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. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Stamps of Argentina 1899-1939

1899 Scott 141 10p green & black 
"Allegory, Liberty Seated"
Into the Deep Blue
As mentioned in the Stamps of Argentina 1858-1892 post, as  I have now finished the initial survey of 1840-1940 A-Z countries, I can go back and fill in the stamp coverage with greater depth.

This discussion will continue the Argentine thread, with coverage of the 1899-1939 issues.

An earlier post looked at the challenges of watermarking Argentina.  The original post (with checklist) is here.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centavos = 1 Peso
1899 Scott 138 50c bright blue
"Allegory, Liberty Seated"
The 1899-1903 engraved twenty-two stamp issue featured an allegorical "Liberty" seated with the Argentine sun on the sea's horizon.

There were two frame design formats, and illustrated for the 18 lower denominations, is the smaller format.

CV for the 18 stamps is <$1-$1 for 17 stamps.


Only the 16c orange is CV $8.

1899 Scott 140 5p orange & black 
"Allegory, Liberty Seated"
The larger frame format stamps were used for the four highest denominations.

CV is $1-$10+ for three stamps. Used stamps are valued by Scott for black boxed or violet oval parcel cancels.

1902 Scott 143 5c deep blue
"River Port of Rosario"
For the completion of port facilities in Rosario, an impressively engraved 5c deep blue was issued.

Port of Rosario, 1868
Rosario is an inland port some 550 km upstream on the Parana River from the Atlantic Ocean. 

Rosario on the Parana River
Rio de la Plata Basin Map
The Port opened initially in 1852, and with Argentine agriculture developing significantly after 1875, became a leading exporter of the country's grain.

1908 Scott 159 1p slate blue & pink
"San Martin"
Between 1908-09, a 16 stamp typographic "San Martin" oval portrait issue was produced, Fifteen of the stamps are mono-color in a smaller format. But I am showing the one stamp of the issue that is in a larger format, and is bi-colored.

The watermark for the issue is Wmk 86 "Large Sun- 6mm".

But the design for this issue is unique, and watermarking is not really necessary here.

(I covered all the issues that require watermarking for differentiation with the "Argentina Stamps- A guide to watermarking" post.)

1910 Scott 160 1/2c blue & gray blue
"Pyramid of May"
For the centenary of the Republic in 1910, a sixteen stamp engraved pictorial and (mostly) double-portrait issue was released. Twelve of the stamps are bi-color. Certainly, considering the earlier 20th century Argentine stamp issues, this is the highlight.

I will show three examples here.

The Pyramid of May (Piramide de Mayo) 1/2c blue & gray blue shows the oldest national monument in the City of Buenos Aires. Located at the Plaza de Mayo, it was constructed, beginning in 1811, for the one year anniversary of the 1810 May Revolution.

1910 Scott 169 24c orange brown & blue
"First Council"
The "First Council" , or, more properly, the "Open Cabildo" ("Cabildo Abierto"), was held on May 22, 1810, and included all the leading civilians and military personages.

Cabildo Abierto
After much debate, it was the concensus that the power returned to the people in the absence of a legitimate monarch. They were entitled to form a new government.

1910 Scott 171 50c carmine & black
"First Meeting of Republican Government, May 25, 1810"
On May 25, 1810, after much tense back and forth, the Cabildo accepted the peoples wishes submitted through a document containing 411 signatures.

May 25th - The People gathered in front of the Buenos Aires Cabildo
When that occurred, the people in the crowd saw the sun break though. This, the "Sun of May", was considered a good omen indeed, and the "Sun of May" became an iconic part of patriotic story, and is on the Argentine flag. 

1911 Scott 176 5c bray brown & black
"Domingo F. Sarmiento"
In 1911, a single stamp was issued in honor of the centenary of the birth of Domingo Sarmiento, the seventh president (1866-74) of Argentina.

Portrait by Granddaughter
He was an intellectual, and wrote literature, history, and political philosophy. Where are those Jeffersonian leaders of today?

1912-13 Scott 201 1p dull blue & rose
The 1912-13 four stamp issue in large format portrays the a farmer in a field looking at the Argentine sun.

By 1900. agriculture was the major export industry, with  cereals, oilseeds, beef, and grapes being the dominant commodities.

1916 Scott 220 5c red "Declaration of Independence"
For the centenary of the Argentine Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1816, a sixteen stamp lithographic issue was released. Most of the stamps had a portrait of Jose de San Martin, but two stamps showed this scene.

The U.S recognized the Declaration of Independence in 1822, while it took Spain until 1857.

The plan was to quickly put forth a constitution, but, in fact, it took until 1853 before one was drafted.

1918 Scott 247 5c bister & gray
"Juan Gregorio Pujol"
In 1918, a single lithograrphic stamp was put forth to honor Juan Gregorio Pujol, lawyer and legislator.
1920 Scott 281 5c rose & blue
"Creation of Argentine Flag"
In 1920, a three stamp issue honoring General Manuel Belgrano was released. He was the creator of the Argentine flag.

In 1938,  a holiday, the Day of the National Flag (Dia de la Bandera Nacional), was instituted for June 20, the anniversary of Belgrano's death in 1820.

1921 Scott 289 12c rose
"Allegory, Pan-America"
The 1st Pan-American Postal Congress was held in Buenos Aires August, 1921.

A larger format four stamp issue with the design illustrated was released on August 25, 1921.
It is a striking design, and I clearly have that image embedded in my head from childhood collections.

1926 Scott 361 25c chocolate
"General Post Office"
For the centenary of the Post Office, two stamps were issued in 1926 with a "post office" theme. One showed the "modern" postal edifice of 1926, while another (this stamp) showed the 1826 building drawing.

1928 Scott 370 12c deep blue
"Arms of Argentina and Brazil"
For 100 years of peace between the Empire of Brazil and the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, a two stamp issue was released in 1928.

1929 Scott 371 2c  lilac brown
"Allegory, Discovery of the New World"
For the 437th anniversary of the Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, a three stamp lithographed allegorical issue was published on October 12, 1929.

On October 12, 1492, Columbus, claiming the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain. stepped ashore, probably on Watling island in the Bahamas.

I like the allegory stamp, but why the need to recognize the 437th year anniversary? !!

1930 Scott 378 4c violet
"Spirit of Victory Attending Insurgents"
In 1930, a 19 stamp lithographed issue with two designs was released  after September 6, 1930 to celebrate the Argentine coup d'etat (September Revolution). Six more stamps were released in 1931.

1930 Scott 386 50c black
"March of the Victorious Insurgents"
The 1930 Argentine coup d'etat (September Revolution) resulted in the overthrow of the Argentine government by forces backing General Jose Felix Uriburu.

This occurred on September 6, 1930.

Crowds in Buenos Aires near the Argentine National Congress
The aftermath included the suspension of the 1853 Constitution, and the establishment of a military junta. The government was reorganized along fascist lines. Future President Juan Peron took part in the coup on the side of General Uriburu.

1931 Scott 405 2p black & orange
Overprinted in Blue
1st Anniversary of the Revolution of 1930
On September 6, 1931, seven stamps were overprinted to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the revolution.

1933 Scott 409 3c green & dark brown
"Port of La Plata"
For the 50th anniversary of the founding of the city of La Plata on November 19, 1882, a five stamp lithographed pictorial and portrait issue was released.

La Plata served as the provincial capital (Province of Buenos Aires) when the city of Buenos Aires was federalized in 1880.

1939 Scott 472 1.40p dark blue
"Record and Winged Letter"
One of the more unusual postage rate stamp issues was released in 1939 - intended for mailing flexible phonograph records.

The three stamp issue has a CV of  $10-$30+ - rather pricey!

1928 Scott C2 10c Prussian blue
"Airplane Circles the Globe"
In 1928, the first air post issue was released with four designs and nineteen stamps.

Like many of the issues of the era, it was lithographed.

1932 Scott C37 90c dark brown "Eagle"
Red Overprint; "Zeppelin Issue"
Zeppelins can be found issued throughout the world, and Argentina was no exception.

There were, between 1930-32, 13 air post stamps overprinted in commemoration of Zeppelin flights.

CV tends to be in the $tens-$hundreds, although I do count five stamps with CV $2-$9.

1926 Scott OD346 12c deep blue "General Post Office"
Official Department Stamps: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religion
One of the more unique parts of Argentine philately are the many Official Department Stamps issued. Between 1913-1937, regular 1911-37 issues were overprinted with the initial of the department.

I count...
46 stamps for the Ministry of Agriculture (M.A.)
55 stamps for the Ministry of War (M.G.)
44 stamps for the Ministry of Finance (M.H.)
41 stamps for the Ministry of the Interior (M.I.)
58 stamps for the Ministry of Justice and Instruction (M.J.I.)
46 stamps for the Ministry of Marine (M.M.)
37 stamps for the Ministry of Public Works (M.O.P.)
40 stamps for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and religion (M.R.C.)

Of the 367 stamps, 314 are CV $<1!!

Deep Blue
1923, 1923-31 Official Department Stamps Issues
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religion
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 25 pages just for the Official Department Stamps Issues.

Almost all are quite inexpensive, and can serve as a way to boost WW classical era holdings.

I have some 223 stamps in my collection, but there are plenty more to be had!

1920 Scott 282 12c green & blue
"General  Manuel Belgrano"
Out of the Blue
I hope the classical era collector reader enjoyed the little more in depth coverage of Argentina stamps provided over three posts.

There are some lovely issues and stamps, and the history is there too!

Note: Map, pics, paintings, drawings all appear to be in the public domain.

Argentina - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!


  1. And if you are really a glutton for specialization, there is the wonderful full-color specialized catalog produced in 2009 by Guillermo Jalil that gives even more detail regarding things such as plate varietes, paper varieties, watermarks (for example differentiating between horizontal and vertical orientations of the honeycomb watermark on the 1917 San Martin definitive issue noted in your Argentina Watermark Guide post from earlier).

    Only bad thing is that the catalog is out of print at the publisher, but may be available in the second-hand market, at a price (and not cheap, esp if you have to have it shipped from Argentina!)

    1. Gene - I appreciate the tip. Argentina is one of those countries I wouldn't mind getting to know even better.

  2. Hi, for the stamps after 1890, you have the great onlina catalog developed by CEFILOZA stamp club: http://cefiloza.blogspot.com.ar/p/blog-page.html

    1. Thank you Pablo (yo) for the great reference link. !!

  3. I´m from Argentina, I live near the river port and should say that the CEFILOZA catalog is better than Jalil´s and free.
    Best regards,

    1. Pablo- Thanks! That is now two votes for CEFILOZA!