Smithsonian National Postal MuseumTitle: The Pichs CollectionSan Carlos Institute
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Smithsonian National Postal Museum The Pichs Collection, Exploring Cuba's History Through Postage Stamps
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Postal History
Aviation History

Domestic Mail (6): “Güines”

Posted at Güines on February 27, 1850, this cover bears an impression of a circular date stamp designed to include the designated identification number of each province or territory of the Spanish Empire.

Note the number “30” on each side of the datestamp. Each of the provinces of Spain were assigned a number, from 1 to 26 which appeared in the postmark of every town in that province. The Spanish possessions in Africa were numbered “27,” the Balearic Islands received “28,” the Canary Islands were assigned “29,” Cuba and Puerto Rico received “30” and the main post office in the Philippines (Manila) was numbered “31.”

This type of postmark was introduced first in Spain in 1842, and are known as “Baeza” cancellations, after Don Juan Baeza, the Spanish Minister of Posts, who had them prepared and issued to the postmasters. The town of Güines is an important agricultural center and is located about 20 miles from Havana.

The numeral “1” stamped on the face of the cover is the amount of postage due, 1 real. It was received at Havana on the same day as it was posted.

Guines postmark
Tome I, number 13: Güines to Havana, 27 February 1850.

Postal History
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