first issues > countries > portugal


Friday, July 1, 1853

Europe 10

  Portugal #1  

Imperforate, no watermark, embossed & typographed.
Printed by ???.


Description   # issued Scott # SG Mi Y&T
July 1, 1853
5 reis brown
  2,294,112 1 1, 2    
25 reis blue
  4,888,729 2 3, 4, 5    
July 2, 1853
100 reis lilac
  147,600 4 8, 9    
July 21, 1853
50 reis green
  179,400 3 6, 7    

All issue quantities are approximate.

Scott [1] has only one colour varant, the Sc3a 50r blue-green, but Gibbons [2] has colour and/or die variants for each of the stamps above and numbers them separately.

Two dies were used for the 5 reis, one for each of the others. Printed in sheets of 4 by 6 = 24, one by one, arranged irregularly, but most often with plenty of space between the stamps. Scott notes 2 mm. as the size of full margins. This is a very wide margin, and stamps with narrower margins should sell for much less than the value noted in catalogs.

The 5 reis stamp is priced at nearly 50 times that of the 25 reis stamp, though only twice as many 25 reis stamps were issued. The reason is that 5 reis was the newspaper rate, and many stamps were therefore torn when opening the wrapper, and subsequently discarded. 25 reis was the rate for letters within Portugal.

The cancels were often oily, and therefore were soaked into the paper, giving a smeared impression. Clean, sharp cancel impressions are not common.

These stamps have been reprinted on several occasions. Beware of reprints sold as the real thing.

Sources: ScS [1], SGP9 [2].

Image from David Olson.

FI ref: 46 Page credit: JA

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 25 Jun 2016