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Valira Torrent:   Contents | Subject index

Perforation image from Serif Art Gallery. © Serif Inc, 1996

Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 13, pp8-9 (March 1981).

Copyright notice


Continuing the illustrated check-list of all the known types of Andorran postmarks. In view of the illustrations it is considered unnecessary to give detailed descriptions of the differences between similar types except in two or three instances, and the notes have been abbreviated as far as possible, being mainly confined to the approximate periods of use. As official information is lacking as to the exact dates of introduction and withdrawal of the various types, and some markings - such as those for insured mail and giros are infrequently encountered, it is hoped that all members will cooperate in this study by reporting any known earlier or later dates of use than those shown. While it is believed that all postmarks in use prior to June 1980 have been included, the possibility of the existence of some short-lived and unrecorded type can never be ruled out, and information concerning any unlisted cancellation would be greatly appreciated. Forgeries are known to exist of several postmarks, and as it is proposed to deal with these in a separate article. Information would be equally appreciated concerning cancellations varying significantly from the illustrations, most of which have been reproduced from actual examples and are reasonably accurate allowing for minor variations due to the inevitable retouching of poor strikes and the vagaries of photocopying machines.

Part 2 - Postmarks of the the agencies, first day postmarks and special cancellations.

Postal Agencies

The postal agencies opened on the 1st January 1928 were CANILLO: ENCAMP: LES ESCALDES: ORDINO: SANT JULIA LORIA. Additional agencies were later established at SANTA COLOMA, which opened on the 8th October 1928, and SOLDEU which opened on the 2nd September 1928 but closed on the 30th June 1933. A new agency at SOLDEU, and an additional one at PAS DE LA CASA, were to have been opened on the 1st July 1973, but owing to difficulties in finding suitable premises or persons wishing to be appointed as postal agents these offices could not then be established. From that date, however, or very shortly afterwards, the mail posted in the letter boxes in these two localities was postmarked at either the Head Office or Canillo with the cancellers which had been provided for use in the proposed new agencies.

Postmarks of the postal Agencies.

Canillo and Encamp La Massana and Ordino Santa Coloma and Pas de la Casa Les Escaldes St Julia de Loria Soldeu

CANILLO, ENCAMP, LA MASSANE, ORDINO and SANTA COLOMA have each used two postmarks, the types being identical for each office. Type 1 was in use from the 1st January 1928 (exceptionllly, from the 8th October in the case of Santa Coloma) until June 1976. Type 2 from June 1976.

LES ESCALDES and SANT JULIA DE LORIA have each used three postmarks, the periods of use and types of postmark being the same in both cases. Type 1 was in use from 1.1.1928 until 1963 or 1964. Type 2 from 1963/64 until June 1976. Type 3 from June 1976.

SOLDEU also provides three postmarks. Type 1 was used by the original postal agency from 2.9.1928 until 30.6.1933. Type 2, supplied for use in the proposed new agency - see notes above - was used from 1973 until June 1976. Type 3 from June 1976.

PAS DE LA CASA provides two postarks. Type 1, provided for use in the proposed agency, was used from 1973 until June 1976. Type 2 from June 1976.

(Note. The exact position concerning postal facilities at Pas de la Casa and Soldeu is unknown to the compiler of these notes. If postal agencies have now been opened I should be most grateful for information as to the date of their establishment.)

First Day Cancellations.

(Used at the Head Office and by the Philatelic Service, Madrid.)

First Day postmarks

Five special "First Day" postmarks had been used as at 31.12.1979. The first three illustrated were in use for one day only, on the date shown in the reproductions. Type 4 was first used on the 2nd May 1972 in connection with the "Europa" stamp of that year, and was applied to First Day Covers of all subsequent issues up to and including the Christmas series of 1975. Type 5, with the office name in Catalan (though the word "'CIRCULACION" in the inscription is Spanish; in Catalan it lacks the letter N) has been in use since 3rd May 1976.

Special Cancellations.

Special Cancellations
Type 1 was used at the Head Office on the 1st January 1953 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Postal Service.
2 was used from the 25th - 27th May 1972 in connection with a Zoological Congress held in Andorra.
3 was used at ORDINO on the 19th May 1974 to commemorate the enthroning of the Virgin of Ordino.
4 was used at the Head Office on the 28th October 1979 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the "JOCS FLORALS JUVENILS" (A poetry competition.)

Part 1 - Spanish - Andorra la Vella

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Andorran Philatelic Study Circle / Hon. Librarian: E. J. Jewell / apsc@free.fr /
Updated 24th December 1998