235 6c Columbian 1892, Columbus Welcomed at Barcelona
The Columbian Issue, often known as simply the Columbians, is a set of 16 postage stamps issued by the United States to commemorate the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago during 1893. The finely-engraved stamps were the first commemorative stamps issued by the United States, depicting various events during the career of Christopher Columbus and are presently much valued by collectors.
During 1857, Randolph Rogers was commissioned to produce a number of door panels depicting Columbus’s voyages, to be hung at the United States Capitol building. The 6-cent value in the Columbian Issue, “Columbus Welcomed at Barcelona”, was taken from one of those door panels, the seventh of Rogers’s chronology. The framing figure on the left is King Ferdinand of Spain. The one on the right is Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a Spanish explorer inspired by Columbus’s return. Robert Savage was the engraver for the printed design.
Slight variations are known in the purple color of this stamp. The most dramatic, a color called red violet, is considered significant enough to be given a minor number listing by Scott. However, this variation is not considered to be an error like the 4-cent blue and so does not command substantial premiums.