Brief Postal History of Argentina
Postage Stamps and Brief Postage History of Argentina
Early provincial stamps
Philatelists have defined the period from 1858 to 1892 as the classical period. The dates define the first Argentinean postage stamp that appeared and the first commemorative one.
By the mid 1850s, the postal services were not unified as postage stamps were issued by the separate provinces, such as Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Corrientes.
Interstingly, the Corrientes stamp of 1856 was designed and engraved by Matias Pipet, a baker’s delivery boy, who served as an apprentice to a French engraver before arriving at the province. With no one having such experience, Matias was asked to prepare a stamp and he copied the design of the famous French Ceres stamps.
The first Argentine stamp
The first stamp of Argentina appeared in 1858 and depicted the seal of the Confederation. Four years later, the designs on the postage stamps adopted the seal of the Argentine Republic.
Until the first commemorative stamp of 1892, the postage stamps used portraits of men (such as Bernardino Rivadavia) and other elements linked to the period of Independence.
These might have been influenced by the period of stability following the fall of the dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas in 1852.
The Popper locals
Interestingly, by the late 19th century, the remote mining camps of Tierra del Fuego prepared their own postage stamps designed by the Rumanian mining engineer Julius Popper.
These covered the costs of mail to the closest postal agencies of Argentina and Chile in Sandy Point (Punta Arenas). However, the postal authorities did not recognise these stamps and requested official postage issues to be added for proper postal processing.