Monday, April 11, 2016

Some stamps from Colombia

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I was planning to do this post with Colombian stamps for weeks...before starting with some of the older stamps,I like to make some considerations about the meaning of the Coat Of Arms of Colombia, endlessly repeated in many of these similar designs...

The coat of Arms can be divided in two parts : A) Exterior of the Shield B) Interior of the Shield
A) at the top of the shield ,one Condor looking to the right and holding an olive crown in the beak...the Great bird is resting above a scroll saying "Liberty and Order"...The condor itself represents freedom and the olive in a major part of its representations, means peace...B) the interior of the shield can be again divided in 3 parts: A1) the lowermost part ,represents the isthmus of Panama and two ancient boats, one in each sides of the Isthmus...The Isthmus of Panama was until 1903 part of Colombia and it is a small piece of land with the Atlantic Ocean in one side and the Pacific Ocean in the Other.. the boats represent commerce and Economy...A2) The middle section of the Shield show us the  Phrygian cap, traditionally related to liberty A3) The uppermost  section of the shield represents at each side a Cornucopia (or 'horns of Plenty')  ...from the left one silver and gold coins are falling and from the right one Tropical fruits ... this is clearly a mention to the richness of the Colombian soil and to the Agricultural and Mining Activities...[ wikipedia ]
well, after this short introduction to the Colombian Arms,lets proceed to our stamps...

As I said before ,the classical period of Colombian Philately is mainly 'ruled' by consecutive Designs having the Colombian Arms as Central Vignette (always with a very similar look) and simple Frames, with the several labels (Country , Currency, Numerals,etc)  always changing place and Format  from series to series ... so even when the stamps seem identical, a second look could be desirable and useful...
All the stamps from the classic Period I have to present today are from the Republican Period of Colombia's history... I think a few words about the history of this country are necessary...Spain's conquest of what is now referred as Colombia began in 1525 and lasted until 1550..Colombia,Venezuela and Ecuador were part of the Spanish Vice-royalty of New Granada...a rising at Bogota in 1810 led to the Bolivar's  victory over the Spanish Troops and a new Territory including Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador was born in 1819,... after the breakaway of Venezuela and Ecuador ,Colombia was known as Republic of New Granada... in 1858 a confederation of nine states was created under the name of Grenadine August 1886, the country was renamed Republic of  Colombia and the sovereignty of the states was abolished , and they became Departments...we are now arrived at the first days of the Republic of Colombia,where several of the above stamps began to be issued... some of them are from the first republican Issue of Colombia, in 1886/1888...
I have to make a small correction , because the first two stamps are prior to the republican period... let us start to divide them into series and time periods...
1st)2nd) from the 1883/1886 series, and the particular difference to all the others is the country Label , at the borders of the Central Oval figure...that label is "Correos Nacionales de los EE.UU. de Colombia" ..there is a clear reference to the United States of Colombia and the inclusion in the design, of nine starts above the Condor's head is also due to the nine states confederation...
1883/1886 "Colombia's Arms" (7) [Litho] Sc(119,123)
3rd) This stamp belongs to the first series where portraits were issued...the first value is yet a coat of Arms ,but the others are portraits of important personalities of Colombian this case , we have one representation of Bolivar...the papers used in this issue are tinted is also part of the 1st series of the republican period, and so the Country label is "Correos De La Republica De Colombia"... I don't know who is the designer of these portraits ,but they seem very uninteresting and Childish...there are several perforations possible for this series...
1886 "Personalities" (9) [Litho] Sc(130)
4th)5th) back to the Coat of Arms stamps... here we have a Blue on Greenish blue and a Deep blue on blue stamps...again , tinted papers were used in these period's printings...the country label continue to be the same , and two perforations are available...
1890/1891 "Colombia's Arms" (5) [Litho] Sc(151,151a)
6th)7th)8th)9th)10th) this is a series that introduce us some new Coat of Arms Designs and some old with new colors... the 6th stamp is clearly similar to the 4th and 5th,but it is a new color situation...we have respectively a black on buff , a red on yellow, a Orange brown on buff , a red brown on salmon and a brown on rose stamps...several perforations and mixed perforations are again possible..
1892/1899 (11) [Litho] Sc(151,148,152,152a,153)
11th)12th) the last two stamp share the same design and and are part of a 1898/1901 series...we have a red brown on salmon and a brown on rose stamps...a single 13.5 perforation is available...
1898/1901 "Colombia's Arms" (4) [Litho] Sc(163,164)
It is now time to be back on our history 1899 ,a Civil War broke out between the Liberals (Non Religious) and the Conservative (Catholic) Government...the war ended in 1902 and as a result the supplies of stamps from the Capital Bogota were cut of and provisional issues were made in several parts of the Country....from this disturbed period I only have two stamps from the Barranquila Issues, printed by Francisco Valiente F., Barranquila, and two stamps from the Bogota Issues, printed by the National Lithography.....   

  [Left] this stamp is part of Colombia's first pictorial series represents the river Magdalena...the series has 3 stamps,but SG present us various color possibilities for each one of them..
1902/1903 "Barranquila Issues / Views of Colombia" (3) [Litho] Sc(195)
[Right] from a series with pictorial stamps,portraits and coats of Arms...
1903/1904 "Barranquila Issues / Pictorials,Portraits & Arms" (16) [Litho] Sc(222)

[Left][Right]  a curious aspect about these stamps, is that  we could expect some kind of label identifying the Issuing Department,but actually there is only reference to "Republica De Colombia".. the fact of these two stamps are not used make 's me a little suspicious about  their provenience,but their cv is so small that in the end I think they are not faked in any manner...
1902/1903 "Bogota Issues /  Colombia's Arms" (9) [Litho (Lit. Nacional,Bogota)] Sc(268,270)

These 10 stamps belong to 3 different series sharing common designs...
1st)2nd) 1917 "Portraits, Landscapes and Coat of Arms" (12) [Recess (Perkins,Bacon & Coº.Ltd.,London)] Sc(340,341)
3rd)4th)7th)8th)9th)10th) the 3c and the 8c  blue spares are just different shades...
1922/1929 "Portraits,coats of Arms and new designs / New colors" (11) [Recess (Perkins,Bacon & Coº,Ltd,london)] Sc(372,372,401,372,400,401)
5th)6th) "Coat of Arms" (1) [Recess (Perkins,Bacon & Coº,Ltd,London)] Sc(359) [red on Yellow]

This Numeral Design was issued in two separate series,the first in 1904 and the 2nd in 1908/1916...the first two stamps are from 1904 and the others from 1908/1916...the main difference between them is the Printer's name written at the lowermost part of the stamp, below the inferior the first case (1904) we have Lit.J.L.Arango,Medelin) and in the 2nd (1908/1916)  ,the National [Litho] Printing Works, Bogota (Lit. Nacional)..there are in both series several types of some stamps ,but i will not talk about them because I think it is not necessary in the moment , leaving an explanation to a future post...after we see these stamps in detail,we clearly see that  the printing is more detailed and precise in the 1904 issue..
1st)2nd) 1904 "Numerals" (9) [Litho] Sc(316,317)
3rd)4th)5th)6th) 1908/1916 "Numerals" (6) [Litho] Sc(325,325a,326,327)

"In 1918 the introduction of the three centavos rate and the difficulty of obtaining replacements for the 1917 definitive series persuaded the Colombian Post Office to order a locally printed provisional series" ( please see pdf document ) As you can see ,the first 4 stamps have designs already issued previously, but with the label "Provisional" , over the center of the stamps (this label is not an overprint of any kind ,but was included in the master plates..).. the last two stamps are a complete series of 1926...
1st)2nd)3rd)4th) 1920/1922 "Provisional Stamps" (8) [Litho] Sc(361,362,263,364)
5th)6th) 1926"Provisional Stamps"  (2) Sc(395,396)

Now we can begin to show some pictorial stamps from more recent days...these stamps have in common the fact of being Overprinted or Surcharged...all were Engraved and Printed by Waterlow and Sons...
1st) 2nd) both the stamps in it's original form are from the series "Colombia's Resources" from 1932.. , but  the first is overprinted "Oficial" and the other is surcharged..
1937 "Overprint 'OFICIAL' on '1932 Colombian Resources'" (13) [Recess (Waterlow and sons, London)] Sc(O11)
1937 "Surcharge '5 Centavos' on '1932 Colombian Resources'" (5) [Recess (Waterlow and Sons, London)] Sc(455)
3rd) The design of this stamp is originally from 1937,but this particular 10c stamp was issued in 1948 and Overprinted in 1953
1953 "Overprint 'AEREO' on'1948 Tequendama Falls'" (1) [Recess (Waterlow and sons,London)] Sc(C231)

Through out the Years, some of our well known European and American Printing companies were active in Colombia and some of them had so much work that opening a subsidiary Company in Colombia was the answer (De La Rue Colombia)..from the 20's to the 60's this Foreign Activity increased a lot , and in the end of the 40's and 50's we could find activity of ABNC, Waterlow, De La rue, Courvoisier , etc , some of them in the same year...! this great  market for the Printing Companies only diminished considerably with the arrival of the Hungarian Stamp Designer Imre von Mosdossy  who worked preferentially with  the Vienna State Printing Works...
Presented above are some examples of Engraved and [Recess] stamps by Waterlow and De La Rue...they are all from the 40's and 50's...
1st) 1948 "José Celestino Mutis and José Jeronimo Triana" (1) [Recess (Waterlow and Sons)] Sc(555)
2nd) 1948 "Tequendama Falls" (3) [Recess (Waterlow and Sons)] Sc(570)
3rd) 1954 "AIR Mail / 300th Death Anniversary of St. Peter Claver" (1) [Recess (Thomas De La Rue)] Sc(C258)
4th) Colombia , like other South American countries has a extraordinary number of Air mail stamps,and it was common in the 40's and 50's each normal postage issue being accompanied by an Air Mail issue of the same series (most of the times with different designs...)
1948 " AIR Mail / 9th Pan American Congress, Bogota" (2) [Recess (Waterlow and Sons)] Sc(C148)
5th) 1951 "8th Death Anniversary of D.G.Valência (Poet and Orator)" (1) [Recess (Waterlow and Sons)] Sc(595)
6th) 1955 "Colombian Forces in Korea" (2) [Recess (De La Rue)] Sc(C269)
7th) "Death Centenary of Archbishop Mosquera" (1) [Recess (De La Rue)] Sc(C261)
8th) 1955 "Greater Colombia Merchant Marine Commemoration" (4) [Recess (De La Rue)] Sc(C271)
9th) 1956 "AIR MAIl / 4th Death Centenary of St. Ignacius of Loyola" (2) [DEs (I.V. Mosdossy)][Recess (De La Rue)] Sc(C287)

Stamps from a very famous Air Mail series , representing views and Famous places from Colombia...The engraving and printing work is of De La Rue and it is quite good, as we can see for example in the 1st stamp presented ...
1954 "Air Mail / Views of Colombia" (15) [Recess (De La Rue)] Sc(C241,C242,C244,C245,C249)

to finish this long,long post I have some "Unificado" stamps...
in the 40's the two former Colombian Airlines SCADTA (Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transporte Aéreo ) and SACO (Servivio Aereo Colombiano) were united in a new company called Avianca... in 1959/1960 this Unificado stamps were issued (overprinting some stamps previous issues) following an agreement between Colombian state and Avianca to unify the Air postage in all the mail the Company transports..

All the 4 original stamps belong to the previous 1954 series, presented 1959/1960 the small airplane with the 'Unificado' label was overprinted in those stamps...
1959/1960 "Overprint 'Unificado' on '1954 AIR MAIL/Views of Colombia'" (21) Sc(C330,C338,C343,C346)



  1. You have shared stamps collection, it's very wonderful. And the information you provided about the stamps is very important. People like to read this kind of information
    Thank you so much


  2. The 1953 "Overprint 'AEREO' on'1948 Tequendama Falls'" (1) [Recess (Waterlow and sons,London)] Sc(C231) also comes with the Unificado label