Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Guatemala (1st Post)

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Starting this post about Guatemala is a happy moment for me , because another country entered my Collection... Yes,finally I have some stamps from Central America... Until now, only Mexico was "aboard"... This lot I bought recently has many stamps from these Countries,and particularly from their Classic Periods...

The Independence of Guatemala was declared in 1847, after a brief existence as a part of the Republic of the United Provinces of Central America (1823/1838).
The two first series of Guatemala , present us designs with coats of Arms... they were printed in Paris and London...
We can say that the ABNC direct influence in the printings starts in 1875 and goes until 1898, when Waterlow takes the primary role in the Printings, along with occasional printings of other British Companies and of ABNC...this period ends in the beginning of the 30's with the appearance of local printings, but another period that goes from 1935 to 1945 starts , this time with solo influence from the Dutch company Enschedé and Sons and its [Photo] Printed stamps...

These are the first stamps of Guatemala... it is one of the first times I have the nº1 of all catalogs... the design represents the country's Coat of Arms... the famous Quetzal is not presented yet ,because it was during this same year, in the presidency of  Miguel García Granados that this Bird was taken as National Symbol...
1871 "Coat of Arms" (4) [Engr (F. Joubert)][Typo (Paris)] Sc(1,4)

This series of 4 stamps, show us in the vignette a portrait of a Native Indian over a lined background...a more complex frame , with plant branches and fruit ornaments born above the value and currency labels, below the vignette...and now we enter in the realm of the Unexpected...the bad quality of the printing is notorious and the engraving is not  a master piece...well, who would say that we would find , here in Guatemala, another one of the works of Eugene Mouchon..?!!?.. Yes , the engraving is part of his work but I don't have any data about the designer ...If we compare this Work with others he made 20 years later in Europe, we surely could say that this was not one of his best moments..! in my opinion, the face of the Native has a poor engraving work, specially in the region surrounding the eyes.. it is not a well accomplished work...That's Life..some time better, some times worst..! I spent some time , trying to find Mouchon's name somewhere in the illustration,but I could not find it...some crude forgeries were made of all the 4 values...perhaps these two stamps are simply forgeries!!
1878 "Native Indian" (4) [Engr (Eugene Mouchon)][Typo (Imprimerie Centrale des Chemins de Fer, Paris)] Sc(11,12)

This design was used for the first time in 1879, with the issue of two stamps of 1/4r and 1r ... the 1st of the 6 stamps I present is from this 1879 series...You can see that , together with some differences in the frames, the label in the oval frame is different from the other 5.. in fact, this one presents the label "Correos De Guatemala" and the others "Union Postal Universal Guatemala"...
1879 "Quetzal" (2) [Recess (ABNC)] Sc(15)

The main reason that led me to present individual scans of these 5 stamps is a game I want you to play... Just find the differences between the 5 frames.. I know that they seem identical, but all of them are different from each other...
1881 "Quetzal" (5) [Recess (ABNC)] Sc(21,...,25)

This is a series of 14 stamps, commemorating the Central American Exposition  that has taken place in the Capital city of Guatemala in 1897...The design is complex ,with many interesting points to the Topic collectors...there is a Steamship, a train, four Coats of Arms and flags (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicarágua and Costa Rica) , and a portrait of President Barrios, side by side with the already familiar Quetzal...the Design was work of Manuel Maria Girón ,an Architect who became famous in his country with the construction of the First Minerva Temple in the city of Guatemala..the temple's construction ended in 1901 , so a picture of the recent temple appeared in the 1902 series below.(6c stamp) [ it is also curious to know the history of the man behind the strange re-appearance of these temples ,back from the Roman Era, in Guatemala...]
1897 "Central American Exposition, Guatemala City" (14) [Des (Manuel Maria Girón)][Recess (ABNC)] Sc(60,61,62,63,73)

A beautiful series Engraved and printed by Waterlow and Sons...the series has 11 different illustrations, with different frames... SG talks about a great number of Color shades and this fact must be absolutely correct , because the only spare stamp I have from this series, is from a different shade.. (note the 12.5c stamps..).. Another interesting fact is the possibility of perforations between 12 and 16....
Let us now focus on the engraving , to tell that all the buildings and non living things have a good or very good work...the same thing does not occur when we talk of the human and animal figures... Waterlow have always been a very successful Company in what concerns the designs, engravings and printings.. We could say that we get used to a high Level of quality in their Work, but unfortunately , the 2c and the 12.5c are examples of what we don't want to see in a stamp...the 2c design is good (except the face)  , but the engraving is so bad and banal that we think "How, What happened here??!!..".. in the 12.5 ,we find not only this very weak engraving but also a terrible drawing of the Human faces (they look like Zombie creatures with empty eyes..!).. so we have here two bad examples , like stains in a white robe, of the work of Waterlow... In the contrary , the Frames are simply Excellent, all of them!!
1902/1907 "UPU/Historical Moments and Famous buildings and monuments" (11) [Recess(Waterlow and Sons Limited, London)] Sc(114,...,123)

The period from 1924 to 1929 is characterized by a succession of re-engravings of former motifs by 3 of the main British Printing Companies... some of the designs used in the 1902 series (above) are used, together with some new ones and some new portraits...first , we have this 1924 series , with Printing and Engraving or Re-Engraving by Perkins Bacon & Co. Ld, London....the series has 9 stamps,but I only have 5 of them to present...
1924 "Portraits and monuments" (9) [Engr (J.J. Harrison)(H. Scott)][Recess (Perkins Bacon & Co. Ltd, london)] Sc(212,213,217,214,218)

The 3rd of these series was Engraved and printed by T. De La Rue & Co. Ltd, London...the complete series has 12 stamps and unfortunately I only have 8 to present...I will not show any of the stamps of the 2nd of these series , printed by Waterlow ,because this post has shown already many stamps,and so I will leave the presentation for a future post....
1929 "Portraits and Monuments" (12) [Recess (T. De La Rue & Co. Ltd, London)] Sc(233,...,238)(240,242)

I couldn't lose this opportunity to find some differences between engravings,because I've got some of the designs , engraved by 2 or even 3 different companies : let us see:
(A different color in the Central vignette corresponds to the original from 1902, with engraving and printing by Waterlow...)

in this case , I also want to propose you one more easy task : finding  the Major difference (effectively, a different detail...) between the two frames...(it is very easy...)

This time , there are two Major differences...

Well, I've had much fun doing this post, and that is a good thing...



  1. You have shared the Really beautiful stamps collection.and You have provided very valuable information and this is very important. People get a lot of benefit from reading about such information.
    Thanks for sharing


  2. Thank you for this wonderful and beautiful work! :)