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COLONIAL MAIL PERIOD
1757-Nov 27, 1821
DESCRIPTION
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Entire folded letter endorsed for pre-payment "Franca a la mano",
mailed from Panamá to Guayaquil, Ecuador and struck with
superb strike of contracted PANAMÁ handstamp in brown. The
entire thanks the addressee for the receipt of 5'000 pesos and
urges the prompt payment of the rest of the debt. The first
Spanish Period postmark of Panama. This is the oldest Colonial
Period letter from Panama.

Last Known Location Fritt-Water Lannge Collection
Feb 19, 1777

Santiago Nuñez
Guayaquil
Galeria Filatelica of Barcelona
29 June 2004
lot 1033

CORINPHILA
Sep 27, 2013
lot 4302

Siegel
Dec 4, 2018
Lot 1501
11000¬+17%
Stamps of PANAMA
Back



1798: Nov 28 REGISTRO DE EMBARQUE del Paquebot Nuestra
Sra. de los Dolores circulado desde PANAMA a GUAYAQUIL.
Marcas en el frente PANAMÁ y FRANCA tambien firma
manuscrita del Administrador de Correos de Panama ´Bernabe´,
indicando que habia cobrado el porte de ´18´ reales. Defectos
habituales en la envuelta. PIEZA EXCEPCIONAL, se trata del
Registro de Embarque mas antiguo conocido de America Central
y del Sur y uno de los poquisimos conocidos durante el periodo
Colonial Español.

Ship's register envelope of the packet boat "Nuestra Señora de
los Dolores", following the maritime route from Panama to
Guayaquil, very attractively handstamped by Italic "Panamá." &
"Franca." postmarks in red, rated "18" reales in manuscript
which were paid by the sender, as per postal rules for this
document, and postal clerk's signature in centre. Small portions
of back flaps lacking, some wrinkles and closed vertical tear, of
no significance for this, the only ship's register cover recorded
emanating from Panama; it should be additionally noted that
stampless ship's register covers are very rare transatlantic postal
document having origin in American territories, with less than 20
recorded in the 18th and 19th centuries.
1798

Guayaquil
Soler y Llach

Feb 15, 1995
lot1237

May 28, 2004
Lot 1237

May 17, 2017
Spink Lot 202



1777ca: Undated folded letter with black "PNAMÁ" postmark, to
Cartagena, Colombia." Same marking as that of 1777 dated letter.
Panama to Cartagena, distance 134 leagues / 747 kms., struck
with contracted "PANAMÁ" handstamp in black (Tizon 1 = EXT)
with large manuscript "2" reales rate for a single letter up to ½
ounce. Whilst this letter is undated, the only other example of this
handstamp is recorded on a cover dated 1777. .
ca, 1777

Lorenzo Maxin
Cartagena
Soler & Llach

19 Jun 1991
lot 4418
$3335+15%



Red straigh Line h.s. PANAMÁ on folded letter 1788ca entire to
Camilo Torres, Santa Fe (Bogota) m.s. "16 ½" rate, entire
restored in center, FINE strike, in 1978 DeVoss believed it was
the earliest recorded until recently when the 1777 letters were
found. Earliest recorded with this straight marking.
Mar 7, 1788

Camilo Torres
Santa Fe
Sotheby Parke Bernet
Oct 25, 1978
lot 2149

Soler y Llach
Nov 8, 2004
lot 230



Lettersheet with traces of vinager which was used to desinfect it.
Ex-Londoño With a red "PANAMÁ FRANCA" to Buenaventura.
*unverified
1792

Buenaventura
Corinphila
3-5 Oct 2001
lot 6617



Envuelta de PANAMA a CADIZ. Marca lineal PANAMÁ.
ca 1800

Juan Josse de La Presilla

Cadiz
Soler y Llach

Nov 8, 2004
lot 232



Via Panamá, FRONTAL con parte del dorso circulada de
VENEZUELA a GUATEMALA. Marca estampada en
tránsito PANAMÁ, indicación manuscrita ´Del Capitan
General de Maracaibo y tasa manuscrita "7 1/2" reales.
ca 1800

Cabildo de la Ciudad, Guatemala
Soler y Llach Mar 10, 1998
Lot 2034
Nov 8, 2004 Lot 231



Red Straight Line h.s. PANAMÁ FRANCA on folded letter to
Camilo de la Torre, Santa Fe, 30 Agosto 1807.
Ago 30, 1807

Camilo de la Torre
Santa Fe
Soler y Llach

May 8, 2000
Lot 2764



PANAMA a SANTA FE. Carta completa con texto. Marcas PANAMÁ y VYVA
FERNANDO 7 Marca patriotica. Carta excepcional y extraordinariamente rara.
Rata doble por ¾ de onza "5" reales a mano. NOTA: En 1809 as Tropas
Francesas invadieron EspaHa, el Rey D. Fernando VII fue capturado y
encerrado en prision. Muchas de las entonces colonias de America
estamparon en las cartas fracesas patrioticas de apoyo al Rey de Espana.
1809 June 30.
.
PANAMA to SANTA FE. Entire letter. PANAMÁ and VYVA FERNANDO 7
patriotic. Very rare. Rated "5" reales in manuscript for a double letter under ¾
ounce in weight. NOTE: In 1809 Spain was invaded by French Army and King
Fernando VII imprisoned. In several former Spanish colonies of America,
patriotic marks were handstamped on thefront of the letters to support the
King.
Jun 30, 1809

Camilo Torres
Santa Fe
Soler y Llach

12 Oct 2000
lot 249

CORINPHILA
Feb 27, 2013
lot 4265

Siegel
Dec 4, 2018
Lot 1505
DESCRIPTION
YEAR / DESTINATION
SOLD



Red Straight Line h.s. PANAMÁ on folded letter to Señor Don
Miguel Pizano, Lima (Peru) m.s. "4 1/2" rate, FINE strike, June
19, 1811, delivered by "Paquebot Carmen."
Jun 19, 1811

Señor Don Miguel Pizano, Lima
eBay

8 Sep 2003
lot 2949157672
DESCRIPTION
YEAR / DESTINATION
SOLD



Via Panamá, London, England to Lima, Peru, and Guayaquil,
Ecuador.  Red Straight Line h.s. PANAMÁ on folded letter to
Señor Don Santiago Rodriguez y Martinez m.s. "4 1/2" rate,
FINE strike, November 19, 1811
Nov 19, 1811

Señor Don Santiago Rodriguez y
Martínez
Lima
Soler y Llach
Feb 4, 1999
Lot 2592
Nov 8, 2004
Lot 233
Oct 24, 2005
1 Jul, 2008
Lot 819



Via Panamá, London, England to Lima, Peru. Straight Line
PORTVLO of Portovelo (COLON). One of 2 covers known with
this marking during the colonial period, this one being the one
with the most clear marking.
Nov 19, 1811

Don Señor Santiago Rodriguez y
Martínez
Lima
Soler y Llach
Feb 4, 1999
Lot 2593
May 28, 2004
Lot 1238



Red Straight Line h.s. PANAMÁ on 22 May, 1813. It is two
sheets of paper folded together. You can see the address and
also the docketing by the sender which includes the date. The
PANAMA strike is rather faint - it was done in red. There is a
slight hole and tear in the back of the outer sheet, which does
not affect the contents. Otherwise it is in quite good condition for
its age. It is the only colonial Panama cover sent to Havana. Ex-
DeVoss
May 22, 1813

Clemente y Charo
Havana
DeVoss
23 Oct 1978
lot 2150

COPAPHIL
Feb. 2006
Lot 167



PORTOVELO (Later COLON) to PANAMA. Entire letter with
red PORTVLO handstamp. Originated from Portovelo and
addressed to Panama, no indication of rate but should be 1 1/2
reales for under -1/2 oz; contents referring to large shipment of
silver.
Feb 16, 1816

Ignacio Perez de Soto
Panama
Afinsa Oct 12, 2000 Lot 250
Siegel Dec 4, 2018  Lot 1506



Dated folded letter with straight line PANAMÁ handstamp in red,
postmark used from 1807 to the late 1820’s. From Panama to
Lima, Peru, manuscript "Par la Bot Abarcal", With manuscript
“4” reales rating for a double letter up to 1 1/2 ounces.
Nov 19, 1816

Pedro Villa y Juan Suero
Lima
Soler y Llach
Oct 12, 2000
Lot 250
Siegel Dec 4, 2018 
Lot 1507



Panama to Lima.  Letter with a very interesting context about the
gold extraction rights in this province.  Straight Line PANAMÁ
dessinfected, spots produced by the vinager used for the
desinfectation.  With manuscript “4” (reales) rating.
Sep 7, 1816

Mario de Guisasola
Lima
Soler & Llach

8 May 2000
lot 2765



Red Straight Line h.s. PANAMÁ on folded letter to Jose Antonio
Errea, Lima (Peru) m.s. "4" (reales) rate, FINE strike, January
(Enero) 12, 1818.
Jan 12, 1818

Antonio Errea
Lima
eBay

8 Sep 2003
lot 2949157712



Via Panamá, Entire letter from Lima to Cadiz, sent by ship to
Panamá and thence across the isthmus and mailed with superb
strike of PANAMÁ in red, thence on to Cadiz (normally the route
was via Cuba at this date). Handstruck “1o.R.” (Reales) charge
marking applied on arrival in Spain in red. The 10 reales due
marking would indicate this letter was treated as a second
weight letter from Panama rather than from Peru.
Sep 9, 1819

Pedro Buliente
Cadiz
Soler y Llach
Feb 15, 1995
Lot 1936

Galeria Filatelica of Barcelona
29 June 2004
lot 1035

CORINPHILA
Feb 27, 2013
Lot 4304

Siegel Dec 4, 2018 
Lot 1509



Prestamp: E.L. from Panama to Lima endorsed "Bergn.
Pelican" with fine straight line PANAMÁ in red m.s. "4" reales
rate. Endorsed as sent on 17 August and received on 6
October.
Aug 17, 1819

Manuel Ignacio de Santiago
Lima
Brian Moorhouse

April 2012
lot PA/16866/C



Panama to Madrid, Spain.  PANAMÁ straight line postmark on
entire folded letter, rated “7R” (Reales) upon arrival in Spain.
Mar 6, 1820

Ignacio Perez de Soto
Madrid
Soler & Llach

8 May 2000
lot 2766
 
1808, December 2: red straight line handstamp PANAMÁ
FRANCA on folded letter to Camilo Torres, Santa Fe, 2
Diciembre 1808.  Addressed to Camilo Torres who was the
leader of the Revolutionary Forces and was elected
President of United Provinces of Nueva Granada in 1815.
Rated 5 reales for a double letter for up to 2 ounces.
Dec 2, 1808

Camilo Torres
Santa Fe
Soler y Llach Jun 19, 1991 Lot 4420
Soler y Llach Mar 10, 1998 Lot 2035
Siegel Dec 4, 2018 Lot 1504



Red Straight Line h.s. PANAMÁ on 30 Octubre, 1812.
Al Muy Ilustre Cabildo y Regimiento de la ciudad de Guatemala.
Manuscrito 17 reales
Oct 30, 1812

Al Muy Ilustre Cabildo y Regimiento
de la ciudad de Guatemala
Private Sale
DESCRIPTION
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DESCRIPTION
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DESCRIPTION
YEAR / DESTINATION
SOLD



 
Private mail, Earliest known letter from Chagres, Panama.
Entire letter written from Chagres near Panamá, addressed to
Robert Hodgson "if he should stop at Corn Islands" (off the
Nicaraguan coast). Without postal markings, but interesting letter
in English: "Dear Bob, If this finds you at Corn Islands you will of
course see what I write to Capt. Rose or any other Captain that
may come there on my account. I am now going to Guatemala on
a very good footing, and in a very few months shall be at the
above Islands where I think you had better stay and receive some
Robinson Crusoe education till you hear from me again. You will
of course take under your care all our property, Negroes etc., that
is on the Islands...The negro woman Nancy will show you two
papers she has got and will tell you the characters of anybody
almost that comes her way. You may be sure of better
days...Chagres Dec 1, 1790". An extraordinary entire and the
earliest known from Chagres.
Eventhough it does not have any Post Office markings it is a
letter that was written in Chagres and sent by private mail  to
Corn Island located off the coast of Nicaragua, near Bluefields.
Nov 29, 1790

Corn Island
CORINPHILA
Feb 27, 2013
lot 4303

Siegel
Dec 4, 2018
Lot 1502
DESCRIPTION
YEAR / DESTINATION
SOLD
 
Panama to Madrid, Spain.  PANAMÁ straight line postmark on
entire folded letter, manuscript 7R (Reales) rate upon arrival in
Spain.
8 Mar 1820

Blas de Lamola
Madrid
Afinsa

8 May 2000
Lot 2766

Dec 17, 2001
Lot 2869
DESCRIPTION
YEAR / DESTINATION
SOLD



1805, February 12: Colonial Mail, Panama was part of New
Granada, red straight line handstamp PANAMÁ FRANCA on
folded letter to Licdo Dr Gabriel to Fuenterravia, Spain m.s. "4
1/2" rate, FINE strike, Feb 12/805. From its content, originating
in Panama where is uncle ask his nephew how is Europe.
1805

Licenciado Dr Gabriel
Fuenterravia
 



Other Marking 1791: Dec 4 "SANTA FE" Bold and clear strike of
red straight-line handstamp on small folded letter datelined in
Portovelo and addressed to Azpeitia, Spain, probably carried via
Havana-Corunna, rated by hand at "6rs" (reales)  as per an
unpaid single weight letter rate. The "SANTA FE" postmark,
being handstamped at Portobelo, per postal rules of Sept. 1,
1779, was to be used not only in Santa Fe de Bogota, but other
areas in the postal district. This was done prior to the creation of
the Portovelo handstamp. The Santa Fé postal district (Nueva
Granada Viceroyalty) comprised territories in present-day
Colombia and Panama. The only item recorded exhibiting the
“Santa Fe” postmark applied in Panama, as well as one of just
two covers known with this handstamp used outside Santa Fé
de Bogotá.
Dec 4, 1804

Azpetia, España

Siegel Dec 4, 2018 Lot 1503



Dated folded letter with perfect straight line PANAMÁ handstamp
in red, postmark used from 1807 to the late 1820’s. datelined
May 6, 1819 from Panama to Lima, Peru, manuscript "Paquebot
Correo Y"
May 6, 1819

Sr Don Manuel Santiago
Lima

Siegel Dec 4, 2018 
Lot 1508
DESCRIPTION
YEAR / DESTINATION
SOLD



Other Marking 1817, June 17. Entire letter from Panama to
Cadiz (Spain), endorsed 1a via, with a deep slit for
disinfection, handstamped in transit at Havana(Cuba) with Islas
De/Barlovento two lines (P.E. 33), charged with 5R  receiving
marking corresponding to an unpaid single weight. The only
cover recorded, emanating from Panama, exhibiting any
of the extensively used “Islas De Barlovento” postmarks.
This usage is further enhanced by representing one of only
about five items known with this handstamp being struck in
black at Havana, either on dispatch or in transit.
Jun 17, 1817

Antonio Errea
Lima
Spink

31 May 2017 Lot 203
In 1717, the Viceroyalty of New Granada (northern South America) was created in response to other Europeans trying to take Spanish territory in the Caribbean region. In the reinstatement of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1739, the territories of the Royal Audiencia of Panama are added. The Isthmus of Panama was placed under its jurisdiction. But the remoteness of New Granada's capital Santa Fe de Bogotá proved a greater obstacle than the Spanish crown anticipated as the authority of the new Viceroyalty was contested by the seniority, closer proximity, previous ties to the Viceroyalty of Peru in Lima, as well as the sentiment of Panama's own colonists. The Royal Decree of 6 August 1764 by King Carlos III established the new rules for mail in all Spanish colonies, and corresponding postmarks were introduced to denote the provenance of the mail. This uneasy relationship between Panama and Bogotá would persist for a century and lasted until November 28, 1821 when Panama gained independence from Spain and joined the Republic of Colombia.

If we consider only the material available for private collectors, and not the letters preserved by national archives in Spain and America, not many folded letters/covers for this period have survived. Four classes of mail service were offered, among them paid letters, unpaid letters and official mail. The earliest colonial markings were hand stamps for the town name, usually a port name
PANAMÁ or PORTVLO, FRANCO or FRANCA (paid). There is one known private mail from Chagres, Panama, one from Portovelo with SANTA FE, one from Panama to Cadiz 5R.

Via Panamá: Four known covers, three through Panama and one through Portovelo two of them to Lima seem to have come from the same sender and on the same date 19 Nov, 1811; one from Venezuela to Guatemala, and Lima to Cadiz.
From Panama to Buenaventura 1, Cartagena 1, Santa Fe 4, Lima 6,  Fuenterravia 1, Cadiz 1, Madrid 2, Guayaquil 2, Guatemala 1 and Havana 1. Two are mentioned below, but they are not confirmed.
By country Colombia 6, Peru 6, Spain 4, Ecuador 2, Guatemala 1 and Cuba 1.
From Portovelo (Colon) to Panama 1
From Chagres to Nicaragua 1 privately
Other Markings: From Portovelo with SANTA FE and the other from Panama to Cadiz with 5R