Bay State philatelists, rejoice: New postcard stamps issued by the US Postal Service feature a Massachusetts apple, illustrated by a Bay State resident.
The four 33-cent stamps in the Apples series feature artwork by John Burgoyne of West Barnstable, and they include Massachusetts’ own Baldwin apple, said postal service spokesman Mark Saunders. The Apples stamps are being issued ahead of a one-cent increase in postcard postage, which will take effect Jan. 27.
Burgoyne used pen, ink, and watercolor to illustrate the Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Baldwin apples. Further detail was then added on a computer, Saunders said.
The Postal Service contacted Burgoyne, 60, a lifelong Massachusetts resident, three years ago, asking him to illustrate an apple for a stamp. It eventually turned into a request for four apples, said Burgoyne, who has been an illustrator since 1974.
“I think the apple is such a great symbol,” Burgoyne said. “I think it’s pretty iconic. It makes people feel good when they look at them. It triggers a lot of memories.”
Baldwins were New England’s most popular apple for 50 years, until the turn of the 20th century.
Following a devastating freeze in the winter of 1934, in which more than half of the region’s Baldwin apples were wiped out, and decreasing popularity, Baldwin apples became harder and harder to find, according to the New England Apple Association’s website.
Baldwins, still considered hard to find by the association, are known for their distinctive, sweet-tart taste and their ability to hold their shape. They are perfect for apple pies and for juicing for cider.
The stamps are available now in panels of 20 or coils of 100 at post offices nationwide, at www.usps.com/stamps and by phone at 800-STAMP24.