I stopped by a garage sale this morning on my way home from work and I found a limited edition set of 20 original Beatle stamps, framed, matted and numbered. The Beatle stamps were designed by artist Robert S. Thorne and licensed by NEMS Enterprises Ltd., the management company formed by Brian Epstein after signing the Beatles to a five year contract. The stamps were printed in Los Angeles, California, exclusively distributed and copyrighted by Hallmark Merchandisers, Inc., and sold in books of 100 for $0.59 back in 1964, the year I was born.
The original cover of the booklet of stamps reads:
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Original Beatle Stamps
100 Beatle Stamps
For all your stationary, greeting cards, book covers, letters, album covers, etc.
Stamps have "invisible" glue, just wet and use
Exclusive World Wide Distributors
c Hallmark Merchandisers, Inc.
P.O. Box 21352 L.A. 21, Calif.
Original artist -- Robert S. Thorne
Licensed by Nems Enterprises Ltd.
London, England -- 1964
Printed in U.S.A.
On the back of the frame is taped a Certficate of Authenticity from The Metropolitan Guild for Collectible Art. There were 2, 000 of these limited edition sets made in all, with editions A through E numbered 1 through 400. I have Limited Edition C, #80. This set has been mounted on acid-free paper, but the Beatle stamps themselves were never made out of acid-free paper, and they've yellowed slightly over the years.
Hunting around on the internet, I was able to find one other limited edition, framed and matted Beatle stamps set just like mine that had a list price of $150. And on Ebay, an entire booklet of the original 1964 Beatle stamps can be purchased outright for about $40 to $60 depending on the condition and the number of bidders. But I'm a big Beatles fan, and I've got a place for this collector's item on my living room wall.