La Guaira

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In November 1863 Captain Robert Todd acquired from the Venezuelan government the right to carry mail between Caracas, La Guaira, Puerto Cabello, 75 miles to the west, and St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies.
The concession was sold to Blohm, Nolting & Co. of Curacao. which took over the steamer, the Robert Todd, and issued special postage stamps.

The original matrix stones of the ½ c. were used for creating the other values.
This accounts for all values being inscribed “Centavo” in the singular.
There are a number of major transfer varieties in this issue as well as a range of shades.
These stamps were mainly used on newspapers within Venezuela.

Characteristics of the genuine 1864 stamps

The 3 types of the first series

1864 Genuine Issues

July 1864 Type A
Lithographed in black on white or colored wove paper. The various values are of the same type, but on the 1/2 centavo the horizontal lines of the groundwork run through the figures of value while on the others they do not.
There are 24 minor varieties of the 1 centavo and four of each of the 2, 3 and 4 centavos. Size: 161/2 x 22 mm.
Setting of 24 (4 X 6)
Genuine used copies of these are scarce and much more valuable – care should be exercised.

#1 & 1a

# 2 & 3

1864 # 3 Type II & III

# 4 & 5

1864 # 5 Type I to IV

1866 Type B
Same type as preceding issue but retouched the three black balls placed vertically in the body of the numeral, having been removed.
Lithographed in black on colored wove paper. Size: 161/2 x 22 mm.
Setting of 24 (4 X 6)

1868-70 Type C
Same type as preceding issues but again retouched except the 1/2 centavo. The 1 centavo is of the 1866 issue.
In this issue the horizontal lines of the groundwork run through the numeral in the different values.
There are four minor varieties of each of the 1, 2, 3 and 4 centavos.
Lithographed in black on colored or white wove paper. Size: 163/4 x 22 mm.
Setting of 25 (5 X 5)

#7 & 8

# 9

1868-70 # 10 & 11


Most articles mention 2 forgery types but as in many cases there are more.
Fortunately, all the ones I have found are NOT very good and easily defined.

These all appear to be from the same series and are relatively common.


These 2 have some resemblance but the ship and letters are quite different.

These 2 are probably in the same group as above

This one as an odd 1/2 and a well defined ship and a very clear background. Aside from the numeral, it is easily the best forgery.

A very crude specimen

2 samples from a souvenir sheet poorly reproduced

The other series will be added at a later date….