History, Prices and Encyclopedia to 1940

1903 post office

Mail carriers in Tegus circa 1901.

Welcome. This is the free catalog of classic Honduran philately all condensed and accessible right from your smartphone!

It has been developed as a project of private collectors of many decades with small donations and thousands of hours labor. This is a philatelic resource and price list for collectors of Honduran postage stamps and postal history before 1940; and revenue and telegraph stamps issued before 1995. Here you will find 260 pages and over 1350 images with information accumulated from over three hundred published articles -all in the palm of your hand!. Enjoy!

We sell no stamps. Our prices are based on observation of completed postage stamp sales online. The information is open-ended and will be expanded as time allows. Weekly, sometimes daily changes are made so be sure to refresh the page of interest. Many times it is the F5 key after loading. Facts are presented in an easily-searched format. The table of contents is accessed by clicking "HOME" from any page.

Counterfeits and Surcharges atop Surcharges

Surcharges become a confusing problem in airmail stamps from 1931 to 1933. They are described in detail and a key to the types is HERE.

What is a Counterfeit?

Most collectors have a strict definition of counterfeit. --a stamp produced privately by a non-governmental source made to look like a genuine postage stamp. There are Honduran counterfeits according to this definition, for example, the first issue, the Arias issue and the Train issue. This definition is extended to include surcharges similarly produced on genuine stamps. Generally that works out OK and counterfeits will be addressed with each issue. But in Honduras we have to add another category.

Without going into a detailed analysis of the historical problems Honduras faced, the nation has been controlled by a tightly-knit privileged class largely on the payroll of American corporations. Positions in government were largely, but not entirely filled with pals of the privileged class looking to increase their wealth --not serve the public interest. The Trump administration would be an example in the United States.

Honduran mint stamps became a commodity sold by tens of thousands directly to foreign buyers by governmental agencies. The privileged management even used stamps as a form of exchange to pay employees their salaries. One postal supervisor even directed his employees to make specific printing "mistakes" that he sold directly to employees of the Scott company in New York through correspondance, passing them off as genuine errors. These "mistakes" were added by the hundreds and hundreds at premium prices to the company's stamp catalog where, sadly, they remain to this day.

surcharge cover
Price negotiations cover referred to Mr. Luff from his Honduran sources.

How do we distinguish the commodity stamps from genuine postage stamps? It was traditional to call them all genuine if there was any sort of governmental decree published to authorize them. This still rings true with the uninformed because "it has a number in the Scott catalog." But in reality, with most Honduran classic stamps, mint means commodity shipped for a profit directly to a gringo stamp peddler. Sometimes, sold after the stamps were withdrawn and stored. Sometimes, sold directly to Mr. Luff in New York hot off the press in Tegus.

Therefore, if you want to collect real postage stamps that were carried by real mail people shown in the large photo above, you have two choices. 1 Collect stamps on genuine dated covers with contemporary cancels or 2 collect single stamps with partial cancels that are both recognizable and contemporary.

But don't fret. Very few do either 1 or 2. On ebay there will be little interest and no bidding for these. Most bidders go after the mint stamps many of which are counterfeit sold as genuine. As an example from April 15, 1923 to July 15, 1923; 15 mint one peso train stamps were sold as genuine individually or in small sets. Not one was genuine. Of course that includes the sales of matthijs of Belgium. He specializes in such counterfeit train stamps. In the past eighteen months he has sold close to 100 Stripes train counterfeits sets as "good stamps."

© 2013