Return To Catalogue - Cuba 1864-1871 (Spanish Westindies) - Cuba - Porto Rico

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Currency: 8 Reales Plata = 2 Escudos = 1 Peso
1866: 100 Centavos = 1 Escudo
1871: 100 Centavos = 1 Peseta

1855 Queen Isabella facing the right, similar to stamps issued in Spain

1 Rl Plata F. green 2 R red


  1/2 Rl.Plata F. blue
  1/2 Rl.Plata F. green
  1 Rl Plata F. green
  2 Rs Plata F. red

Surcharged (for local use in Havana)

'Y 1/4' on 2 r red
(Reduced view)

Y 1/4 on 2 R red, small surcharge The '1' is different Broad surcharge Might be a forged overprint

  'Y 1/4' on 2 r red

There exist several types of the overprint, 2 main types, one broad and one small and further some different shapes of mainly the 'Y'. To make things even more complicated, there exist at least 3 types of forged surcharges on genuine stamps!

These stamps were issued with two different watermarks (loops or crossed lines) and also unwatermarked.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks

With watermark 'Loops' (on bluish paper)

1/2 r ** c  
1 r ** *  
2 r *** c  
'Y 1/4' on 2 r RR ***  
With watermark 'Crossed lines' (on yellowish paper)
1/2 r c c  
1 r R c  
2 r R c  
No watermark (white paper)
1/2 r c vc  
1 r c vc  
2 r * c  
'Y 1/4' on 2 r *** ***  

Typical cancellations:

The above shown cancellation: an ellipse with lines and stars inside, seems to be the most common.

For postal forgeries, (to deceive the post office), click here.

Examples of forged overprints:

Forged overprint on genuine stamp!
(Forged overprint on genuine stamp!)

(Forged overprints of Fournier and forged Fournier cancel taken from a Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries)

Reduced size

More information on forged 'Y1/4' overprints can be found at According to the site, the genuine overprints are always placed near the center of the stamp. The 'Y 1/4' was printed with thick oily ink.


Philatelic forgeries:

The above stamp is the first forgery mentioned in Album Weeds, it has 78 pearls (instead of 73) in the circle surrounding the head. The cancel consists of a few parallel lines (I don't think this cancel was ever used in Cuba). In the 2 Rs value the '2 RS' is badly done and placed too far to the left. The 2 Rs value exists on white or bluish paper.

The Queen has a very pronounced chin in the above forgeries and the background behind the circle consists of lines. I've also seen the 1 Rs value with a cancel consisting of 4 concentric circles. The forged cancel 'CORREOS 7.1.60. II-III' also appears on other forgeries of Uruguay, Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Peru, Spain, Cuba, etc.

A badly executed forgery with no dot behind the '2' and the '2' placed too far to the right; it might be the forgery mentioned in Album Weeds. It has a very pronounced 'eye'. I've also seen it cancelled with a concentric 4-ring cancel. Next to it the same(?) forgery with 'Y1/4' overprint.

I've been told that this is a postal forgery of the 1/2 r value with a very pronounced 'eye'. It was obviously made by the same forger who made the above forged 2 r stamps.

Forgeries with irregular dots when compared to the genuine stamps.

Forgeries with 79 pearls

Forgeries with 64 pearls


1862 Queen Isabella facing the left, inscription 'CORREOS 1/4 RL PTA F.' (for local use in Havana)

1/4 r black

  1/4 r black

Stamps in the same design were issued for Spain.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
1/4 r * *  

Forgeries, example:


Some non-existing values 2 Rs.Plata F. red, 1/2 Rl Plata. F. green and 1 Rl Plata F. blue. These forgeries only have 29 pearls at the right hand side (genuine stamps have 43 perals). The 1/4 r black also exists in this forgery type. It is the first (and only) forgery described in Album Weeds of this stamp.


Cuba 1864-1871 (Spanish Westindies)

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer