Orange, deep orange
Printing Method: Engraved
Subject: Indian Hunting Buffalo
Number issued: 4,924,500
Watermark: Double Line USPS
Scott #: 287
Issued: June 17th, 1898
$2 - $6
No postmark with gum (MH)
$27.50 - $80
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$135 - $250
#287 was issued with the following plate #'s
599, 634, 636
A pane of #287. Each pane had 50 stamps, there were two panes to a sheet of 100
It was intended to print the Trans-Mississippi issue with a black vignette and a frame in color. The bi-color idea had to be abandoned because of the fact that the Spanish American War, which broke out in April, 1898, necessitated the printing of enormous quantities of revenue stamps and the facilities of the Bureau were taxed to the utmost . The time and manpower needed for the printing of stamps in two colors could not be spared and it was necessary for the Bureau to abandon the proposed bi-color stamps in favor of stamps of single colors.
For the vignette was based on the watercolor "Buffalo Chase" by Captain Seth Eastman, picturing Santee Dakota natives on a buffalo hunt.
Bison hunting was an important spiritual practice and source of material for these groups, especially after the European introduction of the horse in the 16th through 18th centuries enabled new hunting techniques. The species' dramatic decline was the result of habitat loss due to the expansion of ranching and farming in western North America, industrial-scale hunting practiced by non-indigenous hunters, increased indigenous hunting pressure due to non-indigenous demand for bison hides and meat, and cases of deliberate policy by settler governments to destroy the food source of the native Indian peoples during times of conflict.
Sioux Buffalo dance
A first day cover of #287, dated June 17th, 1898
Large die proof on India of the vignette, die sunk on card
The original idea was to feature a Cheyenne Warrior. This is facsimile of what it would have looked like
Essay of vignette on India mounted card
Photographic essay on gloss stock with vignette design
Large die proof on India die sunk on card
Bi-color die essay on India, die sunk on card
Proof on India mounted on card
Trial color proof on India mounted on card
The Trans-Mississippi Exposition was a World’s Fair hosted in Omaha, NE from June 1 to November 1 of 1898. The purpose of the Omaha World’s Fair was to exemplify the fertility and potential of Western farming and manufacturing as a definite pathway to financial success. It attracted 2.6 million visitors.
A two-thousand foot-long lagoon designed to resemble Venetian canals hosted gondola rides as a whimsical form of transportation throughout the fair. Stately trees and lush grass plots lined artistically crafted walking paths, illuminated by electric lights. Bright white building designed in Renaissance style reflected ancient Greek and Roman influences and possessed strenuous constraints on color, scale and height. All was built out of cheap materials or designed not to last, at the end of the exposition it was all removed.
There were two great attractions during the show, the first being President McKinley's speech which attracted 100,000 people to the plaza. The other was Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a video of which can be viewed below.