President James A Garfield (biography)
6¢ - Brown red
Scott #224 - 1890


Used: $1-$4
No postmark with gum (MH): $15-$40
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $60-$150

224a US Postage Stamp 1890

#224a Imperforate
Retail value $400-$500 for an NH pair
Approximate value as a pair: $100-$140


Issued: 22nd February 1890, earliest recorded example is the 8th May, 1890.

Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100)

Printer: The American Bank Note Company

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: Only 9,253,400 issued, an uncommon stamp.

What you should look for

Without knowing it, the 1890 series was to be the American Bank Note Company's (ABN Co.) last printing of postage stamps. Until the flag overun series of the forties all stamps after this series were to be printed by the Bureau of printing and engraving.

On the left is shown the detail of a stamp from the 1890 series, note the absence of a triangle in the top left hand corner of the design. All the Bureau issues had a triangle cut into the design as shown on the right.

You will also notice the tremendous difference in quality between the two stamps. By 1890 the ABN Co. had perfected the art of printing postage stamps and it shows by the even ink sharp design and clean perforations. Contrast this with the spotty faded ink and uneven perforations on the Bureau's stamp on the right.

1890 US Stamp Detail

The Inspiration for the Design

The source photograph of James Garfield is shown below, followed by the Bureau of Engravings Master Die of the President, folllowed by the design used in the stamp.

Varieties to look for

There are no known varieties.

The Essay's and Proofs

Roosevelt Proof

Panama Pacific large die proof
Yellowish wove paper

224 TC1 US Postage Stamp Trial Color Proof

#224 - TC1
Large Die Trial Color Proof
On India, die sunk on card

224 US Postage Stamp Trial Color Proof TC4

#224 - TC4
Trial Color Proof
Gummed Wove Paper

224-p4 Scotts - US Postage Stamps
#224 - P4
Plate Proof on India

224 TC6

#224 - TC6
Trial Color Proof
on wove paper