The 1893 Columbians
10¢ - Black brown, dark brown or gray black
No postmark with gum (MH): $14-$45
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $45-$150
The 10¢ was officially issued on January, 1st 1893, a Sunday,
and at Post Offices the following day. There are a couple of
examples postmarked in New York, N.Y., on January 1st, 1893.
1¢ to 10¢ values on cover, all postmarked
January 1st, 1893 in New York, N.Y.
Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100)
The American Bank Note Company, thereafter, with one exception of
the Overun stamps of 1943 all stamps have since been printed by
the Bureau of Engraving
Black brown, dark brown or gray black
The stamp was most commonly used for the combined first-class
rate and registered mail fee which totalled ten cents.
A cover to Switzerland paying double the standard rate
A registered letter where the 10¢ Columbian covers
the 8¢ registration fee plus the 2¢ first class rate
What you should look for
As with all the values of this issue, look for Columbian Exposition
cancels, they increase the value of the stamp or cover. Any stamp is
more desirable with a clean cancel, preferably a town cancel, heavy
cancels can detract from the value.
The Inspiration for the Design
The design is a reproduction of Luigi Gregori’s ‘Return of Columbus and reception at court’,
now located at the Univ. of Notre Dame in Indiana.
"The Reception at the court"
1880-84, pigment with casien on plaster
Luigi Gregori's painting in situ
Varieties to look for
Brookman mentions that there is a variety that has the words
‘Columbus Presenting Natives’ in long, thin and irregularly
shaped letters, however there is no recorded example of this.
There are no other varieties.
Occasionally postmarks from states that had tiny amounts of mail in this
year can add to the value. This is particularly true of Alaska and the
Territories. For a list of the number of stamps issued by each state in
the year ending 30th June 1894 click here.
Columbian large die proof die sunk on 110x101mm card
Large die proof on india, mounted on card
Plate Proof on card
Inside the Machinery Hall, Columbian Exposition, 1893
Notice the machinery on the right, the Polyphase System.
This was a big deal then, it was made by the Westinghouse Company.