The Spanish word cartería here stands for a postal service run by a postman. A cartería operated mostly in small villages or in
certain districts of large cities where it wasn't profitable to carry on a regular post office. The cartería postmen gradually
used there own marks to cancel postage stamps. In 1884 the Post Office introduced a standard design rectangular cancel with CARTERIA
on the top and the place below. In 1889, these marks were replaced by cartería marks with the province at top and the town or city
below. Apart from these official cartería marks, a wide range of individual designed cancels existed, mostly as rubber stamps.
Stamping ink used with cartería marks normally was black or violet but marks in green, red and blue are known, too.
The 1884 (left) and 1889 (right) official cartería marks: CARTERIA JODAR (Jaén) and ALMERIA NIJAR.
Both official types used on postal stationery cards from the Pelón series.
Above a violet CARTERIA CIEMPOZUELOS (Madrid) from 1891;below BURGOS OÑA in black from 1898.
Individually designed, ornamented mark of the CARTERIA VILLAMANRIQUE (Ciudad Real).
Excellent strike on a viewing card sent with a 5 céntimos Cadete stamp to Portugal in 1904.
Collecting cartería marks on Alfonso XIII stamps is a real challenge since most marks can be found as partial strikes only on single stamps.
The rubber marks used also weared down quite fast and can't hardly be identified properly after some years of usage.
There can still be found so far unknown marks and which stamp collector wouldn't like to be a treasure hunter?
To receive an impression of the manifold forms of these marks please see some more examples
for individually designed cartería marks from my personal collection: