Classics Forever

586804-L1

The U.S. Postal Service® issues this Classics Forever souvenir sheet in celebration of the long history of U.S. postage stamps—and in appreciation of stamp collectors and philatelists everywhere. The elaborately designed sheet features handsome new versions of six stamps first issued in the mid-19th century. The stamps are printed using the intaglio printing method, as were the originals.

From top, left to right, the stamps featured are:

George Washington stamp, first issued in 1851 at 12 cents.  Portrait based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co.

Benjamin Franklin stamp, first issued in 1851 at one cent. Portrait based on a bust carved by Jean-Jacques Caffiéri. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co.

George Washington stamp, first issued in 1860 at 24 cents. Portrait based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter & Co.

George Washington stamp, first issued in 1860 at 90 cents.  Portrait based on a painting by John Trumbull. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter & Co.

Abraham Lincoln stamp, first issued in 1866 at 15 cents.  Portrait based on a photograph by Christopher Smith German. Stamp originally engraved by National Bank Note Co.

Benjamin Franklin stamp, first issued in 1861 at one cent.  Portrait based on a bust carved by Jean-Antoine Houdon. Stamp originally engraved by National Bank Note Co.

The selvage is composed of postal cancellations and script from envelopes contemporaneous with the stamps. These elements are arranged on a buff-colored background with a textured look to evoke stationery of the period. An inner border reminiscent of star-spangled patriotic bunting bears the title “CLASSICS FOREVER” at top and bottom of the sheet and the words “THE CLASSIC ERA” on each side.

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