First Issues - 1840 to 1849

page 1.2

Swiss Cantons

Three years later came the Swiss cantons of Zurich (1st March 1843) and Geneva (30th September 1843), where the double Geneva was the first ever bipartite stamp. I cannot afford either, (at £10,000 and £35,000 respectively) and so Swiss stamp-on-stamp commemorative issues will have to suffice. Basel was the third canton to issue stamps with the 'little Basel dove' (the first three-colour stamp) on 1st July 1845. The Basel stamp has only been commemorated on a miniature sheet which is too large to include in this display [but plenty of room online, so see below].

Switz SG430 Switz SG764
Zurich stamp centenary
1943 SG430 Sc287
125th anniversary
1943 SG764 Sc492


Brasil SG4 Brasil SG226 Brasil SG441 Brasil SG555 Brasil SG-O282 Brasil SG-D88
"Bull's Eye"
1st August 1843
SG4 Sc2
400th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil
1900 SG226 Sc162
1928 SG441 Sc-C1
(Surcharge 1913 SG-O295 Sc-O14)
National Philatelic Exhibition
1934 SG555 SC-B1
1906 SG-O282 Sc-O1
Post Due
1900 SG-D88 Sc-J1
Brazil SG490
1931 SG490 SC342

Brazil's first stamp, issued on 1st August 1843, came between the two Swiss canton issues of that year. The reason for Brazil’s early entry is that J. D. Sturz, a Brazilian diplomat, witnessed the postal reforms in Europe and took the idea back to Brazil.

When a set of stamps is issued on the same day, as with Brazil's distinctive Bulls-Eyes in 30, 60 and 90 reis values, the convention is that the lowest denomination is the first issue. This conforms to catalogue numbering systems.

There are two possibilities for the first Brazilian charity stamp, the Scott B1 above (1934) and this 1931 issue (SG490 Sc342), intended as charity issue and commemorating the 1930 revolution but actually sold without the additional charge. The stamp was kindly provided by Roy Martin JP who bears a remarkable resemblance to Getulio Vargas on the left.

Switz SG-MS446b Italy SG1907
Basel stamp centenary
1945 from SG-MS446b Sc-B144
Italia '85 International Stamp Exhibition


From Switzerland's miniature sheet commemorating the Basel first issue, too large to include in the original display. Switzerland's offering does not do justice to the stamp and so I have included one from an Italian miniature sheet issued for the Italia '85 International Exhibition.]


original page March 2008
rewritten April 2013