1896 - Arías Issue

Valid Jan 1, 1896 to July 31, 1898. 30 months. Sheets of 108 stamps (12 horizontal rows of 9 stamps) made up of 12 cliches of 9 stamps arranged 3x3. Perf 11.5, and lithographed. Originals were printed on both thin, semi-transparent paper and opaque paper.

1c - 250,000           20c - 75,000
2c - 210,000           30c - 75,000
5c - 310,000           50c - 15,000
10c - 200,000          1p - 15,000  

Plus postcards.

The above quantities were produced in two printings. The first printing was in the fall of 1895 for release on January 1, 1896. The second and larger printing was released in the spring of 1897 using completely new plates. General characteristics to distinguish the two printings have not been discovered in the literature. Anybody know how?
Some 20 centavo sheets from the second printing were intentionally printed with no stamps at all in various positions. These sheets were never released but were shipped directly to stamp dealers in the United States. The 1 peso stamp is claimed to have secondary plate flaws but what they are has not been ascertained.

1. Position 2 - "0" de "20" leans to the left
2. Position 6 - "20" leans down
3. Position 73 - angled line from "E" de "Correos" downward
4. Position 84 - a scratch "S' de "Correos" to Arías forehead on 230 sheets
5. Position 10 - a white spot in lower left quadrant and notch in the lower left of the "0" of "20"

 Arias blanks Arias plate flaws
from contrived sheets never released but sold directly to stamps dealers

Remainders - In June, 1897, the postal authorities put all remainders out to bid pre-canceled with a very heavy BH70 cancel.(See cancellations) Since they were sold from current stock while the stamp type was valid, they are not reprints. The profits produced were used to pay for the modernization of the National Printing Works. Then again, they weren't sold for postal use. They aren't postage stamps either. More Wallpaper. Buyer beware.

Control marks - see PERMITASE under CONTROL MARKS.


Italio Ghizzoni emmigrated from Italy was hired to head the new National Printing Works and instruct the locals in the art of printing. He approved of the canceling of the Seebeck contract and in December of 1893 assured the government that the new Arías stamps would be ready by August, 1894. However Ghizzoni was a perfectionist and his actions slowed the production of the stamps until December of 1895 requiring a temporary renewal of the Seebeck contract. In January, 1896 Honduras released the nation's first locally produced stamps.

Arias 1

Fiscal Controls

These were the first stamps printed within Honduras and the government realized that some control was needed to be sure that the new National Printing Works didn't sell stamps out the back door. The Ministry of Public Works was made responsible for the paper for the stamps. That Ministry gave the Printing Works a specific numbers of sheets of paper that corresponded to the number of stamps to be printed. In addition each sheet was stamped on the reverse in the center with the seal of the General Accounting Office. The Printing Works was required to return all pages not printed and delivered, including all pages considered defective. These defective sheets were to be stamped at least four times each page with the word NO SIRVE or in English "not useable" on the front of each sheet. This system was used for many years. When stamp peddlers breathlessly describe their fantastic Arías imperforates and imperforate pairs don't be taken in. They are in reality selling clandestine cuts from these pilfered discards.

Arias no sirve imperforates
Only $150 for fantastic "imperforate proofs" from an internet stamp peddler

Arias no sirve
from the estate of Irving Green these multiples are rejects from Italo Ghizzoni's National Printing Works. 2376 in the margin above is the total number of sheets printed in that denomination. All "imperforates" or NO SIRVE were sold directly to stamp dealers and never released for postage.

Arías Cancels

Arias cancels
Arias I6
BH70 cancel with I6 postmark

Arias local usage 1
Certification postmark RDD used as cancel in Tegus.

Arias local usage 2 Rare local rate bisect with early BH71 cancel and LD postamrk

Arias local usage mine cover This San Juancito mine cover bears two Un Peso of the Arías issue postmarked with the ODS triple oval. It sold at auction in 1980 and is unique.


Arias price

-Enemigas de la Litografía Nacional al Imprimir la Emisión Postal de 1896 por Edgardo Alegría en Honduras Filatélica June 2022 pps 4-28.
-Estudio de la emisión de Celeo Arías por Brian Moorhouse. Honduras Filatélica November 1980 pps 157-169.
-Honduras Report by Richard Washburn The Oxcart, winter 1991.
-Honduras:Proofs of the 1896 Arias Issue by Brian Moorhouse in Mainsheet, August 2000 pps 15 and 16.
-Honduras Report by Richard Washburn The Oxcart, spring 1992.
-Kohl-Briefmarken Handbuch 1931 Part 33 pps. 95-102.
-Thanks to Edgardo Alegría for image of positions 37,38,39.
-The Stamp Lover of May 1912 pps 225-226.

12/2023 copyright