First thing:(These are two separate cards)
Plate variety.UPSS-S8 (Scott-UX9)
Listed as S8x (Plate varieties, various)Most not shown in catalog.
What is great about being a member of the UPSS is that you can do a search of all past issues. I found two great articles about S8 plate varieties.This illustration shows an example like mine from one of them. (says five examples, but don't know it that's number known, or just from the authors collection.)
One came from Oneonta, N.Y. Feb.14,1889. The other from Ottawa, Kansas Dec 28, 1988.
And some things never change:
Read the back of the card to Mr. Townsend A well know stamp dealer of the time), and a Mr. Judd (a collector).
I wonder if Mr. Judd ever got his 500 stamps.
And, today which would you rather have, the 15 cents in pre-1888 stamps(no doubt MNH!, or the 500 stamps(of the world?) pre 1888.
The internet being an amazing thing (good and bad), I fount this in Google Ebooks for free - The American Philatelist (1889),Volumes 4-5.
I'm sure there is more to be had on Mr. Townsend, but this article struck me as different century-same collector spirit in all of us,even today.
I'll stop for now, went on too long.
Best to all,
pat*** Moved by Staff to a more appropriate forum. ***