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Spanish Stamps

Definitives of 1855-1865

New portrait definitive Spanish stamps were issued in early 1855, with additional portrait types continuing through early 1865.

WMK 104
Loops (1855)

WMK 105
Crossed Lines (1856)

The two paper watermarks illustrated above were used during 1855 and 1856. These watermarks were discontinued in 1856, and watermarked paper was not used again until the definitive issues of 1876.

All of the definitive postage stamps of this period feature the profile of Queen Isabella II.  They are imperforate, and they were printed on various types of papers, yielding a number of collectible varieties.



The five major-type definitive Spanish stamps shown above were issued between 1855 and 1859.  There are three major printings of these stamps, as indicated in the catalog detail tables below.

Four of these denominations were issued in April 1855 on bluish paper with WMK 104 - the loops watermark.

  • 02 C.  (1855 - WMK 104 - Sc. #36) - Green on bluish, Yellow Green on bluish.
  • 04 C.  (1855 - WMK 104 - Sc. #37) - Brown Red on bluish, Carmine on bluish, Lake on bluish.
  • 01 R.  (1855 - WMK 104 - Sc. #38) - Greenish Blue on bluish, Blue on bluish.
  • 02 R.  (1855 - WMK 104 - Sc. #39) - Reddish Purple on bluish, Deep Violet on bluish.

Four of these denominations were issued in January 1856 on rough yellowish paper with WMK 105 - the crossed watermark.

  • 02 C.  (1856 - WMK 105 - Sc. #40) - Green on yellowish.
  • 04 C.  (1856 - WMK 105 - Sc. #41) - Rose on yellowish.
  • 01 R.  (1856 - WMK 105 - Sc. #42) - Greenish Blue on yellowish, Dull Blue on yellowish.
  • 02 R.  (1856 - WMK 105 - Sc. #43) - Brownish Violet on yellowish, Dark Reddish Violet on yellowish, Gray Violet on yellowish.

All five of these denominations were issued in between 1856 and 1859 on smooth white paper, and they are unwatermarked.

  • 02 C.  (1856 - Sc. #44) - Blue Green, Yellow Green.
  • 04 C.  (1856 - Sc. #45) - Rose.
  • 12 C.  (1859 - Sc. #48) - Dark Orange.
  • 01 R.  (1856 - Sc. #46) - Blue, Pale Greenish Blue.
  • 02 R.  (1856 - Sc. #47) - Brown Lilac, Dull Lilac.



The six new definitive Spanish stamps shown above were issued between 1860 and 1861.  They are printed on tinted papers and they are unwatermarked.

The Scott Catalog details are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1860 - Sc. #49) - Green on green.
  • 04 C.  (1860 - Sc. #50) - Orange on green.
  • 12 C.  (1860 - Sc. #51) - Carmine on buff.
  • 19 C.  (1861 - Sc. #52) - Brown on buff.
  • 01 R.  (1860 - Sc. #53) - Blue on green.
  • 02 R.  (1860 - Sc. #54) - Lilac on lilac, Violet on mauve, Lilac on Blue.



The six new definitive Spanish stamps shown above were issued in July 1862.  These were the first stamps inscribed "ESPA√ĎA".  They are printed on tinted papers and they are unwatermarked.

The Scott Catalog details are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1862 - Sc. #55) - Deep Blue on yellow.
  • 04 C.  (1862 - Sc. #56) - Dark Brown on reddish buff, Brown on white.
  • 12 C.  (1862 - Sc. #57) - Blue on pinkish.
  • 19 C.  (1862 - Sc. #58) - Carmine on lilac, Carmine on white.
  • 01 R.  (1862 - Sc. #59) - Brown on yellow.
  • 02 R.  (1862 - Sc. #60) - Green on pinkish, Green on rose, Yellow Green on rose.



The six new definitive Spanish stamps shown above were issued in January 1864.  They are printed on tinted papers and they are unwatermarked.

The Scott Catalog details are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1864 - Sc. #61) - Dark Blue on lilac.
  • 04 C.  (1864 - Sc. #62) - Rose on reddish buff, Carmine on reddish buff.
  • 12 C.  (1864 - Sc. #63) - Green on pinkish.
  • 19 C.  (1864 - Sc. #64) - Violet on pinkish.
  • 01 R.  (1864 - Sc. #65) - Brown on green.
  • 02 R.  (1864 - Sc. #66) - Blue on pinkish.



The seven new definitive Spanish stamps shown above were issued in January 1865.  They are printed on white, unwatermarked paper and they are imperforate

These new imperforate stamps were not in use very long, before perforation began.  As a result, most of them are very scarce, even in used condition.

The imperforate 4 C. denomination stamp was never put into use.

The Scott Catalog details are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1865 - Sc. #67) - Rose.
  • 04 C.  (1865 - Sc. #68) - Blue.
  • 12 C.  (1865 - Sc. #69) - Blue and Rose.
  • 19 C.  (1865 - Sc. #70) - Brown and Rose.
  • 01 R.  (1865 - Sc. #71) - Yellow Green.
  • 02 R.  (1865 - Sc. #72) - Red Lilac.
  • 02 R.  (1865 - Sc. #73) - Rose, Salmon, Orange, Yellow Brown.




eBay Auction and Store Links

Spanish Postage Stamps

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Return to Spanish Stamps from
Definitives of 1855-1865






SBI!




Cancellation

Types

There were four major obliteration types used during this period.

Grid Type

The grid type cancellations were used, beginning with the 1853 issues of Queen Isabella II.  The grid type cancellations are very common.

Cartwheel Type

These cancellations consist of a segmented double circle, usually with a numeral in the middle.

Circular Date Stamp

Circular date stamp or town cancellations appear during this period.  They are scarcer than the grid or cartwheel cancellations, and they usually command a premium.

Parallel Bars or Lines

Stamps of 1854 to 1882 that are canceled with parallel horizontal bars or lines are REMAINDERSThough these are the original stamps, these remainders are worth only a tiny fraction of the prices of the original stamps with contemporary postal cancellations.


Forgeries &

Reprints

Most of the definitive stamps of Queen Isabella II are very expensive in mint condition.  Even many of the used condition stamps are rare and expensive in their own right.

As with anything of great value, there have been people throughout history that seek to profit by deceiving unsuspecting collectors.

There are forgeries and unofficial reprints of almost all the early definitive postage stamps of Spain.  One should be very careful, when buying any expensive classical postage stamps.  It is a good idea to only purchase high-priced items that are clearly authenticated or certified.