A Single issue of six overprinted stamps comprise
the entire philatelic output of the Spanish Mariana Islands. Under
Spanish control and administration the stamps of the Philippine
Islands were utilized prior to 1899 when the islands, with the exception
of Guam, were sold to Germany. Guam, one of the islands in the group
of fourteen islands, had already been captured by the United States
on June 20, 1898.
In September, 1899 six different denominations of
the then current Philippine Islands issue of 1898 were overprinted
locally. The overprint consisted of a boxed handstamp that included
the words"Marianas Espanolas" in the center. Each stamp
was individually struck with the overprint in a vertical position.
The normal overprint placement has the words reading down. The inverted
placement resulted in the words reading up.
These stamps were available for usage on only a single
mail that was transported off the islands before the sale of the
islands to Germany. That single mail left the island of Saipan at
the beginning of December, 1899 and arrived in Manila, Philippines
on December 11, 1899. Mail Processed from that sailing received
the datestamp of the United States Military Station Number 1, Manila,
Philippine Islands, Received, dated December 11, 1899 upon arrival.
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