Mexico: The 40c Map stamp and OFICIAL overprints

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The Postage values of this issue are pretty straightforward, as follows:

1915 .... 40c Slate .... SG 299 .... Sct.512 (This stamp also exists Imperforate)
1917 .... 40c Mauve to Violet No Watermark .... SG 410 .... Sct.626
1923 .... 40c Mauve to Violet With Watermark .... SG 433 .... Sct.647

Whereas the shade variations on the 1917 (no wmk) issue are not particularly striking, the 1923 watermarked issue can range from bright purple through mauve to reddish violet, violet, deep violet and even violet-grey. I have not attempted to list these separately.
Now, the tricky ones!:

................OFFICIAL OVERPRINTS ON THE 40c MAP................

1915/16 .... 40c Slate .... optd OFICIAL in Black .... SG O.318 .... Sct.O.98 ( not illustrated )
(This stamp exists with overprint double and with overprint inverted).

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Mexico SG O.421 1918 ... 40c Mauve to Violet (no wmk)
Optd OFICIAL in red (without full stop/period)

SG O.421 .... Sct.O.121.
This stamp is easily confused with the 1921 overprint without stop.

In the 1918 issue (which has the same overprint as on the 1915/16 40c slate) the 'L' of OFICIAL has a sloping serif, whereas the 1921 types have a nearly vertical serif (at the end of the crossbar of the 'L')
The overprint measures (from the extreme left of the 'O' to the outer edge of the 'L') nearly 18.5 mms.
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Mexico SG O.433 .
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1919 .... 40c Mauve to Violet (no wmk)

Optd OFICIAL in red with letters widely spaced

SG O.433 .... Sct.O.132.

This is an easily distinguishable stamp because of the spacing of
O F I C I A L, which measures 21.5 mms. The letters are also smaller.
Again, there is no stop/period and the stamp has no watermark
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Mexico SG O.443 .
1921 .... 40c Mauve to Violet (no wmk)

Optd OFICIAL in red (without full stop/period)

SG O.443 .... Sct.O.142.

This stamp is easily confused with the 1918 overprint without stop.

In the 1918 issue, the 'L' of OFICIAL has a sloping serif whereas this stamp has a nearly vertical serif (at the end of the crossbar of the 'L')
This overprint measures approximately 17.5 mms. .
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Mexico SG O.465 We now move on to 40c Official stamps with a stop / period after OFICIAL

The placement of the word OFICIAL is not infrequently at the top of the stamp, most commonly in the centre of the stamp, sometimes at the foot of the stamp. I have not attempted to list these, as I suspect many of the issues may be found with errant placements of the overprint.

The comments in italics on shades on Postage values at the top of the page apply equally to the Official Stamps with watermark. Again, I have not attempted to list shades.


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Chronological Listing of the overprint style as on the stamp immediately above:

1921-24 ... No wmk ... Overprint in Black .... SG O.455 .... Sct O.153
This stamp also exists with varieties 'OFICAL' and 'OICIFAL' and with Overprint Inverted

1921-24 ... No wmk ... Overprint in Red .... SG O.455d .... Sct.O.162
This stamp also exists Imperf between, vertical pair (Scott only, not SG)

1926 ... With wmk ... Overprint in Red .... SG O.465 .... Sct. O.174
This stamp exists with Overprint Inverted

1927 ... With wmk ... Overprint in Black .... SG O.466 .... Sct.O.188

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Finally, there are two later Officials on the 40c watermarked map:

1933 ... optd with TWO words : SERVICIO / OFICIAL (not illustrated)

SG O.545 .... Sct.O.207

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Mexico SG O.572 .

1934 .... optd OFICIAL in Black
(as scan at left)
This overprint has much smaller letters and is only 13.5 mms long.

SG O.572 .... Sct.O.222 .

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With the marked colour variations, different styles of overprints, inclusion and exclusion of stops, stamps with and without watermark, overprint placement inconsistencies and some interesting listed varieties, this is a fascinating series of issues - and very good for the brain!... Enjoy!

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