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New York Public Library Lion Coil Arriving Nov. 9

A nondenominated (10¢) “PRESORTED STANDARD” Lion stamp will be issued in self-adhesive coil rolls of 10,000 Nov. 9 at the fall Postage Stamp Mega Event in New York City.

The stamp includes tiny text just above the service inscription identifying the Lion as a trademark of “THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY.” This was a requirement for the use of the image on a stamp.

According to United States Postal Service spokesman Don Smeraldi, a gummed version of the coil — illustrated to the right of the self-adhesive version — will probably be released when stocks of current gummed nondenominated (10¢) “Presorted Std” coils are depleted.

The stamp, was designed by Carl Herrman and illustrated by Nancy Stahl of New York, N.Y., is a stylized image of one of the two lions that guard the Fifth Avenue entrance to the library. Sculpted by Edward Clark Potter, these trademarked beasts — nicknamed Patience and Fortitude in the ’30s by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia — were adopted by the library as its mascots.

The “Presorted Standard” stamp is used by mass-mailers — who know that stamps increase response rates on direct-mail offers — on what was formally known as third-class bulk mail. It is a false franking, in that the 10¢ stamp underpays the cost of mailing each piece, which is calculated with reference to a wide range of discounts and variables. The mailer pays the difference between the 10¢ and the actual postage directly when the mail enters the mailstream at the post office.

Nondenominated (10¢) “PRESORTED STD” Bicycle stamp was introduced to pay this rate for the first time on a stamp in 1998. Prior to that, a Transport-themed nondenominated (10¢) “BULK RATE” stamp, showing the front of a classic auto, fulfilled the same function.