For definitive Portugal stamps, 1912 was a historical year. The new Republic of Portugal introduced a series of definitive postage stamps featuring a likeness of the Ancient Roman goddess Ceres, reflecting the importance of Portuguese agriculture.
Over the next fourteen years, new denominations would be added, and
there would be many color and shade changes, creating a definitive stamp
series of enormous size. Considering this, the attractiveness and
scope of the Ceres-type Portugal stamps have long attracted stamp
collectors around the world.
I created the images on this page, in an effort to illustrate all of the issued denominations and colors of these new Portugal stamps. However, I was not successful in locating suitable images for all of them on the internet. I do apologize for any missing denominations and / or colors in the following images.
The philatelic grouping of these stamps is actually very easy to understand. There are three main groups, separated by paper types, and within two of those groups, only two different perforation gauges were utilized.
Here's a hint for determining the two perforation gauges on these Portugal stamps from the scanned images. On the perforated 15 x 14 stamps, the perforation holes are tiny, and the perforations themselves usually appear rough or indistinct. On the perforated 12 x 11 1/2 stamps, the perforation holes are a little bit larger, and the perforations themselves usually appear clean-cut.
The eighteen major-Ceres-type definitive Portugal stamps shown above were issued between 1912 and 1920. They are all typographed on chalky paper.
The common design features the likeness of the Ancient Roman goddess Ceres holding a sickle, a symbolic representation of the grain harvest.
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on chalky paper and perforated 15 x 14, are as follows:
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on chalky paper and perforated 12 x 11 1/2, are as follows:
The sixty major-Ceres-type definitive Portugal stamps shown above were issued between 1917 and 1926. They are all typographed on ordinary paper.
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on ordinary paper and perforated 15 x 14, are as follows:
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on ordinary paper and perforated 12 x 11 1/2, are as follows:
The thirteen major-Ceres-type definitive Portugal stamps shown above were issued between 1923 and 1926. They are all typographed on glazed paper.
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on glazed paper and perforated 12 x 11 1/2, are as follows:
All of the Ceres-type definitive Portugal stamps described on this page may seem a bit overwhelming. But WAIT ..... This is not all of them .....
Some of these Ceres-type Portugal stamps were re-drawn in 1926, re-valued in 1928, and re-issued in new colors in 1930! When evaluating the total scope of this Ceres-type definitive Portugal stamp series, one must also consider that almost ALL the Portuguese colonies used this same design for THEIR definitive postage stamp issues of the same time period.
Considering the total volume of this series, collecting the Ceres-type definitive stamps could be a lifetime specialty by itself!
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Ceres was the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture, the grain harvest, fertility, and motherly relationships.
Ceres held a very high position in the Roman Pantheon, being the daughter of Saturn and Ops and the sister of Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Vesta, and Pluto.
In Roman mythology, Ceres' name was associated with "grain", a dietary staple of the ancient Mediterranean world and one of its often consumed by-products, "bread".
She is usually depicted with one of her symbolic attributes, the sickle, a sheaf of wheat, a cornucopia, or cereal (a dish or bowl).