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Why does my 1980 federal duck stamp say 1981 on it?
Putting the right federal duck stamp in the right spot in your album or frame can be confusing. Here's why:
A Quick Sale

It's fun to have a stamp sell quickly, but sometimes a fast sale makes me nervous.  I've had this 1938 Kansas quail stamp for a few years.  I've never paid much attention to it, mostly because I don't know much about Kansas quail stamps.  Taking a look at the back of it, I can see that it has a very light hinge mark, and since there are a couple of small shiny spots where the hinge was I assume there is gum on the stamp.  (Many state issued stamps use an adhesive that is, for me anyway, hard to detect.  It isn't nice shiny gum like on mint federal ducks.)  The stamp isn't listed in Scott, but Sam Houston's catalog says they want $75 for a Mint NH copy, so I listed it on eBay as a Mint VLH stamp with a buy-it-now price of $35.  

The stamp was snapped up within five minutes by another dealer!  Immediate PayPal payment!  What?  Did I miss something?  

I rechecked my Sam Houston catalog, no joy there.  It's just listed as a 1938 Kansas quail stamp for $75.  I dug out my Wooton catalog, '1938-39 Quail Stamp, $0.50, black and red, $50.00 mint, $25 used'.  OK, $35 should be a good, not great, price.  But wait!  Wooton has a footnote: 'Kansas quail stamps are known for a numbe of constant varieties.  Chief among these is the "white feather" variety...'.  So I Googled for a while.  I found a mint 'white feather' variety for $200!  Could that be it?  I looked carefully at the scan of the $200 stamp and at my stamp.  My stamp is not  a 'white feather' variety.  So what am I missing?  I don't know.  Maybe he just had a buyer.  Maybe he just wanted one.  It's still a mystery.  The Wooton footnote goes on to say 'For an extensive discussion of Kansas quail stamps, see the 48 page publication "The Kansas Quail Stamps" (1999) by David Lucas, available from the State Revenue Society'.  APS members can order reprints from their reference library for a very reasonable price, I'll have to read Mr. Lucas' paper.  If I learn anything interesting about my fast sale, I'll let you know.