Locals Colombia

With friendly permission by Christer Brunström, Author of the Cinderella Magazine ATALAYA.

Source: ATALYA Cinderella Magazine Winter 2009-2010, Vol 35, No.1 (Whole No. 70), page 3


Barranquilla: Private Post of Octavio Mora

by Alan D. Anyon

In January 1881, a 5-centavo stamp, printed in both green and in brown, inscribed FRANQUEO PARTICULAR BARANQUILLA was mentioned in the Dresden (Germany) based magazine Der Philatelist (Fig. 1).

Fig. I

Colombia Barranquilla 1882 ATALAYA 1

The editor had received the pair from a Mr. Perez who was then in London. This mention reported in the April 1881 issue of the fitly magazine Le Timbre Poste published by J.B. Moens. He stated, "It (the stamp) should serve, they tell us, for house delivery of letters which a private enterprise has taken on". He also reported he had seen an imperforate example of the stamp printed in black which he had been told was an essay (proof?). Moens again mentioned the stamps in the May 1882 issue of his magazine.

He stated the journal Gruia del Collecionista de Sellos de Correos (published in Valparaiso, Chile) had received a communication from a correspondent living in Barranquilla (Colombia) stating the service had been set up by Octavio A. S. Mora, which explained the monogram OASM appearing on the stamps.

Apparently, at that time these private stamps were not in use, as the main part of the order had not been received from the Paris printer.

The service operated by Mora would collect letters from the Barranquilla post office, affix one of the private stamps and deliver them to the addressees on payment of the delivery charge.
He also intended to set up mail boxes in several localities of the country where letters bearing his stamps would be delivered to the Barranquilla post office. Two such localities were Sabanalarga and Puerto Colombia. It has long been believed this private delivery service was not put into operation. However, the recent discovery of an apparently postally cancelled example of the brown stamp, (Fig. 2), indicates this to be wrong.

Colombia Barranquilla 1882 ATALAYA 2

Fig. 2

Both F.J. Melville in Phantom Philately (1923) and G. Chapier in Les Timbres de Fantaisie (1936) consider the stamps either issued but not used or bogus.
Certainly no cover bearing either of the stamps has been found. In the light of the used example now known it may be the service had a very limited use late in 1882.

  •    1882 Printed by lithography in Paris.       
  •    31.5x23 mm. Perforated 11-11.5
  •    5c yellowish green to yellow green
  •    5c deep brown to brown
  •    5c black imperforate ( proof? )


Variations in the shades of the stamps and both clean and rough perforations would indicate there was more than one printing.

References: John Swales - Private communication. L.N. Williams - Linn's Stamp News page 45, April 11, 1988.


ATALAYA is an international magazine devoted to Cindrellas, “dead country stamps and other philatelic oddities. It is published twice a year in cooperation with the Halmstad  Philatelic Society. Contributions from readers are encouraged. The deadline for the next issue is March 15 , 2010. Send all correspondence to:

Christer Brunström

Kungsgatan 23

SE-302 45 Halmstadt, Sweden


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