1923 Morazán 10c Surcharges

These stamps were studied in meticulous detail by Irving Green over sixty years ago.  Richard Washburn summarized aspects of this issue in 1996. They were produced in a time of military turmoil in the country. Stamp shortages were severe as a result of delays in receiving the Herrera issue from Europe.  Promises of quick delivery led to many hasty and limited printings.  The printing fiches were quickly assembled and just as quickly broken up for use in other tasks. The delivery of the Herrera stamps was always just over the horizon.

Green’s work includes layouts of the settings for the provisionals.  In most cases the fiche was completely disassembled after printing a setting or loosened and stored in such a manner that that individual letters could move slightly in relation the type directly next to each. Since Green provides illustrations of the layout of each setting, it is possible in many cases to locate a provisional to a precise location in a given setting. The recognition of these provisionals as postage stamps by international authorities is limited.

The question of stamp and variety is also complex in this issue.  One authority recognizes but one stamp while the majority of international authorities see but five stamps. If no logical way is apparent for a surcharge to be produced without a complete disassembly and reassembly of the fiche, it will be called a stamp. The question of variety is equally complex when one looks at settings where each stamp overprint is in some recognizable way unique from all others.  To avoid a maximum of five stamps or minimum of hundreds of stamps some selection must be made.  Varieties for the 1923 surcharges will be defined as changes in spelling to the fiche that involve disassembly, reassembly and hence, a new setting. Individual letters inverted, resized, or mistakenly fonted do not produce varieties; nor do punctuation changes.  To do so would literally add 82 more varieties.

There is also the question of the genuineness of errors.  If there appears no logical way a fault could have been produced unintentionally or by accident one must side with majority of authorities and limit recognition without further questioning of possible intentions or motivations.  This is the case with inverted or double surcharges since no such surcharges appear in any of the settings as printed and displayed. The following surcharges have distinct differences in font applied to lines of text. These differences are consistant and easily distinguished in each setting. The differences in the font of the numerical values are so rare and slight that we will not consider them.

There is an interesting aspect to the two fonts. In 5 point text the Roman letters are spaced further apart. Thus "HABILITADO" is 17mm in Roman and 16.25mm in Antique. However, in 7 point type the opposite occurs. The Antique letters receive greater spacing. The authority to produce these surcharges comes from a decree dated January 23, 1923.

Antique 10c Surcharge in 5 point text

Increased usage of parcel post by January, 1923 caused a shortage of 10c, 50c, and 1 Peso stamps. Like the previous surcharges the Herrera issue arrival seemed imminent and only a portion of the stock was surcharged in Antique letters.

2 printings of 1 setting at beginning of 1923
Printing varies from green to greenish black
No varieties by our definition

Antique 10c surcharges

BH72 cancels

BH72 cover 1

BH72 cancel with L postmark mailed from Puerto Cortés July, 1924

Roman 10c surcharge in 5 point text

Shortages continued and again printing small batches of surcharges continued, this time using heavier Roman letters. One setting has been completed in the Anderson collection. Click for details.

Several settings taken from a single 10x5 plate repeated left then right
Surcharged in green to black
Spelling errors yielded 7 rare types.

Roman surcharge Roman cancel

Roman cover
Cover certified in Puerto Cortes and bearing a Roman 10c surcharge.

BH72 cover 2

BH72 cancel with L postmark mailed from Puerto Cortés August, 1924

More common Surcharge Types

Easy surcharges

Less common Surcharge Types

comm surcharge

not easy surcharge

Rare Surcharge Types

rare surcharge

All Antique surcharge in larger 6 point text

1 of 2 settings plotted
Surcharged in dull green
HABILITADO extends beyond stamp engraving
1 type DIFZ appears at position 18 of the setting
Surcharge spacing entirely different from previous two (2.5-2.0-1.5 mm)

larger antique surcharge larger antique surcharge

Only Surcharge Type

DIFZ surcharge

fake 210C Fake copies are easy to spot. Very heavy inking, wider line spacing and often on "reprints."

prices 10c surcharges

Correspondance of Irving Green dated January 3, 1976.
Honduras Report by Richard Washburn from The Oxcart, spring 1996.
Honduras: a Study of the Provisionals of 1923 and 1924 by Irving Green in Billig's Handbook Vol 20 1954 pps. 40-66.
Kohl Handbuch part 1 to 1924, pps 128, 129.
Riehl Collection.