The first stamps of
El Salvador were printed by The American Bank Note Co.
of New York, or as it says in the bottom of the sheets
(in Spanish) Compañía
Americana de Billetes de Banco de Nueva York. Printed
in September of 1866, they arrived to El Salvador on December
17th. They were officially issued on January 17,
1867, but their use was not mandatory until March 1st.
The set consists of 4 values: ½ Real (blue), 1 Real (red),
2 Reales (green) and 4 Reales (bistre), issued in sheets
of 100. They feature an active volcano with 11 stars making
a semi-circle above the volcano; each star represents
a Salvadorian province in those years: San Salvador, La
Libertad, Sonsonate, Santa Ana, La Paz, Cuscatlan, Usulutan,
San Vicente, San Miguel, La Union and Chalatenango.
There are two printings of this issue,
the one in September 1866 already mentioned, and another
in April 1873. The
printings can be distinguished by the different color
shades for each printing, and by the heavy yellow gum
used on the first printing, which differs from the thin
white gum used for the latter.