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Messages - Farley Katz

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Miscellaneous / Library of Congress Maps of Mexican States 1884-86
« on: October 16, 2020, 08:38:47 PM »
I don't know if this has been posted previously, but the Library of Congress has a set of maps of Mexican States 1884-86 online in high definition.  See


Alfredo Harp Helú, along with Janet R. Klug and Charles F. Shreve, will receive the Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of philately at the National Postal Museum in Washington on October 19.  See

The program will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society London, the oldest philatelic society in the world. Mr. Stuart Weitzman, the owner of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp, will sign the back of the stamp.

Miscellaneous / Porte de Mar Stamps Article
« on: April 23, 2019, 06:48:28 PM »
The cover article in the April issue of the American Philatelist is about the Porte de Mar stamps of Mexico.  If anyone wants to see it, but does not receive the journal, let me know and I can send a scan.

Eagles / Re: pLATE ERROR. dEFORMED "correos"
« on: March 07, 2019, 09:02:57 AM »
Just to explain the analysis, Vannotti said that the top and bottom row of the 8 reales shows blurring due to re-entries.  There was only one plate for the 8s.  The Tulancingo proof sheet of 90 shows that the top row is fine and has no blurring at all.  Jaretzky's block of 8s inludes bottom row positions 93-100.  No blurring there either. So the blurring necessarily is a result of a printing issue.  Vannotti also said that the top row of the fours has blurring from "recutting."  Plate I which was the primary plate used for the 4s shows no blurring either.  See the Tulancingo sheet of 90.

As a technical matter, I do not see how stamps with perfect lower parts and wildly blurred top parts could be due to entry through the rocking back and forth of the transfer roller.  The fact that Vannotti saw blurs only in some top and bottom rows is further confirmation that the problem was in the printing and not the entry.  Why would there be problems in entering every stamp in those rows but not any of the other stamps in the sheets?  Why are there no pairs where one stamp is blurred and the adjacent one not? 

Eagles / Re: pLATE ERROR. dEFORMED "correos"
« on: March 06, 2019, 10:14:17 PM »
The doubling is not in the plate.  This is a slurred and doubled print.  See my Plates of the Eagles, page 138.

Thanks!  I've passed that on.



A friend has posted the following question regarding the attached cover on another site but has not received a definitive answer regarding the 3 marking --
I have a cover to Vera Cruz by ship (which was probably also the port of entry) in 1849.  It bears a single marking, a Mexican "3".  Could anyone enllighten me on the rate involved?

[added later] As to the 3 rate I am asking about, I assume there is a small chance it went overland -- could this be the Mexican charge from the US-Mexico exchange point to Vera Cruz?

The following is his discussion regarding the "25" marking -  I include it here only in case it bears on the question regarding the "3". 

The letter is postmarked at Montgomery on Feb 25 (1849) for British Packet, by way of Mobile Point.  My current theory is that the rate: 25(!) is a form of freight(like) money.  The question is, since anotther related cover in Van's collection, which fits the steamer schedule does not have  any Mexican (neither have British markings) markings, why the difference.  One thing that needs exploration is that the Feb. 25 date is well in advance of the departure of the Great Western for Vera Cruz sometime shortly after March 8 leaving a bit of a gap.  I was trying to figure out if the Mobile P.O. was trying to accelerate delivery by sending the letter overland or by private ship.  The US PMG indicates there was some special out of the (British) mail arrangement in existance.

(One cover to UK, which could stay in Imperial postal hands the whole way, does not show this wierdness.  The two or three wierdness covers are to Hargous, the  U.S. consul and a high muckity-muck.  In one case, the address is to Hargous but the content to others.)
It is reasonably clear at this point that covers were travelling on the British packet and not necessarily getting British markings.Major correction -- that is September 25 -- and the letter is dated at Mobile September 20. (Possibly per Teviot, October 4).  This may not be the only one with strange dateline.

General Discussion / Award for the Worst Fake Mexico Cover Ever!!
« on: October 26, 2018, 03:50:42 PM »
My favorite touch is the 1889-1890 revenue stamp.

Post-classic Stamps 1900 - 1940 / Re: Censorship of a 1915 Sonora Letter
« on: September 30, 2018, 12:09:22 AM »
Mike - I don't know anything about this, but I did find a newspaper article from this time period referring to letters marked "Revisada por el censor."  The newspaper was from Veracruz, about as far from Sonora as you can get in Mexico, but perhaps this helps.  As I read it, the article supports the Revolution and complains that the people do not appreciate it.  Here is the relevant paragraph and my preliminary and rough translation:

El Pueblo (Veracruz   Mar. 15, 1915)
On page 3 an article appears, the first paragraph of which refers to the censorship of letters at this time.  Unfortunately the title of this article is cut off, but it is signed by Jorge Useta. 

Uno de los enemigos más poderosos que tiene una Revolución tan transcendental como ésta, es el egoism ambiente.  (Con permiso de la Física, le tomamos el adjetivo.)  Uno de los enemigos más poderosos que estorban incesantemente la acción revoluncionaria, es la exigencia perentoria que la Revolución se le hace por el vulgo, de los frutos de bienstar que la Revolución tiene prometidos.  El vulgo razona así con mucha frequencia: “Tú, Revolución, me ofreces libertad, y me abres las cartas poniéndoles con toda frescura un ‘Revisada por el censor.’  Luego no me das libertad.” …

One of the most powerful enemies a Revolution as momentous as this one has is ambient egoism. (With permission of physics, we take the adjective).  One of the most powerful enemies that incessantly hinders Revolutionary action is the peremptory demand made by the people for the fruits of well-being that the Revolution has promised. The people thus reason with much frequency: “You, Revolution, offer me freedom, and [yet] you open the letters to me, putting [on] them with much cheek ‘Examined by the censor.’ Then you do not give me freedom.” … 

Eagles / Re: Eagle, 114-1866 With Marks on Paper (?)
« on: August 04, 2018, 07:39:41 PM »
It looks like the same color as the stamp.  If so, the printer had some ink on his finger and touched the paper.

General Discussion / 19th century maps of Mexico
« on: March 13, 2018, 01:15:33 PM »
A copy of "Atlas pintoresco e historico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos" by Antonio GARCIA CUBAS (1885) is up for auction at  It contains wonderful maps of 19th century Mexico.  You should be able to open and save the images in large files. 

General Discussion / My Philatelic Research Now on line!
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:04:03 PM »
In the current issue of Philatelic Literature Review, Gary Wayne Loew published an article suggesting that philatelists who have published articles in journals also post them on to expand readership. See
Following Gary's advice, I have posted many of my stamp articles (and a few non-stamp ones) on line at

Eagles / Re: Seeking Images of Eagle Blocks
« on: December 20, 2017, 07:51:12 PM »
Gracias!  I am always interested in seeing more Eagle blocks.  My email is   

I have had very little experience myself with SEPOMEX  and have not had any serious problems.  I didn't intend to endorse the blog.  I just thought the quote from the blog was amusing.  One might contrast it with the following from the Boletin Postal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (1890) --
"The Postal Service, indispensable vehicle, necessary way for the diffusion of the newspaper and the book, sources of all light for the population of all human knowledge and through whose arteries it circulates, so to speak, the vital knowledge of all the people which constitutes the national wealth, by means of the multiple commercial transactions and of all the industries, it was necessary that it should reach in Mexico the rightful place in the Republic’s march on the path of progress."

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