Paper Heritage - Nicaragua Momotombo: 1900-1905

The story goes that the Momotombo design of 1900 played a significant part in leading the United States Senate to choose Panama over Nicaragua as the location for the canal across the isthmus, known today as the Panama Canal.

A canal in Nicaragua had the support of a strong lobby in America but opponents are said to have circulated numerous copies of the 1900 Momotombo stamp amongst senators. On the stamp, the volcano is emitting a plume of smoke, proof, claimed the opponents of the Nicaraguan route, that the area was geologically active and unsafe as a site for the canal.

The smoke has often been held to be a piece of artistic licence at the time by the printers, The American Bank Note Company, oblivious to the future repercussions it might have. I am indebted to Jim Whitford-Stark for advising that records in the Smithsonia Institute show that Mount Momotombo erupted on March 31st, 1902 and again from January 16th-21st, 1905. However, as the stamp was first issued in 1900, it is not quite conclusive that Mount Momotombo was known to be active at the time of issue. Does anyone have a firm record of the volcano being active prior to 1900?

In the end, the vote was for a canal in Panama. Whether, as some people have suggested, this stamp tipped the balance in favour of Panama amongst U.S. senators, can probably never be proven. If it did, it would have to be considered as a leading contender for pride of place amongst 'stamps which have changed the world'!

Now for some Railway Philately! Below the volcano at lower left of the stamp is a steam train. This design was extensively surcharged between 1901 and 1905 and is a complicated issue. I am only going to deal here with the national issues. There are a large number of overprints for Bluefields (Zelaya) and for Cabo, which are equally authentic and collectible. However, to avoid confusion, I will not include them here, although I may, perhaps, write an article on them at a later date.

In order to maintain chronological order without blurring the very important distinction between normal issues and stamps printed to dealers' orders, I shall use the following typefaces for listing stamps in this article:
^ ^ Properly issued stamps will appear, like this, in bold type. I include in this category, as different stamps worthy of full listing, changes in colour of overprint and in design of overprint, usually in the form of 'ornaments' added to the surcharge
^ ^ Varieties on regularly-issued stamps, such as inverted or double surcharges, will appear in normal text like this.
^ ^ The Nicaraguan postal authority was happy to produce other surcharges at the request of stamp dealers. These were not issued in Nicaragua. They are found used, but I suspect that they are all cancelled-to-order. It seems unlikely that they were valid for postage. All stamps of such origin appear here in italics.

Note: There are no significant variations in the colour of the stamps and I have therefore only used short colour description in this listing. In case you wish to print out this article and use it as a check list, I have provided a couple of check marks ( ^ ^ ) before each stamp.

Please note that, with the exception of a few links at the very bottom of this article, underlined headings are NOT links to another page.

1900 Original Recess-Engraved issue Perf 12 (13 vals) Sct 121-33 SG 137-49 Yv.121-33 Mi.120-32

^ ^ 1c Claret
^ ^ 2c Orange
^ ^ ^ ^ ditto - horizontal pair, imperf vertically
^ ^ 3c Green
^ ^ 4c Olive

^ ^ ^ ^ ditto - vertical pair, imperf horizontally
^ ^ 5c Blue
^ ^ 6c Rose
^ ^ 10c Violet
^ ^ 15c Blue
^ ^ 20c Brown
^ ^ 50c Red
^ ^ 1p Yellow
^ ^ 2p Orange
^ ^ 5p Black
Note: These stamps are all recess-printed with imprint AMERICAN BANK NOTE CO N.Y. at the foot of the stamp. For 5c red, 5c blue and 10c violet without imprint and printed by lithography, see 1902 issues.

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All the stamps below were, I believe, issued in sheets or panes of 25 (5 x 5), apparently all without any selvedges. Sheet positions given later in the text are based on this size of sheet. I have chosen to use simple numeric notation, so that, for example, the third stamp from the left of the second horizontal row (which I could equally have referred to as R2,3) is shown in this text as 'Position 8'.
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There are four distinct groups of surcharges in 1901: The first two are completely authentic issues, made in March and October, and are both inscribed "Cent". The March issues have 1901 above the new value; the October issues have the new value above the date. Thirdly, there is a further 'Cent' issue, a 1 Cent / 2c orange, which was produced solely to meet a dealer's order. Finally, there is a group of stamps surcharged 'Centavos' in full with date 1901; all of these were produced at the request of a stamp dealer and it is very doubtful if any of them were ever used in Nicaragua. Note: Stamps surcharged 'Centavos' in full, without date, on the 10c Mauve of 1902, are fully-fledged stamps, issued in 1904 (q.v.)

Surcharged 1901 above value

Above: March 1901: 1. Original without bar, misplaced (stars shifted). 2. Original with bar (from top row). 3. Reprint (no stars)

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1901(Mar) Surcharged 1901/(new value) and small stars in all four corners.
Printed in Panes of 25 (5x5). The first horizotal row of 5 stamps has a bar beneath the date. Surcharge is in Red on the 10c/5p.
Note: Even minor misplacement of the surcharge will distribute the stars haphazardly.

^ ^ 2c / 1p with stars, without bar (SG151)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ 2c / 1p with stars, bar under date (SG 151c)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ 2c / 1p without stars, without bar (reprint)
^ ^ 2c / 1p without stars, with bar (reprint, if it exists - I have not seen this stamp; can anyone confirm?)

^ ^ 10c / 5p without bar (SG 152)
^ ^ 10c / 5p with bar (SG 152a)

^ ^ 20c / 2p without bar (SG 153)
^ ^ 20c / 2p with bar (SG 153a)

^ ^ 2c / 1c Claret without bar (Michel II)
^ ^ 2c / 1c Claret with bar (Mi.II var)
^ ^ .... ditto (with bar) - Date (1901) Double
Note: The 2c/1c Claret was prepared for use but not issued and is a scarce stamp. It should not be confused with the 2c/1p without stars above (a yellow stamp) nor with the many stamps which were produced to dealers' orders. For an illustration of the 2c/1c, please see the article on 'Prepared for Use but Not Issued' stamps.

That concludes the March 1901 Surcharges. The October surcharges, below, have been divided into five groups:
The 3c surcharges
The 4c (and 1c - error) surcharges
The 5c surcharges
The 10c & 20c surcharges
The 1c / 2c produced to a dealer's order

Surcharged 3 cent. above 1901

Above: October 1901 3c/6c: 1. Black Surcharge (no bar) 2. Black Surcharge (with bar) 3. Grey-blue Surcharge (without bar)

1901(Oct) Surcharged 3 Cent. / 1901.
Printed in Panes of 25 (5x5). The fifth vertical row (of 5 stamps) has a thick bar beneath the date.

^ ^ 3c / 6c Black Surcharge, without bar (SG 161)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double, one inverted
^ ^ 3c / 6c Black Surcharge, with bar (SG 162)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted

^ ^ 3c / 6c Grey-blue Surcharge, without bar (SG 169)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ 3c / 6c Grey-blue Surcharge, with bar (SG 170)

Surcharged 4 cent. above 1901

Above: October 1901 4c/6c: 1. Black Surcharge without bar 2. Black surcharge with bar 3. Error 1c instead of 4c

1901(Oct) Surcharged 4 Cent. / 1901.
Printed in Panes of 25 (5x5). The fifth vertical row (of 5 stamps) has a thin bar beneath the date.

^ ^ 4c / 6c Black Surcharge, without bar (SG 163)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ ERROR 1c/4c Black Surcharge, without bar (SG 163b)(Position 6 = Row 2, Number 1)
^ ^ 4c / 6c Black Surcharge, with bar (SG 164)

^ ^ 4c / 6c Grey-blue Surcharge, without bar (SG 171)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ ERROR 1c/4c Grey-blue Surcharge, without bar (SG 171b)
^ ^ 4c / 6c Grey-blue Surcharge, with bar (SG 172)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted

Surcharged 5 cent. above 1901

Above: A complete pane of the 5 cent / 1 peso, showing the different ornaments, a 'shuttlecock' before and after '1901' in Positions 1,2,3 and 4 and wavy lines in positions 5,10,15,20 and 25. The variety '5' close to 'C' occurs in Position 4. For a clearer image of the 'shuttlecock' ornament, please see the next scan down this page.

1901(Oct) Surcharged 5 Cent. / 1901.
Printed in Panes of 25 (5x5) as shown above.

^ ^ 5c / 1p Black Surcharge without ornament (SG 165)
^ ^ 5c / 1p Black Surcharge Wavy Lines Ornament (SG 166)
^ ^ 5c / 1p Black Surcharge Shuttlecock ornament (SG 167)
^ ^ .... ditto - '5' and 'C' only 1.5 mms apart (normal is 3 mms) (Position 4)

^ ^ 5c / 1p Red Surcharge without ornament (SG 173)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double, both inverted
^ ^ 5c / 1p Red Surcharge Wavy Lines ornament (SG 174)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 5c / 1p Red Surcharge, shuttlecock ornament (SG 175)
^ ^ .... ditto - '5' and 'C' only 1.5 mms apart (normal is 3 mms) (Position 4)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted (this variety also exists on the 1.5mm spacing stamp ^ ^ )

^ ^ 5c / 1p Black Surcharge and Red Surcharge on the same stamp (SG 165a)
Note: This unusual double surcharge may be found with a combination of different sheet positions, as shown below, producing surcharges with and without ornament on the same stamp.

Surcharged 5 & 10c surcharges 1901

Above: October 1901 surcharges: 1. 5c / 1p with shuttlecock ornament. 2. Double Surcharge (Red & Black). 3. 10c / 2p (inverted)

1901(Oct) Surcharged 10 Cent. / 1901 and 20 Cent. /1901.
^ ^ 10c / 2p (this is a black surcharge without ornaments) (SG 168)

^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double

^ ^ 20c / 5p (this is a red surcharge without ornaments) (SG 176)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharged inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharged double
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharged triple

1901: 2c Surcharged (to a dealer's order) 1 Cent. / 1901 .
^ ^ 1c / 2c Black Surcharge (Yvert 142a)

^ ^ 1c / 2c Blue Surcharge (Yv.142)
^ ^ ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ ditto - date double, one vertically upwards

I have also seen, in the same format, dated 1901, a completely bogus 1c / 6c (with black surcharge).

Surcharged to dealers' orders 1901

Above: 1. 5c/1p with Centcvos error. 2. 10c/2p, left stamp has thin '1' in '10', right stamp has thick one + variety 01 for 10.

1901: Stamps surcharged 2, 5 or 10 Centavos / 1901 / , the word 'Centavos' in full
Apparently produced at the request of a stamp dealer or dealers. All these stamps have the 'wavy lines' ornament

^ ^ 2c / 1p (surcharge is in black)(Yv.152)
^ ^ .... ditto - error 'Centcvos'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surch. inverted AND error 'Centcvos'

^ ^ 5c / 1p Surcharge in Black (Yv.153) ^ ^ .... ditto - error 'Centcvos'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surch. inverted AND error 'Centcvos'

^ ^ 5c / 1p Surcharge in Red (Yv.153a) ^ ^ .... ditto - error 'Centcvos'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surch. inverted AND error 'Centcvos'
Note: I have seen a 5 Centavos stamp with red surcharge with the '5' and 'C' 4 mms apart (normal is about 2.5mms). This may well also occur on the 5c black surcharge and perhaps also on the 2c surcharge.

^ ^ 10c / 2p (surcharge is in black)Thick '1' in '10' (Yv.154)
^ ^ ---- ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ ---- ditto - surcharge double (not seen, assumed to exist)
^ ^ ---- ditto - Error: '01' for '10'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted AND '01' for '10'

^ ^ 10c / 2p (surch in black) Thin (normal) '1' in '10' (Yv. 154a)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ .... ditto - 'Centcvos' for 'Centavos'
^ ^ .... ditto - surharge inverted AND 'Centcvos' error
Note: If, as is probable, the entire sheet exists with double surcharge, then the 'centcvos' and '01' for '10' varieties will also exist with double surcharge.

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1902 (Jan): New Printings by Lithography. No imprint below design. Perf 14:
^ ^ 5c Red (SG 184)
^ ^ 5c Blue (SG 185)
^ ^ 10c Mauve (SG 186)
These stamps may be found imperforate singles, as a result of exceedingly bad perforating, and also in imperforate pairs.

1902 (Oct): Surcharges on 1900 issue:
^ ^ 15c / 2c Surcharge in Black (SG 187)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ 15c / 2c Surcharge in Blue (SG 187b)

^ ^ 30c / 1c (surcharge is in black) (SG 188)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted

1902: Issued to Dealer's Order: Surcharge on 1900 2c Orange:
^ ^ 1c / 2c Surcharge in Black (Yv.173)
^ ^ 1c / 2c Surcharge in Blue (Yv. 173a)

Ornaments I to III of 1903

Above: From Left to Right: Ornaments I II and III of the 1903 6c issue

Ornaments IV to VI of 1903

Above: From Left to Right: Ornaments IV V and VI of the 1903 6c issue

1903 Surcharges made to Dealer's Order on the 1902 10c Litho:
(Note: The Official Stamps of 1903 are at the end of this article)

^ ^ 6c / 10c without Ornament (Yv. 187)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with inverted 's' in 'Centavos'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with 'Contavos' for 'Centavos'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with Ornament I
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with inverted Ornament II'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with 'Centovos' for 'Centavos' plus Ornament III
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with Ornament IV
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with inverted Ornament V'
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 6c/10c with Ornament VI
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
Note: The Roman numerals for the ornaments are those used by Yvert. All values probably exist imperforate as a result of poor perforating.

^ ^ 1p / 10c (Yv. 188)
^ ^ .... - ditto - surcharge double

^ ^ 5p / 1c More bulbous figure '5' followed by a comma before zeros (Yv. 189)
^ ^ 5p / 1c More upright figure '5' followed by a stop before zeros (Yv. 189a)

Note to all the above: Due to poor feeding of the sheets, the small figures in the corners of all the 1903 issues are often found in the wrong place or are sometimes entirely missing.

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The 1904/05 regularly issued stamps, below, are all on the 10c Litho of 1902 and poor perforating regularly produces imperf varieties. Additionally, the surcharges were applied with very little care in terms of placement, leading, for example, to the value appearing on the left of the stamp, the wavy lines appearing at the top of the stamp and other major shifts. Where these shifts occur on stamps from the marginal positions, partial surcharges in many styles may be encountered. No attempt has been made to list these, as no listing could be complete.
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1904 15 Centavos opts

Above: Pair, the left stamp with Thin (= the normal) '1' in '15', the right stamp with Thick '1'. . . . . . . . . 15c/10c with '5' omitted

1904 (Aug): Surcharged '15 Centavos' and wavy lines in Blue on 10c mauve (litho):
^ ^ 15c / 10c Thin Figure '1' in '15' (SG 200)
^ ^ 15c / 10c 'Centcvos' for 'Centavos' (Posn.13)

^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double, both inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - Imperf pair (listed in Scott only)
^ ^ 1(5)c / 10c Figure '5' omitted
Note: The '5' omitted and 'Centcvos' varieties may well occur in combination with the inverted, double and 'double one inverted' surcharges.
The '5' omitted is not found in all the panes of 25 stamps. As far as I am aware, these stamps were only surcharged in single panes of 25, so the '5' omitted probably comes from a later part of the printing, after a '5' had fallen out of the typesetting. I would add that I have never seen any panes, or indeed even a single stamp of these issues, with a margin attached. This comment even applies to the original issue of 1900. Has anyone seen a marginal copy, please, and, if not, does anyone know why not?

^ ^ 15c / 10c Thick Figure '1' in '15' (SG 201)
Note: I have seen very few copies of this stamp and, in those I have seen, the figure '5' has been under 1 mm from the 'C' of 'Centavos', as in the scan above. In the stamps with thin '1' in '15' that I have seen, the spacing varies, but is around 2-3 mms. However, narrow spacing with the thin '1' in '15' and wider spacing with the thick '1' in '15' may well exist. Information please?

1904 Vale C 5 opts

Above: 1. Narrow (2 mm) spacing, C upright. . 2. Wide (4mm) spacing, C inverted. . . . . 3. Wide spacing with part double surcharge

1904 (Nov): Surcharged 'Vale C 5' in blue with 'wavy lines' ornament
^ ^ Vale C 5 / 10c with 2 mms between C and 5, 'C' upright (SG 203)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - ornament omitted (Note 1)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double (Note 2)
^ ^ Vale C (5) / 10c - figure '5' omitted (Note 1)
^ ^ Vale C 5 / 10c with 2mm spacing, 'C' inverted (SG 203 var)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted (The 'C' alone thus appears upright)
^ ^ .... ditto - ornament omitted (Note 1)

^ ^ Vale C 5 /10c with 4 mms between C and 5, 'C' upright (SG 203 var)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge triple (reported to me)
^ ^ .... ditto - ornament omitted (Note 1)
^ ^ Vale C 5 / 10c with 4mm spacing, 'C' inverted (SG 203 var)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted (The 'C' alone thus appears upright)
^ ^ .... ditto - ornament omitted (Note 1)

Note 1: Combinations of surcharge inverted plus ornament omitted will presumably exist, and, possibly, also, surcharge inverted plus '5' omitted.
Note 2: I have listed 'surcharge double' only once (on the 2mm spacing C upright) although, in fact, I have only seen it on the 4mm spacing with C upright. However, it seems probable that it would occur on all the above types (other than surcharge inverted, of course).

1904 (Nov)Surcharged 'Vale C 15' in blue with 'wavy lines' ornament
(Very probably using the same basic setting of the surcharge as for the C 5 surcharge above)
^ ^ Vale C 15 /10c with C upright(SG 204)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - ornament omitted (Note 3) (I have not seen this, but it is listed).
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double (Note 4)
^ ^ Vale C 15 / 10c with 'C' inverted (SG 204 var)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted (The 'C' alone thus appears upright)

Note 3: Since the first draft of this article, I have had a report from a collector with a complete pane of this issue that his pane/25 contains NO example of ornament omitted. He also advises that the 'C' inverted variety occurs only four times in the pane.
Note 4: As with the C 5 / 10c, I have listed 'surcharge double' only once but would assume it exists in combination with other varieties, including 'C' inverted.

1904: Issued to Dealer's Order: Surcharge on 1900 2c Orange:
^ ^ 1c / 2c Surcharge in Black (Yv.190)
^ ^ 1c / 2c Surcharge in Blue (Yv. 190a)
^ ^ .... ditto - (blue) surcharge inverted
I have not seen, and Yvert does not list, the black surcharge inverted, although it may exist.

Nica. 5 with scratch

1905 (June): Surcharged '5 CENTS.' on the 10c litho of 1902:
^ ^ 5c / 10c Surcharge in Black (SG 205)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge double
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge triple (reported to me)
^ ^ .... ditto - vertical scratch through the ' S ' of ' CENTS ' in the surcharge (see scan)
^ ^ .... ditto - Imperf between vertically (horizontal pair)(in Michel only)
^ ^ .... ditto - Imperf between horizonatlly (vertical pair)(in Michel only)
^ ^ 5c / 10c Surcharge in Blue (SG 205c)
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OFFICIAL STAMPS.

There is only one group of 'OFICIAL' surcharges on this Momotombo design, but it is a rather curious group. Up to six different ornaments are used, for the most part broadly similar to those used on the 1903 postage issues to dealer's order.

Surcharged 5 cent. above 1901

Above: Complete sheet/25 of 1c / 10c, showing all varieties

1903 (Dec): Surcharged OFICIAL and new value in Black
^ ^ 1c / 10c (litho) without ornament (SG O.197)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c with 'spider' ornament (posns. 1 and 5)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c with 'trapezium' ornament - centavo correctly spelt (posn. 2)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c with 'trapezium' ornament plus error 'Centovo' (posn. 4)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c with 'three lines' ornament - figure '1' (correctly) in both top corners (posn. 3)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c with 'three lines' ornament - figure 1 omitted at top left (posn. 23)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c with 'barbed wire' ornament (posns. 21 and 25)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c with 'thick line' ornament (posns. 22 and 24)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c Figure '1' in top left corner without serifs (posn. 6)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 1c / 10c 'Contavo' for 'Centavo' (posn. 17)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted

Surcharged to dealers' orders 1901

Above: 1. 2c/3c with 'trapezium' ornament. 2. Reprint (no figure '2' at top right) + OFICILA variety. 3. 4c/10c, small figures misplaced
Note: The 'trapezium' ornament on the 2c/3c is turned through 180 degrees, compared to its orientation on the 1c/10c

1903 (Dec): Surcharged OFICIAL and new value in Black (continued)
^ ^ 2c / 3c without ornament - small figure '2' in BOTH top corners (SG O.198)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in BOTH top corners) with 'trapezium' ornament (posns. 1 and 25)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in BOTH top corners) with 'spider' ornament (posns. 5 and 21)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in BOTH top corners) with 'barbed wire' ornament (posns. 11 and 15)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in BOTH top corners) with 'Centovos' error (posn. 4)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in BOTH top corners) with 'Contavos' error (posns. 17)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted

As above but a reprint, produced to dealer's order (in 1904):
^ ^ 2c /3c without ornament - small figure '2' in top left corner only
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in top left corner only) with 'parallelogram' ornament, similar in style to the 'trapezium' (posn.1)
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in top left corner only) with 'spider' ornament(posn. 5)
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in top left corner only) with 'barbed wire' ornament (posns. 11 and 15)
^ ^ 2c / 3c (small figure '2' in top left corner only) with error 'OFICILA' for 'OFICIAL' (posn. 19)
Note: Due to poor printing, some letters may be defective or missing. This applies particularly to the 's' or 'os' of 'Centavos'

1903 (Dec): Surcharged OFICIAL and new value in Black (continued)
^ ^ 4c / 3c without ornament (SG O.199)
^ ^ 4c / 3c with 'spider' ornament (posn. or posns. not known)
^ ^ 4c / 3c with 'Centovos' error (posn. or posns. not known)
^ ^ 4c / 3c with 'Contavos' error (posn. or posns. not known)
Note: Scott (but not SG) lists the 4c/3c with Inverted Surcharge, unpriced. It may, or may not, apply to all varieties above.

^ ^ 4c / 10c (litho) without ornament (SG O.200)
^ ^ 4c / 10c with 'spider' ornament (posn. or posns. not known)
^ ^ 4c / 10c with 'Centovos' error (posn. or posns. not known)
^ ^ 4c / 10c with 'Contavos' error (posn. or posns. not known)
Note: Scott (but not SG) lists the 4c/10c with Inverted Surcharge, unpriced. It may, or may not, apply to all the varieties above.

^ ^ 5c / 3c without ornament (SG O.201)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 5c / 3c with parallel lines in shape of small 'v' ornament (posn. or posns. not known)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 5c / 3c with 'Centovos' error (posn. or posns. not known)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
^ ^ 5c / 3c with 'Contavos' error (posn. or posns. not known)
^ ^ .... ditto - surcharge inverted
Note: Scott (but not SG) lists the 5c/3c with Inverted Surcharge, unpriced. It may, or may not, apply to all the varieties above.

That involved a fair bit of work! I hope it has helped to clarify these interesting issues and, hopefully, inspired you to collect them, whether for the first time or with greater enthusiasm. Nicaraguan stamps from 1900 to about 1938 are a fascinating subject, and many of them, between 1900 and 1914, have a strong railway thematic interest. They have long been under-collected and often under-appreciated.

If you can confirm, correct or add to any of the information above, please send me an email with subject shown as 'Nicaragua Momotombo' and let me know if you would like me to mention your name as a contributor to the article.

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