Until now, it is believed that theFirst Catalogue of Venezuela was published in 1915 by Carlos Reyes Saldivia.
That’s probably true. However, recently I was lucky enough to acquire some very interesting copies of the Caracas Filatélico magazine, which circulated in Venezuela at the end of the 19th century, and of which I only had number 6, in digital format.
In these new copies, I was able to “discover” that Mr. Tomás De Arredondo, a character very involved in the Venezuelan philatelic movement of his time and director of this magazine, at least had the intention of editing one of his own. I don’t know if he ever did, but he meant to.
The same Mr. De Arredondo, mentions a catalogue of Venezuelan stamps published in Germany in 1892.
Obviously, that comment intrigued me a lot and I set out to find it.
I couldn’t get it… but my search wasn’t fruitless. I got two (not one, but two!) world catalogues of German origin, which included supplements for each country. They’re dated 1884 and 1886.
And yes, there it was. Quite complete catalogues of the pieces issued in the country up to that date. The 1886 one says “Fifth Supplement” in German. It’s likely that Mr. De Arredondo was referring to a more recent supplement than I found.
An important difference between the 1884 and 1886 version is that the latter included information on local stamps, including the Tiritas de Coro a La Vela y Viceversa, which have always attracted my attention. I also liked that the same catalogue included information about our “postcards” issued up to that time, our Formular Cards.
Circling back to Reyes Saldivia’s Catalog, this will always have the merit of being the first catalog issued in Venezuela, even though it is no longer the oldest one showing Estampillas de Venezuela.
In any case, I think it would be of great benefit to our philately if someone were to take on the project of translating these catalogues into Spanish.
I’m leaving the offer open!
Well, without further ado, here are the catalogs!.
1884 – Stamp Collector’s Handbook By Philatelistische Bibliothek Bd. III1884-Catalogo-Aleman-de-Venezuela-por-Aldred-Moschkau
1886 – Stamp Collector’s Handbook By Ferdinand Meyer
Based on P. Kloss’s classification.1886-Catalogo-Aleman-de-Venezuela-por-F.-Meyer