Spanish Colonial Times
According to most general histories of Paraguay, the country was "discovered" by the European Sebastian Cabot in 1526 when he led an expedition up the Paraguay River almost to the site of Asuncion. The capital city of Paraguay was founded in 1537 (on August 15th according to folklore) by Gonzalo de Mendoza and Juan de Salazar de Espinosa when they built a stockade, a "casa fuerte", which they called Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion. Some say that Domingo Martinez de Irala aided in establishing the stockade as well. In 1539 when Irala became governor of Paraguay it included all of present-day Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, most of Chile and parts of Brazil and Bolivia.
The first Postmaster General for Paraguay was Don Juan Bautista Goyri. The office was proposed on 1 July 1769, confirmed in 1770, and established in 1773. Also during this period Don Bernardo de Garmendia organized a "Carrera de Postas al Paraguay" which ran from Buenos Aires to the north passing through Santa Fe, Parana, Corrientes, Candelaria, Ytapua (Caazapa) to Asuncion.
In October 1773 Don Vicente Rey, who named in his place Don Nicolas de Igareda y Barreda, succeeded PMG Goyri. According to a note in the October 11, 1996 Auction Catalogue of A. M. Torres, the earliest recorded item of Paraguay philately is a letter dated 19 April 1738 from Rome to "Provincia de Paraguay" (with an arrival of 27 December 1739) addressed to the Provicincial Father of the Jesuits. According to the postal tariff of 1777 a single letter cost 1 ½ reals or 4 lbs (libras) of yerba mate or 2 lbs of tobacco. On The first of May 1780, Don Pedro Jose de Recalde succeeded Igreda. Starting in April of 1789, Don Bernardo de Jovellanos was in charge. In 1793 Jovellanos established a "Carrera de Postas de Villa Rica", and in 1808 obtained permission to establish a "Carrera de Postas de la Asuncion a Villa Real de la Concepcion."
The first postal markings, which were engraved in bronze were a straight-line "PARAGUAY" (Fig 1) and "FRANCA" (Fig 2) which were applied in Asuncion in black. These were produced in 1774 and are known used in 1775. After 1789, Jovellanos decided that the marking was to be in red for regular mail and in black for officials. The following offices also used marking devices - Villa Rica (1786) (Fig 3), Ytapua (1776) (Fig 4), Bobi, and Villa Real.
Tizon & Guinouart in their book "Prefilatelia Espanola", Vol. 2 also illustrate markings for San Roque (which they state is known only in violet!!?) and Santa Rita. As of this writing little is known about these markings.
From Independence to the War of the Triple Alliance
1811 - 1864
On May 15, 1811 Paraguay effectively became independent. In short order the Dictator, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, known as El Supremo, closed off the country to the outside world in order to maintain its independence. The PMG, Don Bernardo de Jovellanos continued in office till 1813, when Don Policarpo Patiño replaced him. During this period a new marking devise was used in Asuncion. This marking is known in red and differs from the earlier marking in the size and style of the letters.
In 1824 Don Pedro Miguel Decoud was named as PMG. In 1825 the dictator suspended all communications with the exterior.
After the death of de Francia in 1840, the new government under the benign dictatorship of Carlos Antonio Lopez, there was a reorganization of the post with Don Hermenguido Quiñones acquiring the post of "Administración General de Correos."
In 1844 a new marking commenced to be used in Asuncion. It is an oval with the legend "Admon. Gral. /de/Correos/de la R. de P." This marking was applied in red up till 1856. From 1856 to 1858 it was in blue and up till 1864 in black. There are no known examples of the "Franca" marking used in conjunction with the marking.
In about 1850, or shortly thereafter, Carlos Antonio Lopez showed some interest in procuring adhesive postage stamps in order to emulate the civilized world. An essay was prepared in Paris, probably during 1853-54 when Francisco Solano Lopez was visiting there. According to John K. Tiffany the engraver Stern of Paris produced the essays in 1854 for Solano Lopez, who took some proofs back to Paraguay with him. The Die remained in Stern’s hands. At some point the die came into the possession of M. Hulot who also pulled proofs. Further, when the allies occupied Asuncion during the War of the Triple Alliance, a die (or leaden cast of it) was found and the editor of a newspaper there and reproduced it. These latter proofs are printed by "white letter typography" and are very distinctive.
No adhesive stamps were ever issued in this design, but it was used on Paraguayan paper money of the period. There are numerous counterfeits of this essay, which are detailed in the section dealing with counterfeits.
In 1858 Carlos Lopez began building one of the first railways in Latin America. It ran from Asuncion to Paraguarí in 1861 and was to continue on to Villa Rica.
On September 10, 1862 Francisco Solano Lopez assumed power after the death of his father that same year. During this time, the first national telegraph line was installed under the direction of Ritter Von Fischer-Treuenfeld. It was inaugurated on 16 October 1864. During this period the PMG was Don Francisco Javier Acuño.
War of the Triple Alliance
From 1865 to 1869 Paraguay was involved in the "War of the Triple Alliance
(Paraguay against Argentina, Brazil, & Uruguay.) Virtually nothing is known of the Paraguayan postal system during this period, as only one piece of mail is known to have survived.
The Argentinean army set up a postal system "Correos al Ejercito" which ran from Buenos Aires to Parana, Concordia and Corrientes with the river steamers "Ibicuy", "Esmeralda", and "Espigador." This service was organized and headed by Juan Crovetto.
The official correspondence of the Argentinean Army was in use from 1866 and was in black. It is shown below. The "Sin Cargo" means "Without charge."
Brazil also had organized an Army and Naval postal system. The Brazilian naval squadron used a distinctive marking for official correspondence as shown here.
In July 1868, the great Fortress of Humaita was forced to surrender to the Argentinean Army. The merchants who followed the army promptly took up residence in Humaita and clamored for a post office. The Argentinean Director of Posts acted promptly and on October 3, 1868 set up a post office on Paraguayan soil. The postmaster was one of the merchants, a Guillermo Zanda. Four days later he received the "H in bars" canceller which is supposed to stand for Humaita. Stamps were provided (Scott #18 & 18A for sure and possibly #19 of Argentina.) Thus we have a situation where Argentinean stamps were used abroad (in Paraguay). As the army advanced, so did the post office and the canceller. It next went to Las Palmas where the office was established on 19 November 1868. No mail is known from this office. On January 20, 1869 the office was opened in Asuncion.
Loose stamps with the special cancellation are quite scarce and covers are very rare. Only two examples of the 10c on cover are known and probably fewer than a dozen of the 5c. The 15c is known with this cancel, but only on a loose stamp and there is some question as to whether the cancellation is genuine.
Although the war did not end until 1 August 1870 with the death of Francisco Solano Lopez at Cerro Cora, the postal administration was turned over to the provisional government of Paraguay on November 4, 1869. The Provisional Government appointed this same Sr. Zanda as Postmaster General of Paraguay. The provisional post office handed over to the Paraguay post office the following: 2092 free letters, 24 registered letters, & 230 receipts for registered letters.
Issues of 1870
Paraguay issued its first adhesive postage stamps on 9 August 1870. These were a 1 Real, 2 Real, and 3 Real values. They were printed by lithography in Buenos Aires by Roberto Lange in sheets of 100 (10x10). Each position apparently was laid down individually, as no transfer varieties are known. There are no contemporary essays or proofs known of any of the values. Scott notes a "reprint" of the 2 Real, but this is in fact a counterfeit made from a new plate. Some collectors claim the existence of a reprint of the 3 Real, but this is open to question.
The 1 Real.
There are two shades of this value, a rose and bright rose but these probably are not from different printings as only 20,000 stamps were printed (200 sheets). It appears that not a great number of these stamps were used because as of 1890 there were still 9000 of them in the treasury vaults. The stamps have been plated and each of the 100 positions is illustrated in Sr. Ramon Benitez Ciotti's book, EL PRIMER SELLO PARAGUAYO.
The following multiples are known to me: Sheet of 100 (at least two exist, one ex Hind, one ex Weisz), Block of 25, 16, 10, 9, 8 (2), and several blocks of 4.
Covers of this value are not common and I have recorded only the following All are canceled at Asuncion:
22 Sept 1870 to Montevideo single copy with blue cancel (earliest known)
1870 to Concepcion, single copy
11 May 1871 to Corrientes from Asuncion
22 July 1871 to Corrientes, two copies with black cancel
19 Apr 1872 to BA, single copy with squared dots cancel
1873 to BA one copy on large cover, damaged at bottom
7 March 1874 to BA, single copy with watery blue cancel
Sept 1874 to BA, single copy with "Por Vapor Goya" marking
1 October 1874 to BA single copy with mms "pr. Guarani"
8 October 1874 to BA, single copy with blue cancel
2 November 1874 single to BA
21 April 1875 to BA, single copy with blue cancel
5 Sept 1875 to BA, single copy; pen cancel with CORREOS URBANO/4 cts mark
Dec 1875 to BA, single copy on reverse with blue-green cancel
17 May 1876 to BA, single copy with CORREOS URBANO/4 Cts Marking
15 Feb 1877 to BA, single copy
11 April 1877 to BA, single copy with black A COBRAR/2 centavos mark
22 July 1877 two copies on Registered cover to Corrientes.
13 October 1878 to BA, single copy, greenish cancel with CORREOS URBANO/4cts
20 April 1881 to Germany, single copy charged postage due
Undated, to BA, single copy with greenish Asuncion Star cancel
Undated to BA single copy with bluish-green Asuncion & Correos Urbano/4cts mark
Undated to BA (?), single copy with blue cancel
Undated to BA, single copy with blue cancel
Undated to BA (?), single copy with black cancel
Undated to Montevideo, single copy with green Asuncion star cancel
There are not a large variety of cancellations on this stamp. Clear and dated cancels command a premium. Foreign (Argentine) cancels can be found on this value.
Asuncion and Star
The 2 Real Value
This value exists in a blue and dull blue shade as well as a very rare intense blue. This latter may have been the printer using up an ink to finish the job rather than a separate printing as it is estimated that only 8000 (80 sheets) of this value were printed.
Multiples of this value are quite scarce. I know of only the following:
Block of 15 (largest known), Strip of 10, Block of 9, Block of 4 (2), Strip of 4, Pair (2)
(There supposedly was a sheet in dull blue with a Zumstein guarantee in the 11-15 Oct. 1988 Heinrich Köhler sale.)
Covers of this value are extremely rare. I am aware of only four. All are canceled at Asuncion. These are:
Dec 1871 single copy with greenish grid cancel
3 July 1872 single copy with Forca Naval do Brazil no/Paraguay (Several collectors, who are careful students of this issue question the genuineness of this cover.
13 Dec 1876 to BA, single copy with gray cancel and Correos Urbano/4cts
???? To Rosario with pen cancel
There are not a wide variety of cancellations to be found on this value. In addition to the common Asuncion star in circle, one can find the blue, red, and black grid of Asuncion. Dated cancels are quite scarce.
The so-called reprint is in reality a counterfeit and is covered in the chapter dealing with counterfeits.
The 3 Real Value
This value exists in a black and gray-black shade, but as with the other values it is most doubtful that these are from different printings as an estimated 4000 (40 sheets) were printed. In an issue of the Revista Filatelica Paraguaya it was estimated that only 877 copies of this stamp are extant. Regardless of whether this is a true count or not, this is a very rare stamp.
Multiples are quite rare. I have recorded only the following.
Irregular block of 9 (largest known) Block 4 (5), Pair-horizontal (5), Vertical (7)
I have found no records of any full covers bearing this issue although it is known on a front and on piece.
There is an unofficial perforation known on this value but only at top and bottom, so we have a perf. 12 x imperf. variety of which I have recorded 3 pairs and a single.
As with the other values, the Asuncion star in circle cancel is known as well as the Asuncion grid in black, blue, and red. Clear dated cancels are worth a premium.
Issue of 1878
Probably one of the most difficult issues of Paraguay is the Provisional Issue of 1878.
Charles J. Phillips in his "The Stamps of Paraguay" chronicles the earliest European references in the philatelic literature of these issues. I have been able to verify all the articles he cites and have not found any earlier references.
I concur with his comments that the reference in the"Philatelic Record"shows that the 1 Real was surcharged with the number "5" in 1879. It was mentioned in the August 1879 issue.
The surcharge "5" was applied because of currency matters. The Paraguayan currency at the time was the PESO FUERTE, which was originally defined as one-fifth of a pound sterling. Because there were not metallic reserves this soon depreciated and the Argentine Peso Oro and Bolivian silver were extensively used. The law of 1871, which severely restricted paper money called for an issue of 100,000 Peso Fuerte in copper pieces of 1c, 2c, & 4c.
Although not proven, it appears that all the handstamping was done in Asuncion. And all covers are known only being used from Asuncion.
Stamps with the large "5" (15x6mm)
It is not known how many of these stamps were issued, but it must not have been a great quantity.
Multiples are not common and I have recorded only the following:
Sheet of 100 (in 12 June 1974 Robson Lowe sale), 3 Blocks of 4 (one of which had a tete beche), A sheet margin strip of 4, a strip of 3, and 3 horizontal pairs.
Although I do not think that handstamped varieties have much philatelic significance, I record those I have seen -Double, double with one inverted, Inverted, and double inverted.
I have recorded only one contemporary covers bearing this stamp.22 July 1880 to Buenos Aires
In 1892, through the influence of the Paraguayan Consul in Buenos Aires, Don Frederico Alonso, a stamp collector, reprints of this stamp were made and permitted to do postal duty. These par compliance issues are mere curiosities as far as I am concerned. I have recorded the following covers from this period.
25 Sept 1892, 5 on 1 in blue and black sent to BA
1892 various handstamp issues and set of officials send to BA
1892 pair and single all with sideways ovpt plus pair and single all with diagonal ovpt inverted to BA
1892 vertical pair in blue and vertical pair in black plus 5c on 2 Real sent to BA
It is not known how many of these stamps were issued, but it is quite scarce. First noted in August 1879.
Multiples are quite scarce. The largest block I have recorded is one of 25. I have also recorded two blocks of 4, a strip of 4, a strip of 3, and 3 pairs - one horizontal, and two vertical, one with tete beche ovpt and one with ovpt sideways.
The following overprint varieties have been seen: Inverted, sideways, double inverted, double, and triple.
Covers are extremely rare and I have a record of only two-
3 Apr. 1879 with BA backstamp of 12 Apr 79 to Rome,
Italy with 30c & 50c Italian Dues
18 Feb. 1880 to Buenos Aires
Although the quantity issued of this stamp is unknown, some collectors consider this to be the rarest stamp of Paraguay.
I have not recorded any multiples of this stamp.
I have seen the following varieties of overprint - inverted, double and sideways.
I have recorded one cover bearing this issue:
3 April 1878 to Paris
Large Numeral "5" in blue
Again, it is not known how many of these stamp were issued, but there are a fair number of 1892 reprints on the market.
I have been able to record the following multiples:
Block of 20 (supposedly showing part of a papermaker's watermark- This has been alluded to the philatelic literature and supposedly is the same as found on the early stamps of Rumania, but I have never seen an example.), 4 mint blocks of 4 (one showing a tete beche variety), a used block of 4 showing a Nov. 9, 1878 registry cancel, a strip of 3, and two pairs, one pair having one ovpt inverted.
I have seen the following varieties- overprint inverted, double ovpt one inverted, one diagonal.
I have recorded only one contemporary cover with this issue-
22 July 1880 to Buenos Aires.
As with the black ovpt, Don Frederico Alonso had the blue ovpt produced in 1892. Probably most, if not all, of the 9000 copies of the 1 Real still in the treasury in 1890 were used to make these reprints. I have recorded the following covers with this reprint.
17 April 1892 Various issues and handstamped officials to BA
19 May 1892 Block 4 of 5c on 1 real in blue, and 5c on 1 real and 2 real in black, to BA
30 Sept 1892 5c on 1 real 2 in blue, 2 in black and 1 in blue inverted plus 50c official to BA
1 Oct. 1892 3 of the 5c on 1 real in blue plus 3 of the 5c on 1 real in black to BA
1892 vertical pair of the 5c on 1 real in blue and vertical pair of the 5c on 1 real in black and 5c on 2 real in black to BA
1892 5c on 1 real in black and 5c on 1 real in blue to BA
To me this stamp is a real enigma. Many collectors have questioned whether this stamp really exists even though it was chronicled in the July 1879 issue of Le Timbre Post. In the Peter Kennedi sale of Sept 20-23, 1982 there was a copy signed by Herbert Bloch, and if he considered it genuine, so will I.
I have recorded no multiples, varieties or covers bearing this issue.
This is another extremely rare stamp of Paraguay although no quantities are known. It is first recorded in the October 1880 issue of The Philatelic Record.
I have not recorded any multiples or varieties of this stamp.
Only two covers are known to me.
12 Dec 7? to France.
12 April 1878 to Switzerland
The Small Numeral "5" (9 1/2x6mm)
As with the other provisionals, the issued quantity is unknown, but it must have been small.
I have recorded no multiples of this issue and only one variety, overprint vertical.
I know of two covers bearing this issue-
18 April 1878 sheet margin copy to Cordoba
Uncancelled copy on cover to BA
Another extremely rare stamp with unknown quantities issued.
I have not recorded any multiples or covers bearing this stamp and only the following varieties - Overprint vertical, diagonal and double vertical.
Small Numeral "5" in blue
As with all the other provisionals, the quantity issued of this stamp is unknown.
I have recorded only one multiple, a pair with the overprint double and vertical with one inverted.
I know the following varieties:
Overprint vertical, vertical double inverted, vertical inverted, double, double with one sideways, inverted, and double inverted.
There is a variety of this stamp, which I think deserves a major number in the catalogues. It is the 3 real with a Large and Small numeral "5" in blue. There is a multiple of this, a vertical pair showing the single small 5 at top and the bottom copy with both small and large 5.
I have recorded four covers bearing this issue:
3 April 1878 to Paris
12 April 1878 to Switzerland with 40c postage due
21 May 1878 from the Kaiserlich Deutsches Konsulate in Asuncion to BA
23 June 1879 to Italy with 60c postage due applied on arrival.
Issue of 1879
Sometime during 1878 or early 1879 an order was given to Roberto Lange of Buenos Aires to produce two stamps with a 5 & 10 denomination. Apparently the currency was not explicitly specified and he produced a 5 real and 10 real stamp by lithography. Insofar as the government desired stamps in a 5 and 10 centavos denomination, they refused to accept the shipment and returned them to Sr. Lange. He was allowed to sell them to collectors, which he did. Some of the stamps were canceled by compliance, but they really did no postal duty. At least one cover is known bearing the 5R value. The sheet was of 100 subjects, (10x10). The 5R was printed in orange. The 10Rearl is known in a brown and red brown. The quantities printed of each are unknown.
There are two varieties of the 10R, imperf and imperf vertically. The earliest record I have found of the imperf variety is Jan. 1885 issue of Le Timbre Post, which repeated a note in the Deutsche Philatelisten Zeitung.
Combined Die Proofs are known in Brown and Black.
Bogus surcharges are covered in the section on Counterfeits.
Sr. Lange prepared new stamps in the correct currency.
C. J. Phillips states that these stamps were issued in September 1879, but I have a dated copy in my collection of 25 August 1879, which is the earliest known usage.
The quantity issued of this stamp is not known. It exists in a range of shades from orange brown to reddish brown.
The sheet was of 100 subjects (10x10) and all 100 subjects are different as no transfer blocks were used to lay down the lithographic plate. Only the perf 12 1/2 are originals.
Multiples of this stamp are quite rare.
Of the orange brown, I know of a Block of 6 and two blocks of 4; in the reddish brown shade there is a block of 25 known, which is the largest known multiple of this denomination.
I know no varieties of this stamp.
There is a combination Die Proof of both values in black, and one of the "reprints" in yellow brown.
Covers of this value are scarcer than of the 1 Real of 1870. I know of only the following:
24 December 1879 single to BA (earliest known cover)
15 February 1880 5c red brown to Paraguari
14 March 1880 Asuncion to Paraguari, chestnut shade
28 May 1880 Asuncion to Paraguari, two singles of the orange brown shade with arrival of 30 May 1880.
23 July 1880, orange brown, Paraguari to Asuncion
10 February 1881 to BA with 5c orange brown.
10 July 1881 Asuncion to Paraguari, orange brown with full front advertising.
25 July 1881 Asuncion to Paraguari, two copies one with orange brown shade, and the other reddish brown
26 August 1881 single to Paraguari
31 August 1881 Paraguari to Corrientes, orange brown
2 September 1881 Paraguari to Corrientes, orange brown
13 September 1881 Asuncion to BA with 5c + 10c and 10 copies of 1c on 1R provisional on registered cover front
1881 from Asuncion, orange brown on tatty cover.
1881 Valenzuela to Asuncion with blue boxed cancel
1882 Asuncion to Germany, reddish brown, with Magdeburg receipt of 5/11/82
1883 Asuncion to Belgium, 5c + pair of 10c on registered, redirected to Paris.
1883 Asuncion to BA, orange brown
6 January 1884 Asuncion to Rome Italy, 6 copies on cover
5 June 1884 Asuncion to BA, on part of Newspaper
3 June 1885 Asuncion to Paraguari orange brown.
Undated, Asuncion to BA, reddish brown on slightly reduced cover.
Undated, Asuncion to London, two of 5c used with other issues.
Undated, Asuncion to Brazil, orange brown (damaged NW corner) with a Brazil boxed 300r postage due handstamp.
Reprints are covered in the chapter dealing with counterfeits, since that is in fact what they are insofar as a new plate was laid down to produce them
This stamp was lithographed in a sheet of 100 subjects; no transfer blocks being used so each position on the sheet is different. The color is a blue green.
According to Phillips it was issued on August 30, 1881, although it was issued as a provisional before being issued as a regular stamp.
The only variety is an imperf, which is known used, but not known if postally issued.
Multiples of this stamp are quite rare. Of the perforated stamp, a block of 4 is the largest I have recorded and only 3 of these.
The imperf is known in a sheet of 100 as well as in a block of 45 and several blocks of 4.
There is a combination Die Proof of the 5 & 10c value in black.
I have recorded only four covers, two of which are listed in the 5c section since they bear this value too. The earliest cover is dated 13 September 1881. The other covers are:
1892 Asuncion to BA and is part of the franking of a large size Philatelic cover.
4 May 1884 Asuncion to Rome, Italy.
According to Phillips, a notice from the PMG, Manuel Avila, dated July 1, 1881 authorized these provisionals. The 10c green stamp was handstamped with the numeral "1" or "2" on sheets of 100 (10x10).
The earliest records I can find in the European literature are the Oct. 1881 issues of "The Philatelic Record" and "Le Timbre Poste".
In the Oct. 1882 issue of "Le Timbre Poste" there is a letter, dated 17 August 1882 from Etienne Latour containing a note from Consul General Frederico Alonso certifying that these provisionals are postally issued items. It appears that the controversy has to do with the intense black printings (August printings according to Phillips) which may well have been produced to satisfy Alonso and Latour.
An A. dePortes states in the October 1882 issue of "Le Timbre Poste" that only 3350 copies of each of the 1c & 2c provisionals were issued. This quantity may well apply to the gray-black ovpts (July) since they seem to be rather scarce. The intense black ovpts are more common, but neither is a really common stamp.
1c on 10c
I have recorded the following multiples:
Sheet of 100, Block of 4
The following varieties are known to me: Overprint Inverted, Ovpt Double
I have recorded only one cover bearing this issue. It is from Concepcion (?) on a printed matter envelope to San Bernardino.
I have also recorded 2 copies of this value on a large piece dated 1 August 1881
The only multiple I have recorded is a sheet of 100 of the normal issue, and a block of 4 of the Double Overprint variety.
The following are the only varieties known to me: Overprint Inverted, Ovpt Double.
2c on 10c
The following multiples are known to me: Sheet of 100, Block of 28, and two blocks of 4 as well a block of 4 with the numeral "2" printed in the margin. (This latter is on cover!)
I have recorded the following varieties:
Overprint Double, Overprinted with 1 & 2.
The only cover I have recorded is the one mentioned above with the block of 4 with a numeral "2" printed in the sheet margin.
The only multiple I have recorded is a block of 4 (see below)
I know of the following varieties:
Overprint Double, Pair one missing ovpt (position 35 on sheet), but overprinted in sheet margin, overprinted with 1 & 2 in Block of 4
I have not recorded any covers with this issue.
These provisionals were valid for postage only until 30 September 1881.
Regular Issue of 1881
On July 1, 1881 Paraguay joined the Universal Postal Union and this issue was the first which was valid for UPU member countries.
The stamps concerned were a 1c blue, 2c carmine, 4c brown (which matched the copper coinage) and the 10c green from this issue of 1879. The post office notice regarding these stamps is dated 30 August 1881, but the earliest notice I have found in the European press is Sept 1881 (1)
Except for the 10c value, the stamps were printed by L. Goumand of Buenos Aires in sheets of 100 (10x10). They are lithographed and an intermediate stone of 6 was used to lay down the plate. There are 15 transfers of 6 plus 5 transfers of variety 1 & 2 used to make up the plate.
All values can be found with a papermaker's watermark, "ORIGINAL TURKEY MILLS, KENT" in double lined caps and they are worth a premium.
The 1c blue
I have noted only one shade of this stamp, a pale blue.
I have recorded only one multiple larger than a block of 4 of this value, a block of 10, and only one variety, an Imperf. pair, which is quite scarce.
I have recorded a Die Proof of the frame only in black, as well as Die Proofs on the design in black, purple lake, brown, red brown, and orange.
Proofs of the transfer blocks of 6 have been recorded in purple lake, red-brown, yellow brown, pale brown, orange, gray-black, and yellow green.
Imperf. color trials are known in rose carmine, pale brown, black, purple, and lake and a rough perf. 12 in rose carmine pale brown and black.
Covers of this issue are scarce. I record the following:
Asuncion to London and also bears the 2c & 4c of this issue as well as the 1879 5c and the 10c green.
14 September 1882, 1c and 2c on Austrian card sent back to Asuncion
14 November 1882, 1c and two 2c to BA
26 January 1883 1c on 2c postal card from Asuncion to Paris, France
2 November 1883 1c and 4c to BA
I have not listed any of the perf. varieties as they seem to be almost without number.
This value exists in a rose, rose-red and rosine shade.
In multiples, I have recorded two sheets of 100, one of which contains 10 horizontal pairs, imperf. between.
The following varieties are known to me:
Pair without horizontal perfs (first noted in the April 1, 1897 issue of the Philatelic Journal of America), pair without vertical perfs, and imperf. pair on very gray paper.
I have recorded an essay in gray-black in a block of 64, which I believe to really be a color trial.
There is a Die Proof showing the frame only in black, as well as Die proofs of the design in black, purple lake, brown, red brown and orange.
I record the transfer blocks of 6 in the following colors: purple lake, red brown, yellow brown, pale brown, orange, gray black, and yellow green.
Imperforate color trials are known in back, pale blue, rosine, brown, yellow brown, lake and deep green. Perf. 12 (rough) color trials are known in rose carmine, pale brown, black and blue.
I have a record of 4 covers, one of which is listed under the 1c value. The others are:
15 June 1884 on Newspaper El Heraldo to BA
From Asuncion on fragment of Newspaper "La Reforma" to BA
Asuncion to Uruguay with pair of 2c(watermarked) + single 2c and single 1c.
As with the 1c there are numerous perf. varieties.
This value exists in yellowish brown as well as a deep brown shade, the latter of which is quite scarce.
The following multiples are known to me: Sheet of 100, Block of 25, Block of 25 (with watermark) and sheet of 100 containing 10 horizontal pairs imperf. between.
I have recorded the following varieties:
Pair without horizontal perfs, pair without vertical perfs, and Imperf. pair on very gray paper.
Die proofs of the frame only are known in black and Die proofs of the full design are known in black, purple lake, red brown, brown and orange.
Proofs of the transfer blocks of 6 are known in purple lake, red brown, yellow brown, pale brown, orange, gray-black and yellow green.
Imperf. color trials are known in rose carmine, black, blue, brown, yellow brown, yellow green and lake. Perforated color trials in a rough perf. 12 are known in rose carmine, pale brown, black and blue.
I have recorded only two covers with this value one of which is listed under the 1c value. The other is:
Horizontal pair on printed matter envelope from the Library of Paraguay, Asuncion to the National Library in Montevideo, Uruguay.
As with the 1c & 2c values there are an infinite variety of perforations to the found on this value and this would be a vast field of study for a collector.
This 1c on 1real provisional was apparently issued on 8 May 1884. Phillips states that the 1c stock of the 1881 issue had become depleted necessitating this provisional.
It is not known how many were issued, but because of its low face value it appears that a fair number were saved. I record the following multiples: Sheet of 100, Blocks of 25, 22, 20(3), 18, 15, 10, 9, 6, 4 (2), and a strip of 3 (mint & used) and used strip of 5 on piece dated 1884). The black overprint is to be found on both the rose and bright rose shades of the basic stamp.
Phillips believes there were two "printings" of the handstamp and the following varieties are known:
Overprint Inverted - I record the following multiples of this variety: Strip of 3 and block of 8.
Overprint Double, One Inverted
Overprint on I:EAL Block (2x3) one stamp without overprint
I record four covers with this stamp:
30 April 1884 2 copies (rose & bright rose) on complete "El Herald" newspaper to BA (note use before decree issued!)
22 May 1884 1 copy on Newspaper "La Reforma" to BA
Jun 1884 1 copy on 2c postal card to Switzerland
18 June 1884 10 copies used with 1879 5c & 10c on registered cover to BA
I do not know of any essays or proofs of this issue.
Counterfeits are covered in the section dealing with this subject.
According to C. J. Phillips a decree was issued on 3 August 1884 authorizing a 1c, 2c, & 5c stamp.
The issue was printed by Guillermo Kraft and the quantities issued are unknown. There were four printings although not each value was printed each time.
Transfer proofs are known of all values. They are printed on card and show a strip of 3 of the 1c, 2c, & 5c, as well as a single of the 3c (used for postal cards only.) These are known in black, blue-green, rosine, dull red, brown, yellow ochre, sage green, ultramarine, buff chestnut brown.
There are two dies of this value. In Die I the serif is short and thick and in Die II it is long and thin. The August 84 or First printing is Die I only and is perf 12 1/2. The sheet size is 105 (15 x 7).
Multiples of this printing include a sheet of 105, another sheet of 105 with one row of horizontal perfs missing, Block of 6, and a block of 56 with the Junta de Credito Publico ovpt, Block of 28 with two rows of vertical perfs missing, Imperforate Block of 8, and several blocks of 4.
This printing can be found in a yellow green and green shade
It appears that the 1c value was not printed in the second printing for this issue.
The third printing, done sometime in 1885 utilized a new Die, Die II and shows a perforation of 11 1/2. The shade of this stamp is a dark green. The size of the sheet has been changed to 100 (10 x 10) and I record the following multiples: Sheet of 100, Block of 20, Block of 4.
This is an essay of this value that shows a moire pattern of the reverse.
I have a record of the following covers:
1c on 2c Postal Card
1c on 2c Postal Card to BA
17 March (year unknown)
19 July (year unknown)
As with the 1c, there are two dies of this value. In Die I, the numeral "2" is poorly formed and the tail is not joined to the body. In Die II the tail is well formed and joins the body completely. As with the 1c, Die I was used for the first printing, which is perf 12 1/2 and is found in a rose pink and dull rose shade. The sheet size is 105 (15 x 7). A full sheet is known to exist. Also a Block of 9 and a Block of 4.
The following varieties are known of this first printing:
Imperf; Imperf vertically (a full sheet of 105 is known of this variety.)
This value apparently was not included in the second printing.
The third or 1885 printing shows Die II and is perf 11 1/2. The sheet size has been changed to 100 (10 x 10) and is found in the color red. The largest multiple I have recorded is a block of 50. Also there is a block of 36, block of 12 and five blocks of 4 known.
This printing is known to exist imperf and a block of 50 and sheet of 100 is known to exist in this state.
This value is known with the Junta de Credito Publico ovpt., of which a block of 56 and block of 4 are known.
I know of the following essays:
On moire paper; Die II in black on thick white paper with moire pattern on back (sheet of 100).
I record the following covers with this value:
16 Oct 1884 Pair to BA
26 January 1885, Block of 9 + single from Villa Rica to Asuncion
19 March 1885 Paraguari to Asuncion (rose pink shade) on wrapper
13 April 1885 2c on 3c Postal Card
20 April 1886 from Asuncion on Newspaper
3 copies of 2c plus 5c and 10c fiscal to Montevideo.
Rose pink shade on wrapper canceled by Asuncion "star" to BA
As with the 1c and 2c there are two Dies of this value. Die I shows the flag of the "5" to be long and pointed, while in Die II the flag is not so long and rounded. This is the only value with all four printings.
The first printing shows Die I in pale blue or blue, perf 12 1/2 and in a sheet of 105 (15 x 7). Two full sheets of 105 of this printing are known to exist. Also a block of 18, 9 and 4 are known.
The following varieties of this printing are known: Imperf, Imperf vertically, Imperf horizontally.
The second printing, done about the end of 1884 is also Die I, but perf 11 1/2, in pale blue. The sheet size is 50 (5 x 10). A full sheet of 50 of this printing is known.
The third printing in blue was done in 1885 and is of Die II, on thick paper, perf 11 1/2. The sheet size was 100 (10 x 10). I record the following multiples of this printing: two blocks of 4.
The fourth printing, also in blue, done in 1886 is of Die II, on a thin yellowish paper, perf 11 1/2 and was also in a sheet of 100 (10 x 10). I record a sheet of 100 as well as a sheet of 100 imperforate at bottom as existing. Also a block of 10, block of 8 with a preprinting paper fold and three blocks of 4.
The only variety of this printing I record is one of Imperf horizontal, of which I record a block of 6.
This value is also known with the Junta del Credito Publico ovpt., with two blocks of 4 known.
I record two essays for this value. Both are plate essays in blue, one being imperf and the other perf 11 1/2 on chalky paper.
The following covers are known to me:
22 April 1887 Asuncion to BA
Asuncion to Brazil.
Issue of 1887
Apparently on March 7, 1887 notice was published in Asuncion for a new 5c stamp to be issued on that date. The earliest notice I have found in the literature is from the May 1887 issue of the Philatelic Record.
Other values in the series, i.e., the 1c, 2c, 7c, 10c, 15, and 20c were authorized by a decree dated 28 May 1887. The earliest European philatelic record of these is in the July 1887 issue of the "Philatelic Record."
These issues are printed by typography although the decrees states they are to be lithographed. The printing was done by Giesecke & Devrient of Leipzig, Germany in sheets of 50 (10x5). This printing company still existed at the time of the fall of East Germany. During the period of the existence of the DDR, it was known as the State Printing Works. Because of the extensive damage in Leipzig during WWII, it is doubtful if any records still exist for this issue.
Blocks of this issue are obtainable - I record blocks of 20 of all values, but I do not record any full sheets. They may well exist.
I do not record any proofs or essays for this issue.
The only varieties I have recorded are perforation varieties.
Although I do not consider any 19th Century covers of Paraguay to be common, covers of this issue are relatively easy to acquire.
It appears that the 5 centavos denomination was the first issued this being on March 7, 1887. This was followed by the 1 centavos being issued on March 28, 1887 and the remaining values (2c, 7c, 10c 15c, and 20 c) being issued on May 28, 1887.
These stamps with the handstamped "J. de C. Publico" are covered in the section dealing with official stamps.
The 15c of 1889
C. J. Phillips stated that he was unable to find any decree authorizing this stamp and noted it was first chronicled in the April issue of "Le Timbre-Poste". He speculated that it was probably issued in February of that year. The quantity issued is unknown.
I suggest it may have been issued for official mail as all copies I have seen on cover are going to Don Alonso or bear some official corner card.
The stamps were printed by Guillermo Kraft of Buenos Aires by lithography in post office sheets of 25 (5x5). The issue exists perforated and imperf. On the perforated copies, the paper is a thick granite in purple-brown. The imperf stamps are on a thin paper in purple-brown and reddish-lilac. All other colors I have seen to date are of reprints. I record at least 12 sheets of originals and reprints in existence.
I know of no essays, but the following proofs are extant: Die Proof in Blue Die Proof in emerald-green (sheet of 25)
Plate Proof in black on thick glazed paper (sheet of 25)(Unique). Plate Proof in purple-brown on thick glazed paper Plate Proof in blue on glazed card Trial Color Proof in sheet of 10 (Reprint?) Color unknown to me
There are 6 compositions of the plate so at least 6 printings were made.
In the First Composition, the "R" of "Reconquista" in the imprint at top right is not flush with the frame of the second stamp.
In the Second Composition, this "R" is flush with the frame.
In the Third Composition the address changes from "Reconquista" to "Cuyo."
In the Fourth Composition, there is no name of the printer or at best only traces of it.
In the Fifth Composition, the horizontal distance between stamps is 5mm, and the vertical distance is 5 1/2mm.
In the Sixth Composition, the horizontal distance between stamps is 7mm, and the vertical distance is 5mm.
Thus, to determine which composition you must have a upper right selvedge pair for the first 4 compositions. The 5th & 6th composition can be determined merely by measuring the distance on any pair of stamps.
I have recorded only six covers bearing this stamp, the earliest being dated 21 June 1889.
This is the list:
8 May 1889, Asuncion to BA, single copy plus 10c carmine official of 1886 on official letter
21 June 1889 from Asuncion, single copy to BA
1892 from Asuncion, single copy plus Sept 1886 5c official on partial cover to BA
1899 from Asuncion, single copy on 2c Letter Card to BA
from Asuncion, single copy in purple-brown on part of Newspaper to BA
from Asuncion, single copy in reddish-lilac on part of Newspaper to BA
October 12, 1892 Issue
On 11 October 1892 a decree was issued authorizing this stamp to commemorate the Fourth Centenary of the discovery of America. The stamps were valid for postage only on 1 day, the 12th of October, and could be purchased in any quantity with the post office being open from 5 AM to 7 PM.
Apparently, they were only available in Asuncion, where the handstamping was done.
The sheet size was 50 (5 x 10) and 55,000 were issued. Multiples do not appear to be very common as I record only a block of 30, 6, 4 and a block of 8 with a first day (only day) cancellation. A sheet of 50 used on a large piece is also known.
Only two varieties are known to me. A double handstamp (must be a full double as full and partial handstamps are also known), and a pair, one without overprint. Both are quite elusive.
Covers of this issue appear to be quite scarce as I record only two. One is a pair used on the commemorative envelope of the same issue used to BA, the other a single used in 1896! on a 4c postal card with the 20c adhesive of the 1892 issue.
1892-96 Regular Issue
This issues is often referred to as the "Presidential Issue" since it is the first time political leaders are shown on the stamps. Prior to this time the design was always of a coat of arms or numeral.
The 1c through 30c shows the Presidents or Vice-Presidents of the country and the 40c through 1 Peso denominations continue the numeral designs of the 1887 issue. Some values were reissued in 1896 on a chalky-surfaced paper.
According to the June 1892 issue of the Philatelic Record, the decree for this issue was dated 18 February and a total of three million stamps were ordered.
All values of this issue were printed by Giesecke & Devrient of Leipzig, Germany in sheets of 50 subjects (5 x 10). The 1c, 2c, 4c, 5c, 10c, 20c, and 30c values are lithographed and the 40c, 60c, 80c, and 1 Peso stamps are typographed. All values are perforated 12 x 12 1/2.
This value was issue on November 25, 1892 in gray. There appears to be only one shade and the quantity issued is not known. I do know of any varieties of this stamp.
Original Die Essays in blue, green, and carmine on surfaced paper are known.
About July 10896 the stamp was re-issued on a chalky surfaced paper with Centavos corrected to Centavo. (The earliest notice of this I have found is in the August 1896 issue of the Philatelic Record.) 1,000,000 were issued.
Probably issued about January 1893 in an unknown quantity. This value exists in a yellow-green (the first issued shade) and green shade.
Original Die Essays on surfaced paper are known in slate, brown, and violet. Die Essays are known in 6 colors on a thin paper and I suspect these are reprints.
About May 1896, this value was re-issued on a chalky surfaced paper in a quantity of 600,000.
I am not aware of any varieties of this stamp.
Issued on November 25, 1892 in an unknown quantity, this value is known in rose only.
Original Die Essays on a surfaced paper exist in slate, green, and violet-brown. Die Essays on thin paper in 6 colors are known, but I suspect these are reprints.
About May of 1896 this value was re-issued on a chalky surfaced paper in carmine-rose. The quantity issued was 300,000.
I know of no varieties of this stamp.
This value in dull purple was issued around January 1893 in an unknown quantity.
I am not aware of any varieties of this stamp.
There are several Die Essays known. There is a design of the 5c in 7 colors, which was not adopted. There are die essays on surfaced paper in gray, green, and blue, which I consider originals as well as a Die on thin paper in 6 colors, which I consider to be reprints. There are Die Essays without a value on surfaced paper in green and red (originals) as well as in blue and green on thin paper (reprints). There is also a Die Essay without number or value on a surfaced paper in rose red. There are Die Essays of a 5 Pesos value in blue and green on a surfaced paper (originals) as well as in pale gray and brown on a thin paper (reprints).
About May of 1896 this value was re-issued, in a printing of 1,500,000 on c0halky surfaced paper. This printing is known in a purple and reddish-purple shade.
This value in the distinctive lilac-blue shade was issued about January 1893 in an unknown quantity. In order to prevent this stamp from being used to make counterfeits of the 1892 Columbus Commemorative, it was issued only with a hole punched in the stamp.
Two varieties are known. One shows the stamp with two holes punched in it and the other has no punch at all. Both varieties are very elusive. (In the August 5, 1939 issue of Stamps magazine, Lowell Ragatz (George van den Berg) notes that a package had just come out of Germany with the unpunched 10c value. (Is it possible these were obtained directly from the
I have recorded two half sheets of 25 of this stamp.
About December 1896 this value was re-issued on a chalky surfaced paper in a quantity of 200,000. (The earliest record I show is in the March 1, 1897 issue of the American Journal of Philately.) There are two shades of the stamp. The normal blue shade and a very rare steel blue shade. This latter shade is the same as found on the 40c. It is not known if this is a color trial or an error of color. It is interesting to note that both shades are chronicled in the September 1, 1897 issue of the American Journal of Philately.
Issued on November 25, 1892 in an unknown quantity in brown. I know of no varieties of this stamp.
Issued about January 1893 (on the 16th of January 1895 according to the April 1895 issue of the Philatelic Journal of America) in vermilion. Quantity unknown. I know of no varieties of this stamp.
Issued in an unknown quantity on November 25, 1892 in a pale green color.
I know of no varieties of this stamp.
Issued on November 25, 1892 in slate blue. Quantity unknown. No varieties known.
Issued on November 25, 1892 in a quantity of 60,000. Only one color - yellowish orange - is known and there are no varieties.
60,000 were issued in pale blue with an issue date of November 25, 1892. I know of no varieties of this stamp.
100,000 of this value in an olive green color were issued on November 25, 1892. There are no known varieties of this stamp.
1895 5c on 7c Provisional
Due to a shortage of the 5 centavo stamps (the single domestic letter rate) the 7 centavos stamp was converted to a provisional 5 centavo one. It was issued on August 19, 1895. The earliest record in the philatelic press, which I have seen, is in the September 1895 issue of The Philatelic Record. I have seen a cover with this issued dated 27 July 1895, the earliest known and reported date of use.
This stamp was printed in sheets of 50 (5 x 10) and 100,000 were issued. It is normally perf 11 1/2, but is known perf 12 and perf 11 1/2 x 12 (this latter perforation being rather scarce).
A full sheet of 50 is known to exist.
I am not aware of any essays, or proofs.
In an issue of the Revista de la Sociedad Filatelica Argentina (date unknown) there is mention of a variety. The first O in Provisorio is defective and resembles a G. This variety is not known to exist on all sheets.
C. J. Philips states in his book that the supply of this provisional was exhausted in 4 weeks and that he had seen a used copy with double perforation at bottom.
1896 Telegraph Provisionals
About April 1896 the 2c and 4c of the current issue of Telegraph stamps were overprinted and converted into 5 centavo postage stamps. (The earliest record I have found is in the June 1896 issue of The Philatelic Record.)(In the August 1896 issue of Le Collectionneur de Timbres-Post it is stated that the decree for this issue is dated the 1st of May 1896.) The necessity of this issue has long been debated. According to Philips, the Postmaster General, Sr. Pedro Saguier resigned because the Minister of the Interior insisted on the recall of these stamps. He claims most of the issue was purchased by clerks at the P.O. and resold at a profit.
5 centavos on 2 centavos.
30,000 were printed in sheets of 25. At least one sheet of 25 still exists.
The only variety I am aware of is the inverted overprint, which is rather scarce.
I am not aware of any essays or proofs.
5 centavos on 4 centavos.
The printing quantity of this value was also 30,000 and the sheet size is 25. At least one sheet of this value also exists.
The only variety is an inverted overprint, which is not as scarce as the 5 on 2 value. A block of 4 of the inverted ovpt is known to exist.
I am not aware of any essays or proofs.
1898 10c on 40c Provisional
On August 13, 1898 150,000 of the 40c issue of 1892 were turned into a 10 centavos value by a locally made 3 line surcharge of Provisorio-10-Centavos. One full post office sheet of 50 is known to exist.
The earliest record I have of this stamp is a notice in the August 1, 1898 issue of the American Journal of Philately stating that the 10c stamp is running low and 50,000 of the 40c stamps will be surcharged. The October 1898 issue of the Philatelic Record states that 50,000 have been so surcharged.
I am not aware of any essays or proofs of this stamp.
The only variety is a defective "s" in Provisorio, which is position #11 on the sheet.
1899 10c on15c Provisional
Philips quotes a decree of January 31, 1899 stating that on the 4th of February a new provisional will be issued by overprinting the 15c stamps with a three line surcharge Provisional-10-centavos.
The size of the sheet is 50 (5 x 10) and at least one full sheet exists. The quantity issued is open to debate as some sources state 40,000 were issued while others state it was 45,000.
The major varieties are a double surcharge and an inverted surcharge. In addition to many perf varieties, the following setting varieties are known:
First "o" in "Provisorio" thin - #4 on the sheet
First "o" in "Provisorio" incomplete and with dot in it - #18 on the sheet
"ce" in centavos low - #26 on the sheet
"n" in centavos has first stroke thin. - #39 on the sheet
I am not aware of any essays or proofs of this issue.
1900 Telegraph Provisionals
Sometime in May 1900 two provisional stamps were issued. These were a 5c on 30c Telegraph and a 10c on 50c Telegraph. The sheet size was 25 (5 x 5) and 19,975 were printed but they were on sale only from 5PM to 7PM on one day. About 1000 of each were sold during this time and the PMG, Pena, acquired the balance of this issue.
I am not aware of any essays or proofs of this issue.
5c on 30c
At least one sheet of 25 is known to exist. There is a variety of the flag on the right 5 - it is curved. This is position 16 on the sheet. A pair of Position 16 & 17 is known thus showing the curved and normal flag. Other varieties known are a double overprint with one inverted, and a double overprint with one inverted with a curved flag.
I am not aware of any covers bearing this issue.
10c on 50c
At least one sheet of 25 is known to exist. The only varieties are an inverted overprint and an additional "10" overprint in rose, which is quite rare. I suspect this latter is an essay.
I am not aware of any covers bearing this stamp.
Telegraph used as Postage
Sometime in August 1900 the 40c Telegraph stamp was authorized for postage. As with all the telegraph stamps, the sheet was of 25 (5 x 5) and 20,000 were issued.
I am not aware of any essays or proofs and the largest multiple I have recorded is a block of 4.
I record 3 covers with this issue:
Asuncion to Germany, registered with 40c telegraph and 1892 1P.
Asuncion to New York 30 Dec 1900, single copy
Estancia Cooper to BA, single copy.
Regular Issue of 1901 - First series
In April 1900 four values were issued which had been printed by the Talleres Nacional de H. Kraft. There were printed by lithography in sheets of 100 (10 x 10).
I have not recorded the quantity issued for this value.
A Die Proof in 3 colors on regular paper is known as well as a plate proof in black.
5c Purple Brown
300,000 of this value were issued and it first appeared on April 12, 1901.
Plate proofs in black, imperforate and perforated 11 1/2 are known.
The only variety I have recorded is a horizontal pair, imperf. vertically between.
Due to a shortage of 5c stamps the 5c revenue stamp without control number was permitted to do postal duty in 1901 according to the Revista de Sociedad Filatelica Argentina.
I am not aware of the quantity issued of neither this stamp nor any varieties.
Die Proofs on thin paper in the issued color and eight other colors are known. I suspect these are reprints. Also, a plate proof in black is known.
I record a cover from Asuncion to Rome with this value and a cancellation date of March 6, 1901!
Regular Issue of 1901-1902
This issue was also produced by H. Kraus, but in sheets of 200 (10x10)+(10x10), which means interpanneau pairs may exist, but I have not recorded them.
This value was issued about the end of June 1902 in a quantity of 300,000. It paid the domestic printed matter rate for up to 50 grams.
A Die Proof in black is known as well as a plate proof in gray and a trial color plate proof in brown, the latter of which is known to exist in a block of 90.
Issued about October 1901 in a quantity of 400,000.
A plate proof in gray is known.
This value is known imperf. vertically as well as bisected vertically for use as a 1c per a decree of 1 July 1902. Covers with these bisects are not scarce.
E.H. Hirschberg did a study of the types, of which there are 10. His types are:
I - The "G" of PARAGUAY is considerable thicker than in the other types.
III - The "2" at the left is much closer to the border at the left than usual.
IV - In the "G" of PARAGUAY there is a dot of color inserted between the lines at the left.
VI - The "2" at the left touches the left line of the cartouche and a colorless break goes through the leaf ornaments at the "L" of UNIVERSAL
VII - The "2" at the left is excessively high and the "C" of CENTAVOS has a continuous break.
VIII - In the "2" at the right a dot of color is found between the lines that form the base.
IX - A dot of color between the line at the top of the "2" at left. The "S" of POSTAL is incorrectly formed its upper part at right is prolonged.
X - The "2" at right is excessively high and the one at the left is as low.
4c Pale Blue
Issued about October 1901 in a quantity of 200,000.
No essays or proofs are known to me.
The distinguishing characteristics of the types are primarily in the position of the numeral 4.
Type I - The letter "O" of POSTAL has a blot of color between the lines.
Type II - The "4" at right has an angle cutting transversely at the nose.
Type IV - The "4" at left inclines inwardly towards the cartouche
Type V - The "4" at left has a odd "nose" and there is a small break in the colored line
Type 8 - In the "4" at the left there is a circle at the right part of the base.
Type IX - The "4" at the left inclines towards the cartouche and the extreme upper part of the foot is extended to the right.
Type X - The "4" at the left has a dot of color between the lines that form the nose and this continues till it almost touches the border.
Issued in October 1901 in a quantity of 380,000.
I record a plate proof in gray, imperf and perfed, the former exists in a block of 12 (6 x 2).
The only variety I record is a pair, imperf vertically.
According to Hirschberg the 10 types vary primarily in the ornaments at each extreme of the oval which contains the words "UNION POSTAL UNIVERSAL" and in the position of the numeral of value. One seldom encounters the dots, strokes, or breaks common in the other values.
Type I - Colorless ray over the right cartouche.
Type II - A stroke of color in the "v" of UNIVERSAL at the extreme upper right and a dot in the "L" of UNIVERSAL.
Type III - The "S" of "UNIVERSAL" has many white spots in its lower curve.
Type VII - Various circles coming off the line below that which contains the Lion.
Type VIII - The "5" at the left shows up very low.
Issued on June 28, 1902. A quantity of 100,000 was ordered, but 75,000 were used in the 5c on 8c overprinting.
I do not record any essays, proofs or varieties of this value.
This value paid the printed matter rate to UPU countries up to 50grams as well as the postal card rate to Argentina.
Type I - A break in the cartouche at the left paralleling the border at the right.
Type III - A dot of color on the 1st leg of the "N" of CENTAVOS.
Type IV - A dot of color in the "C" of CENTAVOS and the "8" at the right is centered to the right
Type V - The "8" at the left is centered to the left.
Type VI - The "8" at the left is high in the cartouche
Type VII - There is a dot of color in the 3rd leg of the "N" in CENTAVOS.
Type VIII - A dot of color connects the "I" of UNION to the cartouche.
Type IX - A white break in the left corner of the right cartouche.
Type X - The "E" of CENTAVOS is much shorter than normal.
10c Rose Red
Issued in January 1902 in a quantity of 200,000.
I do not record any essays, proofs or varieties of this value.
Type I - The "1" of the 10 at right has a somewhat circular head.
Type II - There is a colorless break similar to an accent over the 1st leg of the "U" in PARAGUAY.
Type III - A blotch of color encloses the bases of the letters "CE" in CENTAVOS. Also there is a dot of color in the 3rd "A" of PARAGUAY.
Type IV - In the "10" at the right the "1" almost touches the upper line of the cartouche.
Type VI - The line at the left of the left cartouche appears to be of the same thickness all the way to the bottom.
Type VIII - In the "10" at the right the head of the "1" touches the lines that cross the cartouche and the "10" at the left is rather high.
Type IX - In the "10" at the right the head disappears in a diagonal cut.
Type X - The "10" on both sides shows the "1" touching the border of the cartouche obliquely.
Issued on Jun 10, 1902. A quantity of 100,000 had been ordered, but 70,000 were used to make the 5c on 28c provisional.
This value paid the single letter rate to Uruguay.
I do not record any essays, proofs, or varieties of this value.
Type I - The "28" at right has a somewhat rounded foot.
Type II - The "28" at left has the number almost at the very top of the cartouche.
Type IV - There is a short vertical line around the right border of the cartouche at the right and the "2" of the "28" at left has a foot almost out of proportion to the rest of the body.
Type V - There is a white break in the upper part of the "8" of the "28" at the left.
Type VI - A break in the curve that forms the lines at the right in the left cartouche.
Type VIII - A blotch of color in the "8" of the "28" at the left.
Type IX - The "8" of "28" at the left touches the line at the side of the cartouche.
40c Blue (Large Figure)
Issued on June 10, 1902 in a quantity of 100,000.
Although I do not record any Die Proofs or Essays, I do have records of plate proofs in purple, red, green, brown and blue.
I do not know of any varieties of this value.
Type I - There are dots of color in the "C" and "N" of CENTAVOS as well as a line in the "4" at the left.
Type II - In both numerals the "4" touches the line of the left border
Type III - The "4" of the left "40" has a somewhat flat "nose". The "P" of POSTAL has a dot of color.
Type IV - The "4" of the "40" at right lacks the line at the bottom of the foot.
Type V - There are dots of color in both numerals "40" as well as in the "V" of CENTAVOS.
Type VI - The right border of the right cartouche slants and the "0" of "40" has a notch.
Type VII - Lack of color in the "V" of CENTAVOS
Type VIII - Heavy damage in the 3rd "A" of PARAGUAY and a light dot of color in the "V" of CENTAVOS
Type IX - The "40" at right appears to be very tall and it nearly touches the top of the cartouche.
Type X - A light blotch in the "V" of CENTAVOS.
Although not issued till September 24, 1901 this value really belongs to the 1892 series and was printed by Giesecke & Devrient of Germany in sheets of 50. The quantity ordered was 200,000 but 100,000 were used to produce the 1c on 1P provisionals.
I do not record any essays, proofs or varieties of this value.
It is rather scarce on cover and I record the following:
Asuncion, 2 Aug 1903, 1P, pair of 10c Lion, + 60c Lion on Registered cover to Berlin.
Regular Issue of 1900 - Engraved
Sometime in September 1900 a new series of stamps engraved by the South American Bank Note Company made their appearance.
The sheet size was 100 (10 x 10) and all values are known perf 11 1/2 as well as perf 12.
The quantity issued is not known. A Die Proof on chalky paper in blue is known to exist. There is also a die proof of an unissued 1c.
I record a registered cover from San Bernardino to Germany in 1901 with 20 copies of the 2c and 5 of the 8c
It is not known how many were issued of this value. A Die Proof on surfaced paper in blue is known. Also known is a Die Proof in blue on surfaced paper for an unissued 4c.
5c Deep Green
I do not record any essays or proofs for this value and like the others the quantity issued is not known to me.
8c Deep Brown
I have no information on the quantity issued. I do not record any essays or proofs for this value.
10c Carmine Rose
I do not record any essays or proofs and do not know the quantity issued.
24c Deep Blue
Although the quantity issued is not known there is a die proof for this value. I record a Die Proof in blue on surfaced paper.
Also, Proofs are known for 3 unissued values:
40c Die Proof in bright blue, blue, and brown violet on a surfaced paper.
40c Die Proof in 6 colors on thin paper (I suspect these are reprints) - orange, blue, red & green are recorded by me
There is a 40c stamp size proof on white paper known in brown and gray-black.
There is a 60c Die Proof on surfaced paper. Also there are thin paper die proofs of the 60c in 6 colors, which I suspect are reprints.
An 80c Die Proof on surfaced paper is known The 80c Die Proof is known in 6 colors on thin paper. These I suspect are reprints.
20c on 24c Deep Blue
The date of issue of this provisional is open to question. Some record it as being issued on 30 July 1902 while others state the date of issue is 26 Aug 1902. The overprinting forme was one of 50 and 66,000 were issued The printing was done by H. Kraus. There are two perforations to be found on this issue, one is 12 1/4 the other is 11 1/2. The overprint is in red.
The following varieties are known in the perf 12 1/4:
In perf 11 1/2, the following are known:
Overprint Double (1 sheet known)
I record two essays. A 20c on 24c with the overprint in black, and the same with an overprint in yellow.
1c on 14c Brown
This provisional was issued on 22 December 1902 in a quantity of 72,000. The printing was done by H. Kraus and the sheet size is 50.
I record the following varieties:
"1" without upper serif
cent without period behind it
comma instead of period after cent
"U" of UN with an accent
I do not record any essays or proofs of this stamp.
5c on 60c Orange
H. Kraus of Asuncion did the overprinting from a forme of 50 (5x10), which is the sheet size.
The stamp was issued on 6 February 1903 in a quantity of 60,000.
I record the following varieties:
Short Flag on right "5"
Short Flag on left "5"
I do not record any essays or proofs of this value.
5c on 80c Blue
The date of issue of this stamp has been recorded as 20 January 1903 and as 16 Jan 1903. The overprint forme was of 50 (5x10) and was done by H. Kraus. Quantity issued was 60,000.
There are three varieties of this stamp:
Short Flag on right "5"
Short Flag on left "5"
No essays or proofs of this value are recorded.
1c on 1P Blue
Issued on 6 February 1903 in a quantity of 100,000, it was overprinted by H. Kraus from a forme of 50 (5x10).
I do not record any essays or proofs of this stamp.
The following varieties are known:
Short "1" without serif
Overprint Inverted (reads down) (very scarce)
Overprint Inverted with short "1" without serif
5c on 8c Brown
75,000 of these stamps were issued either on 18 September 1902 or 28 October 1902 since both dates have been stated to be the date of issue. The printing was done by H. Kraus for a forme of 50, but unlike other provisionals in this series, the sheet was not broken to do the overprinting. Thus the sheet of 100 has the upper half with the overprinting reading up while the lower half of the sheet has the overprint reading down.
I do not record any essays or proofs of this stamp.
The following varieties are recorded on the "Reads Up" stamps:
"5 Cent" Omitted
"Cent" without period
On the "Reads Down" stamps the following varieties are known:
"Cent" without period
5c on 28c Orange
Printed by H. Kraus, probably from a forme of 50. It was issued in a quantity of 88,000 on 15 December 1902.
The following varieties are known:
"Cent" without period
Comma after "Cent"
Short "flag" on right "5"
I know of no essays or proofs of this stamp.