Queen Isabella II

February and March 1863

Early in 1863, a provisional issue became necessary due to the approaching exhaustion of the supply of the 1-real and 2-reales values of the 1856 issue, and the immediate necessity for stamps of this denomination. Because in the main, the 1-real and 2-reales values issued in January 1863 were for domestic usage, and were also the wrong colours for foreign mail, (under the International Convention), the authorities, unable to await fresh supply of stamps from Spain, were forced to order stamps made and printed in Manila.

A report of this fact was made to the Spanish Authorities at Madrid, who were requested to accept this provisional issue despite of the Decree of September 1, 1854; stating that all stamps used for foreign mail should be made and printed in Spain. On account of the real urgent need, the home authorities were obliged to grant the request and to ratify what had already been done, as appears in a letter from Madrid to the Director-General of Posts at Manila, dated September 24, 1863.

The design of this issue was intended to resemble that of the 1856 issue, but the stamps were hastily and poorly made and are very crude accordingly. The stamps were lithographed by M. Perez y Hijo in Manila; issued imperforate; and measure 19 x 23 mm. The upper panel has the word "CORREOS" and a white dot before and after it, as to resemble the 1856 issue. The word "CORREOS" measures 10 mm long; the tip of the bust is rounded and is about 1 mm from the circle of 94 pearls; and the lettering is in Roman Capitals.

There is but one type for this issue, though many minor differences may be noted between individual copies. Friederich and Hanciau agree that the design consisted of two parts - an outer frame and a vignette - which were placed successively on the stone so that one printing completed the stamp. As minor variations would naturally occur in placing the vignette within the frame after the latter had been transferred to the stone, there are probably as many varieties as stamps to the sheet; which most authorities indicate to be 50, (five rows of ten stamps each).

Two printings of this issue were produced, as follows:

1-real. A total of 7,000 stamps printed in grey-green and issued in February 1863. Printed on smooth, thick, white to yellowish paper. The impressions are sharp and clear. (Scott #18; SG #24; Edifil #15)

1-real. A total of 5,000 stamps printed in dark grey-green and issued in March 1863. Printed on smooth, thick, white paper. These impressions are generally defective, owing to the ink being too liquid. (SG #23; Edifil #15a)

 February 1863 Printing

March 1863 Printing

Note: Authorities tend to disagree with the actual first day of sale for this issue, as follows:

1) One Printing - February 1863: Stanley Gibbons Catalogue and Duro, (1891)

2) One Printing - March 1863: Mencarini, (1896); Bartels, (1904); and Palmer, (1912)

3) One Printing - March 2, 1863: Edifil Unificado Catalogue

4) Two Printings - February and March (?), 1863: Hanciau, (1905)


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