1929 Overprints

The 1927 pictorials were recalled, declared invalid and overprinted. Red ink was requested to be used for all values but the 2c and the 1p. These were to be violet. The helter skelter variety of overprint positions and colors were a creation of individuals operating independently within the National Printing Works, for reasons of possible profit by sales to stamp dealers. Overprint colors added by individuals were black, orange and vermillion in addition to a number of "double" surcharges.

The overprint positions follow no logical pattern and since the 5x5 cliche was square, it too had four possible rotations in all but the 1p, which had 2. Since the 1p stamp is larger but used the same cliche as others, the majority of 1p stamps show a partial second overprint on each stamp. The four different rotational positions of all but the 1p overprints are not errors because no one position was desired, intended or more common. They were planned that way. The kaleidiscope of overprint colors, however, has no discernable honorable source.

Counterfeit overprints abound.

1929 Surcharges

Full sheet of the 1 peso stamp.

fullsheet of 278

Common Cancels

overprint common cancels
overprint less common cancels

bisect cover 6c cover with bisect CRM, a cancel used for two short years and only in San Pedro Sula

bisect cover

OCXB Local usage bisect with BH50 cancel and CMc and ADMa from Puerto Cortes

1929 - 1930 Control Mark Forgeries

Identification of forgeries of this control mark is obvious in some cases and more difficult when the work of Thuin and others is encountered. But they can be identified. Sadly many bogus stamps are offered for sale on the internet. Pictured is a partial view of such a cover offered by a dealer in London at a premium price.

bogus cover

Above left is the infamous Father Reyes control mark. Above right there are four control marks on the cover. Only one is genuine. Let's see if we can learn how to avoid items like this. Keep in mind that measuring ink printing is far from exact. The counterfeit control marks are tipically slightly too large, but not enough to be a reliable characteristic of determination.

Look at the genuine control mark below and three of Thuin's counterfeits. These three out of Mérida in México are by far the best counterfeits known. If your subject stamp matches any of the three from Thuin you are done. It is bogus.

forgery 3

Didn't find a match? Then procede through the following key.


1. Is the control mark on an official instead of the regular issue?
yes - it is a forgery
no - go to 2

2. Is there more than one entire 1929-1930 control mark on the stamp, but not all in the same color of ink? (One of the pair may be genuine.)
yes - it is an Alegría Type 1 forgery
no - go to 3

3. Does the control mark contain "VALE" or "HABILITADO"?
yes - it is an Alegría Type 3 forgery (usually on the 1 peso stamp)
no - go to 4

4. Is the stamp perf 9 instead of the genuine perf 11.5?
yes - it is an Alegría Type 2 forgery
no - go to 5

5. Is the top end of the loop of the "2" almost vertical and the
base of the 2 is angular and sharp instead of rounded ?
forgery 2 loop
yes - it is a forgery
no - go to 6

6. Is the top loop of the"3" gently curved on the inside or is the bottom loop pointed at the tail?
 forgery 3 loop yes- it is a forgery
no - go to 7

7. Does the accent mark look like one of the two bogus marks below?
forgery accent key
yes - it is a forgery
no - go to 8

8. Is the tail of the "9" less curved and more pointed?
9 point forgery
yes- it is a forgery
no - You are done. It is genuine. Remember most forgeries are on the 1 lempira stamp or on fancy covers counterfeited for their appeal.

type 1 type 3


price 1929 overprints Anderson collection
"A Black Surcharge Market" by Irving Green in Stamps, June 1943 pps. 452-3.
Honduras Report by Richard Washburn The Oxcart, fall 1997 pps. 71-72.
La Marca de Control "1929 a 1930" by Edgardo Alegría in Honduras Filatélica 1981 November pps 345-350.
Borcsok collection of Honduran Provisionals.