The Pelón issue (1889-1899)

Alfonso XIII, born after his father's death on May 17, 1886, three days later was declared king of Spain under the regency of his mother, Queen María Cristina. The stamps issued with his portrait on October 1, 1889, do show him as a little three year-old boy which looks quite bald-headed - "pelón" in Spanish. This issue generally consists of 13 values from 2 céntimos up to 10 pesetas. In 1899, the values of the 2 cts, the 5 cts and the 10 cts stamps were printed in new UPU colours so that at least there are 16 main numbers in the catalogues. A stamp for official use in the Pelón design, a yellow 15 cts value, was issued in 1895.

The Pelón issue generally is poorly centered and mostly shows bad perforations. Due to the longtime use of this series, many tones and paper qualities exist, which maybe of interest for specialized collectors. Only the 15 cts, 25cts and 1 peseta stamp show
secret marks made by the engraver, Eugenio Juliá Jover. The official "announcement sheet" containing the complete set of the Pelón serie can be viewed here. It was sent to the post offices before the new stamps were introduced. There is no official data available for this issue concerning the actual print run. Valid through 31.08.1901, this issue could have been used together with the Cadete stamps issued on January 1, 1901, for eight months. Although this seems to be a relatively long time, mixed frankings of Pelón and Cadete stamps are somewhat harder to find.

Engraver: Eugenio Juliá Jover | Typogaphic printing of the F.N.M.T. | Sheets of 200 and 100 | Perforation: 14 (comb) | First issued: October 1, 1889 (except the 2 cts. black, the 5 cts. green and the 10 cts. brick-red, which were issued in 1899) | Valid until: 31.08.1901 | Control numbers: None