Saturday, August 21, 2010

USA - Columbian Issue - The 2¢ stamp



John Vanderlyn's painting "The Landing of Columbus", originally commissioned by Congress, and already used on five dollar banknotes and the 15-cent stamp from the 1869 Pictorial Issue, was again pressed into service. By a substantial margin, this is the most common stamp of the Columbian Issue. More than a billion copies were printed, over seventy percent of the total number of Columbian Issue stamps, in part because it paid the first-class rate for domestic mail.

Damage to one transfer roll resulted in a chevron-shaped notch in the hat of the third man on Columbus' right on some copies of this stamp. This variety, known as the "broken hat", is no longer considered significant enough for the Scott catalogue to provide it with its own minor number listing, although the catalogue still tracks separate, slightly higher, prices for the variant, which is popular with collectors.
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