A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar


A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Monday, August 10, 2015

El Salvador

1867 Scott 4 4r bister "Volcano San Miguel"
Quick History
El Salvador ("The Savior") was part of the Spanish Empire (New Spain) until 1821, when it became autonomous as part of the Federal Republic of Central America. That union dissolved in 1841, and Salvador became a sovereign nation. Briefly, Salvador was part of the Greater Republic of Central America, along with Honduras and Nicaragua, from 1895 to 1898. (This is reflected in the inscriptions of some of the stamp issues of the time.)

El Salvador and Central America
The capital is San Salvador, and the population was 1,900,000 in 1943.

The population currently is 87% Mestizo, 12% White, and 1% Native American (Pipils and Lencas). The small percentage of indigenous peoples is due, in part, to the tens of thousands of largely indigenous natives killed in the 1932 Salvadoran peasant massacre (La Matanza).

"Map of Central America"
1932 Scott 525 10c orange 
Stamps of 1924-25 Issue Overprinted
Initially indigo was the cash crop, but that was supplanted by coffee. An oligarchy of a few families eventually controlled the coffee trade.

Stamps were introduced in 1867.

Salvador was one of the Central American nations that gave a contract to Nicholas Seebeck for stamp issues between 1890-1899. One can still find most of the issues, and their reprints, in unused condition for close to minimum catalogue value.

Economic inequality, civil unrest, coups, and revolts have been a large part of Salvadorian history.

Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, and a strong advocate for social justice, was assassinated in 1980.

Economic reforms since the early 1990s have improved social conditions, and exports have diversified from the coffee monoculture. Crime continues to be a major problem.

1879 Scott 17 20c violet "Coat of Arms"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for El Salvador 1867-1940, 1166 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 671 are CV <$1-$1+, or 57.4%. The low CV price for Salvador stamps is helped by the numerous 1890-1899 Seebeck issues: many, of which, remain at minimum or close to minimum catalogue value. This doesn't explain entirely the low CV for stamps outside the Seebeck era, though. I suspect supply/demand is working here- mainly through very low demand. (The reality is "supply" for many modestly valued Salvador stamps isn't great either.) For WW classical collectors, this affords an opportunity to get them before they are "discovered". ;-)

The truth is the Seebeck debacle hangs over much of Central America philately even today.

But low prices don't hold entirely. Some of the overprinted stamps (especially hand stamped overprinted) are expensive by WW collector standards.

Now, by any measure, there were a lot of stamps produced for Salvador during the classical 1867-1940 era. I have a quite large accumulation of stamps, so how do I present the philatelic history?

First, I've decided to pretty much ignore the Seebeck era for Salvador. Yes, there are plenty of stamps, but they are "a dime a dozen", and they really don't interest me. (I've given a bit of history about Nicholas Seebeck in other blog posts- see Honduras and  Nicaragua.)

Rather, I leafed through the Deep Blue (Steiner) album, and picked out stamps that appear to have a story to tell. Hope you enjoy it!

A closer look at the stamps and issues
8 Reales = 100 Centavos = 1 Peso
100 Centavos = 1 Colon
1894 Scott 102 5p carmine lake 
"Columbus Protecting Indian Hostages"
Columbus's report to the Court of Madrid included this comment about "The Indians"....

"The Indians are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone...." 

He, in fact, did bring back to Spain 500 Arawaks, 200 of which died during the voyage back. They were sold as slaves.

For an interesting take on "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress", read on-line "History is a Weapon- A People's History of the United States", by Howard Zinn.

1895 Scott 109 10c orange & brown overprint "Coat of Arms" 
Without Overprint: 1895 Type "Scott 109" 10c orange "Gen. Antonio Ezeta"
Before General Antonio Ezeta's portrait on a stamp issue could be published in 1895 (His brother was the president, Carlos Ezeta), the regime was overthrown. Hence the twelve stamp issue was released with the General's face obliterated by the National Coat of Arms. The 3c, 10c, and 30c can be found without the overprint.

1895 Scott 120 5c blue "Coat of Arms"- on thinner paper
1895 Scott 120 5c blue reprint - on thicker paper
Seebeck Era
Reprints abound during the 1890-1899 Seebeck era. The reprints for this 1895 12 stamp issue are on thicker paper, and many of the shades were different. CV of reprints is 25c each, while the originals have a CV <$1-$10. Unused CV for originals is as high as $30. My advice for nonspecialized WW classical collectors is to not pay much for the Seebeck era. Reprints are fine. ;-) Even if you have originals, dealers (most of which do not have the specialized knowledge needed for the Seebeck era- and the Seebeck era is a "can of worms" anyway-) will only give you the "reprint" CV price.

1897 Scott 175 1c blue, gold, rose, & green -Original
1897 "Scott 175" - Reprint
Coat of Arms of "Republic of Central America"
Here is the Coat of Arms for the short lived "Republic of Central America" that also encompassed Honduras and Nicaragua.

The reprint (which is found commonly in collections) has the mountains only outlined in red, while the original has the mountains outlined in red and blue. ( Click on and enlarge image if necessary.)

1906 Scott 336 1c green & black "Pres. Pedro Jose Escalon", Perf 11 1/2
1906 "Scott 336"  - Reprint-, Perf 11.8
The 1906 twelve stamp issue with the portrait of President Escalon is also commonly found in collections harboring reprints. The originals are on thicker paper, the portrait is blacker, and the perforations are 11 1/2.  The reprints are on less thick whiter paper, the vignette tends to be gray, and the perforations are 11.8.

Pedro Jose Escalon, serving as president from 1903-07, was the first peaceful presidential succession for many years, and it marked the beginning of a an era of political stability until 1931.

1912 Scott 402 1c deep blue & black
 "Jose Matias Delgado"
Jose Matias Delgado y Leon was a priest known as "The Father of the Salvadorian Fatherland". He was a leader of the independence movement from the Spanish Empire in 1821. I find it interesting that the Church and State often have a close relationship in Latin America, but the clergy have also served as a rallying force at times for social justice and change.

1921 Scott O345 6c carmine rose, Overprinted
"Delgado Addressing Crowd'
Delgado was learned (He had earned a doctorate in law and theology at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala), and also deeply involved in pastoral work. He was among the first to issue a Cry for Independence in Central America on November 5, 1811 in San Salvador, having rung the bells of the Church of La Merced in support of liberty.

"Primer Grito de Independencia"
The first printing press in El Salvador and the first newspaper published in 1824 were results of his efforts. He passed away in 1832, and the National Assembly declared him Benemerito de la Patria.

1917 Scott 449 50c violet "National Palace"
Regular issue of 1915 Overprinted "Oficial"
And Re-Overprinted in Red
Latin America in general, and Salvador in particular means lots of overprint issues.

Lets count the ways here....
* In 1908 "National Palace" Official stamps were issued.
* In 1915, a type (with colored dots on the paper) of 1908 Official stamps were issued with two overprints: "1915", and "Oficial".
* In 1917, a regular issue was produced by blocking out (in red) the "oficial" overprint, and adding a "corriente" overprint in red.

This is certainly one of the fascinating aspects of Latin American philately.

1923 Scott 486 5c blue
"Jose Simeon Canas y Villacorta"
This stamp was issued for the Centenary of the Abolition of Slavery, and that piqued my interest.

Jose Simeon Canas y Villacorta was born in Zacatecoluca, El Salvador.

He was educated, though, in Guatemala, as was typical for those from the wealthy class.

He became a priest, as well as having a doctorate in theology. He became Rector of the Royal and Pontifical University of San Carlos in Guatemala. On December 21, 1823, he was instrumental in having  the National Constituent Assembly of the United Provinces of Central America abolish slavery.

He eventually gave away the wealth inherited from his parents to the needy.

1924 Scott 497 3c chocolate "Atlacatl"
Atlacatl , captured and executed in 1528, was the last legendary ruler of the Pipils in Cuzcatlan in present day El Salvador during the time of the Spanish conquest. (Another legend has him jumping into a volcano to remain unconquered.) The Pipils themselves had arrived and conquered the native city states circa 900.

Pedro de Alvarado, sent by Herman Cortez to conquer the native city states south of the Aztec Empire, had a few hundred soldiers under his command. After several fierce battles, he arrived in Cuzcatlan on June 17, 1524. As the Salvadorian folklore goes, Atlacatl, leader of the Cuzcatlan, put up a brave defense, but eventually succumbed. (In actuality, there is debate among historians about Atlactl's exploits, and even his very existence.)

San Salvador became the Spanish base in 1526, where Spanish forces continued to fight the remnant Pipil warriors.

1924 Scott 498 5c olive black
"Conspiracy of 1811"
The "Conspiracy of 1811", of course, had to do with the fledgling independence movement from the Spanish Empire. If one looks carefully, one will see the figure of Jose Matias Delgado. The success of the American and French revolutions, and the reduction in might of the Spanish Crown because of the Napoleonic Wars, all were contributing factors in the push for independence. And the local elite ruling class wished to conduct the country's affairs without Spanish interference.

1929 Scott C4 25c on 35c scarlet & green
"Senorita Tulla Sera"
I love the portrait of "Tulla Sera". Who was she? And she is still a mystery after an internet search.  Readers?

1934-35 Scott 535 2c brown Type I
 Scott 535a 2c gray brown Type II
"Police Barracks"
The 1934-35 2c "Police Barracks" stamp is found with two types. In Type I, the clouds have shading lines; in Type II, there are no cloud shading lines. (Obviously, the "2" numerals differ also. )

1935 Scott 559 1c deep violet "Volcano of Izalco"
When I visited Guatemala in 2012, Volcano Fuego was erupting. Volcanoes and their activity is a way of life in Central America. Six of the twenty-two volcanoes in Salvador are considered active, including Izalco. It erupted almost continuously between 1770 and 1958. In fact, it is known as the "Lighthouse of the Pacific" ("El Faro del Pacifico").

1938 Scott 570 8c on 15c dark olive bistre
Stamps of 1935 charged with new Value in Black
"Coffee at Pier"
Coffee exports have been the economic lifeblood of Salvador during the classical stamp historical era. Here, this stamp brags that Salvadorian coffee is "universally consumed".

1939 Scott 581 50c dull black
"Maquilishuat in Bloom"
This engraved stamp by the American Bank Note Company in slate is stunning in its beauty. It depicts the Maquilishuat tree, a pink flowered balsa, and the national tree of El Salvador.

1931 Scott C19 1col green & violet 
Derived from a 1925 Scott 504, Overprinted in Red
I'm a sucker for plane image overprints. This stamp was overprinted issued on June 28, 1931. 

1939 Scott C68 40c dark blue & black
"Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay"
Wright Bank Note Co., Philadelphia
Besides the fact I cross the Golden Gate Bridge several times a year to visit my daughter who lives in San Francisco, what attracted me to this stamp was that it was printed by "Wright Bank Note Co., Philadelphia". Most of the images on the internet for the Wright Co. show paper money or stock certificates. There are stamps from Indonesia and Nicaragua shown also. The firm was absorbed by the Security Bank Note Company of Philadelphia in 1951.

1914 Scott O316 10c red 
Background in Green, Shield and "Provisional" in Black
Finally, this 1914 Official stamp that appears primitive in design, yet is full of markings. What's not to like? ;-)

Deep Blue
1910 & 1911 Official Issues in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 87 pages for the 1876-1940 stamps of Salvador. All the major Scott numbers have a space. And, you know what? The pages essentially only cost me the price of paper and ink... ( and a modest subscription.) We need to thank Bill Steiner for his contribution to WW stamp collecting!

1889 Scott 29 1c green, black handstamp
On 1889 Scott 23, which has heavy bar overprint
"Allegorical Figure of El Salvador"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, has 18 pages for the stamps of Salvador, and there are 582 spaces. The only countries with more spaces in BB are Germany (762), Austria (755), France (752), U.S.* (644), Hungary (620), Russia (617), and Italy (617). (*U.S.- the number is actually higher, but I don't collect cut squares.)

The Seebeck era is well represented, as many of them are at, or close to, minimum CV.

There are 10 stamps with CV $10+-$30+, and one stamp, forced by a blank space choice, @ $125!

But that is just half of the story (and there may be a workaround for the $125 stamp).

1900 Scott O231 26c yellow brown
Type of Regular Issue of 1900; Overprinted Type a in Black
The 1899 "Ceres" (Actually 1900) six spaces Official stamps is a mess! The cut shows an 1899 "estado" inscribed stamp (A61), but there are no stamps in the catalogue that match the descriptions. Rather, the 1900 "Ceres" "republica" (A63) Scott 223-226 + two blank spaces match (See above). The problem is these stamps are currently CV $10+-$30+! I notice in the 1947 catalogue that they were considerably cheaper (15c-30c), so that might explain why they were included.

Then there is the Registration stamp 1897 Scott (F1) 10c dark blue- wmked 117 ( $125!)- forced by a blank space.. But there is a workaround.  Get originals for F3 and F4, and then an original F2 and/or thick unwatermarked reprints to put in the two blank spaces!

Finally, there are 1890-1899 Seebeck "expensive stamps" for originals during this era. But I have not listed them under the "expensive stamps" of the comments section. That is because a thick reprint may be put in for minimum catalogue value! 

1900 Scott 259 13c yellow brown
Inscribed "Republica de El Salvador"
Handstamped in violet or black
Also, BB has a wrong cut for the 1900 seven space regular issue. Scott 1900 "Ceres" "Republica" inscribed 253-259 should be put in there. BB shows the earlier 1899 "Estado" inscription stamp as the illustrated cut. The "Republica' inscribed stamps were not regularly issued without the shield handstamp. Make sure one has the correct handstamp for these spaces (See Scott), as there are other handstamp issues.

Checklist

1867
1,2,3,4,

1879
13,14,

1887
18,19,

1879
15,16,

1888-89
20,21,22,23,24, 25c* or 25,

1890 (Beginning of Seebeck era)
38,39,40,41,42,43,
44,45,46,

Next Page

1891
47,48,49,50,51,52,53,
54,55,56,57,58,

1892
60,61,62,63,64,65,66,
67,68,69,70,72,73,74,

1893
76,77,78,79,80,81,82,
83,84,85,86,87,88,

Next Page

1893
89,

1894
91,92,93,94,95,
96,97,98,99,100,104,
101,102,103,

1895
105,106,107,108,109,110,111,
112,113,114,115,116,
117,118,119,120,121,122,123,
124,125,126,129,130,131,132,

Next Page

1896*
134,135,136,137,138,139,140,
141,142,143,144,145,
146 or 157B,147 or 157C,148 or 157D,149 or 157E,150 or 157F,151 or 157G,152 or 157I,

1896*
153 or 157J,154 or 157K,155 or 157M,156 or 157N,157 or 157O,

1897*
159 or 170A,160 or 170B,

1897
161 or 170C,162 or 170D,163 or 170E,164 or 170F,166 or 170H,167 or 170I,168 or 170J,

1897
175*,176*
,177,178,179,180,181,

1898
182,183,184,185,186,187,188,

Next Page

1899
199,200,201,202,203,204,205,
206,207,208,209,

1900
224,

1899
211 or 213,214,215,212 or 216,212A or 217,218,
242,244,245,246,247,252,

1900
253*,254,255,256,257,258,(259),
283,284,285,286,287,288,289,

Next Page

1903
290,291,292,293,

1905-06
306,(307),313,

1905-06
314,321,324,325,

1906
336,337,338,
339,340,341,342,343,345,346,

1907
349,350,351,352,352D,353,
355,356,357,358,359,360,361,

1907
362,363,364,365,366,

1908
367,

Next Page

1910
378,379,380,381,382,383,
384,385,386,387,388,389,390,

1911
391 or 394,392 or 395,393 or 396,397,399,(400),

1912
402,403,404,405,406,407,408,

1912
409,410,411,

1914
412,413,

1915
414,415,416,417,418,419,

Next Page

1916
431,432,433,434,435,(436),

1920
468,469,(470),(471),

1921
474,475,

1921
476,477,478,479,480,481,

1923-24
486,

1924
487,488,(489),491,493,

1924
492,

1924-25
495,496,497,501,502,

1924-25
498,499,500,503,

1928
511,

Next Page

1929
512,513,514,515,

1932
520,521,522,526,527,

1932
523,524,525,

1934
530,531,

1934
532,533,534,535*,536,537,

1935
538,(539),(540),543,
544,545,546,547,

Next Page

1935-40
548,549,550,551,552,553,
554,555,556,557,558,
559,560,562,563,565,
561,564,572,566,567,
574,575,586,576,577,
578,579,580,581,

Next Page

Postage Due
1895
J1,J2,J3,J4,J5,J6,J7,J8,

1896*
J9 or J17,J10 or J18,J11 or J19,J12 or J20,J13 or J21,J14 or J22,J15 or J23,J16 or J24,

1897
J25,J26,J27,J28,J29,J30,J31,J32,

1898
J33,J34,J35,J36,J38,J39,

1899*
J41 or J49,J42 or J50,J43 or J51,J44 or J52,J45 or J53,J46 or J54,J47 or J55,J48 or J56,

1903
J65,J66,J67,J68,J69,J70,

1910
J81,J82,J83,J84,J85,J86,J87,

Next Page

Air Post
1930
C11,C12,C13,C14,

1932
C24,C25,C26,C27,

1933
C28,C29,C30,C31,C32,

1934
C33,C34,C35,

1935
C36,

1935
C41,C42,C43,(C45),

Next Page

(Air Post)
1935
C46,C47,C48,C49,C50,C51,

1937
C54,C55,C56,C57,

1938
C61,C62,C63,C64,

1939
C66,C67,C68,

1940
C73,C74,C75,C76,C77,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1940
C69,C70,
C71,C72,

Next Page

Parcel Post
1895
Q1,Q2,Q3,
Q4,Q5,

Registration Stamps
F3,F4,(F1*),(F2),

Acknowledgement of Receipt Stamps
H1,(H2),

Next Page

Official Stamps
1896
O1,O2,O4,O5,O6,O7,O9,

1896*
O13 or O25,O14 or O26,O15 or O27,O16 or O28,O17 or O29,O18 or O30,O19 or O31,
O20 or O32,O21 or O33,O22 or O34,O23 or O35,O24 or O36,

1897*
O79 or O91,O80 or O92,O81 or O93,

1897*
O127 or O128,

1898
O129,O130,O132,

1898
O133,O135,O136,O137,O138,O139,O140,

1899
O149,O150,O151 or O158,O152,O153,O159,
O154,O160,O155,O156,O157,

Next Page

1899 (actually 1900)*
O223,O224,O225,O226,(O230),(O231),

1903
O243,O244,O246,(O247),(O248),(O250),

1906
O263,O264,O265,O266,O267,O268,

1908
O273,O274,O275,O276,O277,O278,

1910
O293,O294,O295,O296,O297,O298,O299,
O300,O301,O302,O303,O304,

Next Page

(Official Stamps)
1911
O305,O306,O307,O308,O309,O310,O311,

1914
O313,O314,O315,O316,O317,O318,

1914
O321,O322,

1915
O323,O324,O325,

1916
O332,O333,O334,O335,O336,(O338),

1921
O342,O343,O344,O345,

1927-32

O352,O353,O354,O355,O356,

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1867 Scott 4 4r bistre ($10)
1890-1899 Seebeck era- there are "expensive stamps" for originals during this era. But a thick reprint may be put in for minimum catalogue value. 
1935 Scott (C45) 1col black ($10+)
1940 Scott C70 80c orange red & black ($10+)
*1897 Scott (F1) 10c dark blue- wmked 117 ( $125!)- there is a workaround- Get originals for F3 and F4, and then an original F2 and/or thick unwmd reprints to put in the two blank spaces!
1900 Scott O223 1c light green ($20+)- See H) for discussion of Scott O223- O231
1900 Scott O224 2c rose ($20+)
1900 Scott O225 3c gray black ($10+)
1900 Scott O226 5c blue ($10+)
1900 Scott (O230) 24c gray black ($30+)
1900 Scott (O231) 26c yellow brown ($30)
B) (    ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *25c or 25- BB illustrates Scott 25c Type I surcharge, But, since it is a minor number, Scott 25 may also be put in.
D) *1896, *1897 regular issues; *1896,*1899 postage due; *1896, *1897 Officials: - Watermarked (Wmk 117 "Liberty Cap") vs unwatermarked.
E) *175,*176- be aware of reprints ( See images in "A closer look at the stamps and issues").
F) *253- wrong cut in BB- shows the earlier 1899 "Estado" inscription. Should have the 1900 "Republica" inscription. In addition, the "Republica' inscribed stamps were not regularly issued without the shield handstamp. Also, make sure one has the correct handstamp for these spaces (See Scott), as there are other handstamp issues that should not be put in here.
G) *535- either Type I or II (535a).
H) *1899 (Actually 1900)- six spaces-- a mess! Shows an 1899 "Ceres" "estado" inscribed cut (A61), but there are no stamps in the catalogue that match the descriptions. Rather, the 1900 "Ceres" "republica" (A63) Scott 223-226 + two blank spaces match. The problem is these stamps are currently CV $10+-$30+! I notice in the 1947 catalogue that they were considerably cheaper (15c-30c), so that might explain why they were included.

1903 Scott J68 5c dark blue "Morazan Monument"
Out of the Blue
Central American stamps do not have much objective demand from collectors. And, that is where the opportunity lies. ;-)

Note: Map and pic of coffee beans appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?

Coffee Beans

3 comments:

  1. I stopped reading at the Howard Zinn recommendation. Yeah, interesting, in the same way that Mein Kampf is interesting. A credible historical account? Not even close.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I said it was an "interesting take"- I didn't say I agreed with it. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even Zinn's fellow leftist historians agree that he was shallow and careless. See the biography by Martin Duberman, who shared Zinn's radical politics but, despite all his efforts to be kind and generous, repeatedly shows that Zinn was insouciant about the actual work of historical research. A summary of Duberman is found at http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112574/howard-zinns-influential-mutilations-american-history.

    ReplyDelete