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Telegraph stamps of the World

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  I have completely revised Hiscocks' original listing, though leaving references to the original designations.  
I have brought the prices up to date and added currency selection.
The new designations have 'RH' numbers (Revised Hiscocks) to avoid confusion.
CheckList         Setup

 

El Salvador.

Though the catalogues of Hiscocks, Scott and Barefoot each have overlapping information regarding the telegraphs,
unfortunately they are not entirely clear.
My thanks to Carlos Quintanilla of the Asociación Filatélica Salvadoreña (AFISAL)
who has been very helpful in clarifying the topic of telegraph stamps in El Salvador.

I have re-arranged these into what I think is chronological order, but preserved Hiscocks numbering (for now at least).
I have included some information on the early postal issues in an attempt to clarify some confusion that exists.

NOTE: No coinage appears to have been minted in El Salvador between the Reales of 1873 and the Pesos of 1889.
For this reason, coins were in short supply.
To alleviate this problem, stamps with various Contrasello handstamps (reminiscent of the Type 5 Countermarks stamped on earlier coinage)
were applied to postage stamps which could then be used in place of coinage. This accounts for the copious counterfeiting of them.


4 types of Contrasello handstamps
The first 3 have been corrected from previous illustrations of faked handstamps.
HS-4 is an improved image of the same type courtesy of Carlos Quintanilla.

Handstamp 1 Handstamp 2 Handstamp 3 Handstamp 4 fake HS 4
HS-1 1874 HS-2 1874 HS-3 1875? HS-4 1882/3 (13mm) Fake HS-4 (14mm)

HS-1 has double-lined letters with simple florets each side of the date.
HS-2 has double-lined letters with small circles each side of the date.
HS-3 has single-lined letters with a design each side of the date.

Counterfeits.

Counterfeits of the 1874 type handstamps are plentiful. There are also fakes of the HS-4 (one is shown, but there are probably others).
Collectors are not helped by the unfortunate fact that most illustrations of the 1874 types in popular catalogues are actually of counterfeit handstamps,
apparently the only exception being Minkus.

My thanks to Guillermo Gallegos of the El Salvador Philatelist for permission to use images that can put the record straight.
These images are derived from known genuine covers bearing stamps with these handstamps.

1874 type Counterfeits
Counterfeit types A & D are illustrated by Gibbons, types B & E by Scott, and type C by Hiscocks, Yvert and Michel.

 

 

Postage stamps.

 

Hiscocks Type 4. Engraved and printed by American Bank Note Co., New York.
First Printing (Sept. 1866)
Second Printing (Apr. 1873)
SG 5  SG 6  SG 7  SG 8 
According to the Scott catalogue, these were issued in 1867, unwatermarked, Perf 12.
An in-depth pdf file on these stamps can be found at El Salvador Handbook-c2-a.

There are some crude forgeries of these. The originals had a background around the oval center that was made up of multiples of the denomination.
Here is a set of fake stamps with no attempt made to reproduce that. Notice also the postmarks.

Fake ½r Fake 1r Fake 2r Fake 4r
½r and 1r of mine. 2r courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht. 4r courtesy of Les Bottomley.

According to information from Carlos Quintanilla these were produced by Spiro Brothers by lithography. They have various perforations.
He also knows of another type of forgery which is also typographed, but better quality with a background more like the original stamps.
These are perforated with guage 8½ and are only ½r and 1r values are known (so far). The values and stars are badly drawn.
Can anyone provide a scan of the second forgery type ?


I have examples of the (genuine) set with HS-2 and HS-3 in black.
Currently, these still include counterfeit handstamps as I have not yet had time to sort them out.
They will give an idea at least.

 

SG 5 with black HS-1  SG 6 with black HS-1  SG 7 with black HS-1  SG 8 with black HS-1
The set with HS-2 in black.

 

SG 5 with black HS-2  SG 6 with black HS-2  SG 7 with black HS-2  SG 8 with black HS-2
The set with HS-3 in black.

 

In addition to the handstamps above, two special handstamps were used on remainders of the 1867 and 1874 issues,
purchased from the El Salvador government in 1883 by the Berlin stamp dealer and counterfeiter, David Cohn.
1874 type Remainder-HS
These are vaguly similar to the originals, but have 5 stars over the volcano.
To complicate things further, these were then counterfeited by Raoul de Thuin who copied images provided in an article appearing in
Stanley Gibbons Monthly Journal (1907-8). This article erroneously had only 4 stars on type A.

Sale 58 Lot 3247

ABCo imprint An interesting auction item. Note the position of the imprints. These were perhaps all around the sheet.
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Back to Telegraph stamps.

Hiscocks listed this set with HS-3 or HS-4 in black as being telegraph stamps, but admits that his information was dubious and he may not have known about HS-1 or HS-2.
The Scott catalogue lists these stamps with both HS-2 and HS-3 in black as being postage stamps and their only reference to telegraph stamps is this set with HS-4,
with no reference as to the colour of the handstamp.

I will modify Hiscocks listing to reference violet rather than black handstamps for HS-3, with the understanding that the violet HS-3 may not exist.

 

c1874 Postage stamps of 1867 (SG 5-8) overprinted with 'CONTRA SELLO 1874', HS-3, in violet. White wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12
NOTE: The same stamps with a black overprint were for postal use. The Scott catalogue lists these at less than $20 for the set mint and $11 used (2007).

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH1 H7 4, 3 ½r blue (SG 5) - -
RH2 H8 4, 3 1r vermilion (SG 6) - -
RH3 H9 4, 3 2r green (SG 7) - -
RH4 H10 4, 3 4r brown (SG 8) - -

 

 

Date ? As above but overprinted as HS-4 in violet.

H11 with Violet HS-3  H12 with Violet HS-3  H12b with black HS-3
3 examples courtesy of Sandafayre.com.
Hiscocks says only overprints in black are telegraphs, Barefoot says only violet, whereas the Scott catalogue implies both are.
Note the imprint at the top of the ½r blue, it is rarely seen.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH5 H11 4, 2 ½r blue (SG 5) 100.00 -
RH5a -           black overprint 40.00 30.00
RH6 H12 4, 2 1r vermilion (SG 6) 100.00 -
RH6a -           black overprint 40.00 30.00
RH7 H13 4, 2 2r green (SG 7) - -
RH7a -           black overprint 40.00 30.00
RH8 H14 4, 2 4r brown (SG 8) - -
RH8a -           black overprint 40.00 30.00

Hiscocks added the following notes:

Note 1. No prices are given for those of which I am particularly dubious. However, reference is made in
                Stanley Gibbons' Central America Catalogue (Part 15) to the above — the overprint is not
                illustrated but is said to be different from those applied for postage use.
Note 2. The 'Contra Sello' overprints were applied to prevent the use of stolen (unoverprinted) stamps.
                They may be found at all angles.

My note: The Scott catalogue says that these stamps with this overprint were telegraph stamps. They make no distinction as to the colour of it.
I suspect that, like the 1883/4 stamps, they are both telegraphic.

 

by 1876 Printed by Rufino Flamenco on white wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12.
Cancels are usually maritime, "CLYDE" "GRANADA" "AGENCY OF P.M.S AT ACAJUTLA" being known.
It is uncertain as to when these stamps first came into use, but the "Diario Oficial" of June 14th 1876 states that
"Telegraph Stamps" are sold in the Telegraph office at any hour. These stamps were only used up until about the beginning of 1877.

1R used   1R used with signature
1r of Type 1 (The one on the right is from wikimedia.org). These are Type I with a closed 'G', but there are other types to be found (see below).
Hiscocks listed this as type 1 because he did not know the dates of types 2 to 4. In fact types 2 to 4 pre-date type 1.
The 4r value has a different design with the volcano replaced by the coat of arms.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH9 H1 1 1r green 75.00 60.00
RH9a H1a           imperf 250.00 200.00
RH10 H2 1 2r violet 120.00 90.00
RH11 H3 (1) 4r carmine 180.00 150.00

Carlos Quintanilla pointed out that there are at least two distinct types of both the 2 Reales and 4 Reales stamps.
Seing that he was right I looked more closely at these.

 

Looking closely at the 1 Real value:

1R used - a 1R used - b
Type A - 'G' of 'TELEGRAFOS' Closed - 6 examples seen (2 imperf.) Type B - 'G' Open, streak above volcano plume - 3 examples seen (1 imperf.)


1R used - c
Type C - 'G' Open, 'V' of 'SALVADOR' reversed - 2 examples seen


1R used - d
Type D - 'G' Open, 'V' normal. closely-spaced diagonal rows at bottom-left - 3 examples seen (2 imperf.)


1R used - e
Type E - 'G' Open, frame breaks - 1 example seen

There are at least 5 types of these which I have lettered in the order of identifying them.

Type A seems to be the commonest, with a closed 'G' in 'TELEGRAFOS'.
Type B , top-right, has the 'G' open and broken lines in the sky.
Type C also has the 'G' open but additionally it has the 'V' reversed.
Type D, courtesy of Martin (masetr603 on Ebay) has two closely-spaced diagonal rows
        of diamonds in the bottom-left quadrant, and a white patch in the top-right corner.
Type E , courtesy of Carlos Quintanilla has some frame-breaks that may not be constant.

There are other differences between these five types, the most noticeable being the plume
of the volcano, but also the corners, pattern around the oval and other lettering the sea
and the volcano itself. The marginal markings appear to be constant too.

Out of the 15 scans I have so far, one third of them are imperforate.


There are also differences of shading on the volcano and sea.


Here then are the features:

Type A features. Type B features. Type C features.
Type A Type B Type C

 

Type D features. Type E features.
Type D Type E

 

I would be interested to hear from collectors with other examples of these,
are they same as a type above or different?

 

Looking closely at the 2 Reales value:

2R - a 2R - b
Type A - 'S' of 'SALVADOR' noticeably leans backwards and a wide 'R'. Type B - Narrow 'S' and 'R' of 'SALVADOR'


2R - c
Type C - Regular waves at base of volcano, distinctive 'R' in 'SALVADOR'


2R - d
Type D - Tranquil sea, large lettering of 'SALVADOR'.

Types A, B and C images courtesy of Carlos Quintanilla. Type D is from RL.

As with the 1 Real value shown above, there are also differences of shading on the volcano and sea.


Here then are the features:

Type A features. Type B features. Type C features. Type C features.
Type A Type B Type C Type D

 

Looking closely at the 4 Reales value:

4R - a 4R - b
Type A - Top-left ribbon hanging limply. Type B - Top-left ribbon billowing out. Wide supports at base. Tall 'SALVADOR'.


4R - c
Type C - Frame damage at left and top. Cap in contact with many rays at the top.


Only 3 scans of this scarce stamp, courtesy of Carlos Quintanilla, but clear differences as noted
as well as minor differences in the lettering, ribbons and wreaths.



As with the 1 Real value shown above, there are also differences of shading on the volcano and sea.

Here then are the features:

Type A features. Type B features. Type C features.
Type A Type B Type C

 

 

 

1882 As above but overprinted 'CONTRA SELLO' of type HS4 in purple.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH12 H4 1, 2 1r green - -
RH13 H5 1, 2 2r violet - -
RH14 H6 1, 2 4r carmine - -

Note: Since these stamps were not used after the beginning of 1877 and HS-4 did not exist before the end of 1882, any examples are likely to have counterfeit handstamps.

 

1883 Postage stamps of 1879-89 (Lithographed by Rufino Flamenco. SG 9-16) overprinted as type HS-4 in purple. No watermark. Perf. 12½
The "Contrasello" overprint of this issue was created by decree of December 5th 1882.

The whole set of postage stamps was initially printed in 1879 with redrawn 1c, 2c and 5c being issued in 1881, see below for details.

Contrasello H15 1c without overprint H16
Type HS-4 Type 5   1c (type a) RH15 Type 5   1c (type b)
without overprint
Type 6   2c. (type b)   RH18


5c without overprint 5c without overprint 10c without overprint 20c without overprint
Type 7   5c. ultramarine (type a?)
without overprint
Type 7   5c. blue (type b?)
without overprint
Type 8   10c. black
without overprint
Type 9   20c. purple
without overprint


Type 2 Image taken from Hiscocks page 110. (10c and 20c shown below)

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH15 H15 5, 2 1c green (shades) (SG9) type a 10.00 15.00
RH15a -           type a, 'Λ' for 'A' in 'SALVADOR'. 15.00 22.00
RH15b -           type a, 'Λ' for 'A' in 'REPUBLICA'. 15.00 22.00
RH15c -           type a, 'Λ' for 'A' in 'UNIVERSAL'. 15.00 22.00
RH416 H15 5, 2 1c green (shades) (SG14) type b 10.00 15.00
RH17 H16 6, 2 2c rose (SG 10) type a 10.00 15.00
RH17a - 6, 2         type a, inverted scroll in upper-left corner. - -
RH18 H16 6, 2 2c carmine (SG 15) type b 10.00 15.00
RH19 H17 7, 2 5c blue (SG 11) type a 20.00 30.00
RH20 H17 7, 2 5c blue (SG 16) type b 20.00 30.00
RH21 H18 8, 2 10c black (SG 12) 60.00 90.00
RH22 H19 9, 2 20c purple (SG 13) 80.00 120.00

 

 

1884 As above but overprint in black.

H20 H21a H21b H23 H24
Type 5   1c. (type b)   RH20 Type 6   2c. (type a)   RH25 Type 6   2c. (type b)   RH26 Type 8   10c.   RH29 Type 9   20c.   RH30

 

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH23 H20 5, 2 1c green (SG9) type a 8.00 12.00
RH23a -           type a, 'Λ' for 'A' in 'SALVADOR'. 12.00 18.00
RH23b -           type a, 'Λ' for 'A' in 'REPUBLICA'. 12.00 18.00
RH23c -           type a, 'Λ' for 'A' in 'UNIVERSAL'. 12.00 18.00
RH24 H20 5, 2 1c green (SG14) type b 8.00 12.00
RH25 H21 6, 2 2c rose (SG 10) type a 8.00 12.00
RH25a - 6, 2         type a, inverted scroll in upper-left corner. - -
RH26 H21 6, 2 2c carmine (SG 15) type b 8.00 12.00
RH27 H22 7, 2 5c blue (SG 11) type a 10.00 15.00
RH28 H22 7, 2 5c blue (SG 16) type b 10.00 15.00
RH29 H23 8, 2 10c black (SG 12) 40.00 60.00
RH30 H24 9, 2 20c violet (SG 13) 50.00 75.00

 

Notes derived from the Scott Catalog (2007).

The stamps were initially printed in 1879 with:
15 varieties of the 1c and 2c,
25 varieties of the 5c and
5 varieties of the 10c and 20c.

The 1c, 2c and 5c were re-drawn in 1881 with:
15 varieties of the 1c and
5 varieties of the 2c and 5c.

My comments on this.

Scott also lists 3 varieties of the 1c, a variety of the 2c and notes a wide variety of shades for the 5c.
It does not say which printing had the varieties, but I have two distinct types of the 1c and 2c and
(my) type a has a style more in keeping with the non-redrawn values (10c and 20c). I do not have the SG volumes, so confirmation/correction would be welcome.
Since the 'Contrasello' overprints did not appear until 2 years after the re-drawing operation, I would expect type a to be fairly scarce.
To me it appears that the re-drawing made the 'C' of the value slimmer and smaller.
In addition the H15 example, 1c (type a) above has one of the varieties listed by Scott.
I have tentatively integrated these new
types into Hiscocks list.

 

 

1888 Postage stamps of 1887 (SG 18-20) with the same overprint HS-4. White wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 or rouletted as indicated.

RH31 1888 5c RH33
Type 10   3c.   RH31(?) Type 11   5c. Type 12   10c.   RH33(?)

Notes: Hiscocks describes the 5c as being the 1887 rouletted issue, but illustrates the 1890 perforated stamp. I have illustrated the 1897 stamp.
The 3c and 10c stamps, courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht, appear to have fake handstamps (as shown above), the 3c having a postal cancellation.
It is an open question as to whether genuine examples exist.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH31 H25 10, 2 3c brown (Perf. 12) (SG 18) - -
RH32 H26 11, 2 5c blue (rouletted) (SG 19) - -
RH33 H27 12, 2 10c orange (SG 20) - -

 

1891 Revenue stamps of 1891 (Forbin 10 etc.) but with control numbers in blue, black or purple.
Coloured wove papers. No watermark. Perf. 11 between stamps.

as in Hiscocks book page 111
Type 13 - RH34, courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
Note: According to John Barefoot, this type was available to prepay small administrative or tax charges, but none have been seen with 'clearly telegraphic' cancels.

Here is an example of postal use:

Sale 58 Lot 3247
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH34 H29 13 1c black / yellow (black control) - -
RH35 H30 13 5c black / blue-green (black control) - -
RH35a H30a           purple control - -
RH36 H31 13 10c black / rose (black control) - -
RH36a H31a           purple control - -
RH36b H31b           blue control - -
RH37 H32 13 25c black / blue (black control) - -
RH38 H33 13 50c black / lilac (black control) - -
RH39 H34 13 1p blue / white (black control) - -
RH39a H34a           error '189' for '1891' - -
RH40 H35 13 5p green / white (black control) - -
RH41 H36 13 25p green / white (black control) - -
RH42 H37 13 50p rose / white (black control) - -
RH43 H38 13 100p yellow / white (black control) - -

 

1892 As above but dated 1892 (Forbin 20-22).

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH44 H39 13 1c black / yellow (purple control) - -
RH44a H39a           variety 'SALVAD  OR' - -
RH45 H40 13 5c black / blue-green (purple control) - -
RH46 H41 13 25c black / blue (purple control) - -

 

1893 As above but dated 1893 (Forbin 23).

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH47 H42 13 1c black / yellow (purple control) - -

 

1895 As above but dated 1895 (Forbin 25).

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH48 H43 13 5c black / blue (blue control) - -

 

1896 As above but dated 1896 (Forbin 26).

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH49 H44 13 5c black / green (blue control) - -

 

1896 New design with 'Timbres Para Telegramas'. Dated 1896. Coloured wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12.

As in Hiscocks page 111
Type 14, RH50 - Image courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH50 H45 14 10c black / red (black control) - 60.00

 

1896 Of similar type to the above but with 'Timbres Para Cablegramas'. Coloured wove paper.
No watermark. Perf. 12 on two, three or four sides. Values in block type.

Cablegramas set except the 5c
Hiscocks Type 15, the set except the 5c courtesy of Carlos Quintanilla.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH51 H46 15 1c red (blue control) 25.00 25.00
RH52 H47 15 5c yellow-green (blue control) 150.00 150.00
RH52a H47a           value in small Roman capitals 175.00 175.00
RH53 H48 15 10c blue-grey (blue control) 40.00 40.00
RH53a H48a           value in small Roman capitals 50.00 50.00
RH54 H49 15 1p lilac (blue control) 100.00 100.00
RH55 H50 15 5p vermilion (blue control) 200.00 200.00
RH55a -           value in lower case 250.00 250.00
RH56 H51 15 10p red-brown (blue control) 200.00 200.00
RH56a H51a           dated 1886 yellow-brown (error?) 250.00 250.00

 

1897 Revenue stamp type of 1891 (Type 13) but dated 1897 (Forbin 32 and 34).
See note under Type 13 image.

RH57 RH57a RH58 RH58a
Type 13   5c.   RH57 Type 13   5c.   RH57a(?) Type 13   1p.   RH58 Type 13   1p.   RH58a

Forbin describes RH57a as having the value written as 'CENTaVOS' with a lower case 'A'.
This has the 'A' and also the 'S' as smaller letters, as well as '189' for the year as on RH58a.

Perhaps things got confused in translation, but Forbin lists nothing else that it could be.
The main reason that I noticed it was the cancel, much of the wording is missing but that looks like lightening bolts that are generally telegraphic.
Interestingly the 1896 set shown above includes all but the 5c stamp.   Images courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Anyone else have any stamps with this distinctive cancel ?

 

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH57 H52 13 5c black / green (black control) - -
RH57a H52a           lower case 'a' in 'CENTaVOS' (Forbin 32a) - -
RH58 H53 13 1p blue / white (black control) - -
RH58a -           '189' for '1897' (Forbin 34a) - -

 

1898 As above but dated 1898.
See note under Type 13 image.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH59 H54 13 5c black / yellow (black control) - -
RH60 H55 13 5c black / green (black control) - -
RH61 H56 13 10c black / rose (black control) - -
RH61a H56a           blue control - -
RH61b H56b           error — 'EZ' for 'DIEZ' - -
RH62 H57 13 25c black / blue (blue control) - -
RH62a H57a          error — 'de' for 'del' - -

 

1899 Revenue stamps of 1896 (Forbin 27-31) but with control numbers overprinted.
White wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 14½.
John Barefoot does not list these, or anything else after 1896 due to the lack of telegraphically used examples.
I will list them (for now at least) since Hiscocks did. Some may have been used telegraphically, but that was not really their purpose.
As always, it is for the collector to decide what to collect.

RH63 RH63a RH66
Type 16 Images of RH63, RH63a and RH66 courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH63 H58 16 1c green (black control) - -
RH63a H58a           blue control - -
RH64 H59 16 5c yellow (blue control) - -
RH65 H60 16 10c ultramarine (blue control) - -
RH66 H61 16 25c olive-brown (black control) - -
RH66a H61a           blue control - -
RH67 H62 16 1p red (blue control) - -

 

1900 Type of 1891 but dated 1900.

RH # Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used
RH68 H63 13 1c blue / yellow (blue control) - -

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. While the listing above goes as far as Morley and his correspondents, stamps of type 13 continued until 1904
                with two sets per year — one with the year overprinted on stamps of other years back to 1891 followed
                by one with the correct year without overprint in each case. It is not known whether these carried control
                numbers or whether they were used as telegraph stamps if they did.

According to John Barefoot, Type 13 has not been seen with 'clearly telegraphic' cancels.

 

 

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.

Contact:     Emale

Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.

 

Alternatively Yahoo Group Yahoo-Group is a forum.

 

Last updated 13th. Oct. 2017

©Copyright Steve Panting 2012/13/14/15/16/17 except where stated.
Permission is hereby granted to copy material for which the copyright is owned by myself, on condition that any data is not altered and this website is given credit.

 

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