John M. Taylor Specialized Collection of Colombia

Finding Guide
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Irregular block of eight 10-centavos showing the bottom row of three stamps are sideways on the sheet.

Prepared by Thomas Lera, Winton M. Blount Research Chair.

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Half of a ten centavos used as a five centavos on cover from Soledad, Dated May 12, 1871.


The John M. Taylor Collection consists of 4 volumes of stamps and covers from Colombia from 1859 - 1910.


The specialized collection of Colombia, Volumes 1 – 4, was donated by John M. Taylor on December 27, 1956 (Accession Number 213078).


In 1830, the "Department of Cundinamarca" region adopted the name “Nueva Granada (New Granada)” when it ceded from Venezuela and Ecuador. It kept this name until 1856, when it became the "Confederación Granadina" (Grenadina Confederation), and in 1859 it issued the first stamps (Colombia Scott #1). After a two year civil war ending in 1863, the “United States of Colombia” was created and issued new stamps (Scott #19). In 1886, the country finally became known as the “Republic of Colombia” and issued Scott #129 – 131 showing the Coat-of-Arms, Simón Bolívar and President Rafael Núñez.

Internal political conflicts continued, occasionally igniting very bloody civil wars, the most significant being the Thousand Days War (1899 - 1902), which, together with the United States of America's intentions to influence in the area (especially the Panama canal construction and control), led to the separation of the Department of Panama in 1903 and its establishment as a nation.