Yellow green or pale yellow green
Subject: Columbus describing third voyage
Number issued: 27,650
Scott #: 243
Issued: January 1st, 1893
$160 - $200
No postmark with gum (MH)
$350 - $650
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$1,250 - $2,250
An example of an Exposition cancel which will command a price premium. Covers such as the one above sell in the region of $6,500
Through a combination of disease, slavery and mistreatment Columbus and those that followed wiped out the native population of the Caribbean by 1550. African slaves were shipped in to replace them, and the European colonists continued to enslave too.
Columbus led four voyages in an effort to circumnavigate the world.
A pane of 50 of #243, there are two panes to a sheet of 100. The top or bottom margins were cut off by the Bureau before shipping to the Post Offices
243a - Olive Green
There is not difference in value between 243 and 243a
"Columbus before the Catholic Kings"
The original painting has been lost to history, this is the only record of it. Columbus had been thrown into jail for six weeks in response to the reports coming back from Hispaniola about his cruelty and tyrannical rule. As soon as he arrived in Spain, under arrest, he was marched off to jail and was not given a chance to give his account. Six weeks later he was released and allowed, along with his brothers to plead their case.
After his pleading he was granted a fourth voyage, however he was not allowed to be in a position of authority again. During his fourth voyage half his crew mutinied and because his reputation for cruelty was, by now, known to everyone, he had a hard time persuading the local natives to assist him.
It was left to the Portuguese Vasco De Game to circumnavigate the globe, whilst Columbus was waiting to start his fourth voyage.
#243 was issued with the following plate #
An example of a proof on card which has been thinned to resemble the thickness of stamp paper. The proof was then perforated, gummed and backed to give the impression that it was a #243
Columbian large die proof on 110x101mm card
Print vignette essay
(Columbian essays are rare)
Plate proof on card
An American Bank Note Company set of proofs mounted on card and signed by the engravers
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Landing of Columbus the largest Exposition ever held on US soil was held in Chicago. The Post Office was determined not to miss out on this and proposed a series of stamps to commemorate the event. The purpose behind this was three fold
1) To encourage the purchase of stamps by the public
2) To stimulate the hobby of stamp collecting
3) To make a tidy profit
It was estimated that 3 Billion stamps would be sold and between September and the end of December 1892 work progressed on their production.
The Post Office's plan of their exhibition space at the Chicago Exposition
At the Exposition the Post Office was in the US Government Building and had been given a vast amount of display space. The display cases showcased stamps from the very earliest days of stamps to 1892 both in the US and around the world. Postal cards were sold in every building and of course one could purchase the new Columbian series stamps.
The US Government building at the World's Columbian Exposition
The Post Office Dept. informed all post offices that they would not be able to order the new series on an 'as needed' basis as was the normal procedure. Instead they would be sent an amount the powers to be deemed sufficient. Plus the department would not accept any returns and they would not be issued any other stamps until they had run out the new series. This caused much complaining by the post office owners, complaints were coming in that these stamps were too big, being twice the size of current issue (this was done to accommodate the expansive designs).
The Post Office display space at the World's Fair
The post offices need not have worried. The stamps proved to be immensely popular. So much so that Post Offices refused to sell the higher values for fear of running out. The price of these skyrocketed as a result. Companies instructed their offices to use the higher values on internal parcels so they could benefit from their sale when delivered to their branch offices. US travellers in Europe were accosted for them, they were even traded on bourses.
And then like all bubbles, it collapsed. Before you knew it the $5 stamps were being sold at a steep discount. Being totally useless for letters, and with a world glut the price dropped like a stone, at one point stamp dealers would only offer 30% of the face value for them.