Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
It is likely that even some geography majors would have trouble placing Horta on a map. Horta is the only municipality on the island of Fayal in the western part of the Azores archipelago. The Azores lie about 930 miles west of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean.
Portugal was a major colonial power right up until 1975 when it divested itself of most of its colonies. Today, Azores remains an autonomous region of Portugal.
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As an administrative district of the Azores, Horta issued two sets of King Carlos definitive stamps in 1892-93 and 1897-1905 (Scott 1-12 and 13-34, respectively). Stamps of Horta are popular with Portugal collectors and classic stamp collectors. With only 34 stamps issued, a complete country collection is well within the realm of possibility.
The 2018 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the first set at $261 in unused hinged condition and the second set at $124.35 in unused hinged condition. Both sets are a good buy at full Scott catalog value. Expect hinge remnants. Stamps were printed on soft paper, so avoid examples with missing perforations or thins.
If necessary, acquire the stamps as short sets and singles to complete each set. Covers that are not obviously philatelic are extremely scarce. You are unlikely to find the sets in mint never-hinged condition, but they would bring a fine premium if you do.