25c issues

1890 25c brown


Cliché Type I, Gum Type A.

Sheets of 100 (10 x10) inscribed CORREOS  80,000 from 800 sheets issued 1 January 1890

The colour of this issue generally described as “sepia” or “brown” or by some authors as “light sepia” or “light brown”.

The Gaceta de Manila (1 July 1898) reports the Decree issued on 28 June 1891 which stated that the 25c stamps should be withdrawn from circulation (by 15 July 1891 in Manila) and returned to the Treasury. This was due to the change in postal rates on 13 March 1891 and lack of application.


#MP48 25c brown

Sheet header inscribed "CORREOS" - 100 stamps per sheet


Edifil:   #87 brown ‘castano’ (1890)

Scott: #177 brown (1890)

SG:     #170 sepia (thin paper) (1 Jan 1890) 

1891 25c dull blue

1892 25c pale dull blue


Cliché Type I

Sheets of 100 (10 x10) inscribed CORREOS, thin semi-transparent paper, clear gum, 40,000 from 400 sheets issued 20 April 1891

Sheets of 100 (10 x10) inscribed COMUNICACIONES, gum type A, 100,000 from 1,000 sheets issued 1 January 1892

There are two printings of the 25c dull blue issue. The sheets of the first printing are inscribed “CORREOS” and the later printing is denoted “COMUNICACIONES”. Fortunately there are a number of differences between the two issues that can assist in identifying the printing.

The first printing can be distinguished by a darker colour compared to the paler second printing. Palmer (1912) for example describes the colour of the first printing as comprising “indigo” and “deep blue” shades and the second printing as being “dull blue” and that it was notably lighter than the first printing.

#MP49 25c dull blue, #MP50 25c pale dull blue

The first printing typically has a thin, semi-transparent paper type with a colourless gum (described by Palmer, 1912) compared to the second printing on ‘normal’ paper and type A gum. Mencarini (1896) had also previously noted a difference in the paper types used describing them as “papel periodico” and “papel salinado” for the first and second printings, respectively.

Harradine (1987) does not mention the paper type of the first issue but describes the second issue with “thick, grey paper”. Of the popular modern catalogues, only Stanley Gibbons differentiate between the two issues and record the 1891 printing on “thin paper” and the 1892 issue on “greyish paper”.

Palmer (1912) describes the colourless gum of the first printing. Gum type for these two issues is only described elsewhere by Peterson (PPJ 1999-3) who indicates that both printings were type A. However, examples of the first printing generally have a colourless gum, and is typical of a number of other issues recorded on thin semi-transparent paper and of the series stamps issued in 1891.

Another distinguishing feature between these two issues is that the second printing comprises clichés that appear to have been produced from a worn base plate. These stamps are most easily noted by the absence of any colour outline on the right side of the oval frame.

Typical example of 1892 printing displaying partially ommitted oval frame

However, it should be noted that although the first printing in general appears to be in better condition, many stamps from this printing also show signs of wear to the oval frame.


Stamps from the 1891 printing can also be found showing evidence of wear to the oval frame

Similarly stamps from the 1892 printing can also be found showing evidence of less wear to the oval frame (right hand example)


Harradine (1987) reports that ten sheets of the first printing were marked with the overprint ‘MUESTRA’ (i.e. specimen) to be distributed as samples but were also placed on mails to pay for postage. These were quickly snapped up by collectors and speculators in Manila with the intention of resale at large profits. However, many more similar sheets secluded in another consignment arrived in Manila in 1892 and the value of the original holdings fell very dramatically.

Edifil:   #104 blue ‘azul’ (1891-1893)

Scott: #178 dull blue (1891) (earlier catalogues record a dark blue variety)

SG:     #175 indigo, thin paper (20 Apr 1891);  #187 blue (greyish paper) (1 Jan 1892)

Peterson, D. 1999. First and Second Printings of the 1890-1896 Postal Issues. Philippine Philatelic Journal, vol 21 no. 3, pp 9-15.

Postal Usage

Registration "Certificado" cancel (Peterson Type 6) on 25c brown in violet ink



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