Commodore Matthew Perry (bio)
90¢ - Orange, red orange or yellow orange
Scott #229 - 1890


Used: $12-$45
No postmark with gum (MH): $125-$475
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $275-$500

90¢ - Orange, red orange or yellow orange
200,000 - Scott #229a - 1890 - Imperf


Issued: Introduced on February 22nd, 1890. Earliest documented use, April 16th (shown below).

229 earliest use US Postage Stamp

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

Printer: The American Bank Note Company

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 219,721, a scarce stamp

What you should look for

229 block Scotts - US Postage Stamps

Plate blocks and any multiple greater than four are very scarce, in any condition. Very rarely seen on small covers as this stamp was used for heavy items.

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 old 90 cents gave way to a new $1, the profile of Perry being transferred to the new value

The two new 1894 values, the 50¢ and the $1 did not have new engravings of presidential heads, they just recycled the 1870 engravings.

The original 1870 design of Perry was based on Walcotts bust, of which I am unable to find an image. Below is shown a similar marble bust of Perry by Erastus Dow Palmer, a contemporary of Walcott.


Commodore Matthew Perry (1794 -1858)

Varieties to look for

There are no varieties of #229

The Essay's and Proofs

229-E1 Essay Scotts - US Postage Stamps

#229 - E1
Die Essay on India
die sunk on card

229 P1 Proof Scotts - US Postage Stamps

#229 - P1
Large Die Proof on India
die sunk on card

229 US Postage stamp Proof

#229 - P2
Small Die Proof
(from Roosevelt album)

US Postage Stamp Proof #229

#229 - P4
Plate Proof on Card