown here is a genuine First Day Cover, an oversized envelope with the full set of stamps on a colorful Souvenir Sheet cancelled from the city of issue (Tucson, AZ) on the first day of issue captioned above.  A Souvenir sheet can be just one stamp, but, in this case, is ten stamps surrounded by extra artwork, meant to be collected and kept intact. 

The ten stamps are incorportated into a Sonoran Desert scene and features a plethora of desert Birds (the Cactus Wren, White-winged Dove, and Gambel's Quail); Mammals and Reptiles (Mule Deer, Desert Cottontail, Desert Tortoise, and Diamondback Rattlesnake); Plants (Teddy Bear Cholla, Prickly Pear, Saguaro, and Blue Paloverde.)  In the surrounding artwork, you'll have fun locating a Scorpion, Tarantula, Flicker, Wasp, Lizard, Mouse, Peccary, Golden Eagle, and Gila Monster.  Note the speical postmark featuring a lizard designed to cancel these stamps on their 'birthday.'

The full color cachet (artwork on the envelope produced by a private company, not the post office) shows two mule deer and a host of saguaros with purple mountains rising in the distance.  This was painted by Dan Balke, one of the most noted wildlife artists in America.  The company that produced this cover has written a brief commentary (which we've included) about the Sonoran Desert and the artist, Dan Balke.

Matted in green, it's sized to fit a standard 11x14 frame.  ***Certificate of Authenticity plus Commentary Included***

 

 



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