Angra #2 (1892)


Angra #2 (1892)

Angra #2 (1892)

Angra or, to use it’s full name, Angra do Heroísmo, is a city on the island of Terceira in the Portuguese Autonomous Region of the Azores (Região Autónoma dos Açores).  The town was established in the latter half of the 15th century.  Angra is the Portuguese word for “inlet”, “cove”, or “bay”.  The epithet do Heroísmo (“of Heroism”, “the Heroic”) was granted to the city by Maria II to commemorate its citizens’ successful defense of the island against a Miguelist assault in 1829. Angra served as a place of exile for Almeida Garrett during the Napoleonic Wars. It also served as a refuge for Queen Maria II of Portugal from 1830 to 1833.  It was classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983.  Today, the city has a population of more than 35,000 and is the location of the Azorean Supreme Court as well as of the Azorean bishop.

The administrative district of Angra covered some 275 square miles consisting of the islands of Terceira, São Jorge and Graciosa. Starting in 1868, postage stamps of Portugal overprinted with AÇORES were used in Angra. From 1892 through 1905, Portuguese-styled stamps bearing a likeness of King Carlos and labeled ANGRA were available in the area. The designs were identical to those of the regular Portuguese stamps, which were inscribed CONTINENTE to distinguish them, and the colors generally the same, with some lighter or darker.  After this time, and until 1931, the district returned to using overprinted Portuguese stamps for the Azores. From that point on, Portuguese stamps without overprints have been used in Angra.  On January 2, 1980, the use of separate stamps for the Azores (and Madeira) was revived. The modern stamps are inscribed both PORTUGAL and AÇORES. The stamps have no special purpose beyond the expression of local pride; all are sold and valid in Portugal. About 5-10 are issued each year, generally with themes relating to the Azores.

The Scott catalogue lists just 34 issues for Angra, some of which are moderately expensive.  In addition, there was postal stationery including several very small postal cards which saw the stamps perforated through the card stock.  Scott #2 — 10 reis reddish violet — was issued in the first series of stamps for Angra, in 1892, printed by typography on unwatermarked paper.  The stamp pictured is perforated 12½ but an additional variety (Scott #2a) is perforated 13½.  All 12 of the values in this first series were reprinted in 1905 with shiny gum and clean-cut perforations in the 13½ gauge.  These are valued at US $22.75 each, compared to the $5.00 mint value for Scott #2.

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