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...

Friday, September 14, 2018

Brazil Commemoratives: 1900-1932

1900 Scott 164 500r blue
"Emancipation of Slaves"
Discovery of Brazil, 400th Anniversary
Into the Deep Blue
One can learn a lot about a country's culture. and, how they would like others to view them, by looking at the nation's commemorative stamps.

Brazil's commemoratives offers an interesting mix into its psyche as, by far, the most powerful Portuguese heritage nation, and the most successful economy, along with Mexico, for Latin America.

This post (and the next) will take a deep dive into these little pieces of paper.

Brazil Commemoratives 1900-1932: a closer look
1000 Reis = 1 Milreis
1900 Scott 162 100r red 
"Cabral Arrives at Brazil"
The first commemoratives (four lithographic stamps with four scenes or allegories) for Brazil were produced on January 1, 1900, and were occasioned by the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil by Cabral in 1500.

Although Brazil territory was already part of the colonizing rights of the Portuguese through the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas , where Pope Alexander VI divided the newly discovered land spoils with the Crown of Castile along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands, Cabral formally claimed True Cross Island (near present day Porto Seguro) for Portugal on April 22, 1500. The Amerindians, bedecked with red and black body paint, looked on with curiosity and innocence.

Only the 100r red stamp actually celebrates the 400th anniversary by showing Cabral's ship in the bay with the Amerindians looking on.

1900 Scott 163 200r green & yellow
"Independence Proclaimed'
The 200r green & yellow commemorates the proclamation of the independence of Brazil
 in 1822.

"Grito de Ipiranga" of  September 7, 1822, when Dom Pedro of Brazil
proclaimed Brazilian Independence from Portugal
The "Independence or Death" cry (Grito de Ipiranga) of the patriots against Portuguese rule on September 7, 1822 was a milestone date. Portugal offered no substantial resistance.  So began the story of the Brazilian Empire.

900 Scott 164 500r blue
"Emancipation of Slaves"
Discovery of Brazil, 400th Anniversary
The 500r blue stamp of this issue (also shown in post header) commemorates the emancipation of slaves in Brazil on May 13, 1888, although the September 28, 1871 Rio Branco Law (Law of the Free Womb) passed by the parliament was also important in emancipation history.

Scene below Deck of a Slave Ship headed for Brazil 1830
Eyewitness to the scene by Johann Moritz Rugendas - his painting
It should be noted that Brazil was the last country in the western hemisphere to abolish slavery. By that time, some four million slaves had been imported, 40% of the total for the Americas.

1906 Scott 173 200r blue
"Allegory, Pan-American Congress"
The Pan American Congress were periodic meetings held by the Pan American Union among nations of the Western Hemisphere (North & South America) beginning in 1889 for the purposes of trade cooperation. The third congress was held in Rio de Janeiro July 21 - August 26, 1906.

1908 Scott 190 100r red
"Emblems of Peace between Brazil and Portugal'
For the centennial of opening up the the ports of Brazil to international commerce, and the peace that has existed between Portugal and Brazil, an engraved 100r red commemorative was issued July 14, 1908.

1916 Scott 196 100r carmine
"Bay of Guajara"
For the 300th anniversary of the founding of the city of Belem, a commemorative showing the Bay of Guajara was issued.

 Cathedral of Sé
Belem ("Bethlehem") is situated 100 km from the Atlantic ocean up up the Para river, and is the gateway to the Amazon river.

1920 Scott 235 100r dull red
"King Albert of Belgium and President Epitacio Pessoa"
When the King and Queen of Belgium visited in 1920, a commemorative stamps was issued. This was the first visit by an European Head of State to Brazil.

1922 Scott 260 100r ultramarine
"Declaration of Ypiranga"
The year 1922 represented the 100th year anniversary of the independence of Brazil. A three stamp engraved issue was released September 7, 1922.

The "Grito de Ipiranga" scene is clearly based on the painting shown earlier in this post.

1928 Scott 291 200r carmine
"Liberty holding Coffee Leaves"
Coffee and Brazil have a significant history. For the 200th anniversary of the introduction of the coffee tree into Brazil, a typographic three stamp one design issue was released February 5, 1928.

Slaves at a Coffee Plantation circa 1885
The first coffee bean was planted by Francesco de Melo Palheta in the state of Para on 1727.

By the 1830s, coffee was Brazil's largest export.

Early on, the industry was dependent on slaves, and 1.5 million were imported for plantation work.

Brazil still produces one-third of all the coffee in the world.

1930 Scott 314 300r rose red
"Architectural Fantasy"
In 1930, the Fourth Pan-American Congress of Architects and Exposition of Architecture was held, and three typographic stamps were issued depicting "Architectural Fantasies".

Makes for interesting stamp designs too.

1931 Scott 347 300r + 150r multi-color
"Vargas and Pessoa"
Brazil was not immune to political turmoil, and for the Revolution of October 3, 1930, a fourteen stamp lithographic issue in somewhat vivid colors was released on April 29, 1931.

These were initially prepared as semi-postals, but were actually sold and treated as ordinary stamps with the surtax not collected.

The 1930 Revolution ousted the Old Republic, and installed Getulio Vargas (Interim President 1930-34; President 1934-37; Dictator 1937-1945; President 1951-54).

1932 Scott 363 700r ultramarine
"Disembarkation of  M.A. de Souza at Sao Vicente"
Under Martim Alfonso de Souza, the first colonization of Brazil occurred in 1532 at Sao Vicente.

Control and exploration by the Portuguese Crown was hastily instigated at the time because of the threatened presence of French ships along the Brazilian coast.

1932 Scott 365 200r dark carmine
""Soldier and Flag"
The revolt of 1932 by, in part, the revolutionary forces in the State of Sao Paulo, also led to an eleven lithographic stamp release by them. Subsequently, the Federal government recognized the stamps, and they were put into general use. Some of the higher denominations have been counterfeited.

1927 Scott C12 5000r on 20,000r blue
On 1913 Scott O25 "Pres. Hermes da Fonseca"
Changing focus a bit, the 1913 Scott O14- O29 Official issue was surcharged as shown on December 28, 1927 to create a seventeen stamp air post issue. Most are CV inexpensive (thirteen stamps <$1 - $4), but the 500r on 10r is CV $400+!

1929 Scott C18 200r red
"Santos-Dumont's Airship"
This was the era of fascination with planes and airships.

A five stamp/five design  typographic issue was released in 1929.

This stamp was to honor the Brazilian inventor and aviation pioneer Santos-Dumont, who developed both bi-planes and airships. !!

Although he spent most of his productive aviation life in Paris, he was the heir of wealthy coffee producers, and a national hero in Brazil.

He won the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize on October 19, 1901, with his airship's flight around the Eiffel Tower (depicted on stamp).

1929 Scott C25 3000r violet
"Allegory: Airmail Service between Brazil and the US"
With the development of airmail service between the U.S. and Brazil, a 3000r violet stamp was released in 1929.

Pan American Airways Route map 1936
"The Americas"
Certainly, by the mid-1930s, the largest international carrier in the United States, Pan Am, had established routes throughout the Americas.

Deep Blue
1927 "Justice" Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner), naturally,  provides spaces for all the commemorative stamps of Brazil.

1929 Scott C20 500r red violet
"Santos-Dumont's Biplane "14 Bis""
Out of the Blue
As said, one can learn a lot about the collective psyche of a nation by what they decide to commemorate on stamps. To be continued with next post...

Note: Map, painting scans, and pics all appear to be in the public domain.


Comments appreciated!


  1. I must say the early commemorative issues from Brazil are very attractive. Thanks for the historical background on them!

    1. Yes, I will also have another post on these nice issues.

  2. The revolutionary stamps of the 1930s are very interesting issues. Curiously it was the revolutionaries who were claiming they were following the constitution, but I suppose that's true of most revolutions.

    1. Good point Michael.

      The revolutionary stamps are also somewhat difficult to acquire.

  3. What an incredible blog! After a few years literally away from my France+colonies collection (it stayed in France during my diplomatic postings), I decided to embark on the crazy journey of WW collecting thanks to your blog. After lots of hesitation, I decided to opt for the Minkus Global albums (1840-1952 and maybe 53-63 for more crazyness). Is it just Australia or stamp dealers have completely disappeared ? Fortunately, we have Internet, ebay, other specialized websites ... and inspirational blogs like yours. Thank you for your amazing work!

    1. Thanks for the kind words.

      Enjoy the journey with the Minus albums!

      There are still stamp dealers around, but very few physical stamp stores.