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Details about  NYPF Certifies The Very 1st Ever US 220 Cap On Right Scott #220b SEE ALL IMAGES!

NYPF Certifies The Very 1st Ever US 220 Cap On Right Scott #220b SEE ALL IMAGES! See original listing
Item Sold
Item condition:
--not specified
Jan 15, 2012 07:10:19 PST
Winning bid:
US $25,000.00
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Item location:
Oceanside, NY, United States


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Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Item specifics



Time Period:

19th Century, 1800's




Hello And Welcome


You are bidding on The King Arthur” of  stamps.

All of the experts have heard of the legend, but no one has ever proven it, until now.

This is the very first and only known, P.F. Certified, Graded Fine 70, U.S. used 220 cap on right in the world.

Yes that’s right, in the world.


Facts You Need To Know:


UPDATES: This stamp has been listed in the catalog of "The Swedish Tiger", the largest stamp website in the world.  It is also featured on "The Stamp Collecting Round-Up" website.  "Very Special Thanks" to Roger Kirby, owner of "The Swedish Tiger", and  Don Schilling, Editor/Publisher - "The Stamp Collecting Round-Up".  Many thanks! 


1.     This stamp was won at auction on ebay in February 2008, with its authenticity unknown.  The description read: “USA 220 cap on right 2 error?”


2.     In March 2008, this stamp was taken to the A.S.D.A.’s (American Stamp Dealers Association) Mega Postage Stamp Show, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, for appraisal.


3.     The A.S.D.A. referred the appraisal to member and renowned stamp expert, Richard A. Champagne.  Being very familiar with the 220 Cap on Right 2 legend, but of course never having seen one, he was very skeptical at first.  However, after careful examination, to his surprise, Mr. Champagne found this stamp to be genuine.  He advised taking the stamp immediately to the Philatelic Foundation in New York (chartered in 1945 by the University of the State of New York) to be certified.


4.     Following up on the advise of Mr. Champagne, this stamp was brought to the Manhattan office of the Philatelic Foundation to be certified.  It was examined by a team of P.F. experts before being deemed genuine for certification.  In its 65 year history, the P.F. has had only two other submissions for certification of a 220 cap on right 2, but these submissions were deemed Not Genuine.  Therefore, making this stamp the very first and only known certified, used cap on right 2, in existence today.

·   Included in this auction is one of the non cap on right submissions (see images).

·  For  more information on the Philatelic Foundation, visit their website.


5.     Upon receipt of the certification, a copy of the certificate and an image of the stamp were sent to Scott Editor, Jim Kloetzel.  It was requested that, upon review of the certificate and stamp image, Scott consider reassigning its old catalog number 220b to this, at that time, 117-year-old  mystery stamp.  The US 220b cap on right was listed in the Scott catalog between 1935 and 1939 (see images 1939 pg.11).  It was also mentioned in an early 1900’s Lester G. Brookman catalog, which was disputed by other experts, but never disproved.  According to Jim Kloetzel, the U.S. 220b was removed from the catalog in 1940 possibly due to difference of expert opinion.  We may never know, as there are no actual records of this.  Intrigued by the new discovery, and after some in depth research, Mr. Kloetzel is left with some mind-boggling questions that, to him, need answering in order to consider the reinstatement of this stamp.


6.     They are as follows:

     A) Mint or used, where are the rest of the 220 cap on right stamps?

     B) Where are the plate proofs?

     C) How many were printed?

     D) How many were put into circulation?     


7.  After 18 months of extensive investigative research, what we do know is this:

A) This stamp was once listed by Scott as a U.S. #220b cap on right from 1935-1939 (images courtesy of Ellen Peachy of The American Philatelic Research Library).  The 220b was the most valuable of the three cap varieties and was also mentioned in an early 1900’s Lester G. Brookman catalog.  These two facts have been confirmed by Jim Kloetzel and several other experts (see Special Thanks).  These documentations are the only solid evidence of its existence thus far.

B) The 1890 US 220 was criticized for its color and was reissued between 1891-92. These reissues produced the very popular “cap” varieties, known as the US 220a (cap on left 2), and the US 220c (cap on both 2s).

C) There is still much controversy over exactly how these unique characteristics were caused.  For over 100 years experts believe that: (1) Plate wear caused the caps; (2) The ink was not wiped completely off the plates.  In either case a failure of ink transfer could occur.

D) Now that a 220b has surfaced, an effort has been made to debunk these theories and a question has been raised as to a third possibility.  There is too much of a coincidence where a cap on the left, right, and both 2s, were caused by plate wear or poor plate cleaning. Could it, in fact, be intentional?  Most experts agree that this is possible and reasonable. They also agree that we may never know. 

E) Records of plate numbers from 1892 exist for the 220a (#’s 235-36, 246-47-48), and the 220c (#’s 245-46).

F) The only existing proof sheet for the 220a, cap on left, plate #235, which I have personally viewed with Jim O’Donnell, is owned by the National Postal Museum and is kept in its library (Images provided by Jim O’Donnell, Museum Specialist, N.P.M.).

G) The whereabouts of the 220, 220b and 220c, proof sheets are unknown at this time. 

H) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing reports that: (1) Their records only contain die numbers and not plate numbers; (2) They have no proof sheets; (3) Any existing proof sheets were either destroyed, or are now owned by the National Postal Museum in Washington DC.

I) This stamp was affixed to a letter, canceled, and sent through the United States Postal system furthering its authenticity.

J) This stamp is NOT an error, freak, or an anomaly.  It is certified as a “genuine cap on right” by the Philatelic Foundation, which ultimately has the final say.

K) Most importantly, this is the very first and only known U.S. #220 certified cap on right in the world.


8.     SPECIAL THANKS - To those who have personally helped with resources and research: Renowned Stamp Expert - Richard A. Champagne, The Philatelic Foundation, N.Y. - David Petruzelli, Lewis Kaufman, Scott Editor - Jim Kloetzel, The A.S.D.A. - Jim Lee, President, The National Postal Museum, Washington, DC - Cheryl Ganz, Chief Curator of Philately, Jim O’Donnell, Museum Specialist, The Bureau Of Engraving & Printing, Washington, DC, - Hallie Brooker, Historian, The American Philatelic Society - Mercer Bristow, The American Philatelic Research Library - Gini Horn, Librarian, Ellen Peachy, Library Services Coordinator, Durland Editor - Walace Cleland, Mystic Stamp Company - Carole Sherwood, Don Sundman, President.


9.     Should any of these stamps surface in the future, they WILL NOT be deemed genuine until certified by the Philatelic Foundation in New York.


10. This stamp is being kept in a safe deposit box in a New York bank.


11.  Upon receipt of payment:

·       This stamp will be delivered worldwide, fully insured, shipped in a fire resistant security box (Inclusive).


12.  You will receive both original P.F. certificates for the certified cap on right, and the certified non cap (anomaly/ink flaw).  The certificates are issued in the current owner’s name, therefore, the new owner will have to contact the Philatelic Foundation in New York for certificate transfer information.


13.  We have received dozens of emails and images from people around the world who thought they might have a U.S. #220b.  To date, this is still the very first and only known, P.F. certified, U.S. #220b cap on right in the world.


14.  The sale of this auction is FINAL.


15.  You must be 18 years of age or older to participate in this auction.


16.  For any further information please call 1-516-209-6449.

   Thank you and good luck.

Kind words: 

Dear ***,

Thank you for the update on your very interesting find.  I have passed your link along with an endorsement of an article worth reading to ***, ***, and several of my colleagues that love this kind of stuff.  This is great news for stamp historians.

Thanks again,

*** ***   CT        

Dear ***,

Nice find!  I just wanted to say this is good for all collectors to see that rare stamps are still out there waiting to be found.

*** ***  ON, Canada

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