Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Brazil's "Madrugada" definitives of 1894 to 1906

The "Madrugadas" are the stamps listed by Scott with catalog numbers 112-124, 140-150A, 159-161 and 166-171d. They have been intensively studied by philatelists since about 1911, and a great deal is known about them. But much is still unknown, because all the records of Brazil's Mint (Casa da Moeda), which produced these stamps, were destroyed in an accidental fire in 1910. Very many known varieties exist that are not listed or noted by Scott; this note will mention just a few things to look for in forming a collection of these stamps.

To begin with, the 50 reis Scott 115 was originaly printed from two plates, one for the vignette and one for the frame. In 1897 this was replaced by a single plate, so the color specified by Scott for 115, "dk bl & bl" is incorrect for all printed after 1897; those (inculding many copies of 115 and all copies of 142 and 147A) are just blue, and are easily distinguishable. Scott has a footnote saying that the 100 reis, #116, exists in 5 types, but there are 6. As plates and dies for this most heavily used stamp of the issue wore, a sequence of changes was made. First, worn vignettes were reinserted with a retouched die; this is the type not mentioned by Scott. Next, worn vignettes were replaced with vignettes intended for the 200, 500 and 700 reis stamps; these are scarce and sell for considerably more than the other varieties. Finally, a new die was prepared. and was used to replace worn vignettes and make new plates. Further, on some copies of the 100 reis made from both the original and the new vignette die, the tops of the digits "00" are pointed, rather than rounded. Perhaps the scarcest of all the 100 reis Madrugada varieties is a pair in which one stamp is printed from the original vignette die and the other from the 1897 new die.

Other striking plate varieties exist on several of the denominations, and there are an unknown but very large number of minor plate varieties; extensive collections and exhibits of these have been formed from time to time.

In 1900, to comply with a UPU resolution, the colors of three denomiantions were changed: the 50 reis to green, the 100 reis to red, and the 200 reis to blue. The initial printings of all these were made from existing plates, two plates for each denomination. later that year, single plates were made for each denomination, readily distinguished from the earlier printings. Scott 160a and one of the 3 types of Scott 161 are from the first printings in these new colors; the first printing of the 50 reis green is not mentioned by Scott. Later that same year, many of the denominations began to be printed from plates with more space between individual subjects than had been the case until then; this is a very complex subject, but the "wider spacing" mentioned in Scott's Specialized 1840-1940 can be distinguished from the earlier plates by the horizontal spacing between subjects: if less than 1.25 mm, it's "narrow" spacing, and if more than 1.25 mm, it's the "wider" spacing. Scott 160a always occurs with narrow spacing, as do Scott 112, 116, 118, 120, 121, 124 and 140-150A. Scott 160 and 166-171d always occur with wide spacing. Scott 113, 114, 119, 122, 159 and 161 occur with both "narrow" and "wider" spacing.

Briefly in 1899 the printers experimented with the coarse perfs listed by Scott as numbers 140-150A. Be careful about acquiring these, especially stamps alleged to be perforated a compound of 5 1/2 to 7 by 11 to 11 1/2, or a compound of 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 by 11 to 11 1/2. Except on Scott 147 and 149, I have never seen a genuine copy of these compound perfs, and I don't expect to, althugh some may exist. As for the stamps perf 5 1/2 to 7 and the stamps perf 8 1/2 to 9 1/2, I have a number of singles that look to me as if they were faked from jumbo copies of stamps with ordinary perfs. I consider that all of 140-150A are most safely collected in pairs or larger multiples.

The perforations and papers of the Madrugadas form a huge subject for specialized study, and there is a quite large literature on these, but one that's still incomplete. It's possible to form a several-volume collection of the Madrugadas
if one is persistent and patient enough, and to include in it varieties not noted in any catalog, including undocumented imperforates and part perfs.

Be aware that the "surcharges" which one occasionally sees on Madrugadas are all fraudulent, produced by fakers at the same time genuine surcharges were applied to the newspaper stamps and the 1890 definitives. Also, be extremely suspicious of bisects on cover or piece; these were never authorized, and although it's possible that a few are genuine, most are fakes.

Literature and other information about the Madrugadas is extensive, but widely scattered and hard to come by. The two most essential documents on this issue are:
(a) "Brasil: Estudo Sobre as Emissoes de 1894 a 1906" by Helmuth Ponge, J.L.E. Baade and Horst Flateau, published in Sao Paulo in 1963; and (b) "Estudo dos Papeis e das Emissoes do Padrao de 1.894-1.906" by Dr. Jose de Oliveira Pinho, publishes (where?) in 1983. Both are quite hard to locate. If you wish to start a study of this issue and cannot find the relevant literature, email me at mandvav@msn.com and I'll be glad to send you photocopies of these and quite a bit of other material on the Madrugadas for my cost to copy and mail the material.

2 Comments:

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi

My name is Eduardo. I'm working hard in a study of the Madrugadas. I've acquired the Ponge publication. But I received it without the XII & XIII sections. I asked to the seller and he told to me that they not exists. Are this true?
If not, do you have them? They are so important. I'm trying
to buy the complete study for morethan 3 years. I note that have more parts that I also do not have. As I stay really upset every time I've to use the Ponge study I'm trying to forget that I've it.

Best regards
Eduardo Barreyra

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi

My name is Eduardo. I'm working hard in a study of the Madrugadas. I've acquired the Ponge publication. But I received it without the XII & XIII sections. I asked to the seller and he told to me that they not exists. Are this true?
If not, do you have them? They are so important. I'm trying
to buy the complete study for morethan 3 years. I note that have more parts that I also do not have. As I stay really upset every time I've to use the Ponge study I'm trying to forget that I've it.

Best regards
Eduardo Barreyra

 

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