EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED AND FINEST STRIKE OF THE "U.S. NAVAL LYCEUM" THREE-MASTED FULL-RIGGED SHIP OVAL HANDSTAMP. THIS STRIKE SHOWS EVERY DETAIL OF THE INTRICATE DESIGN WITH PERFECT CLARITY.
The U.S. Naval Lyceum was founded in 1833 by a group of Navy and Marine Corps officers, including Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, who later became its president. It was located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and was organized to "promote the diffusion of useful knowledge, to foster a spirit of harmony and a community of interest in the service, and to cement the links which unite us (Navy and Marine Corps officers) as professional brethren."
The oval handstamp depicting a full-rigged ship was applied to mail forwarded to naval personnel from the U.S. Naval Lyceum in Brooklyn at no additional charge. It is known used in conjunction with U.S. stamps and other postal markings, as well as independently for letters carried outside the mails -- as was the case with this cover. Most of the known strikes are blurry or incomplete. Even complete strikes are not as bold and strong as the example offered here, with every line of the design showing perfect detail. We have an image of another strike from a 1957 issue of Stamp Collecting that is nearly as fine (photocopy included), but appears to lack some of the detail seen here in the waves below the ship.
With 2006 P.F. certificate