A Word of Caution

In addition to the gringo Seebeck there were many Honduran good ole boys whose actions have cast the idea of collecting stamps from Honduras as a sham. It all started very early. The very first issue was offered to stamp dealers in England before any were ever seen in Honduras. Stacks of mint remainders of the Arías, Locomotive and the Guardiola issues were sold to the highest bidder by Eusebio Toledo, the head Postmaster off and on for thirty years.

Raúl Durón Membreño, another postal administrator, is the most notorius example of such a person of the Honduran privileged class. He is pictured below on his personal postcard promoting his stamp dealership. He used his connections in the governmental printing works and his management position in the post office to require his underlings to fabricate a host of "errors," (almost 500) overprints, covers and cancellations that he sold directly to a stamp dealer and catalog publisher in New York. He was abetted by a second American stamp dealer and airmail catalog publisher that never failed to promote and sell these bogus items in his catalog. An obvious clue of chicanery is if the catalog breathlessly states "only 100 printed!"

Duron portrait

Word of the sham got out and the few still collecting Honduras in the post Seebeck era left Honduras stamps like the plague. Few have ever returned. Here we will make every effort to flush out these philatelic disgraces in the hopes of isolating them and raising Honduras to its proper place in stamp collecting. By "authority" we will mean a world-wide catalog of international stature still published in the 21st century. Listed postage stamps must have been genuinely posted in Honduras, be currently listed by at least two published authorities; and with very few exceptions, have a price for "used."

Catalog numbers for postage stamps will not be used for several reasons.

1. A stamp catalog is not a reference production of philatelic experts but a product written by a corporation for the convenience of itself and stamp dealers. Catalog numbers bestow an aura of unwarranted authenticity. The most popular catalog used in Honduran philately lists hundreds of so-called Honduran "varieties" that never saw the shores of Honduras and hundreds more that never saw a cancellation not created in Membreño's office. Catalogs have far too many factual mistakes pointed out by real experts over the years, but never corrected.

2. The promotion of such stamps in catalogs is a primary factor in the degradation of Honduras as a hopeless mess for philatelic interest. The problem is compounded when one sees the flood of obvious counterfeits sold as genuine by corrupt dealers in the online marketplace and creeping onto web sites like the APS stampstore.org. (See Rogue's gallery) It is all abetted by an air of condecension from contemporary Honduran elites describing these contrived frauds as accidental and genunine printing blunders of the "simple folks" of the Honduran laboring class --instead of carefully orchestrated frauds taken from printing waste by one of their own.

3. Catalogs bestow an aura of authenticity on their listed prices which in Honduran philately are laughable. Case in point. Up to at least 1933 Honduran mint stamps were sold by the government by the thousands as remainders after the issue was demonitized.

stamp sale

Mint stamps from Honduras before 1935 thus flood the market and are far and away more common than genuinely used copies with recognizable cancels. Catalog prices report the opposite. Their catalog prices for Honduran stamps are nothing but copied and uneducated guesses deeply immersed in Anglo-American bias.

10/23 copyright