World Stamps

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Bolivia 1912 Justice revenue inverted overprint error in demand

February 04, 2016 08:30 AM

  • The inverted overprint error of the 1912 Bolivia 1-centavo Justice revenue stamp with overprint in red for postage and 10c surcharge (Scott 101a) is in demand and selling for multiples of its 2016 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers value.

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Recent years have seen a rebirth of interest in Latin American issues, especially in the classic period. Bolivia, a landlocked country in the northwest quadrant of South America, is one of the more interesting and popular countries.

Bolivia began fighting for independence from Spain in 1809. The war raged until 1825, when an independent republic was finally established. Bolivia did not issue its first stamps until 1867. Bolivia was on the losing side in two of the biggest wars in South American history: the Pacific War (1879-1883) and the Chaco War (1932-1935).

Overprints and surcharges of the classic period provide fertile ground, with many varieties and errors still within reach of most collectors.

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In 1912, Bolivian postal authorities overprinted in red and surcharged a 1-centavo blue Justice transactions revenue stamp to 10c for use as a postage stamp (Scott 101). The 2016 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers lists this inverted overprint error as Scott 101a and values it at $25 in unused hinged condition.

An example sold for $77 after spirited bidding in a recent online auction. If you find this stamp offered at $50 or less, it would be a really excellent buy.

In addition to the inverted overprint error, the Scott Classic Specialized catalog lists six other errors and varieties of this stamp, providing great scope for interested collectors.