The Jeanette C. Rudy Duck Stamp Collection

Maynard Reece Remarque on the 1959 Issue

Refer to caption
$3 Lab Retriever Carrying Mallard Drake revenue stamp remarque single.
​Scott Catalogue USA: RW26

Maynard Reece won the Federal Duck Stamp Contest for the third time in 1959, this time with his wash and gouache painting of the famous Labrador Retriever King Buck. His remarque features two mallards and a stand of tall, yellow grass, a lovely complement to the original art. He signed the remarque with his initials and the stamp itself on its left edge. In addition to 1959, Reece also won in 1948, 1951, 1969, and 1971. No other artist has won the competition more times than Reece.

Widely recognized at the time as the finest field retriever in the nation, King Buck was named National Retriever Field Trial Club champion for two successive years, 1952 and 1953. The 1959 duck stamp, the first U. S. stamp to feature the image of a dog, made his name familiar in thousands of homes nationwide.

Reece titled his work "Labrador Retriever—Holding Mallard." Public response to the stamp was mixed. Many people enjoyed the image of King Buck, intended to encourage sportsmen to use dogs to retrieve downed birds; others objected to featuring a dead bird on the stamp.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced the stamp in black, blue, and yellow, making it the first multicolored Federal Duck Stamp. It was also the first stamp to carry a conservation message — "Retrievers Save Game." Bob Hines and Victor S. McCloskey, Jr., designed the stamp; Arthur W. Dintaman engraved the vignette, and Howard F. Sharpless engraved the frame, letters, and numerals. It was printed on the intaglio press (front) and the offset press (back) and released on July 1, 1959. Beginning with this issue, the BEP increased the number of stamps on a pane from twenty-eight to thirty.