1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue
Indian Hunting Buffalo
4¢ Orange or Deep Orange
Scott #287 - 1898
No postmark with gum (MH): $23-$35
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $70-$180
Introduced on June 17th, 1890. Earliest documented use,
a first day cover from June 17th 1898
Sheets of 100 subjects (2 panes of 50)
A full pane of #287
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Double lined USPS watermark.
What you should look for
The orange ink, like most orange inks of the period is prone to oxidation,
if possible avoid these and go for the bright orange examples
An oxidized example
The Inspiration for the Design
The design was obtained from a drawing from Captain S. Eastman 1854 'Information
Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United
States, titled, 'Buffalo Chase'. A copy of the original text and drawings can be
found in the Library of Congress and Indiana University.
The original engraving
A later adaptation produced for the Sholastic Series of textbooks
sometimes, incorrectly, referred to as the source of the design.
The Trans-Mississippi Exposition focused on First Americans
and as such it was envisaged that an 'Indian' should be depicted.
The above stamp ( showing 289-E1 vignette) shows the design that would have
ended up on one of the values, the vignette was completed
however did not got to the stage of being inserted into a frame.
The Essay's and Proofs
Large Die Essay on India
Die sunk on 92mm x 81mm card
Bicolored die essay in red orange and black #287 E9
Large Die on India
Die sunk on 63mm x 55mm card
The original bi-color design.
The bi-color design had to be dropped as the bi-color printing process
was taxed to the max printing revenue stamps for the Spanish-American
war that had broken out.
A Smithsonian Mineral Display featured at the Exhibition
Unlike the Columbian Exhibition of 1892 this was a little dry in its
content, the First Americans turned out to be the only major attraction.
Nevertheless, attendance numbers exceeded expectations, thanks
to the great rail service extended to lonely Omaha, Nebraska.