World Stamps

By Joe O'Donnell

Content Producer

Royal Philatelic Society London gets lesson in Spanish Antilles stamps

November 18, 2015 03:37 PM

  • Yamil Kouri (left) receives a plaquette from Royal Philatelic Society London president Frank Walton after Kouri's presentation to the society about the stamps of the Spanish Antilles.

By Joe O'Donnell

1. Schooled in Spanish stamps

The following was pulled from a Royal Philatelic Society London press release detailing the group's latest meeting:

Teasing his audience when introducing his presentation to The Royal Philatelic Society London on November 12, Yamil Kuori asked, “Where are the Spanish Antilles?” He quickly stopped any guessing by explaining that they essentially comprised Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Philippine Islands, strategically situated for trading purposes. Yamil went on to show and describe their first postal issues from 1855 to 1865.

The initial issues shared the same design as the first stamps of Spain (issued in 1850), featuring the portrait of Queen Isabel II. The presentation looked at the production of the stamps, the proofs featuring different papers and colours, the basic stamps, usage including first day covers, and forgeries. It was the latter that led to a new design being introduced in 1865 and thereafter changed annually.

On November 19, 1855, a local service was established in Havana for which the rate was a quarter-real. To meet the need, stocks of the 2-real stamp were surcharged “Y¼.” The initial surcharge came in two types: on display was one of two known pairs showing both types of surcharge.

[Editor's note: Kouri's last name is misspelled Kuori in the RPSL press release.]

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In early November, Great Britain’s Royal Mail announced the subjects for its 2016 commemorative stamps. They include William Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, and the Great Fire of London. 

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