Chiapas

Chiapas, medio real.
Pen cancel Sz120B
Cancel Sz120 (Comitan) in black - not listed.
Chiapas, dos reales.
Tuxtla Sz132.
Plate I, emerald.

San Cristobal was the capital of the state of Chiapas. It was the 34th largest postal district, based on the number of stamps used, and 35th by total value of all stamps used. The average cost of the stamps used was 1.40 reales. San Cristobal had about 7,500 inhabitants in 1850.

Chiapas had 8 sub-offices: Ciudad de San Cristobal, Comitan, Chiapa (Chiapa de Corzo), Pichucalco, San Bartolome, Tapachula, Tonala and Tuxtla.

The following consignments were made according to Chapman:
  Day Month Year Invoice # Medio Un Dos Cuatro Ocho
Sent - Lost or stolen 30 8 1856 13 2940 2520 1020 180 420
Sent 18 10 1856 64 2940 2520 1020 180 420
Sent 29 10 1857 215     950 180  
Sent 12 3 1861 71 10000     200  
Total sent       4 12940 2520 1970 560 420
Returned         -8792     -157 -58
Total Used 9403 4 4148 2520 1970 403 362
Distribution         44.11% 26.80% 20.95% 4.29% 3.85%
Distribution vs. all stamps         0.54% 0.18% 0.12% 0.26% 0.39%

It is believed that the first consignment was lost in transit (read: stolen), and that it was replaced by the second, exactly similar consignment just a couple of months later. This would explain the scarcity of these stamps on the market.

The first (or actually second) consignment contained dos reales stamps from the small plate I. These stamps are found in emerald and (light) olive.

Until 1891 San Cristobal de las Casas was the capital of the state of Chiapas. It was founded around 1530 as Ciudad Real, later named after Bartolome de las Casas, protector of Indians and first bishop of the diocese. Tuxtla Gutierrez became the capital of Chiapas after 1891.

The Chiapas overprint is approximately 16 by 2 mm, in black or blue. It's generally weakly struck.

On average, the stamps have normal margins for the issue.

Forgeries from Chiapas exist. A MEPSI certificate is recommended. The black overprint has been forged, the blue apparently not. Forged overprints (sometimes) have a thin horizontal bar in the letter H, while the genuine has a thick(er) bar.

 

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