World Stamps

Interesting and unusual 1891 postal telegraph stamps from Chile

Jul 20, 2022, 8 AM
The set of four 1891 Chile National Coat of Arms telegraph postal fiscal stamps is a good buy in very fine grade and lightly hinged, original gum condition at up to $15.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Postal fiscal stamps are revenue stamps that have been authorized for prepayment of postage. In the Scott catalogs, they are listed after the regular postage stamps and before semipostal stamps. Their catalog numbers are prefixed with the letters AR.

In the late 19th century and until 1914, Chile authorized the use of eight revenue stamps for postal use (Scott AR1-AR5 and AR10-AR12).

Chile also authorized four of the 1891 series of National Coat of Arms telegraph stamps printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co. for postal use (Scott AR6-AR9).

Although these were not revenue stamps, to avoid creating a separate category for postal telegraph stamps, the Scott catalogs list them as postal fiscal stamps.

The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values Chile’s four National Coat of Arms postal fiscal stamps in unused, original gum condition at $13 total. The stamps are valued in used condition with postal cancellations at $50 total, with the value in italics.

The same four stamps are valued at $3 total with telegraph cancellations. A note below the Scott catalog listing warns, “Counterfeit postal cancels exist.”

This is an interesting and unusual type of postage stamp. It is in demand by collectors of Chile and by specialist telegraph stamp collectors who are looking for crossover uses.

The set of four stamps in very fine grade and lightly hinged, original gum condition is a good buy at up to $15. If you want to collect them in postally used condition, expertization is a good idea.

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