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SPANISH WESTINDIES

Return To Catalogue - Cuba - Porto Rico

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Currency: 8 Reales Plata = 2 Escudos = 1 Peso
1866: 100 Centavos = 1 Escudo
1871: 100 Centavos = 1 Peseta


1855 Queen Isabella facing the right

1 Rl Plata F. green 2 R red

 

  1/2 Rl.Plata F. blue
  1/2 Rl.Plata F. green
  1 Rl Plata F. green
  2 Rs Plata F. red

Surcharged (for local use in Havana)

'Y 1/4' on 2 r red
(Reduced view)

Y 1/4 on 2 R red, small surcharge The '1' is different Broad surcharge

  'Y 1/4' on 2 r red

There exist several types of the overprint, 2 main types, one broad and one small and further some different shapes of mainly the 'Y'. To make things even more complicated, there exist at least 3 types of forged surcharges on genuine stamps!

These stamps were issued with two different watermarks (loops or crossed lines) and also unwatermarked.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks

With watermark 'Loops' (on bluish paper)

1/2 r**c 
1 r*** 
2 r***c 
'Y 1/4' on 2 r RR*** 
With watermark 'Crossed lines' (on yellowish paper)
1/2 rcc 
1 rRc 
2 rRc 
No watermark (white paper)
1/2 rcvc 
1 rcvc 
2 r*c 
'Y 1/4' on 2 r****** 

Typical cancellations:

The above shown cancellation: an ellipse with lines and stars inside, seems to be the most common.

Forgeries:

Examples of forgeries:

Forged overprint on genuine stamp!
(Forged overprint on genuine stamp!)


(Forged overprints of Fournier and forged Fournier cancel taken from a Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries)

Postal forgeries, (to deceive the post office):


(Postal forgeries)

The above postal forgeries of the 1/2 r have 79 pearls in the circle (should be 73), furthermore there is a line of unbroken dots below the word 'CORREOS' (in the genuine stamps, the dots are broken below 'RRE'. The dots do not continue to the right margin in the genuine stamps, there is a small blue space, in this forgery they do continue and there is no such space. The 'S' of 'CORREOS' is slanting to the right in this forgery. This forgery is the second one mentioned in 'Postal Forgeries of the World' by R.G. Leslie Fletcher.

I think the above stamp is the third postal forgery mentioned in 'Postal Forgeries of the World' by R.G. Leslie Fletcher; there are 73 pearls in the circle, the background dots are very irregular. The 'S' of 'CORREOS' is slanting to the right.


Besides these postal forgeries, there are three more postal forgeries of the 1/2 r value; two of them with 75 pearls, the last one with 73 large pearls printed on white paper.

I've been told that the next stamps are also postal forgeries, however, I have not been able to identify them in Fletcher's book (the background dots seem very irregular):

Another forgery (I've been told that this is also a postal forgery):


(postal forgery?)

I've been told that the next stamps are also postal forgeries, though they are not mentioned in Fletcher's book:


(Postal forgeries?)

According to Fletcher's book, there is also a postal forgery of the 1 r value; this one has 75 small pearls in the circle (instead of 73 of the genuine). However, I've been told that the next stamp is also a postal forgery:


(postal forgery? 74 pearls)

Philatelic forgeries:

The above stamp is the first one mentioned in Album Weeds, it has 78 pearls (instead of 73) in the cricle surrounding the head. The cancel consists of a few parallel lines (I don't think this cancel was ever used in Cuba).


(The Queen has a very pronounced chin in the above forgery)

 

1862 Queen Isabella facing the left, inscription 'CORREOS 1/4 RL PTA F.' (for local use in Havana)

1/4 r black

  1/4 r black

Stamps in the same design were issued for Spain.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1/4 r** 

Forgeries, example:


(Forgery)

 

1864 Queen Isabella facing the left, inscription 'CORREOS'

No indication of the year

  1/4 Rl black on yellow
  1/2 Rl green
  1 Rs blue
  2 Rs Plata F. red

Overprinted '66'

'66' on 1/4 Rl black on yellow

  1/4 Rl black on yellow

With inscription '1866' and value in 'CENTIMOS (Cmos), imperforate

40 c red

  5 c lilac
  10 c blue
  20 c green
  40 c red

With inscription '1867' (perforated)

  5 c lilac
  10 c bleu
  20 c green
  40 c red

The perforated stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
No indication of the year
1/4 r**** 
1/2 rccon thick or thin paper
1 rcc 
2 r**on thick or thin paper
'66' on 1/4 r****** 
1866
5 c***** 
10 ccc 
20 ccc 
40 c**** 
1867
5 c**** 
10 c** 
20 c** 
40 c*** 

Cancels:


(Ellipse with lines and stars, reduced size)

Forgeries:

1/4 r black on yellow Spiro forgeries, note the strange cancel!

The above stamps are forgeries no. 1 described in Album Weeds: a very easy way to detect these is the cancel, that can only be found on these stamps; an ellipse with lines inside. The pearls of the left and right ornaments at both sides of the zig-zag lines are touching the inner and outer frameline for many of them. In the originals the pearls never touch the frame. Furthermore, the dot before and after the word 'CORREOS' are placed too close to the letter 'C' and the letter 'S' (this is true especially for the letter 'C'). The crown that the queen is wearing is rather unsharp compared to the originals. The 2 Rs has the line directly below '2 Rs. PLATA F.' broken (in the originals it is not). For the other values, this line is almost absent.


(Same forgery with a different cancel)

 

1868 Queen Isabella II

Inscription 'ULTRAMAR 1868'

  5 c lilac
  10 c blue
  20 c green
  40 c red

Inscription 'ULTRAMAR 1869'

  5 c lilac
  10 c blue
  20 c green
  40 c lilac

All these stamps exist with overprint 'HABILITADO POR LA NACION'

on 1868 issue
(Reduced size)

On 1868 issue

on 1869 issue

These stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1868
5 c** 
10 c** 
20 c** 
40 c** 
1869
5 c****** 
10 c*c 
20 c** 
40 c*** 

Overprints

All values****** 

Be careful, forgeries exist of the overprint, examples:

I think the above forgery is mentioned in 'Album Weeds': the second line reads 'PO LA' instead of 'POR LA' and the letters of 'NACION' are very widely spaced.


(Forged overprints of Fournier and forged Fournier cancel taken from a Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries)

Primitive forgery of the 10 c 1868 stamp:

Postal forgeries exist of the values 20 c and 40 c of the 1868 issue.

 

1870 Woman's head inscription 'CORREOS 1870'

  5 c blue
  10 c green
  20 c brown
  40 c red

These stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
5 c****** 
10 ccc 
20 ccc 
40 c****** 

Special cancels:

With typical cancel

Probably a forgery:

I have no information about the distinghuishing characteristics of this forgery.


(Badly printed forgery)

 

1871 Sitting woman, inscription 'ULTRAMAR 1871', perforated

50 c green 1 P brown

  12 c violet
  25 c blue
  50 c green
  1 p brown

These stamps have perforation 14.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
5 c** 
10 ccc 
20 ccc 
40 c** 

Postal forgeries exist of these stamps.

Imperforate stamps exist
(Imperforate stamp, forgery?)

 

More of these stamps with inscription 'ULTRAMAR' were issued in Cuba.


Fiscal Stamps

1856 Inscription 'DRO JUDICIAL' similar design as arms stamps of Spain

In this design exist the values: 1/2 r (black, green, orange or blue), 1 r (blue, black or violet), 2 r (violet, green, orange or red), 5 r (violet, orange, red or black), 10 r (black, red, green, orange or violet), 100 r (blue, red, violet or green).


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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