Today in Postal
Guatemala to Germany
July 20, 1901
This cover was sent from Guatelmala City.*
There is a nice purple octagonal CORREOS GUATEMALA datestamp.
the standard color for rubber
There is also a bold purple 2 in
a circle canceller
GUATEMALA | C. A. surrounds the 2.
The canceller is common during ca 1897-1908.
also applied in many other colors
as CTO cancel on the 1902-07 issues.
This is a separate postmark used in both Guatelmala City and Retalhuleu.
Retalhuleu is about 130 km west of Guatemala City.
The size of Retalhuleu suggests that it is much more likely that this
cover came from Guatelmala City.
The cover was franked with a late but legitmate use of an engraved 1890
10c vermilion (red) Quetzal
based on the national emblem design first used in 1886 (Scott 48).*
national emblem design first used in
1886 was lithographed (Scott 37) with the “10” narrower.
this issue appeared in other
this value in red was demonetized.
However, the quantities printed in new
colors were insufficient so it was decided to reauthorize
the use of
the series in the earlier colors as substantial stocks remained
for some of the values.
At that time Guatemala’s public treasury was in
a very bad state, so this was an appropriate move.
The stamp appears to be on
colored paper, and,
although I originally attributed the color
discoloration with age, I am told that some printings of the stamp were
on off-white paper.
The cover was destined for Potsdam.
is less than 30 km southwest of the center of Berlin.
There are no other transit marks on the front and there is no image of
required transit and arrival
marks to be
stamped on the REVERSE of covers and ADDRESS side of cards.
time, complete mailbags were made up in Guatemala to various European
Therefore, the standard state would just be for a receiver on the back,
without the need for other transit marks.
*Thanks to David Benson for identifying the city where the cover
originated and for catching my misidentification of the stamp.
The bulk of the information above has been provided by CÚcile
editor of El Quetzal, the
quarterly journal of the
International Society of Guatemala Collectors
through the good offices of Eric Dyck.
I owe both of them a big "THANK YOU!"
She was kind enough to write an extensive note on the uses of the small
cicular cancel on the stamp,
the history of the stamp, and the foreign mailing practices of
Guatemala at the time.
Her additions show just how much can be learned when you know all about
such a cover.
She recently published a new book,
The Postal Markings of
GUATEMALA, sus marcas postales, available from ISGC - Home Page
Today in Postal History
Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.
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