Stamp Announcement 08-47: Christmas: Virgin and Child With the Young John the Baptist by Sandro Botticelli

42-cent Christmas: Virgin and Child With the Young John the Baptist by Sandro Botticelli

On October 23, 2008, in New York, New York, the Postal Service™ will issue a 42-cent, Christmas: Virgin and Child with the Young John the Baptist by Sandro Botticelli special stamp in one design in a pressure-sensitive adhe­sive (PSA) doublesided booklet of 20 stamps (Item 677900). Designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Ari­zona, the stamp goes on sale nationwide October 23, 2008.

The 2008 Christmas stamp features a detail from a work by the Italian master Sandro Botticelli, entitled Virgin and Child with the Young John the Baptist. This painting, tem­pera and oil on wood, dates to around 1490 and is now in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. It presents one of the most common figural groups in religious art.

How to Order the First Day of Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first day of issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office™, at The Postal Store® website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Christmas: Virgin and Child With
the Young John the Baptist Stamp
421 Eighth Ave., Rm. 2029B
New York, NY 10199-9998



Christmas: Virgin and Child with the Young John the Baptist by Sandro Botticelli

Item Number:


Denomination &
Type of Issue:

42-cent Special


Doublesided Booklet of 20
(1 design)



Issue Date & City:

October 23, 2008, New York,
NY 10199 (Mega Stamp Show)


Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ

Art Director:

Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ


Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ

Existing Art:

Sandro Botticelli


Joseph Sheeran

Manufacturing Process:

Offset, Microprint, “USPS”


Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)

Printed at:

Williamsville, NY

Print Quantity:

600 million stamps

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.

Press Type:

Mueller Martini, A76

Stamps per Booklet:


Paper Type:

Nonphosphored Type III

Adhesive Type:



Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black,
PMS 871 (Gold)

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

0.77 x 1.105 in./19.56 x 28.07 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

0.91 x 1.19 in./23.11 x 30.23 mm

Flat Booklet Size (w x h):

2.38 x 5.76 in./60.45 x 146.30 mm

Plate Size:

880 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:

“P” followed by five (5) single digits

Marginal Markings:


Stamp Side:

“CHRISTMAS” • Botticelli
• Cleveland Museum of Art

Cover Side:

© 2007 USPS • Plate number in one
position • “CHRISTMAS”
• “Twenty Self-Adhesive 42¢
Stamps” • “$8.40” • Barcode

After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by December 24, 2008.

How to Order First Day Covers

Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first day of issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:

Information Fulfillment
Dept. 6270
U.S. Postal Service
P.O. Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products

There are three philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

Items with an asterisk (*) will use the 128 barcode from Stamp Fulfillment Services. All other philatelic products will continue to use barcode series A, with the exception of the Yearbook and the Guide Book.

Distribution: Item 677900, $8.40 Christmas: Virgin and Child With the Young John the Baptist by Sandro Botticelli Double-Sided Booklet of 20

Stamp distribution offices (SDOs) will receive approxi­mately 35 percent of their standard automatic distribution quantity for a PSA booklet. Distributions are rounded up to the nearest master carton size (4,000 booklets).

Initial Supply to Post Offices

SDOs will make a subsequent automatic distribution to Post Offices of 25 percent their standard automatic distri­bution quantity for booklets using PS Form 17, Stamp Requisition/Stamp Return. SDOs must not distribute these booklets to Post Offices before October 17, 2008.

Additional Supply

Post Offices requiring additional booklets must requisi­tion Item 677900 from their designated SDO using PS Form 17. SDOs requiring additional booklets must order them from the appropriate accountable paper depository (APD) using PS Form 17.

For fulfilling supplemental orders from SDOs, the San Francisco, Chicago, Memphis, and New York APDs will each receive 2,000,000 additional booklets.

Sales Policy

All Post Offices must acquire and maintain a supply of each new commemorative stamp as long as customer demand exists, until inventory is depleted, or until the stamp is officially withdrawn from sale. If supplies run low, Post Offices must reorder additional quantities using their normal ordering procedures.