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 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...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Spain

1851 Scott 6 6c black "Queen Isabella II"
Quick History
Spain, on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, emerged already in the 15th century as a unified country. And, through its global colonial empire, the culture and Castilian language of Spain spread and encompasses some 500 million world citizens today.

Spain
The capital is Madrid, and the population was 26,000,000 in 1944.

The Spanish Empire and Aftermath 
(Enlarge for examination)
Bypassing much history in order to be closer to the philatelic era....

Ferdinand VII (1814-1833) was restored as absolute monarch in 1823 with the help of the French. He returned conservative policies, restored the Jesuits, and reinstated the Spanish Inquisition. As he had only a female heir presumptive, and not wanting to have his reactionary brother Infante Carlos of Spain  succeed him, he declared the "Pragmatic Sanction" in 1830, enabling his infant daughter Isabella to become Queen.

With Ferdinand's death in 1833 at age 49, three year old Isabella became "Queen", although her mother Maria Christina was named regent for her daughter. Carlos, however, declared himself the rightful heir, and hence there was some 50 years of unrest and (Carlist) civil war. 

Isabella II 1843-1868 Reign
Isabella II assumed majority rule in 1843 when she was only thirteen years old.

She held the title Her Majesty Queen Isabella II, The Queen of Spain until 1870.

Actually, her full title at the beginning of her monarchy was:

Isabella II by the Grace of God, Queen of Castile, Leon, Aragon, of the Two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Navarre, of Granada, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Galicia, of Majorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Córdoba, of Corsica, of Murcia, of Menorca, of Jaén, the Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, of the East and West Indies, Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea; Archduchess of Austria; Duchess of Burgundy, Brabant, Milan and Aspurg; Countess of Flanders, Tirol and Barcelona; Lady of Biscay and Molina

Queen Isabella II of Spain in exile
Spain was not very effectual as a nation during Isabella's reign, and blaming in part the Queen, in 1868 the army defected to the revolutionary generals (Glorious Revolution era, Provisional Government 1868-71). The Queen was forced into exile, retired from Spanish politics, and lived in Paris until her death in 1904.

But she is remembered fondly by philatelists and postal historians, because her visage is on the very first postage stamp of Spain of 1850. And she is literally the "face" of Spanish stamps until 1868, with 22 stamp visage and/or  frame different designs.

Recounting the entire turbulent history of Spain during the philatelic era would require an encyclopedic review. I will only give a very brief synopsis here because I will be focusing on the Isabella II period in the "closer look" section.

In short: The monarchy continued in variable health until 1931, when Spain became a republic. The ultranationalist totalitarian regime of General Francisco Franco was established after the 1936-39 Civil War.

1853 Scott 19 6c carmine rose "Isabella II"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Spain 1850-1940 ( a few issues go to 1947) - 1171 major stamp descriptions. Of those 1,057 are the "usual" categories. Then, there are 114 stamps for 1873-75 Carlist stamps and 1936-37 Revolutionary overprints.

For the 1171 major stamp descriptions, 569 are CV <$1-$1+, or 48%. There are many Spanish stamps during the classical era that are inexpensive for the WW collector. Naturally, earlier issues are more expensive.

Spain's stamps also reflect the reality that there have been changes in government.

Kingdom 1850-1869
Provisional Government 1868-1869
Duke de la Torre Regency 1870
Kingdom 1872-1873
First Republic 1873-1874
Kingdom 1875-1930
Revolutionary Issues 1931
Republic 1931-1938
Spanish State 1936-1947
Also...
Carlist stamps 1873-1875
Revolutionary Overprints 1936-1937

A through review of Spanish classical era stamps would take 3-4 blog posts. Rather, I will concentrate on the earlier stamps- the 1850-1869 Kingdom period of Queen Isabella II. I am particularly attracted to the design of these stamps- and it finally dawned on me why- the reason may surprise you. ;-)

Note: I checked the stamps shown here on this blog post with genuine/forgery markers as described/illustrated in The Serrane Guide c1998 APS edition, and did not detect any obvious forgeries. Perhaps comforting, but that is still no guarantee. ;-)

A closer look at the stamps and issues
32 Maravedis = 8 Cuartos = 1 Real
1000 Milesimas = 1 Centimos = 1 Escudo (1866)
100 Milesimas = 1 Real
4 Reales = 1 Peseta
100 Centimos = 1 Peseta (1872)
1850 Scott 1 6c black, thin paper, Type II
Queen Isabella II
Lithography, Imperforate
The first 1850 stamp issue for Spain had five stamps, two vignette and five frame designs, was imperforate (naturally), and was printed by lithography.

The 6c black, shown above, is found on thick or thin paper, and either Type I or Type II. For Type II, the "T" and "O" are joined in "CUARTOS".

It had the image of the queen at the age of twenty.

Note the "Spider" cancellation, quite characteristic for the earlier issues. Apparently, the Queen was rather vain about her appearance; approving a cancelling device that did not "deface" when struck directly. ;-)

1851 Scott 9 5r rose "Isabella II"
Thin Paper
The 1851 six stamp issue was typographed, and has the same design for all six denominations. My copies are on quite transparent paper (pelure?), although the 6c black can also be found on thick paper.

Note the "spider" cancellations.

Be aware that the earlier Spain stamp issues (1850-1861, 1864, and 1866) do not have the country name (Espana) on them.

I mentioned earlier that I seem to have a particular attraction to these "Isabella II" designs- specifically the "queenly" coiffure?

There was something very familiar, pleasing, and comforting about it.

And then it dawned. !!

Princess Leia's "Cinnamon Bun" Hairstyle
Princess Leia's "queenly" hairstyle in the Starwars films! 

1852 Scott 12 6c rose "Isabella II"
Thick Paper
The 1852 five stamp issue (one design) is usually found on thick paper. (Thin paper, except for the 6c, might be forgeries.)

Note the "Grid" cancellation, which is found not uncommonly on the earlier stamps.

Be aware that the Scott catalogue lists many minor numbers for the earlier issues of Spain for color variations. But the generally expensive nature ($ hundreds) for the stamps of early Spain precludes, however, much dabbling in this area by WW collectors. ;-)

1853 Scott 22 5r light green "Isabella II"
Thin Paper
The 1853 seven stamps issue on mostly thin paper has the "Arms of Madrid" (not shown) and this queen design.

It should be quite obvious by now that the earlier issues (1850-1854) have the year date on them- helpful!

1854 Scott 25 4c carmine 
"Coat of Arms of Spain"; Thin White Paper
The 1854 seven stamp issue on thin white paper changes the design to show the "Coat of Arms of Spain".

1854 Scott 26 6c carmine; Thin White Paper
"Coat of Arms of Spain"; Remainder cancel
Stamps of 1854-1882 cancelled with three bars (as shown) or two thin horizontal lines are remainders. They generally sell for less (or much less) than the expensive CV stamps: paradoxically, for the inexpensive stamps, the remainders are sometimes worth a bit more CV!

If one is concerned about forgeries (as one should be) for the earlier Spanish issues, a "remainder" can serve as an inexpensive genuine template for comparison to an "unknown" example. (Thanks Keijo for the tip!)

1854 Scott 32 4c carmine
Thick Bluish Paper
Paper is often a distinguishing characteristic of the earlier issues, and here the 1854 five stamp issue, which is found on thick bluish paper, are given major numbers by Scott.

1855 Scott 37 4c brown red "Isabella II"
Blue Paper, Wmk 104
In 1855, a new design on four stamps was issued. Note the "year date" is no longer there.

This design is given major Scott numbers for April 1, 1855, January 1, 1856, and April 11, 1856 issues, distinguished by paper and watermark.

For the 1855 issue, look for blue paper and a Wmk 104 "Loops" watermark. Because of the watermark on genuine stamps, they should be easily distinguished  from forgeries.

1856 Scott 41 4c rose
Rough Yellowish paper; Wmk 105
The January 1, 1856 four stamp issue is found on rough yellowish paper, and Wmk 105 "Crossed Lines" watermark. Again, the watermark should help to determine genuines.  (Note, generally speaking, the paper characteristics and tints are more apparent with the real stamp in hand, and not so evident with the scans.)

Wmk 104: "Loops"; Wmk 105: "Crossed Lines"
O.K., but what do the watermarks look like?  Well, here they are. ;-)

1856 Scott 45 4c rose
White Smooth Paper; Unwmk
The April 11, 1856 issue - four stamps- is on white smooth paper, and unwatermarked. According to Varro Tyler (Focus on Forgeries- c2000), there are twelve different postal forgeries known for this stamp- as well as a few philatelic forgeries. (Generally, most of the lithographic forgeries found for early Spanish stamps were made to defraud the Post Office.)

Since this issue is unwatermarked, how to tell genuines?

* The 73 pearls surrounding the head of the queen are comparatively large, uniform, and well rounded. (Forgeries not so much.)
* All the letters in "CORREOS" and "CUARTOS" are well-formed, the "C"s have serifs at top and bottom, and the tails of the "S"'s are as long as the tops.
* The queen's eye clearly has a visible pupil.

1860 Scott 53 1r blue/green
Tinted Paper
The 1860-61 six stamp issue had this design, and was on various colored tinted paper, as was the next two issues (1862,1864). The queen, although only age thirty, has perhaps lost her "rosebud" freshness? 

1862 Scott 60 2r green/pinkish
Tinted Paper
A jowly queen was portrayed on the 1862 six stamp issue.The CV for this issue (and the preceding 1860 issue) is more modest, with with ten stamps <$1-$10+.

Note this is the first issue with "ESPANA" on the stamp?

1864 Scott 63 12c green/pinkish
Tinted Paper
For 1864, a six stamp issue with this visage was produced.

If I am reading the catalogue correctly, save for the initial 1850 issues, all subsequent issues up to and including this one were printed by typography.

There was also an 1866 three stamp issue (not illustrated) with the above design, except the year tablet has "1866".

1865 Scott 69 12c blue & rose; "A13" Design
Lithography*, (Actually very likely Typographic) Imperforate
The 1865 seven stamp issue- several bi-colored- was printed by lithography*, as were the issues through 1869, (or so the Scott catalogue states!!).

(*But Ralf, who collects the postal history of Spain, says, in the comments section, that this is not true.

Ralf says..

". All Spanish stamps - with the exception of the 1850 (lithography) and the 1876 (engraved) - issued between 1851 and 1889/1900 were printed by tipography - no exception. It's all a simple error in the Scott catalogue, passed on through all editions. "

I have no reason to doubt Ralf, who is a Spanish specialist. But it is sometimes difficult to determine between lithographic and typographic printed stamps. I will leave the "Scott lithographic attribution" in until I confirm the error, but I am inclined to agree with Ralf, that, most likely these 1865-69 issues were indeed printed by Typography.)

This was the last of the general issue imperforates.

1865 Scott 75 4c blue
Perf. 14
The perforated 1865 seven stamp issue used the same "A13" design and denominations as the 1865 imperforate issue. Some colors are a bit different compared to the imperforate isssue.

Scott has a note that the 1865- 1950 perforated stamps for Spain tend to be poorly centered. Certainly, the stamp above is an example of that. ;-)

1866 Scott 82 4c blue
This 1866 four stamp issue is the last one found during the "Isabella II" era that does not have an "ESPANA" label. CV is <$1-$10+ for two stamps.


1867 Scott 90 12c orange yellow (A15b design)
The first six stamps of the 1867-68 issue have the same visage, but each stamp denomination has their own frame design.

1867 Scott 89 4c blue (A15a design)
The 4c blue shows the A15a design, while the preceding 12c orange illustrates the A15b design.

1867 Scott 97 50m bister brown
The 1867-68 issue continues with four more stamps (ten total). The 5m and 10m stamps have a "number" design, while the 25m and 50m (illustrated above)  shows the same queen visage as before with a change in frame.

CV for the 10 stamp 1867-68 issue is <$1-$10+ for six stamps.

1868 Scott 99 50m violet
The last of the "Isabella II" issues (She ended up in exile in France in 1868) was the 1868-69 five stamp production, using some of the preceding 1867-68 designs, but with new colors and some new denominations.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. !

This is the end of the "Isabella II" section, but I would be remiss if I did not show at least one genuine /forgery comparison for Spain, which tends to have their share. ;-)

1930 Scott C14 25c dark blue "Plane and Congress Seal"
 Railway Congress Airmail Issue
Genuine-Forgery
The lithographic 1930 Railway Congress airmail issue  was only valid for postage for three days, and consisted of only 25,000 sets. Excellent lithographic forgeries far outnumber genuines in collections today. For myself, I have a complete set of the forgeries, but only one genuine stamp. 

One may note that the forgery impression appears to be on whiter paper, and the impression is not as well printed as the genuine stamp.

Control number on back in blue
Genuine: "A", followed by an actual number
Forgery: A000,000
Varro Tyler, in his book "Focus on Forgeries -c2000",states, that ordinarily (could be exceptions?), the forgery does not show a real control marking number, but "A000,000". Clearly, that is a helpful difference if one finds this "A000,000" marker on a stamp: Forgery!

Forgery: Prominent single Dot touching under the horizontal line
below and between "9" and "3" of "1930" in the Congress Seal area
Varro Tyler points out the prominent single dot touching the underside of the horizontal line that separates the dot field from the "1930" tablet found with the forgeries as shown above.

He compares that to the genuine as shown below....

Genuine: Small (non prominent) dot seen with genuine
stamp in the same area.
For the genuines, no dot is seen apparently with the naked eye in the same area, or- with a very closeup scan (@1200) , a small dot is revealed- but it is not prominent as found with the forgeries.

Such are the subtle differences with this most excellent forgery. ;-)

Deep Blue
1860-61 & 1862 Issues in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 94 pages for the classical era stamps of Spain. All of the major Scott numbers have a space. One will also need to add quadrilled pages for additional stamps accumulated (those not in the catalogue presently, minor number varieties, etc).

1860 Scott 50 4c orange/green "Isabella II"
Big Blue
Big Blue "69, on 23 pages, has 567 spaces for the stamps of Spain. BB's coverage is 48%. Categories include regular, semi-postal, air post, semi-postal air post, air post special delivery, official, official air post, special delivery, semi-postal special delivery, postal tax, and delivery tax. Categories not included in BB are war tax, franchise, carlist stamps, and revolutionary overprints. Of interest, Spain never issued postage due stamps.

The BB 1940s editions appear to be identical, except for some minor rearrangement, and the "69 edition has spaces for Special Delivery E4 & E5.

For interest, here is the stamp space count in BB for the top countries.

762 Germany
755 Austria
752 France
644* United States
620 Hungary
617 Italy
582 Salvador
569 Nicaragua
567 Spain

Spain has the ninth slot for stamp space count in BB.
*Note: The U.S. has more than 644 spaces, but I didn't include cut squares.

Big Blue has forty spaces that require a stamp with a CV $10+: seven of which are in the "most expensive" category ($35+).  For specifics, see the "comments" section below the checklist. The most costly is the 1938 Scott 613 5p dark brown "Bomb Throwing"($200)!!!, from an issue honoring the militia, and only available from the Philatelic Agency.

Be aware that the "Barcelona Exposition Issue" ....

Postal Tax
1929-31
“RA1”,”RA2”,”RA3”,”RA4”,”RA5”,”RA6”,
“RA7”,”RA8”,”RA9”,”RA10”,”RA11”,”RA12”,

....are dropped (not active) Scott numbers, as this issue is no longer in the catalogue.

Also, there are color descriptive changes for some spaces between today's Scott catalogue and Big Blue. I didn't comment (except for one space), as it should cause no particular confusion.

Checklist

1851
6,

1852
12,

1854
25 or 32, 26 or 32A, (Choice not taken- 25 or 32 or 26 or 32A),

1853
19,

1865
75,

1855-56
37, 39 or 43 or 47, 36 or 40 or 44, 46,

1860-61
50,51,54,(53),

1862
55,56,57,59,60,

1864
62,63,

1866
82,83,

1867
90,93,

1868
99,

1870
159,161,163,164,165,166,(167),

1872-73
174,176,181,182,185,(186),190,

Next Page

1873
191,193,196,197,

1874
201,202,203,

1874
211,

1875
212,214,

1876
222,223,225,227,

1878
232,234,236,(238),

1882
252,253,254,

1879
242,243,244,245,246,247,248,249,

1889
255,257,259,261,262,263,264,
265,266,267,268,

1899
256,258,260,

1900
272,273,274,275,278,279,

Next Page

1900
280,281,283,284,

1902-05
276,277,282,

1905
287,288,289,290,

1909-17
297,298,299,310,300,301,302,303,

1909-17
304, 305a or 305, 306,

1920
314,

1922-25
331,332,334 or 335,

1922-25
336,337,338,339,340,341,342,343,

1921
318,319,320,321,322,323,

Next Page

1929
345,346,347,348,350,

1929
349,351,

1930
373,374,375,

1930
376,377,378,379,380,
386,387,388,389,390,391,
392,393,394,395,396,

Next Page

1930
397,400,401,402,
406,407,408,409,411,413,414,
418,419,420,421,422,
423,424,425,426,
428,430,

Next Page

1930
427,429,
433,434,435,436,437,
438,439,440,441,
442,443,444,445,
1930-31
468,469,470,471,472,473,474,
478,479,480,481,482,483,(485),

Next Page

1931-34
491,492,493,494,
495,496,498,497,
501,502,503,504,505,
506,507,508,509,510,
516,517,518,520,521,522,523,
526,528,532,534,538, ( 516-538*), (516-538*)
*Choice not taken with or without control number on back, or imperforate

Next Page

1933-37 (actually -38)
542,539,540, Air Post C72A or 72B,
546,547,548,549,545,550,

1935
552,553,554,555,556,

1936
557,558,559,560,
561,562,563,564,565,
566,567,568,

Next Page

1936-37
569,570,571,
574,577,576,578,580,581,

1937-38
582,583,

1938
585,

1938
604,605,

1938-39
592,593,594,595,596,597,598,
599,600,601,602,603,

Next Page

1938-39
606,607,608,609,
610,611,612,613,

Nationalist Issues
1936-38
625,628,633,626,627,629,
630,631,632,635,636,
637,641 or 642,643,665,666 or 666A,
644,645,646,647 or 648,649,650,651,652,

Next Page

1938-40
638,640,656 or 658,659,660,657 or 661,
668,669,670,671,672,673,
674,675,676,677,678 or 693,679,
680, 681 or 697, 682,683 or 699,684,685 or 701,
686,687,688,

Next Page

Semi-Postal
B1,B2,B3,B4,B5,
B6,B7,B8,B9,B10,
B14,B15,B16,

1926
B17,

1927
B19,B20,B21,
B22,B23,B24,B25,

Next Page

(Semi-Postal)
1927
B26,B27,B28,B47,
B48,B50,B52,
B55,B56,
B57,B58,B59,

1928
B74,B75,B76,

Next Page

(Semi-Postal)
1928
B77,B78,B79,
B80,B81,B82,
B83,B84,B85,
B90,B91,B92,
B93,B94,B95,
B96,B97,B98,

Next Page

(Semi-Postal)
1928
B99,B100,B101,

1938
B106,B108,B107,
B109,B110,B111,B112,
B113,B114,

Next Page

Postal Tax
1929-31*
“RA1”,”RA2”,”RA3”,”RA4”,”RA5”,”RA6”,
“RA7”,”RA8”,”RA9”,”RA10”,”RA11”,”RA12”,
*Old Scott numbers- issue no longer in catalogue

1939
RA13,

Air Post Special Delivery
1930

CE1,
Delivery tax stamp

1930
ER1,

Semi-Postal Special Delivery
1940
EB2,

Next Page

Semi-Postal Air Post
CB1,CB2,CB3,CB4,

1926
CB5,

1940
CB8,CB9,CB10,
CB11,CB12,CB13,

Air Post
1920
C1,C2,C3,C4,C5,

1929
C6,C7,C8,C9,C10,C11,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1930
C12*,C13,C14,C15,C16,C17,
C18,C19,C20,C21,
C22,C23,C24,C25,C26,
C27,C28,C29,C30,
C31,C32,C33,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1930
C34,C35,C36,C37,
C38,C39,C40,C45,C46,C47,
C43,C44,C54,C55,
C50,C51,C52,C53,
C56,C57,C62,C63,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1930-31
C64,C65,C66,C67,

1930-31
C68,C69,C70,

1936
C73,C75,

1936
C78,C81,C74,C76,C77,
C79,C80,C82,C83,C84,
C85,C86,C87,

Next Page

(Air Post)
1939*
C100,C101,
C102,C103,C105,
C107,C108,

Next Page

Official Stamps
1854
O1,O2,O3,

1855
O5,O6,O7,O8*,

1896
O10,

1916
O12 or O16, O13 or O17, O14 or O18, O15 or O19,

1931
O20,O21,O22,O23,
O24,O25,O27,O26,

Official Air Post
1931
CO1,CO2,CO3,CO4,

Next Page

Semi-Postal Special Delivery
1926
EB1,

Special Delivery
1905
E1,

1929-30
E3,E4,E5,

1929
E2,

1930-34
E6,E9,E14,

1930
E7,

1931
E13,

1936
E15,

1930
E8,

1937-39

E16 or E17, E19 or E20,

Comments
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1855 Scott 39 2r reddish purple ($10+)
1856 Scott 44 2c blue green ($42.50)
1860 Scott 54 2r lilac/lilac ($10+)
1860 (Scott 53) 1r blue/green ($10+)
1862 Scott 55 2c deep blue/yellow ($10+)
1862 Scott 59 1r brown/yellow ($10+)
1862 Scott 60 2r green/pinkish ($10+)
1864 Scott 63 12c green/pinkish ($10+)
1866 Scott 83 12c orange  ($10+)
1867 Scott 93 20c lilac ($10+)
1870 Scott 163 4m bister brown ($10+)
1872 Scott 185 40c pale red brown ($10+)
1872 (Scott 186) 50c deep green ($10+)
1875 Scott 212 2c orange brown ($10+)
1878 Scott 232 2c mauve ($10+)
1878 (Scott 238) 50c blue green ($10+)
1879 Scott  245 20c red brown ($10+)
1931 Scott 508 20c dark violet ($30+)
1931 Scott 509 40c dull blue ($10+)
1931 Scott 510 50c dark orange ($40)
1936 Scott 571 10c red brown ($10)
1938 Scott 613 5p dark brown ($200) !
1936 Scott 633 4p rose violet, red & yellow ($20+)
1938 Scott 671 1p brown & yellow ($80)
1939 Scott 688 4p dark violet ($10+)
1926 Scott B8 30c blue green ($40)
1926 Scott B9 40c dark blue ($20+)
1926 Scott B10 50c red orange ($20+)
1927 Scott B22 10c green ($62.50)
1920 Scott C5 1p lake ($20+)
1929 Scott C10 1p green ($20+)
1929 Scott C11 4p black ($20)
1930 Scott C15 50c purple ($10+)
1930 Scott C16 1p yellow green ($30)
1930 Scott C17 4p black ($30)
1936 Scott C87 10c violet brown ($10+)
1855 Scott O8 1l black/gray blue ($10+)
1929 Scott E2 20c dull red ($10+)
1930 Scott E6 20c brown orange ($55)
1931 Scott E13 20c vermilion ($20+)
B) (  ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *C12-C17-Note: Counterfeits exist!
D) *1939 Air Post- Perf 11, not Perf 10 (1941-1947).
E) O8 - color in catalogue is "black/gray blue" rather than "blue" in BB

1864 Scott 66 2r blue/pinkish "Isabella II"
Out of the Blue
Spain would be on my short list if I ever decided to specialize. The stamp variation combined with the turbulent history- highly attractive!

Note: Maps and pics of Isabella II appear to be in the public domain.
The "Princess Leia" pic is copyright Lucasfilm/Sportphoto Ltd/Allstar 1977, and is used here under an educational exception to illustrate the "Cinnamon Bun" hairstyle. 

Comments appreciated!

13 comments:

  1. You could write forever, it would seem, about Spanish stamps and not get it all said. Thanks, Jim, for a concise summary.

    For those wanting detailed information about Spanish Stamps, I recommend Dr Oswald Schier’s Manual de la Filatelia Espanola (2000) Madrid: Fundacion Albertino de Figueiredo para la Filatelia. Some ability with the Spanish language is required to wade through its 475 pages, but it’s worth the effort. Lots of pics and drawings. There is also an expanded edition that came out in 2013, but I've not seen it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bud- Thanks for the recommendation- I will need to find a copy.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful. An excellent historical overview as a preface to these classic stamps. Sixty years of collecting for me and still so much to learn. Interesting...way ahead of their time printing the year of issue on the stamp. Man do I wish that had caught on way back when.
    Excellent work, Sir!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob- As a WW collector myself, it helps me to put together a "quick history". I don't have 60 years- you go to the head of the line on that one- much still to learn, isn't there?

      Delete
    2. Jim,

      Nice blogpost! I also really like the early classics of Spain. I especially find the yearly design changes to be fascinating. This was apparently done to help thwart postal forgeries of these stamps, not to exploit stamp collectors (which didn’t exist yet)!

      I also liked your bit about Princess Leia.

      Keep up the good work…

      Best Regards,

      InforaPenny

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  3. Always appreciate your insights InforaPenny. :-)

    If I was specializing, Spain would be highly attractive with the yearly issues- as you said, for purposes of limiting stamp fraud.

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  4. Jim,

    I have a stamp that is the same design as the "1864 Scott 63 12c green/pinkish" you mentioned above, but it is a blue 10c with 1866.

    You mentioned that "there was also an 1866 three stamp issue (not illustrated) with the above design, except the year tablet has "1866."

    But no mention of a 10c with "1866" Any thoughts as to what it could be? Needless to say, I couldn't find it in Scott.

    Thanks for any help!

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    1. Hi Chris

      Check out Cuba 1866 Scott 10c blue?

      Jim

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  5. Now I feel like an idiot! As always, thanks for your help.
    Chris

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    1. Chris- no reason to feel that way. I just remember being fooled by the same thing- the early Cuba and Spain. ;-)

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  6. Hi Jim! Just found your "Big Blue" blog and I'm really impressed by your good work. As I'm specialized in collecting the Postal History of Spain I had a closer look on the Spanish section and I think it's quite useful for beginners as a first glance on this particular country.
    But there's one note which should be corrected: You wrote "The 1865 seven stamp issue- several bi-colored- was printed by lithography, as were the issues through 1869" which definitely is not true. All Spanish stamps - with the exception of the 1850 (lithography) and the 1876 (engraved) - issued between 1851 and 1889/1900 were printed by tipography - no exception. It's all a simple error in the Scott catalogue, passed on through all editions.
    Have a good time and a nice 2017! Ralf

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    1. Thanks Ralf for the vote of confidence that the Spain blog post would be useful as an introduction for beginners.

      Thank you much for the Typographic correction for the 1865-69 issues!

      I changed the 1865-69 issues printing information to indicate that these issues are most likely typographic despite what the Scott catalogue states.

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