Queen Isabella II
The design of the first issue of stamps appeared to have seemed crude and unsatisfactory to the authorities in Spain, for on September 1, 1854, (probably soon after the arrival in Spain of the first copies), a Royal Decree was issued directing that after April 1, 1855 all stamps on letters to Spain or foreign countries, (the 1-real and 2-reales values), should in future be printed in Spain; while only those for interior use, (the 5-cuartos and 10-cuartos values), should be printed in Manila. To permit the use of supplies at hand, this date of effect was postponed by a Decree on December 18, 1854 to commence on June 1, 1855; but was later, again postponed, until January 1, 1856.
In spite of the fact that the stamps of 1854 were produced in a very primitive fashion, the engraving and Recess printing of the stamps from engraved plates must have proven expensive. As a result, lithography was resorted to for the subsequent printings.
A lithographer in
Cabeza Grande (Large Head)
5-cuartos. Issued for domestic mail under half-an-ounce, (single weight interior postal rate). Printed in blocks of four varieties. A total of 5,000 stamps, (1,250 of each variety), were printed in shades of vermilion. The stamps remained in use until January 1859. (Scott #6; Edifil #5; SG #10)
The stamps were lithographed on medium to thick, white wove paper
by the firm of Plana, Jorba y Cia,
Cabeza Chica (Small Head)
5-cuartos. Issued for domestic mail under half-an-ounce, (single weight interior postal rate). A total of 3,500 stamps were printed in shades of vermilion. It is believed that a total of three printings were carried out for this issue. In the First Printing, only a few sheets in pale vermilion were found to be satisfactory; all the rest were destroyed. The Second Printing, released in August 1855, produced 3,000 stamps in vermilion. The Third Printing, released on November 15, 1855, was not completely satisfactory, only producing a total of 500 stamps in pale vermilion. The stamps remained in use until January 1859. (Scott #7; Edifil #6; SG #9)
Lithographed on smooth, thin white paper by the firm of Plana,
Jorba y Cia,
DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN THE CABEZA GRANDE TYPES
The Cabeza Grande was issued in Blocks of Four types, comprising of twelve blocks per sheet, with basic differences on each of the types as follows:
TYPE I - UPPER LEFT OF BLOCK
The "S" of "CORREOS" is very tall and narrow. The date, "1854" is small and figures are of even size. All 5's in the upper label have serifs inclining upward to the right, but none touch the top line. The "5" of "5Cs" is small and has a loop or curve. The circle of pearls is broken by the frame line at the left. The stamp measures 19 x 22 mm.
TYPE II - UPPER RIGHT OF BLOCK
The "C" of "CORREOS" is farther apart from the end of the label than in the other types. The serif on the last "5" of "55" inclines upward and touches the outer frame line of the upper label. The "5" of "5Cs" has practically no staff and the serif slopes down to a loop. The "C" in "Cs" resembles a "G". The circle of pearls is broken by the left frame line, though not as much as the first variety. The stamp measures 19½ x 22 mm.
TYPE III - LOWER LEFT OF BLOCK
The "C" of "CORREOS" is tall, narrow, and close to the left label. The "8" and "5" of "1854" are higher at the bottom than the "1" and "4". Serifs in "55" incline upward and the last one often touches the upper line. The "5" of "5Cs" has a small, thin horizontal serif, and the staff to curve below is short and thin. The curve of "5" is large. The frame line at the left just touches the circle of pearls. The stamp measures 19 x 22 mm.
TYPE IV - LOWER RIGHT OF BLOCK
The "C" of "CORREOS" is small, narrow and close to the left of the label. The date "1854" is large and even. The serifs in "55" are nearly horizontal and well away from the top line of the label. The circle of pearls is not broken by the frame line at the left. The stamp measures 19½ x 22 mm.
In addition to the differences noted above, the following table details the number of horizontal lines in each corner of the spandrel:
DATES OF ISSUE
There continues to be extensive debate as to the dates of issues for these stamps and which issue precedes the other. Despite this uncertainty, we can be certain that these stamps were in use in 1855, with the existence of the Cabeza Grande issue tied to cover with a circular date stamp of August 19, 1855.
The table below summarises the issue dates from various prime sources:
The following excerpts provide further detail to the various assumptions and rationale behind the dates listed by the sources noted above:
My reasons for placing the issue in four varieties after that of June are:
· That the single type if far rarer of the two
· That it exists in one tint, which was continued in use for the stamps of July (but the latter varied in colour, ending with a brownish hue)
· That the four varieties were received in entire sheets in 1864
· That the idea of reproducing a single design in blocks of four minor varieties was again carried out in the case of the stamps of 1859, which succeeded those of 1855
Some of the Filipino collectors accept the
belief that the later issue [Cabeza Chica] was made in
Palmer expands further by stating “the four type [Cabeza Grande] issue appears to have undergone several printings, judging from the range of shades found. This view is further supported by the fact that minor differences in the stamps themselves suggest possible retouching of the old stones used or perhaps new stones from a slightly different set of designs.”
ROYAL DECREES AND ORDERS
A Circular was issued in
General Post Office Department
I forward to you, for your compliance so far as it concerns you, a copy of the Royal Decree of 18th December last , relating to the charge for correspondence in the provinces beyond the seas; and with a view to dispelling any doubts that may be caused by the alterations made by the said Decree in reference to that of September 1st of the same year, you will take note:
That postage for letters must be prepaid:
Within the Peninsula and adjacent islands, if bound for
the islands of
Within the Peninsula, if bound for the
That letters not prepaid with be charged:
In the Peninsula and adjacent islands, those which are
In the Peninsula, those from the
That insufficient prepaid letters will be charged:
In the Peninsula and the adjacent islands, those which are despatched from Cuba and Porto Rico, two reales vellon for each stamp of a half real plata fuerte that is wanting.
In the Peninsula and the adjacent islands, those from the
That Registered letters, in addition to the stamps for prepayment of postage, should bear:
From the Peninsula and adjacent islands for
From the Peninsula and the adjacent islands for the
That printed papers and commercial samples, without any writing except upon the envelope, when they are made up in small packets, are to be prepaid, or charged when not prepaid, at one half of the corresponding rates for letters.
That Letters or Packets transported by private ships are to be surcharged:
In the Peninsula and adjacent islands, those that come
You are requested to acknowledge receipt of this circular, which you shall communicate to the branches of the Post Office within your district.
May God preserve Your Excellency many years.
Madrid, June 26, 1855. The Principal Director of Posts, Miguel Muñoz
A Directive issued on October 19, 1855 was put
in place in
Government of the Philippine
Under this date I have issued the following orders:
Taking into consideration what has been laid before me by the Chamber of Commerce of this City, in a communication dated 4th September last, and in conformity with what has been stated by the Revenue Officials and the Accountant-General of the Government, I order that there shall be carried out the instructions contained in Article 6 of the Royal Decree of 18th December of last year, by which it is directed that letters not prepaid arriving from the Peninsula shall be charged in these Islands two reales plata fuerte for postage, in accordance with the provisions of the Circular of the Government forwarded to this Administration, by Royal Order from the Ministry of the Possessions beyond the Seas, dated 4th July last, which I have ordered you to bring into force on the prescribed date.
To be communicated to all concerned, and to be published in the Official Bulletin.
Manila, October 19, 1855. Director-General of Posts, Manuel Crespo
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