Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two More Gems from the Welch Collection

As mentioned in an earlier post, Bill Welch was especially fond of Essays, Proofs and Covers. Here is a charming postal stationery place proof and cover.

A plate proof on India paper showing the plate layout for the 1890 3 centavos single and message & reply postal cards. Bill had these in several different colors, although none are very common.

A lovely 1893 cover from San Salvador to Cincinnati, Ohio. The 25c value is not common on cover. These stamps paid 4 times the postage rate (11c per 15g), registration (10c) and Acknowledgement of Receipt (5c) with an 8c overpayment.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More Covers from the Welch Collection

The 20c postal stationery of 1892 used to Germany. The registration fee was 10 centavos and the postal fee was 11c so this was underpaid by 1c. High denomination postal stationery items are very scarce used.

This is a domestic official mail item. No stamps were ever needed for domestic official mail. The use of the demonetized 1897 envelope was just for an envelope. The 12c paid nothing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Some Covers from the Welch Collection

Bill's collection of Seebeck issues was heavy in essays, proofs and covers since that was a primary interest of his.

Here are some nice El Salvador covers from his collection.

A charming cover from Santa Ana to New York. The 10c registration stamp is not common on cover. The 24c paid the double rate via San Francisco. Note the color of the 24c. It is an orangish-yellow. This is the color of the original. Any other color on the 24c is a reprint!

A double rate cover (2 times 15c per 15g) from Sonsonate to Switzerland paid by the 30 centavos first issue of 1896.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some Unusual Nicaragua Items

Shortly before Bill Welch's death, he and I made a trip to the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. We found several unusual items in their holdings of Nicaragua and we planned to do an article about them. Unfortunately, Bill died before we could do that. Here is an article about what we found that appeared in the July 2010 issue of NICARAO. Michael Schreiber graciously gave me permission to reproduce it on my blog. NICARAO is the quarterly publication of the Nicaragua Study Group. Additional information may be obtained from Michael at

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A reader of this blog has advised me of some additional specialized catalogs for Latin America. Here are the additions:

Samual Klass, 1970, Catalogo de Sellos Postales de la Argentina (with pictures of plate flaws)
Jalil 2009, Catalogo Especializado de sellos postales de la Republica Argentina (no pics of plate flaws, but referenced/indicated)
Teggio 2009,

F. Schiffer (1958) Catalogo de selos do Brasil (with pictures of type and some plate flaws)
S. Leitao (1965) Catalogo de selos do Brasil (types, dents and paper)

A. Barriga (1983 or 1985) Catalogo Colombia

Ciardi (2006) Catalogo Especializado de los sellos del Uruguay .

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A cover from the War of 1000 days in Colombia

In the last post I showed some of the stamps printed by Seebeck for the Colombian State of Bolivar.

During the civil war of 1899-1902 (War of 1000 days) a series of provisional issues were made in parts of the country cut off from Bogotá: Cartagena, Cucuta, Tumaco, Barranquilla, Medellin.

In 1899 the Cartagena provisional government overprinted the 1c Seebeck issue of 1891 with wavy lines supposedly for foreign postings.

Cartagena to San Jose, Costa Rica
6 times the foreign letter rate of 10c -- 60c
Registration -- 10c

This is the only cover bearing this stamp that Bill Welch or I have ever seen. This is from Bill's collection. Do you know of another?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Seebeck Issue for the Colombian State of Bolivar

Between 1882 and 1891, the Hamilton Bank Note Company (Seebeck) produced stamps for the Colombian State of Bolivar.

Shown here is a sales representative’s sample card with the issues of 1882-1883. These stamps were produced during the one year that Hamilton and Seebeck were at 61 Broadway in New York City.

This is another nice item from the Bill Welch collection of Seebeck items.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The link to the Argentina blog

Here is the link to the Argentina blog

A Blog on Argentina Philately

A few days ago I received an email telling me about a stamp collecting blog, “30 stamp Collecting Blogs from Around the World” Although this blog is dedicated to stamp collecting rather than philately, I did find a link that would be well worth while to any philatelist interested in Argentina. This link is This link is and it contains an in-depth study of many of the stamps of Argentina. I wish to thank Sheryl for sending the link to me and it contains an in-depth study of many of the stamps of Argentina. I wish to thank Sheryl for sending the link to me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Latin America Specialized Stamp Catalogs

A few days ago, a friend of mine asked for suggestions of various specialized catalogs of Latin American stamps. I suspect there may be other collectors who might be interested in these so I’m posting a list of catalogs I have used and found very helpful. For some countries, I am not aware of any specialized catalogs although excellent handbooks are known. (Guatemala 1 & 2 for example) I have not attempted to list magazine articles or small pamphlets that detail various issues, as they are not really specialized catalogs. Here is the list and if anyone can add information on those countries that do not appear to have a specialized catalog, I would appreciate it.


Catalogo de los sellos postales de la Republica Argentina y sus derivados / Catalogo de los sellos postales de la Republica Argentina y Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios / / Kneitschel, Victor. -- Buenos Aires: V. Kneitschel, 1958 - 1 v. in 2 pts. (909 p.)


Catalogo especializado de estampillas - Bolivia S. XIX y enteros postales ; No emitidos, fisco postales, variedades, errores, pruebas y ensayos / / Catalogo especializado de estampillas - Bolivia S. XIX y enteros postales / SOFILPAZ . -- [La Paz? Bolivia]: SOFILPAZ (La Paz, Bolivia; D.G.F. Stamps - Daniel Gonzalez)


Catalogo Brasil : de selos nacionais - postais e telegraficos, oficialmente emididos, com precos correntes, datas de comeco de circulacao, quantidades de emissoes, notas explicativas e historicas - conselhos uteis, vocabulario mais empregado em filotelia, etc. / / Guatemozim, Dorvelino. -- Sao Paulo: [D. Guatemozim]


Catalogo especializado Chile 2000 / Chile 2000 : Filatelia chilena catalogo especializado / Filatelia chilena catalogo especializado Chile 2000 / Sociedad Filatelica de Chile. -- Santiago de Chile: Sociedad Filatelica de Chile


Catalogo Leo Temprano ; Estampillas de Colombia. Edicion Especializada / Estampillas de Colombia ; Catalogo Leo Temprano. Edicion Especializada / / Temprano, Leo / Filatelia Tematica L.T. / Filatelia Tematica L.T. Numismatica. -- Bogota: Filatelia Tematica L.T.

Costa Rica

Catalogo de Sellos Postales de Costa Rica / Saenz Mata, Carlos.: San Jose; Club Filatelico de San Jose de Costa Rica,, 1978

Dominican Republic

I am not aware of any specialized catalog f this country

El Salvador

Catalogo de Todos los Sellos Postales de la Republica del Salvador / Sagrera, Ricardo.: San Salvador; Ricardo Sagrera, 1901. I have never seen this catalog.


Catalogo de los sellos postales de la Republica del Ecuador. -- Quito: Giovanni Cataldi Incarnati, [1981?]


I am not aware of any specialized catalog of this country


I am not aware of any specialized catalog of this country


I am not aware of any specialized catalog of this country


I am not aware of any specialized catalog of this country


Catalogo de los sellos postales de la Republica del Paraguay y sus derivados / / Kneitschel, Victor. -- Buenos Aires: V. Kneitschel,, 1947


Catalogo de los sellos de correos y telégrafos del Perú de H.H. Moll / / Moll, Herbert H. -- Lima: Ediciones Filatélicas Moll,, 1957


Catalogo de estampillas del Uruguay / / Catalogo de estampillas del Uruguay / Kobylanski, Juan K. -- Montevideo, Uruguay: "Mundus",,

For the earliest issues, the rare book - Catalogo de las variedades mas importantes de los sellos postales de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay ; con sus valuaciones relativas expresadas en unidades filatelicas / / Hoffmann, Roberto.


Catalogo especializado de las estampillas de Venezuela. / Valera, Juan Jose. -- Bogata: Filatelia Tematica, 1974. 016.987 Val 1974

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Unrecorded Postal Card Essay

In the Bill Welch collection of Seebeck material, he had a postal stationery card with a security overprint.

Bill felt this was probably done in 1881 when the stamps were overprinted with a network pattern in rose or yellow for security but the card was not accepted. Neither he nor I have ever seen another. Has any reader?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Nice War of the Pacific Cover

In the aftermath of the War of the Pacific, no stamps were available, so postage on this letter was paid in cash. (FRANCO por falta de estampillas) The cover was sent from the Pacasmayo, Guadelope and Yonan Railroad to Callao in November 1884.

Note that this rail line was only 24 km long.

Another nice item from the Bill Welch collection.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Nice Honduras Cover

Here is another gem from the Bill Welch collection.

Seebeck was criticized for the number of stamps issued, but odd values say postal use.

The 75 centavos value on this 1890 cover paid 6 times the foreign letter rate of 10c per 15 grams, the registration fee of 10c and the acknowledgement of receipt fee of 5c.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Seebeck Advertising Underprints

The advertising underprints on the stamps of New Zealand are well known. Less well known are those of El Salvador.

Shown here are examples from the Bill Welch collection of the settings of nine on the 1894 Liberty issue.

These probably were created after Seebeck’s death in 1899 in an unsuccessful effort to market reprints to manufacturers in their wares.

The two settings of nine are on the 1c and 24c Liberty issue.

The single is on back of the 12c 1895 Arms issue with a specimen pen-line.

I have also seen examples on Nicaragua Seebecks but they seem to be much rarer than those from El Salvador are

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rejected Essays

From Bill Welch Collection

From the early 1880s until the mid-1890s, Seebeck sought new stamp contracts by offering suggested designs to the governments of a number of Latin American governments. Most declined.


Early 1880s

There is no documentary evidence that these are Seebeck essays. However, the vignette is very similar to the portrait of Simon Bolivar on Seebeck’s issues fo the Colombian State of Bolivar, which debuted in 1879. The currency changed from “centimos” to “centavos” in 1880.


This has to date after 1886 when the Republic of Colombia was established. The die number, 414 is the lowest known for Hamilton. The 1890 Seebeck Issues of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras have die numbers in the 400s, suggesting that this essay was made when they were in 1889.

While Seebeck / Hamilton was successful in getting contracts with El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras as well as Ecuador later, they did try to get contracts from other countries.

Hamilton got into financial trouble during the Panic of 1893. This prompted a flurry of essays as the company sought new business.


Dated 1893 these essays appear to show the peculiar design of Justice and her pet condor?

Prepared in 1893, a vignette of the Coat of Arms. The die number is 581

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ecuador: A Hi-Value Seebeck on Cover

The stamps (5c + 10c + 20c + 50c -pair) paid the following”

12 times the 10 centavos foreign rate 1s, 20c
Registration 10c
Acknowledgement of receipt 5c
TOTAL 1s, 35c

Saturday, April 10, 2010

River and Lake Mail

Bill Welch also had an interest in River and Lake mail and here are some nice items from his collection of these.

The Nicaragua Mail Steam Navigation and Trading Company had the exclusive privilege for the navigation of Lake Nicaragua and the San Juan river. This dated from 1877 but was purchased for $300,000 in 1891 by the Maritime Canal Company.

Two lovely covers from Paraguay.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More Seebeck and U. S. Philately

Seebeck was also involved in U. S. Philately as a stamp dealer. Prior to his involvement with Hamilton Bank Note Company, he ran a successful stamp business. One way to advertise his business was to have “advertising collars” printed around current U. S. postal stationery, which he did for the 1c through 6c denominations for his Vesey Street and Wall Street addresses.

Only the 1-cent is known used, no doubt to send 1-page prices lists primarily to Europe.

Reay envelopes of 1870 –

2-cent Reay envelope of 1870 with the Vesey Street Collar. (3 Vesey Street was a basement shop in the Astor House Hotel, along Broadway in lower Manhattan.

Plimpton envelopes of 1874 (3-cent) and 1875 (5-cent, Die I)

2-cent Plimpton envelope with Vesey Street Collar.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seebeck / Hamilton and U.S. Philately

Following up on my last post, I want to point out another area where Seebeck had an input into U. S. Philately.

As pointed out in the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue, at least in the edition I have, Seebeck made one of the reprints of the New Haven Postmaster Provisional. Therefore, there are Seebeck reprints in U.S. Philately.

Further, the Hamilton Bank Note Company, during Seebeck’s period of involvement produced stamps for the Postal Telegraph Company, Scott #15T. Shown here are some proofs and stamps. As in previous posts, all these items are from the Bill Welch collection.

Trial color Die Proofs, India paper on card.

Additional Die Proofs and some Specimen stamps.

Scott # 15T3 and some other values.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

N. F. Seebeck and Hamilton Bank Note Company

Many collectors believe that the Hamilton Bank Note Company during the Seebeck period was a “kitchen table” operation. It was not. Seebeck was associated with Hamilton for 15 years, from 1884 until his death in 1899.

Stamps were only a small part of Hamilton’s business as its major business was printing tickets for New York City’s railways and bridges – tens of millions at a time. It was a fiercely competitive business. Hamilton was in court for years contesting a suit brought against it by New York Bank Note Company for mis-use of proprietary ticket-printing equipment.

Here are some tickets printed by Hamilton.

This is a litho proof of ticket by New York Bank Note Company.

Hamilton did other security printing, such as tickets for the 1888 Louisiana State Lottery, which was supervised by two Confederate war heroes, P.T.G Beauregard and Jubal Early.

All items are from the Bill Welch collection.

When financiers took control of Hamilton in 1893 part of their plan was to bid on the contract for U.S. stamps, which they did, but it went to the Bureau of Engraving & Printing instead, in 1894.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Gem from the Welch Collection

It is not too difficult to find originals of the Seebeck postage due stamps of El Salvador although many reprints are on the market.

In addition, it is not too difficult to distinguish between an original and a reprint once you have seen a number of originals. Almost all of the reprints have a muddy appearance while the originals are crisp and clean. Shown here is an example of each.

There are also a number of counterfeits on the market but if you can tell the difference between a lithograph (counterfeit) and an engraved (original) stamp they should not fool you.

Finding unquestionably genuine cancels on the postage dues of the Seebeck period is extremely difficult as most cancelled copies have been favor cancelled or had counterfeit cancels applied to them

Obtaining Seebeck era postage dues on legitimate covers is next to impossible, as only TWO covers are known. Shown here is another gem that was in the Bill Welch collection.

22 centavos charged on unpaid letter from the U.S. The 25 centimes was equal to 5 cents, the U.S. rate to El Salvador.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mosquito Coast Fiscal

Several years ago, Bill Welch loaned me a lot of his material to scan so that I would have a record of it. Since his collections will now be sold, I would like to share a few unusual, sometimes rare, items with other collectors.

The firs item is an 1893 Mosquito Coast fiscal. It is the 50c on document dated June 8, 1893. It may well be the only 50 centavos stamp on document. Even the 50c stamp by itself is a scare item. Do you know of another on document?

This item was part of a lot that Bill wrote up in The American Philatelist as "The Bones of Rolando Kuehn."
Bill speculated that Kuehn was influenced by the Egyptian Inter-Postal Seals as a group of these items was in the lot as well. He also thought that Kuehn produced these for sale to collectors.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Unusual Printing Method

In an article I wrote that appeared in the November-December 2008 issue of The Collectors Club Philatelist, I discussed the unusual method used to print the 1906 Escalon issue of El Salvador. (This same method was used for the 1907 National Palace issue, the 1910 Figueroa issue and the 1912 Centenary issue.)

The method used to produce the bi-colored, engraved stamps was unusual since there were not separate plates for the frame and the vignette, which was normal for bi-colored engraved stamps at this time. Instead, chalk was put into the vignette and the frame printed, then the chalk was cleaned out of the vignette and put into the frame and the vignette printed. Sometimes this process was reversed.

Production problems sometimes resulted in parts of the design printed in both the color of the vignette and the frame.

Recently, I acquired a group of the postal stationery envelopes of the Escalon issue and upon examining them, I noticed that the printing on one of them show the same doubling in both colors. This, I believe, is strong evidence that the same method was used to print the stationery as well as the adhesives.

Shown here is the envelope as well as an enlargement of the portion of the design with parts of the name being printed in both colors.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Look at the Departmental Stamps of Argentina

A fascinating, but challenging, area to collect is the Departmental Stamps of Argentina. The challenge is not the cost as few of them beyond the pocketbook of most collectors but the ability to find them.

The stamps were issued between 1913 and 1937 and so appear on the regular issues of 1911 to 1937. The following departments are known:

M.A. (Ministry of Agriculture)
M.G. (Ministry of War)
M.H. (Ministry of Finance)
M.I. (Ministry of Interior)
M.J.I. (Ministry of Justice and Instruction)
M.M. (Ministry of Marine)
M.O.P. (Ministry of Public Works
M.R.C. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religion)

As far as I know, the best catalog for this issues is the 1958 Kneitchel catalog of Argentina. This two-volume work, unfortunately, is not easily found today. From time to time it is offered in auctions of philatelic literature, however.

These stamps offer the philatelist the opportunity for many hours of pleasure because of the various paper types, perforations, watermarks, methods of printing the basic stamps and varieties.

The following pictures show some of the things that can be found: