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The coffee pot is percolating for stamp collectors.

A colorful painting of a pear-shaped silver coffee pot with a wood-carved handle made in 1786 in Philadelphia is featured on a new 3-cent definitive stamp in the 2005 "American Design" series.

Definitive stamps are different from the commemorative issues which we see for special occasions and are only available for one year.

This is the sixth stamp in the "American Design" series which showcases objects from various regions, eras and cultures that combine utility with beauty and function, declares the Postal Service.

In the late 17th and 18th centuries in the United States, there was an enormous popularity for tea, coffee and chocolate being displayed in such containers. Each major American city boasted its own famous silversmith, who crafted made-to-order household utensils that were beautiful as well as useful.

The excellent craftsmanship of American designs were simpler than the more ornate silver shown in Europe.

The coffee pot depicted on the stamp was created by Philadelphia silversmith Joseph Richardson and his brother, Nathanial. The coffee pot on the stamp now appears in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The stamps in the "American Design" series will range in denomination from 1 through 10 cents. The 5-cent American Toleware stamp launched the series in 2002: the 10-cent American Clock and the 1-cent Tiffany Lamp stamps were issued in 2003. The 4-cent Chippendale Chair and the 2-cent Navajo Jewelry stamps were issued in 2004.

First day covers for this stamp will be available via the Stamp Fulfillment Services of the USPS toll free at 1-800-STAMPS-24. You may also ask for a free catalogue of Stamp and Philatelic Supplies.

Here is an exciting item for collectors interested in errors on U.S. stamps.

The Scott 2005 Catalogue of Errors on U.S. Stamps is the most authoratative guide to error stamps ever published. It is a collaborative effort between the publisher and leading error expert Stephen R. Datz. The 2005 catalog lists and values all imperforate, color-omitted and invert errors of U.S. postage from 1857 to 2005.

On the value side, prices for pre-1940 errors and rarities remain strong. One notable example includes Scott 65d, which has increased from $2,500 to $6,000. The market for rare or unique items remains robust with prices exceeding previous levels.

The softbound 208-page Scott 2005 Catalogue of Errors on U.S. Stamps retails for $19.95 and is available from your favorite stamp dealer or direct from Amos Hobby Publishing at 1-800-572-6885, on line at or write to Amos at P.O. Box 828, Sidney, OH 45365.