Collectors’ Stamps From Brazil

Having hosted the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016, Brazil has finally taken its place on the international stage. Whether or not this translates to an uptick in interest in the country’s stamps and postal history remains to be seen, but for those in the know, Brazil’s philately has long been an object of fascination. Some of the most notable Brazil collectors’ stamps are remarkable not only for their rarity, but also for their unique design and reflection of the country’s history.

Brazil’s Postal History

Brazil issued its first national postage stamps in 1843, making it only the second country to do so, following Britain – an incredible feat when you consider its sheer size. These initial stamps, known as Bull’s Eyes, were printed in Rio de Janeiro in 30, 60 and 90 réis denominations. They featured a distinct oval design and, like the Penny Black in Britain, were notable for lacking a number of what today are postal conventions, including having the country’s name printed on them.  

More than 1.1 million 30 réis stamps and 1.5 million 60 réis were printed before the Bull’s Eye series was superseded in 1844. The 90 réis, used for international mail, is among the rarest of Brazil stamps on the collector’s market. Only 349,000 were printed at the time, and few remain today.

Later Stamps

Bull’s Eyes were replaced with a smaller stamp with a rectangular design and slanted numerals. Fittingly, today these are known as Snake’s Eyes, or Inclinados. They remained in circulation until 1866, when they were replaced with a new stamp depicting Emperor Dom Pedro II.

Definitives issued between 1920 and 1941 are among the most rewarding for Brazil stamp collectors looking for a challenge. Where there were only 11 unique designs printed during this time, a wide range of variation in watermarking, paper and printing types, colors and perforation exist.

Starting in the late ‘20s, Brazil began granting three airlines permission to offer postal delivery and print stamps. From 1932 to 1937, mail was also regularly delivered by the famous Graff zeppelin, which ran a commercial route between Germany and South America. Postage printed for these voyages remain highly sought after, making them some of the most expensive Brazil collectors’ stamps.

Building a Collection of Brazilian Stamps

There are many ways to begin a collection of Brazilian stamps. Apfelbaum regularly has collectors’ Brazil stamps for sale through our online store. We also provide a number of related services such as appraisals and consulting around proper storage and transportation.

If you’re looking to buy rare Brazil stamps, browse our website to see our current inventory. Whether you’re just beginning your collection or are looking for something hard to find, we can help!

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