The Medallón issue - Typographic printings

On 15 May 1920 the postal rate for single letters within Spain raised from 15 céntimos up to 20 céntimos. The then existing green 20 cts stamp (originally issued for double rate letters to Portugal, Gibraltar and Morocco), had so far seldom been used and wasn’t available in sufficient quantities. To serve the new inland letter rate, the printing color had to be changed into lilac, as it was used for the old 15 cts stamps from 1909 to 1917.

To save printing costs, the F.M.N.T. decided to produce the new stamps from typographic clichés, formerly used only for the printing of postal stationery items. Probably in June 1920, the "re-designed" 20 cts stamp was issued; a typographic 2 cts value (for printed matter usage) followed in August 1920.

The typographic Medallón stamps, despised for their poor quality from the Spanish philatelic public, were in use until recess printed ones were issued in May (20 cts) and October 1921 (2 cts without control numbers).

The highest control number of a typographic 20 cts stamp in my collection shows B 048,658. The new print method started with about A.240,000, so at least 80 to 90 million copies of this face value were printed between May 1920 and July 1921. The biggest part of the impression was used up with single inland covers so unused copies, especially well centered ones, are scarce.

NB: For unknown reasons some stamp catalogues (like MICHEL e.g.) list this two stamps as "lithographic printings" which indeed they aren't.

The typographic Medallón serie of 1920

The typographic copies (left) compared to recess printed ones (right)

Engraver: Bartolomé Maura Montaner | Typographic printing of the F.N.M.T. | Sheets of 100 (or 200?) | Perforation: 13 : 12,5 (comb) |
First issued: June & August1920 (no official dates available) | Valid until: 11.01.1935 | Control numbers on the reverse (20 cts typographed only)