The 1900 Definitive stamps showing a train and Mount Momotombo were overprinted in 1900 and surcharged in 1901 for Telegraph use. Then ,in 1907, the 1c, 2c, 3c and 50c recess-printed stamps of 1900 and the 5c red and 10c violet lithographed stamps of 1902 were surcharged for Telegraphic use. The 1907 issue is the subject of this study..
The quality, or rather the lack of quality, of printing, of care and of workmanship in these overprints can hardly be overstated. I have compiled a list of personally verified varieties below and have not attempted to add any from catalogue sources.
However, the majority of the stamps where there is a blank in the table below will probably exist. Readers of this article are welcome to send me details of any further varieties they may find (scan of these appreciated, please) and to advise of any further values which they have personally seen of the varieties I have listed below.
If anyone can identify the sheet size and/or location of the varieties within the sheet, this could also be usefully added to the article. I am sure many of the varieties listed will also exist on the stamps with double and inverted surcharge. However, as some of the varieties are probably due to typeface falling out, one would need to know whether the sheets printed double or inverted were produced before or after such mishaps to the typeface. To be honest, I think it is very unlikely that such information exists anywhere, but I would be happy to be proved wrong!
I have a suspicion that the surcharges on the Lithographed stamps may well have been made at a different, probably later, date than the surcharges on the recess-engraved stamps. On the 10c/5c and the 15c/5c, in particular, the quality is quite dreadful and only marginallty better on the 10c/10c. However, as the varieties seem to appear on both recess and litho stamps, perhaps the answer is that the ink of the telegraphic surcharge was not suited to the surface of the lihograhed stamps.
After producing this article, I received extensive further information from Alan Slater, concerning both general settings and further varieties. It is a subjective decision as to where the line should be drawn between these. For the moment, I have put the following in the first camp, i.e. general setting variations:** The gap between 'e' of 'Vale' and the '1' of '10' or of '15' can be wide or narrow. ** There are at least three different types of the figure '0' in '10' Surcharge Inverted : As whole sheets were produced with surcharge inverted, it follows that most varieties listed below will also occur on stamps with inverted surcharge. The stamps illustrated above each group show the varieties listed in that section, in order from left to right:
|Variety||10c/1c||10c/2c||10c/5c||10c/10c||10c/50c||15c/3c||15c/2c||15c/5c||Normal||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Thick T in Telegrafos||.||Yes||.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||.||Missing T in 'Telegrafos',faint 'V' in 'Vale'||.||.||.||.||.||Yes||.||Yes||small raised second e in Telegrafos||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||.||.||'T' with serifs - NOT illustrated||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Variety||10c/1c||10c/2c||10c/5c||10c/10c||10c/50c||15c/3c||15c/2c||15c/5c||Weak or missing 'f' 'fo' or 'o' in Telegrafos||Yes||.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||.||Missing 's' in Telegrafos||.||.||.||.||.||Yes||.||.||Missing 's' in Telegrafos and missing C||.||.||.||.||Yes||Yes||.||.||Raised and Invtd 'os' = Telegrafso(note below)||Yes||Yes||.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||.|
|Variety||10c/1c||10c/2c||10c/5c||10c/10c||10c/50c||15c/3c||15c/2c||15c/5c||Figure '1' missing from new value||.||.||.||.||Yes||.||.||.||Figure '0'(in 10) or '5'(in 15) missing from value||.||.||.||Yes||.||.||.||.||Figure '0' or '5' and C missing||.||.||.||Yes||.||.||.||.||Taller, thinner '0' in '10'||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||****||****||****|
|Variety||10c/1c||10c/2c||10c/5c||10c/10c||10c/50c||15c/3c||15c/2c||15c/5c||Missing both 'le' and 10C, leaving only 'Va'||.||.||Yes||Yes||Yes||.||.||.||'0' like base of damaged 'd' (+ raised 'e')||.||.||.||Yes||.||****||****||****||'01' in error for '10'||.||.||.||Yes||Yes||****||****||****||Surcharge Double||.||Yes||.||.||.||Yes||Yes||.||Surcharge Inverted (illustrated in introduction)||.||Yes||.||Yes||.||.||.||Yes|
The stamps in this section of the article are listed by Yvert (Tele 89-96) and Domfil (907.43-50). Both catalogues also list a further value 30c/1c (Yv. 96A, Domf.907.51). I have never seen a copy of this stamp and can therefore make no comment upon it, except to say that it appears to be a pretty rare stamp. If anyone has one, I should be pleased to hear from them.
|Code||Description||RU||TIMBRE FISCAL in RED, reading UP||rU||Timbre Fiscal in RED, reading UP||RD||TIMBRE FISCAL in RED, reading DOWN||rD||Timbre Fiscal in RED, reading DOWN||BU||TIMBRE FISCAL in BLACK, reading UP||bU||Timbre Fiscal in BLACK, reading UP||BD||TIMBRE FISCAL in BLACK, reading DOWN||bD||Timbre Fiscal in BLACK, reading DOWN|
10c/5c/2nd (RU) 10c/5c/2nd (RD) 10c/5c/2nd (RD) Telegraph Surcharge Inverted10c/5c/2nd (rD) 10c/5c/2nd (rD) Telegraph Surcharge Inverted 10c/5c/2nd (BD) 10c/5c/2nd (BD) Telegraph Surcharge Inverted .
15c/5c/2nd (RU) 15c/5c/2nd (RD) Telegraph Surcharge Inverted15c/5c/2nd (rD) (Pane/20 illustrated) 15c/5c/2nd (rD) Telegraph Surcharge Inverted 15c/5c/2nd (rD) Telegraph Surcharge on Front and Back 15c/5c/2nd (BD) In many cases, I have seen several copies of some of the above and have been surprised not to find alternative fiscal surcharges amongst them. It is possible that the telegraph overprints, being relatively small in number, exhibit far fewer varieties of fiscal surcharge than their postage counterparts. . Second Issue: Fiscal stamps without surcharge on the back, overprinted vertically 'Telegrafos' on the FRONT. . . 10c/1st (bD) Overprint reading DOWN 10c/1st (bD) Small raised 'f' in 'Telegrafos' (illustrated) 10c/1st (--) Overprint reading UP (in Yvert & Hiscocks, not seen by me) 10c/1st (--) Overprint Double (in Yvert & Hiscocks, not seen by me) . Third Issue: Fiscal stamps usually without surcharge on the back, surcharged horizontally 'Telegrafos / xx cts / 1912' on the FRONT. This is an odd issue. Both Yvert & Hiscocks list the first stamp the same way, as 5c/15c/5c/2nd I think they are both incorrect and that the stamp is, in fact, a 15c/5c/5c/2nd, as, in all the examples I have seen, the 15c surcharge (in black) appears to be on top of the 5c surcharge (in red). Looking at the second stamp in this 'set', it is hard to be sure, but, based on the intensity of the black ink, I think the word Telegrafos was printed along with the 10c surcharge and this ties in with the assessment of the first stamp above. It would seem that two telegraph stamps were prepared for use, but not issued, a 5c/5c/2nd and a 10c/10c/1st. I know of no examples of these original stamps in circulation. Presumably due to a change in rates or an urgent need for 15c telegraph stamps, both these stamps were further surcharged 15 cts in black. As the black ink dominates the red ink on the blue stamp, it was not felt necessary to add an obliterating bar, but one was used to obliterate the 10 cts on the red stamp. 15c/5c/5c/2nd (RD) 15c/5c/5c/2nd (rD) 15c/5c/5c/2nd (BD) 15c/5c/5c/2nd (--) Surcharge Double (Which surcharge? Not seen by me, listed in Yvert & Hiscocks) 15c/10c/10c/1st (bD) 15c/10c/10c/1sr (bD) 15 cts superimposed on 10 cts (misplaced surcharge) 15c/10c/15c/10c/1st (bD) This stamp is as the above, but with an additional 15 cts Postage surcharge on the BACK (This is, in order, reading backwards, a 1st class ticket, with 10c fiscal surcharge, surcharged 15c for postal use on the back, then surcharged Telegrafos 10 cts on the front, then further uprated 15 cts on the front - welcome to Nicaragua!) Note : The 's' of 'Telegrafos' is frequently weak or missing in this issue. Fourth Issue: Fiscal stamps overprinted 'Telegrafos' vertically on the front, surcharged on the BACK 'Vale / 15 Cts / CORREO / DE 1911', the postal surcharge annulled by a thin vertical bar. We are left to assume that the face value is therefore 10c as per the unobliterated fiscal surcharge, although in no other examples of postage or telegraph stamps does the fiscal value prevail, and they may conceivably have served as 15c telegraphs. However, I have described the stamps as 10c/1st, as the 15 cts surcharge was the last surcharge and has been annulled The setting for the postal surcharge creates about 14 major varieties again (see the introduction and scanned panes above). The 'Telegrafos' overprint in this issue reads DOWN unless otherwise stated. . 10c/1st (bD) 10c/1st (bD) Small raised 'f' variety (Position 19, seen from the back) 10c/1st (bD) Postal surcharge inverted 10c/1st (bD) 'Telegrafos' reads UP, postal surcharge inverted ERROR : 15c/10c/1st (bD) : Obliterating bar for postal surcharge omitted ERROR : 15c/10c/1st (bD) : Postal surcharge on the FRONT (obliterating bar on the back, obliterating nothing) Note: The front of the above stamp is illustrated above (right). It does not even exist to my knowledge as a postage stamp. It has only ever been reported with postal surcharge either on the back or on both sides, but not on the front only. This stamp also has a further variety, fiscal surcharge double, one on the back. 10c/1st (bU) 'Telegrafos' reads UP 10c/1st (BD) 'Telegrafos' reads DOWN . . BLUEFIELDS / ZELAYA ISSUE surcharged on the BACK 'Vale / xx Cts / TELEGRAFO / DE 1911 / B' There are only two main railway ticket types found in the Province of Bluefields : 10c/5c/2c (rD) 15c/5c/2c (rD) A full pane of the 15 cts with its (approximately) 14 major varieties is shown above (illustrating the National First Issue) and the Bluefields 10c will have had a similar 'richness' of surcharge styling. Thank you for visiting Nicaragua; we hope you enjoyed your visit! .