Postage stamps and postal history of Uruguay
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Uruguay is located in the southeastern part of South America and has a population of over 3 million people, almost half of whom live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area. Uruguay's only land border is with Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to the north. To the west lies the Uruguay River, to the southwest lies the estuary of Río de la Plata, with Argentina only a short commute across the banks of either of these bodies of water, while to the southeast lies the South Atlantic Ocean. Uruguay at 68,679 square miles (177,880 km2) is the second smallest nation of South America in terms of area after Suriname.
- 1 Pre-stamp postal markings
- 2 Currency and postal weights
- 3 First stamps
- 4 Issues from 1864 to 1909
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Pre-stamp postal markings
Spanish crown period
In 1724 the Spanish Crown decided to establish a settlement on the east coast of Río de la Plata, with a view to countering the dominance of Portugal, which had contravened the Treaty of Tordesillas to found the Colonia de Sacramento opposite Buenos Aires. The building of the city, called San Felipe y Santiago de Montevideo, was completed towards the end of 1726. At this time, both Montevideo and Buenos Aires were virtually isolated from the other Spanish colonies in America. As early as 1748, the Governor of Buenos Aires organised scheduled transport services between that city and the villages within Peru and Chile. The first mail service, called El Príncipe, reached the port of Montevideo in May 1767. The regulations stated that the mailbags were to be delivered to the port of Montevideo, where the correspondence for Buenos Aires was transferred to launches. In 1785 a weekly overland service was introduced between Buenos Aires and Montevideo. The correspondence was carried in three launches called chasqueras (boats) as far as Colonia del Sacramento, where it was transferred to Montevideo by military couriers.
In February 1797 a weekly mail service was set up between Montevideo and Buenos Aires, with dedicated personnel who replaced the military couriers, and up to eight staging posts used. This service remained in operation until 1810, the year when the struggle for independence led by José Gervasio Artigas forced its suspension.
To relay the correspondence to the east of the territory, travelling along the road between Montevideo and the Fort of Santa Teresa, eleven staging posts were set up in 1798, and in 1799 the postal service was introduced which linked Montevideo, Minas and Cerro Largo. Following the First Treaty of San Ildefonso, signed in 1777, Spain governed the southern part of Uruguay, while the north remained in Portuguese hands. This situation was briefly interrupted in 1807, following the invasion of Montevideo by the British armed forces.
In 1811 Uruguay declared its independence, but the Spanish Crown did not withdraw from the territory until 1815, after the collapse of the Siege of Montevideo and the triumph of the Artiguista Revolution. However, in the following year the country was invaded by Portuguese troops, who governed from 1816 to 1824. Between 1824 and 1827, the Uruguayan territory was dominated by Brazil. In 1825, the struggle for the final independence of the country began, with the so-called Freedom Crusade (Cruzada Libertadora), led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja. On 25 August of that year, the independence of the country was declared, which took effect in 1830, with the Pledge of the Constitution and the nomination of Fructuoso Rivera as the first Constitutional President. Throughout this period, there were virtually no developments in the postal service, which began to be reorganised in 1827, when General Lavalleja appointed Luis de la Robla to act as Postal Director. On 11 January 1828, the first Provisional Regulations for the Postal Service were approved, and in July of that year De la Robla submitted the first General Mail Schedule to the government for approval.
In 1839 the period of civil war called the Guerra Grande began. This continued until 1851, and throughout this time the entire country was dominated by revolutionaries, with only the city of Montevideo remaining in government hands. This situation had a very serious impact on the postal service within the country, while the service between Montevideo and abroad continued to operate regularly. During this period, the activities of the Montevideo Chamber of Commerce began to take on great importance. This institution was founded in 1835 by Jorge Tornquist, and operated as a sorting office for last minute mail, receiving commercial correspondence after the official mailbags had been sealed.
Government of Montevideo
The precarious economic situation of the Government of Montevideo led to the transfer of several sources of revenue, including those of the postal service. Early in 1846 the Board of Directors of the Purchasing Company took possession of the Postal Administration, which it retained until 1852, when it was returned to State ownership. One of the first measures adopted by the new administration was the organisation of a postal transport service to and from the interior of the country. For this purpose, Atanasio Lapido was nominated as Postal Contractor, with the task of installing staging posts throughout the country. These began to come into operation in May 1853. In April 1856 the General Postal Director, Miguel Solsona, left office, and Mr. Lapido also took over the post of Postal Director, on an unpaid basis.
Currency and postal weights
Before independence the currency and monetary system of the colonising country was adopted.
|1800||8 reales = 1 peso = 1 peso fuerte = 800 centésimos|
|1839, June 20||1 peso or Patacón = 8 reales = 800 centésimos|
|1844||1 patacón = 960 centésimos|
|1846||1 real = 120 centésimos o reis|
|1862, June 23||1 peso plata = 100 centésimos|
A law approved on 23 June 1862 shaped the final monetary system. The decimal system was adopted, taking as base unit the "Silver peso", consisting of 100 centésimos. All other monetary denominations prior to the approval of this law were abandoned.
The tariffs for correspondence were regulated both by weight and travel distance. This last variable was abandoned when the rates approved on May 1856 became official.
- 6 adarmes = 1 ounce = 28.7 grams
- 1 pound = 454 grams
The correspondence could be paid by the sender or by the recipient when reaching its destination.
The postal services organised by the stagecoach companies, led by Mr. Lapido, issued on 1 October 1856 the so-called Diligencia (stagecoach stamp). This issue was intended for correspondence carried by stagecoach, solely for the domestic service. There were three values:
- 60 centésimos blue, for single page letters
- 80 centésimos green, for two-page letters
- 1 real red, for three-page letters.
The stamps were issued in sheets of 35, printed on white woven unwatermarked paper, in the Mège Lithograph Workshop of Mège y Willems Printing Ltd in Montevideo. The set was redrawn on 1 October 1857.
Satisfied with the results achieved with the Diligencia stamps, Mr. Lapido had a new series printed in 1858 for the franking of correspondence with the Republic of Argentina. This set came also in 3 values:
- 120 centésimos blue
- 180 centésimos green
- 240 centésimos red
This issue came to be called Soles de Montevideo (Montevideo Suns) or Soles Doble Cifra (Block Type Issue), as the value of each stamp was also printed at the bottom of the stamp.
19th Century controversy
Don Anselmo Seijó was a renowned collector at the end of the 19th and early 20th century. His most important grant to the philately of Uruguay was the find of the “Piñeiro Archive”. In the 19th century a controversy arose concerning the genuineness of the Diligencia second type issue. The Belgian dealer Jean-Baptiste Moens, supported by other chroniclers in Europe, had doubts about the official nature of the 60c second type issue, and challenged the theories of the Uruguay collectors Dr Esteban Wonner  , Vasconcellos and Durante, who found copies in an old correspondence. In 1892 Mr. Seijó had the opportunity to acquire the correspondence archive of Vicente Piñeiro of Rocha, and found three covers franked with the “Diligencia” second type, all emanating from the merchant Sopeña of Montevideo. This find was the definitive confirmation of the genuineness of this issue and its postal use, and brought to a close a conflict which had confronted European and Uruguayan chroniclers for nearly 20 years. Mr. Seijó sold them some years later to three collectors in Uruguay, among them Dr. José Marcó del Pont.
At the end of 1857, Mr. Lapido resigned from the post of Director and was replaced by Prudencio Echevarriarza, who continued the reforms of his predecessor, and presented a proposal to the government for the application of postal stamps for correspondence between every point in the country. This was approved by the government, which laid down the following in its decree of 11 June 1859:
Article 1: 'All correspondence will be franked by postal stamps, without which no letters will be delivered by the General Postal Administration or any of its branch offices, the only locations where exchanges of mail may take place.' Article 2: 'In accordance with the tariffs laid down, the values of the stamps for delivery within the country will be as follows:
- Purple: single weight letter – 60 cents
- Yellow: double weight letter – 80 cents
- Pink: triple weight letter – 100 cents
For the foreign mail service:
- Light blue: single weight letter – 120 cents
- Green: double weight letter – 180 cents
- Scarlet: triple weight letter – 240 cents.'
The first stamps with government approval were hence issued on 1 July 1859.
The term Foreign Mail referred to correspondence to Argentina and Brazil. Overseas correspondence was only franked with stamps from the end of 1872 onwards, following the so-called Montevideo Postal Incident, the result of illicit actions by the foreign consulates in the city, who received and despatched mail using ships flying the flags of their own states, with no involvement of any kind by the Uruguayan Mail Service. The British consulate used British stamps at Montevideo between 1862 and 1872 which may be identified by the cancel C28.
The only examples of mail addressed to transatlantic destinations before 1872 are a very few genuine covers franked for paying the domestic rate.
Issues from 1864 to 1909
The change in the currency to the silver peso system in 1862 urged for a new issue which, after nearly two years delay, appeared in 1864. The new centesimo values (6, 8, 10 and 12) bear the same ratios to each other as the former stamps of ten times their nominal face value. The design shows the Uruguay coat of arms. The exact date of issue is in doubt, but Mr. Hugo Griebert considers it to have been about the end of February 1864.
The stamps were lithographed by the firm who had done all the previous work for the Postal Department, Mège and Willems of Montevideo. The 6c sheets were in four panes, each of 56 stamps (eight horizontal rows of seven), but the 8c had panes of 64 stamps (eight by eight). The 10c and 12c were probably similarly arranged. The 8c sheets had several tête-bêches, one pane at least having the right half (32 stamps) inverted, giving eight pairs of têté-bêches down the middle. The 12c of this issue exists bisected and used for its half value.
Changes in the postal rates, by which they were made multiples of 5c, and which were published on 6 September 1865, were responsible for the first surcharged stamps. A new issue was ordered in England, but as it could not arrive in time, the 1864 set was overprinted, without regard to former values, with the new denominations. Thus the 12c became 5c, the 8c became 10c, the 10c became 15c, and the 6c became 20c. The new figures were printed in black over the old figures of value, and thus appear twice on each stamp. The tête-bêche varieties of the 8c stamp were taken into account and the surcharged figures properly placed. Errors of surcharge occurred, but most of them are said to be rare. For this reason there are many bogus varieties and surcharges in existence which should be guarded against. This provisional issue appeared on 1 January 1866, when the new rates went into effect, but were soon superseded by the new permanent stamps.
This new set, which arrived and was issued 10 January 1866, was lithographed by Messrs. Maclure, Macdonald and Co., of London. The four values were first engraved, each stamp separately on its plate, and then transferred to the stone for printing the supply by lithography. The 5c was engraved in a plate of 100, ten rows of ten; the 10c in a plate of 50, ten rows of five each; the 15c in a plate of 35, seven rows of five; the 20c is still unknown. As a consequence of the separate engravings, as many minor varieties exist as there were stamps on the original plates. The most prominent of these are: in the 5c, the "white flag" (no lines in the top of the 5), CENTECIMOS without the initial C and also without the final S, as well as with a small s, and the left side of the arms, below the horse, not filled in; in the 10c, the I omitted, and also an I for the T in CENTECIMOS. The sheets of the 5c contained 100 stamps, as engraved, but the size of the printed sheets of the other values is unknown. The 10c stamp was cut in two and used for its half value, and even the 15c seems to have had one third of the stamp used for 5c occasionally, while the 20c, doubly unfortunate yielded a half for 10c or even a quarter for 5c rates.
On 1 October 1866 the 1c stamp appeared, due to the inauguration of this rate for newspapers. It was produced by the same firm as the other numeral stamps, but was lithographed from two different stones apparently, one containing two panes of 72 stamps each, and the other one pane of 176 stamps (sixteen horizontal rows of eleven). Impressions from the two stones can be separated by several minor differences, but in general by the clearness of the first and the blurring in the second, or in pairs or more by the wider spacing (nearly 1 mm.) of the first stone.
Evidently the plates or transfers must have been sent to Montevideo, for we find the local lithographers supplying printings in 1868, according to Mr. Griebert, and with new sheet arrangements; thus the 5c is printed in sheets of 190, ten horizontal rows of 19, and the other three values in sheets of 200, ten rows of 20. Both the English and local printings were supplied imperforate and perforated, the first stamps thus treated having come from England in March 1866. The perforation gauges from 12 to 131⁄2, the larger gauges chronicled (8 to 101⁄2) being trials perforations, according to Mr. Griebert. The spelling of "centecimos" with a second "C" is stated to have been an error of the English engravers.
On 8 January 1877 a new and finely engraved set of stamps was issued which had been engraved on steel by the American Bank Note Co., of New York. It omitted the 15c value, but added a 50c and 1 peso. The latter value was not issued until 1 May 1879 because of a curious error. The engravers had transposed the two sides of the coat of arms, making the "quarterings" come on the wrong sides. The error was discovered and the stock burned, only a few specimens escaping. The sheets were of 100 stamps, (ten by ten), and were rouletted, instead of being perforated; a means of separation that seems to have appealed to Uruguay and Chile, for some reason or other. Both the 10c and 20c are known bisected for their half values.
In 1879 Uruguay imported a batch of nine cast iron pillar boxes made by Cochrane & Co of Dudley, England. These followed a hexagonal design created by the English architect John Penfold for the General Post Office, but cast with Spanish lettering and the Uruguayan coat of arms in place of the English lettering and royal insignia of the original. Some survive and some are still in service. In 1993 the Correo Uruguayo commemorated its Penfold post boxes with a set of stamps of 50c, $1 and $2.60.
In 1880 the 1c stamp became exhausted and on 10 November a lithographed copy was issued, produced locally by Sr. Pena of Montevideo. The sheet had 100 stamps, but they were arranged in twelve horizontal rows of eight, with four extra ones added at the bottom. The stamp is normally rouletted, but can be found wholly imperforate or partly imperforate – horizontally or vertically.
Owing to a new rate on letters to Paraguay, Chile and Brazil, a stamp of 7c was issued on 25 August 1881. It was the first portrait stamp of Uruguay, and presented Dr. Joaquin Suarez, President 1843–52. It was poorly lithographed to the extent of a million copies by Sr. Pena, in sheets of 180 (twenty horizontal rows of nine). It was normally perforated 13, but can be found imperforate or part perforate – horizontally or vertically.
Two stamps for newspaper postage next appeared, the 1c on 15 May 1882 for local use, and the 2c on 1 July for foreign use, it having the letters U. P. (Union Postal) on it. These rather neat little stamps were lithographed by Mège and Aubriot in sheets of 100, and each stamp bears its sheet number. They both exist perforated, imperforate or part perforate as before.
On 1 March 1883 the President of the Republic, Máximo Santos, was honored with a 5c stamp bearing his portrait. It was lithographed by the firm last mentioned in sheets of 150, six horizontal rows of seventeen, with three horizontal rows of sixteen beneath, the three end spaces being blank. The stamp is normally perforated, with the usual varieties already detailed for previous values.
Again some local productions by the firm already mentioned appeared on 16 March 1883 – a 1c – and on 1 April 1883 – a 2c and 10c. The 10c was evidently copied from the Argentine 8c of 1877, and depicted the head of the celebrated José Gervasio Artigas, "Protector" of the young Republic. All three values were lithographed in sheets of 100 (twenty horizontal rows of five) on a thin, transparent paper, though the 1c and 2c come on a thick paper, which is rare. All values are perforated, but can be found imperforate, and the 1c and 2c part perforated horizontally. The 10c was bisected for use as a 5c.
In the latter part of 1883 the 5c stamps ran out, and the Administration once more began to surcharge, a habit which has been more or less prevalent since. A stock of the 5c of 1876, which was on hand but had been withdrawn from circulation, was therefore utilized, but with a "habilitating" surcharge because of their having been retired. The stamp was issued 24 September 1883, overprinted "1883 Provisorio" in two lines reading up. The overprint is found inverted (reading down) and also "interverted" – the word and date having changed places. Stamps are also known with either word or date missing, and in pair without surcharge on one stamp. Red surcharges or horizontal surcharges are trial prints and were not issued.
1 Cent stamps ran out, and the 10c of 1877 was utilized surcharged "Provisorio – 1 centesimo – 1884" in three lines. It was issued on 15 January 1884, and is found with inverted surcharge.
Still the new issue expected from New York failed to arrive, and the 2c ran out as well as the provisional 5c. The first was supplied by the remainders of the 2c of 1882 overprinted "Provisorio – 1884" in two lines and issued on 25 January 1884. It can be found with inverted overprint, in a pair with one stamp unsurcharged, and imperforate. The 5c value had to be supplied by a new stamp. It was lithographed by Mège and Aubriot, as usual, in sheets of 100 (twenty horizontal rows of five). This stamp comes in two types, the first having been issued on 25 January 1884, and the second on 9 April 1884. The most apparent difference between the two lies in the lines of the background and the rays of the "sun," which are much closer together in the first stamp. The second stamp is also on a thin paper. Both stamps were normally perforated, but both can be found imperforate and the second type horizontally imperforate.
At last the new stamps from the American Bank Note Company came and were issued on 1 May 1884. They were in sheets of 100 stamps (10 by 10) and rouletted. Four values bore large figures as a center, and one the arms, but the 7c had a more pleasing likeness of Gen. Artigas than we saw before, and the lOc showed a portrait of President Máximo Santos. The 5c of the series was not issued until 19 December. M. Jean explains this as follows: This stamp was printed in violet instead of blue, and the Government refused them, sending them back to New York with an order for the blue. The latter were printed, but the engraving company returned the violet stamps with them, and evidently made the Government accept them, for both stamps were issued, the blue ones on 19 December 1884, and the violet ones on 1 December 1886 – perhaps because the blue were used up. The blue stamp is found imperforate horizontally and the 20c bisected for its half value.
After three years the 10c stamps ran out, and a new one was ordered of Sr. Godel of Montevideo, and issued 17 October 1887. It was lithographed in sheets of 100, and printed in violet of several shades. It is normally rouletted but occurs imperforate horizontally.
On 1 January 1888 the American Bank Note Company stamps appeared in changed colors, and the 10c in a new design as well. The 5c stamp ran out in October 1889, and on 14 October the 5c violet was issued for general use with the simple surcharge "Provisorio". One stamp, has an inverted A for a V. Red surcharges are only trial prints.
A change of heart had come over the Government, which ordered its next set from Messrs. Waterlow and Sons of London. The 2c and 5c were issued 1 December 1889, and the rest of the set on 1 May 1890. The 1c can be found imperforate or horizontally imperforate, and the 5c either horizontally or vertically imperforate.
Again the 5c stamps ran out, and the 5c violet of 1886 was surcharged diagonally in red "Provisorio – 1891" in two lines. The surcharge is found inverted, and both normal and inverted on the same stamp; also with date "1391" once on the sheet, and with various letters and figures missing. It was issued on August 19, 1891.
Next, the 1c and 5c failed, the former being supplied from the 1c of 1888 surcharged "Provisorio – 1892" – in two lines, and the latter by surcharging the 7c of the then current issue "CINCO – Centésimos – Provisorio – 1892" in four lines. Both surcharges were in red and both stamps were issued on 18 January 1892. Many errors occurred in each case including inverted surcharge, ordinary and inverted surcharge on the same stamp, double surcharge "Previsorio" (e for o), wrong dates on the 5c, etc.
Once more the 1c became exhausted, and the 20c of the then current issue was utilized by surcharging "UN – Centésimo – Provisorio – 1892" in four lines in black. The date can be found with a stop between 18 and 92, and "centésimos" with a circumflex instead of acute accent. The surcharge is also known inverted.
At last a supply of permanent stamps arrived from London, in new designs, and the surcharges ceased. These stamps in only four values, were not in use as long as they deserved to be. The 1c and 2c were issued 9 March 1892, the 5c on 19 April and the 10c on 15 December. They were printed in sheets of 100, (ten rows of ten) and perforated, though the ic and 2c have been found vertically imperforate and the 5c horizontally imperforate.
In 1894 a new supply of the first series of stamps made by Waterlow and Sons was received, but in changed colors and with two new high values added.
The 1c was received first and issued on 15 May, and the remainder of the set issued on 2 June. The numbers printed are given by M. Jean as follows :
- 1c – 3,400,000
- 2c – 1,000,000
- 5c – 3,000,000
- 7c – 50,000
- 10c – 430,000
- 20c – 50,000
- 25c – 25,000
- 50c – 20,000
- 1p – 15,000
- 2p – 5,000
- 3p – 5,000
For varieties we find the 1c either horizontally or vertically imperforate and the 5c and 10c vertically imperforate.
Somewhat more than a year later the advance guard of another new series, one of the finest productions of Waterlow and Sons, made their appearance. The 1c showed the full length figure of a gaucho or half-breed, and the 5c a railway locomotive. These two values were issued on 5 October 1895. On 5 December appeared the 2c showing the Solis Theatre in Montevideo, the 7c with a fine steer's head, the 10c with a "gleaner," the 20c with an ocean steamship, and the 25c with a figure which may be Minerva. This last value having the center in black, had one sheet printed with the center inverted and about 40 copies were sold and used before it was discovered. It is said that the remaining 60 copies were destroyed. It is therefore one of the great rarities. Finally on 1 January 1896, the remaining values were issued, the 50c with an attractive head of Mercury, the 1p with the national arms, the 2p giving a view of the old fort of San José, and the 3p having a view of the cathedral of Montevideo. All values of the issue exist imperforate, and the 1, 7 and 10c horizontally, and the 1 and 5c, vertically imperforate. They were as usual printed in sheets of 100.
The unveiling of a monument to former President Joaquín Suárez (in office 1843–52) was made the occasion of a commemorative set of three stamps issued on 18 July 1896. The centers were in black, the 1c showing the head, the 5c the full statue, and the 10c the monument complete. The three stamps were in different sizes, increasing from the 1c to the 10c. They were engraved by Waterlow and printed in sheets of 100. They were withdrawn on August 26, and demonetized. All three values exist imperforate.
The remainders came in handy for another little provisional issue, due to the exhaustion (?) of the 1, 5, and 10c stamps of the regular issue. They appeared on 1 March 1897, each value being surcharged PROVISORIO 1897 in a horseshoe, though the date is below on the 10c. All three occur with inverted surcharges, naturally, and the 5c in pair with an unsurcharged stamp. Thirty thousand of each value are stated to have been issued.
Again a new issue was made by changing the colors of the current one, the 1, 2 and 5c appearing on 21 June 1897, and the rest of the set, including the 10c in a new design, on 26 September. The 1c and 25c exist vertically imperforate and the 5c both horizontally and vertically imperforate. Mr. Griebert announces the discovery of the 1c printed on both sides.
A second commemorative issue was called forth by the fetes celebrating the end of the civil war in 1897, and the current 1, 2, 5 and 10c stamps were overprinted with an olive branch and PAZ 1897 for this purpose. They were issued on the three days, 26–28 September 1897, and in the following quantities 1c, 150,000; 2c, 100,000; 5c, 200,000; 10c, 30,000. Of course they are all found with inverted surcharges, and the 5c in pair with an unsurcharged one.
On 25 July 1898 a reduction in domestic newspaper rates was made to 1⁄2c (5 milésimos) per 100 grammes. This necessitated a new stamp, and the remainders of the 1c 1894 were called up on to bear the surcharge "PROVISIONAL – 1⁄2 – CENTESIMO" in three lines. 460,000 of these were issued on 25 July, but were naturally insufficient – there being more stamp collectors than newspapers. On 15 August, therefore, the 1c of 1895 appeared with the same surcharge. The number printed is unknown. Again they disappeared, and on 23 October the 1c of 1898 was treated likewise, and was followed on 6 November by the 2c of 1895 and on 14 November by the 5c of 1897. Mr Griebert does not mention the 1⁄2 on 7c of 1895, but M. Jean gives the date of its issue to 14 November, and places the 1⁄2 on 5c as issued on 11 November. The 2c of 1894 was also prepared, but most of them destroyed without being issued. The first two stamps are known with the surcharge inverted.
While the permanent stamp was being engraved in London a temporary lithograph was made locally by Sr. Pena in sheets of 100, the first printing being in a rose-lilac and issued on 19 November 1898, and the second printing in purple, issued on 12 March 1899. The stamp was lettered "5 milesimos." M. Jean lists the purple stamp imperforate both horizontally and vertically.
The new 5m stamp from London was issued on 26 April 1899, along with the 5c of the "locomotive" design, which had changed color. The 5m stamp had a view of the monument to Gen. Artigas in San José de Mayo. The stamp was in sheets of 100 like the others, and it exists both horizontally and vertically imperforate. The 5c comes vertically imperforate.
On 1 July 1899 the old 1c and 2c of the first Waterlow issue of 1889–90 reappeared in changed colors, and the 10c of 1897 likewise. No varieties are reported for these. On 10 April 1900 more changes were made, this time the 5m of the last issue, with the 7c and 20c of the 1890 issue.
The 5c stamp ran low the latter part of 1900, and the remainders of the 10c Suarez issue were used to make a provisional, which appeared on 1 December. These were the ones already surcharged "PROVISORIO 1897," the date being cancelled this time by a bar and "1900" appearing at the top of the stamp. Two errors exist, one lacking the bar over 1897 and the other lacking the "OS" of "centesimos."
Change being the order of the day in Uruguay, another new issue of larger size began to appear toward the close of 1900. The 5c and 10c were issued on 15 December and the 1c on 17 December 1900. On 11 February 1901 the 2c and 7c were added; accompanied by the old 25c 50c and 1p of 1890 in new colors. The new designs were in sheets of 100 like the old. The 1c and 2c are known vertically imperforate and the 1c and 5c horizontally imperforate. The 2c comes in two distinct shades.
It is said that objection was raised to the continued production of stamps abroad when it could be done locally, so the government decided to give the work to the School of Arts and Crafts in Montevideo. As a result we have a series of lithographic copies of the work of Waterlow, except for new designs of the 5m and 5c stamps, the former showing the statue of Gen. Artigas and the latter a cow. The sheets comprised 100 stamps, and the 1, 2, and 5c occur imperforate. The 1 and 5c also come vertically and horizontally imperforate and the 2c vertically imperforate. The 1c has been used with authority for a 1⁄2c stamp, bisected. Mr. Griebert gives the dates of issue as follows: 5c on 1 May; 2c on 10 September; 1c on 24 September; and 5m on 1 December 1904; the 10c, 20c, and 25c on 13 February 1905.
Another civil war closed was marked by surcharging the 1, 2 and 5c "PAZ – 1904" and using them on 15–16 October 1904. The numbers issued were respectively – 15,000, 56,000 and 8,000, allowing for remainders destroyed.
On 23 February 1906, the 5c stamp was issued in a somewhat larger size. This stamp was counterfeited for postal purposes, whereupon the authorities decided to again apply to London for supplies. Meanwhile a new 5c was deemed necessary and was issued on 27 November 1906, and was followed in July 1907, by a 7c and 50c in the same design. These were lithographed in sheets of 100 at the same school as before and are fairly creditable productions. The 5c exists vertically imperforate.
New supplies of the Waterlow stamps issued previously in December 1900 and February 1901, were received and put on sale on 27 November 1907.
Another commemorative set in honor of Uruguayan independence was sold to the public on 23–25 August 1908. There were three values, 1, 2, and 5c of large oblong size, typographed by Sr. Antonio Barreiro y Ramos; the central picture shows the cruiser Montevideo (formerly the Dogali, bought from Italy) and the gunboat 18 de Julio, both in gala attire. This centerpiece is a half-tone electro. The sheets contained 25 stamps, and 100,000 of each value was issued. The stamps are rouletted and the 1c is known vertically imperforate.
Two stamps were issued 24–25 August 1909, to commemorate the opening of the port of Montevideo. The festivities were countermanded, however, owing to a marine disaster at the port on 24 August, by which many lives were lost. The stamps were engraved in Buenos Aires (by the South American Bank Note Co.?) and it is said that 150,000 sets were issued. The paper is watermarked with the script RO (Republica Oriental) in a large horizontal diamond.
In the fall of 1909 the 10c stamp of 1905 was surcharged 8c, and the 25c stamp of the same issue surcharged 23c, due to certain changes in the postal tariff. 800,000 of the former are said to have been issued.
- Currency of Uruguay
- List of people on stamps of Uruguay
- Stamps of Uruguay on Wikimedia Commons
- "Uruguay." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 9 March 2012.
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