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(and other steam ship companies)

Return To Catalogue - Danube (Donau) Steam Ship Company

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them:

San Tomas La Guaira

1864 Steamship, inscription 'SAN TOMAS LA GUAIRA Pto CABELLO PAQUETE' for the steamship line between St-Thomas (Danish Antilles) and La Guaira (Venezuela)

genuine Genuine, image obtained thanks to Williams Castillo Genuine, image obtained thanks to Williams Castillo

  1/2 c black
  1 c black on red
  1 c black on violet
  2 c black on green
  2 c black on blue
  3 c black on yellow
  4 c black on blue

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
All values,except 1 c black on violet RR? 
1 c black on violet RRR? 

These stamps were printed twice; in 1864 and 1868. In the 1864 printing, several stones were used (one, two or three depending on the value). Two of them without horizontal lines across the numerals. All values of the 1868 series have the horizontal lines. How to identify a genuine copy of this issue? Just take a look at the L in LA GUAIRA. The horizontal bar of the L must have a vertical stroke of color and in most cases the horizontal lines of shading (the ones who cross the numerals in some copies)  must continue beyond the right border (easy to see in the letters BEL of CABELLO). (Information obtained thanks to Williams Castillo, Venezuela)

Forgeries, example:

Inscription 'Centavos' instead of 'Centavo'! Forgery, image obtained thanks to Williams Castillo

The above stamp must be the second forgery described in Album Weeds, the word 'CENTAVO' is not written in a label. There is no stop after 'PACKET' or 'CABELLO' (badly visible in this specimen). The cancel is 'FRANCO' (this cancel was never used on the genuine stamps).

Forgery! Forgery! Forgery! Forgery! Forgery, image obtained thanks to Williams Castillo

The above stamps are also forgeries, however, they are not mentioned in Album Weeds.


1864 Value in 'REALES' (slightly different design), 'PAQUETE' in the center

Saw perforation

  1/2 r red
  1/2 r blue
  2 r green
  2 r orange

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
1/2 r red RR 
1/2 r blueRR 
2 r green****** 
2 r orange***R 

Forgeries, examples:

Forgery! Note the strange cancel! Forgery!

The above stamps are probably Spiro forgeries. The following stamp has a typical 'O' cancel (I do not know if this cancel was ever used on genuine stamps):



1869 Inscription 'LA GUARIA SAN TOMAS Pto CABELLO PAQUETTE CURACAO J.A.J.&Z' (J.A. Jesurun & Zoon)

"Medio Real" (1/2 r) green

  1/2 r green
  2 r red

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
1/2 r****** 
2 r****** 

Forgeries exist. A complete description (in Spanish) of all four known forgeries can be found at: http://www.mystamps.net/venezuela/identificacion/paquete.html.

First forgery (most common one made by Spiro)

The first stamp has a 4 rings cancel that has never been used by this company. The others also have typical Spiro cancels. Also the 'J's of 'J.A.J.&Z' are different; they only have one cross-line in the middle, wheras the genuine stamps have two (see pictures above).

Forgery! Forgery!

In the second forgery, there is no dot behind the 'J' of 'J.A.J.&Z' and the 'O' of 'CURACAO' is too high up.

"Medio Real" (1/2 r) green
(Second forgery, reduced size)

Third forgery (only known in the value 2 r, sorry, no picture available yet): the second 'E' of 'REALES' is placed too low.

Fourth forgery (only known in the value 2 r, sorry, no picture available yet): the value inscription reads 'DOS I REALES' instead of 'DOS REALES'.

Royal Mail Steam Packet Company

1875 Flag

  10 c red

Value of the stamps

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

The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company served the following ports in the Caribean: Curacao, Surinam, San Domingo, Porto Plato and Porto Cabello. The genuine stamp is perforated 12.5. From the red stamp only two copies used on letter are known. It seems that essays and proofs exist in black (also in slightly different design), however I have never seen these.

Two different kinds of forgeries exist, they are either perforated 11 or are imperforated and exist in the colours red and blue on thick soft paper.

I have my doubts about this stamp!
(First forgery: badly printed, see for example the 'M' of 'MAIL')

The second forgery is imperforate and produced more recently (it seems to have been reproduced from a photo, sorry no picture available). Source: http://www.mystamps.net/venezuela/identificacion/RMSP.html.

On the above mentioned website information of cancelled stamps can also be found (the website is in Spanish).

St.Thomas Porto Rico, Clara Rothe

1869 Bogus issue, Clara Rothe steamship in the center with arms of Denmark above it (crown, sword and scepter)

(Reduced sizes)

There are nine values, perforated 10 1/2
  1/2 centavo, black
  1 centavo black
  2 centavos black
  3 centavos black
  4 centavos  black
  1/2 real, blue
  1 real red
  2 reales mauve
  4 reales green

These stamps exist all imperforated. The Clara Rothe really existed, but it didn't serve any mail any more when these stamps were issued. This issue is entirely a bogus issue, of which exists forgeries as well!

The next stamps have different colours (?), they also seem to be printed more 'roughly':



Danube Steam Ship Company

Click here, for the stamps issued by the Danube (Donau) Steam Ship Company

Acapulco - San Francisco Line

(Mc Robish Co)

(second type; without dot)

(third type; without wheel)

These stamps are bogus issues, there never existed an Acapulco S Francisco line. Three different designs exist, one with a dot in the propulsion wheel (values in green, blue and red). A second design with no dot in the propulsion wheel (also in colour green, blue and red, see picture above). A third type exists with no wheel at all (see picture above).

(fourth type)

I have also seen a fourth type (non mentioned anywhere as far as I know), with a sailship in the center (instead of a steamship)!

Again another forger made a fifth type:

(Fifth type)

This forgery seems to have been printed on security paper? I've seen the following values: 1/2 r black and 1 r black (both with yellow security underprint) and 5 r black (with blue security underprint). All values have a different ship in the center.

Hamburg American Packet Company

1875 Imperforated or perforated


  10 c blue,black and yellow

This stamp has been listed in volume 1 more extensively (including reprints etc.).

1857 Stamps of the 'Pacific Steam Navigation Company', inscription P.S.N.G. they were sold to the government of Peru, who used them as its first stamps.

  1 Rl blue
  2 Rls red

These stamps were also prepared in blue red, brown yellow and green, but never put into use.

St.Lucia Steam Conveyance Limited

Steam ship company, inscription 'St. LUCIA STEAM CONVEYANCE LIMITED'

I have not much information about these stamps, except that I've seen the values 1 blue, 3 lilac and 6 violet. It seems to have been issued in 1872 (other sources say 1870, but the postal authorities in St.Lucia say 1872, they should now, right?). The St.Lucia Steam Conveyance Company started a postal service but this service was terminated by government order in 1894. I don't know if the above stamps have ever been used.

Suez Canal Company

The stamps of the Suez Canal Company are now listed in Volume 1 of the Cd's.

T.B. Morton & Co (Turkey)

1870 T.B. Morton & Co (Turkey)

Central American Steam Ship Co.

1886 Bogus issue, unissued?

I've seen the following values: 1 c grey, 2 c red, 10 c blue, 50 c brown and 5 c (overprinted in spanish and english) on 1 c grey.

Gauthier Freres & Co


(Certified genuine stamp with 'G.F.&C' manuscript cancel, recently offered on a Shreves auction)

A red and blue stamp were issued by this company in 1856. They seem to have been used on steamships carrying mail from Le Havre in France to New York and Rio de Janeiro. They are extremely rare, only 7 red stamps are known and only 2 blue stamps.

The following descriptions have been taken from 'Phantom Philately' by Frederick John Melville and the 'Priced Catalogue of Local Postage Stamps' Part 2, compiled by E. F. Hurt and L. N. & M. Williams:


I have dealt with this local in "Stamps of the Steamship companies" (1915) and in the STAMP LOVER (VI, 31, 199), for it is difficult to accept here the statement of Coster that the Company never existed. On page 2 of my steamship booklet I illustrated a copy used on cover, which was offered to when a boy, and although I wanted to keep it the price was beyond me, and it went to Ferrary at three times the figure it was offered to me. It was as convincing a cover as one could wish for, and I am of opinion that Coster's denunciation was based upon too little inquiry. Most of the copies of the stamp seen nowadays are bad, but are probably forgeries of a stamp - of extreme rarity which actually existed prior to 1864.

Hurt and Williams:
Only four examples recorded, two being on cover. Nothing is known definitely about the circumstances in which these stamps were issued. As far as can be ascertained they were used on letters carried by ships plying between Europe and South Amarica, a record of the boats calling at St. Thomas also existing. Many lithographed forgeries exist, also in colours other than those of the genuine stamps.


(Forgery of this rare stamp)

I have also seen this forgery in blue, brown, yellow, grey and red.

(I've been told that this forgery has been made by Allan Taylor)

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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