$5 Columbian Issue cover may bring $15,000 at stamp auction

A spectacular cover starring the $5 stamp from the 1893 Columbian Issue is to provide one of the many highlights in a November 15 Collector's Series auction in Texas.

1893 $5 Columbian Issue cover
The Columbian Issue were the first commemorative stamps in the US

The Columbian Issue was first released in 1893 to mark the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, which was held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World. Some 16 stamps, each depicting an aspect of Columbus' remarkable career, were released as the first commemorative stamps ever issued in the United States.  

The $5 is the highest denomination available in the set, and features a portrait of Columbus engraved by Alfred Jones, who also completed the engraving for the Columbian Exposition half dollar. The two figures either side of the central vignette were engraved by Charles Skinner.

The present example is a single stamp, which has been cancelled by an October 27, 1893 World's Fair Station machine cancellation, on a cover that bears Sir Antonio Moro's portrait of Columbus. Also attached to the cover is a 10c Columbian registration stamp, which is also tied by the machine cancellation.

An extremely rare example combining the top value of the set on an illustration cover with a complementary cancel, it is expected to see bids in the region of $4,000. Also featuring from the Columbian Issue is a $1 stamp, affixed to a Hotel Bismarck corner card cover by a September 15, 1893 World's Fair Station machine cancel. Addressed locally in Chicago, it is estimated at $3,500.

The sale comes a day after the auction house's UK Collector's Series sale, which features a range of rarities from across Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic selection of investment-grades stamps which are available in our online store now.

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