Robert McCall's preliminary artwork for his design of the memorable eight-cent United States 'Decade of Achievement' postage stamps issued in 1971, accomplished in colored marker and pencil on a white 15.5 x 12 sheet. On the same page, McCall writes an ALS signed "Bob," explaining his thoughts on the design, in full: "Since the Apollo 15 will be carrying a Lunar Rover Vehicle for the first time I felt it would be an important symbol to include. Of course I would like very much to do a twin so my first choice of the sketches is No. 1 or No. 2 however I like for a single No. 5 & No. 10 indeed I feel that any of these sketches could result in a handsome stamp…I have the latest info from NASA on the Rover etc." Matted and framed to an overall size of 24 x 25.75; the framed display also includes two FDCs of the version of the stamp, each signed by McCall, with one featuring an additional lunar landing sketch. In overall very good to fine condition, with folds and creases to the letter.
While the final design simply portrays the Apollo missions with a Lunar Rover on the moon, this preliminary concept truly embodies the idea of a 'Decade of Achievement'—the image shows the progression from the orbiting Mercury capsule to the Gemini spacewalk to the Apollo lunar landing. This piece also provides unique insight into the production of a US postage stamp, with various annotations and notes on color selection throughout. McCall was responsible for many of the most famous scenes of the space age as part of the NASA art in space program which James Webb established in 1962, and his artwork appeared on several American postage stamps. An amazing behind-the-scenes piece with artistic and philatelic appeal.
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