Foundation issues corrected certificate for U.S. 1920 postal card surcharge error
By Charles Snee
The Philatelic Foundation in New York City recently issued a corrected certificate for a United States 1920 1¢ on 2¢ red Thomas Jefferson postal card on cream paper with double surcharge, one inverted at lower left.
On certificate No. 585998 dated March 31, 2022, the Foundation erroneously described the postal card illustrated here as a genuine example of Scott UX35a.
The corrected certificate came to the attention of Linn’s Stamp News in mid-June. Issued under the same number and date, the corrected certificate states the error “is not Scott UX35a rather it is Scott UX33 with doubled New York surcharge, one inverted at lower left listed as UPSS S45-29g.”
Specifically, the error described on the corrected certificate is listed by the United Postal Stationery Society as S45-29g in the United States Postal Card Catalog, and as UX33e in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.
The Jefferson error postal card discussed here was brought to the attention of Linn’s and the Scott catalog editors by Mike and Mary Garrity of Missouri, who said they “purchased it as part of a collection that had been passed down within a private estate.”
A story about their find was published in the May 9 issue of Linn’s.
The UX35a error was first listed in the 2008 Scott U.S. Specialized catalog.
The Garritys were prompted to contact Linn’s about their discovery because of a footnote under the listing for Scott UX35a that first appeared in the 2022 Scott U.S. Specialized catalog, “Editors would like to see an example of UX35a.”
Based on the opinion of the corrected certificate, the footnote concerning Scott UX35a will remain in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog.
Shortly after the May 9 story appeared, Lewis Bussey, editor of the United States Postal Card Catalog, contacted Linn’s and the Philatelic Foundation.
“I believe this card is NOT a press print item (UX35), but a normal overprinted card (UX33) with doubled New York surcharge one inverted at lower left, listed as UPSS S45-29g,” Bussey told Linn’s.
“The surcharges are very similar, and can be confused with each other,” he said.
“A real UX35 surcharge has a slightly tilted base to the lower right and is usually darkly struck,” Bussey explained. “The pitney-bowes large NY surcharges do not have those characteristics.”
According to Bussey, UPSS S45-29g is equivalent to Scott UX33e.
“The UPSS sub-variety ‘g’ indicates: ‘Double surcharge, one inverted lower left and one normal location on the stamp,’” he said.
“So yes, our S45-29g listing could be (and in this case, is) a UX33e.”
An unused example of Scott UX33e is valued at $30 in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog.
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