Immediately following El Salvador's admission to the Universal Postal Union in April 1879, forerunners of its first postal card issue were prepared. However it was only in 1882 that it officially issued its first postal card. Its first postal envelope was issued only in 1887 and all issues prior to 1890 were printed locally. 

In 1890 the government of El Salvador entered into a long term printing contract with the Hamilton Bank Note Company, represented by its director Mr. Nicolas Seebeck. These issues, now commonly referred to as the "Seebeck" Issues, were printed free of charge. For this benefit the government authorized Hamilton to produce reprints for sale to collectors and dealers. The contract also stipulated to restrict the use of the issues to the year for which they were issued and for Hamilton to recover all unsold stock at the end of each year.

The exhibit, divided into four sections, detail the postal stationery issues of El Salvador for a specific period. The five sections are:

Details the 1882-1883 First Issue followed by the 1890 -1895 Seebeck Issues. The highlights include the two of only three known 1879 Forerunners with only known blue color issue and the only known postally used copy; printing errors of the 1882-1883 Coat of Arms issue; and the only known design proof of the 1892 Columbus Issue. Included in this section are printing proofs and examples of local, interior and outbound mail, both property used and uprated cards.

Selected issues covering the 1882 -1895 period. The limited number of used examples attest to its scarcity, made more difficult with three used examples in unsevered condition. The highlights are: the only known Printer's Proof of the 1893 General Ezeta Issue and the very late and improper usage in 1893 of the Reply Section of the 1890 Allegory issue.

The issues from 1887 to 1898, illustrating various denominations reflecting prevailing postal rates, the diverse paper types, colors and sizes. Among the highlights are: the double PROVISIONAL overprint on the 1888 "CONTAD. MYOR" issue; the only known 11c Yellow and 5c Light Blue Composite Proof of the 1890 Allegory and 20c albino imprint error. On usage, the very scarce 11c + 11c 1887 First Issue privately printed to order Double Outbound Rate envelope; a 10c Allegory addressed to China and a used 1893 General Ezeta New Year Greeting Card special issue.

Featuring the 1895 Coat of Arms, the only issue in the collection covered period. Two very important used examples highlight this section: the only known used Reply Section and registered usage to Germany. This is a rarity for Letter Cards.

With the exception of 1896, wrappers were issued from 1890 to 1897. Because of their scarcity, only nine used examples are illustrated. This limited number is well compensated with printing errors of the 1890 Allegory issue and the very scarce registered use of the 1895 3c Brown Coat of Arms.

David G. Chiong Collection
Last Revision: September 30, 2004