Postage stamps and postal history of Portugal

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An early stamp of Portugal.

The early issues from 1853 had the monarch's head, white and featureless, embossed on a coloured background. The most valuable stamps from this period are Gibbons catalogue nos 8 and 9 from the 1853 issue: the 100 reis lilacs.

The first pictorial issue in 1894 commemorated the 500th anniversary of Henry the Navigator's birth. Vasco da Gama's voyage to India in 1497-1498 was the subject of an 1898 issue. The Vasco da Gama designs were also used in the African colonies and were inscribed Africa instead of Portugal. This was the only general issue for colonies.

The 1910 definitives were overprinted Republica after the revolution and the first republican issue was the familiar Ceres type of 1912.

Aeroplanes were first depicted in 1923 following the Gago CoutinhoSacadura Cabral flight from Portugal to Brazil in 1922. In 1924, the first literary issue commemorated the birth of epic poet Luís de Camões in 1524.

The common Caravel type first appeared in 1943, the Medieval Knight in 1953 and Portugal's first railway stamp in 1956.

Volumes increased from the 1960s.