1926 Surcharges

In 1926 the single weight letter rate for both internal mail and mail to the US was 6 centavos. Another shortage developed of 6c stamps. There were many demonitized issues sitting in vaults so the government issued a decree. This stated that demonitized 6c stamps could be monitized by overprinting with a year date. Old stamps of other values had to have the new value also included in the overprint.

The National Printing Works went to work. Their first effort was the Acuerdo Mayo 3. The bicolor printing was more difficult and the elites blamed the incompetence of the careless workforce on the printing floor for the 30 or so sheets of scrambled surcharges. They ignore the fact that these same workers produced many more sheets with perfect precision. They neglect to mention that management made sure that these "accidents" were collected and ended up in the inventory of a single American stamp dealer in New York.

surcharge A  surcharge A cancels  surcharge A cover Cover mailed from Tegus with BH72 cancels and Lb postmark

The supply was fast exhausted. Management's next effort was a simple "1926" in black on the deep purple 6 centavo of ten years previous, a black "1926" on the last of the 6c Morazán remainders and a red "1926" on the national palace 6 centavos. The surcharge measures 4 mm by 9 mm.

surcharge B
surcharge B cancels
1926 cover Aa cancel mailed from San Pedro Sula April, 1926

surcharge C
They were on a roll printing the "1926" surcharge. They even found some of the Mayo 3 stamps and surcharged them a second time! These were sent directly to the gringo fence in New York and never legitimately distributed for usage outside of New York City or Duron's desk.


The supply of 6 centavo stamps to surcharge ran out so other stamps had to be utilized. First was a 10 centavo dull blue Morazán of 1919. Instead of habilitating the stamp, the "centavos" was printed over and a new surcharge was tried. Why the diez centavos was obiliterated and not the numerals 10 is a mystery. This stamp was surcharged in either red or the rather rare black ink.

surcharge D surcharge D cancels surcharge D cover
The unusual Progreso propaganda cancel is combined with the LT, a cancel used from 1925 through 1928 and unique to Tela. There is also an uncommon Traveling Post Office marking #21. See "Postal History" then "Traveling Post Office."


surcharge cover
Price negotiations cover forwarded to Luff from his Honduran sources.


Next the remainders of the 2 centavo carmine of 1915 were used. This stamp was initially printed with two of the secondary transfers inverted to one another. Thus each sheet of 100 stamps had the middle two columns yield 10 horizontal Tete beche pairs and likewise 5 vertical Tete beche pairs. (See 1915 Ulua Bridge) However the surcharge transfers were also inverted in this issue yielding horizontal Tete Beches without inverted surcharges. The 2c carmine Morazáns were also habilitated with the same green overprint.

surcharge habilitado
habilitado cover CMS and late BIC cancel from Feb, 1928

1926 overprints was rapidly sold out to the public. At that point officials realized that they had not set aside the required 475 stamps for distribution to UPU members. So a small additional printing was requested in February, 1927 but somehow "not clearly explained" to underlings at the printing works. The printing works "accidentally" used a larger font and put 1927 on the stamps.

The "error" was discovered and, strangely, the small order was set aside --not discarded. The printing works changed the date to 1926 but still "mistakenly" used the larger font. In an attempt to "salvage" the put aside creations the printing works printed 1926 over the mistaken 1927 and Durón rushed them off to his fence in New York. He even included some very creative artwork where one of the surcharges was flipped to the back of the flight of fancy!

surcharges 1927  surcharges 1927 cover Durón cover mailed directly to his stamp dealer fence in New York on March 17, 1927 with BH72 cancel. Includes a rare 1926 over 1927 large, red surcharge. Another "accident." Notice how Durón warns the postmaster "please be sure that the stamps are not taken off!"

1926 Overprint forgeries

1926 overprint forgeries

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price 1926 surcharges

Anderson collection
Borcsok collection of Honduran Provisionals.
Honduras Report by Richard Washburn from The Oxcart, summer 1997.
Jonathan Riehl collection.
Kohl-Briefmarken Handbuch 1934 by Herbert Munk. pps 132-137.

7/2023