Isla del Carmen

Isla del Carmen, dos reales, plate II.
Black overprint
Cancel Sz585
This scarce stamp belongs to Doug Stout.
Isla del Carmen, dos reales, plate II.
Black overprint
Cancel Sz585
Isla del Carmen, dos reales, plate III.
Blue overprint
Cancel Sz1554 from Tabasco

Isla del Carmen is located in the state of Campeche. It was the 46th largest postal district, based on the number of stamps used, and 45th by total value of all stamps used. The average cost of the stamps used was 2.14 reales. Isla del Carmen had around 3,500 inhabitants around 1856.

Isla del Carmen had no sub-offices.

The following consignments were made according to Chapman:
  Day Month Year Invoice # Medio Un Dos Cuatro Ocho
Sent 30 8 1856 23 360 240 120 120 60
Sent 21 2 1857 41   600 1500    
Sent 22 9 1857 188 300        
Sent 13 10 1857 206       120 120
Total sent       4 660 840 1620 240 180
Returned         -261 -245 -360    
Total Used 2674 4 399 595 1260 240 180
Distribution         14.92% 22.25% 47.12% 8.98% 6.73%
Distribution vs. all stamps         0.05% 0.04% 0.08% 0.16% 0.19%

The first consignment contained dos reales stamps presumably in the emerald color. None of those stamps are known to exist today. The second consignment poses a small problem: if it contained 2R stamps from plate III we'd expect 6 sheets of 190 = 1140 stamps and 6 sheets of plate II = 360 stamps, assuming that only whole sheets were sent. However, it is generally believed that plate III stamps were only sent to Mexico district before March, 1857! The conclusion must be that either plate III stamps were sent before March to districts outside of Mexico City, or 2R stamps from plate III were never sent to Isla del Carmen. Also, if plate III stamps were indeed sent then stamps from plate II are much scarcer than the catalog value indicates. As you can see above, at least two copies from plate II exist today and I know of at least one additional copy - all with black overprint and used from Carmen. The last stamp shown appears to be from plate III, with the blue overprint.

To add to the problem, we note that 360 2R stamps were returned. While it could be a coincidence, this number correspond to 6 sheets of 60 stamps, which could be all the plate II stamps sent, if we assume plate III stamps were sent at all.

So, we reach the following possibilities:

  • 1500 plate II stamps were sent and no plate III stamps were sent at all.
  • 360 plate II stamps and 1140 plate III stamps were sent. Some or all of the returned stamps would be from plate III.
  • 360 plate II stamps and 1140 plate III stamps were sent, but all the plate II stamps were returned and none would therefore exist today.
  • Isla del Carmen later became a sub-office of Campeche.

    The Isla del Carmen overprint is approximately 21 by 1¾ mm, and is found in both blue and black. It is generally weakly struck.

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

    According to Odfjell, no forgeries of Isla del Carmen exist. A MEPSI certificate is recommended.

     

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