Carimbologia Q-R

Preliminary Notes

As stated in the print edition, additional texts to the Carimbologia do Brasil Clássico start hier and now. Readers’ remarks and corrections are welcome and can be posted either here or sent to

available in Germany (, Brazil ( or on e-Bay

What you will find in the book: All important data are on pp. 8-9 (Preface and How to use). Every post office has a code with three letters and four numbers. The first letter refers to the topical name; the other two indicate the Brazilian province. The four numbers are identical with the last ones from the respective P.O. in List of the Postal Cancels in the Empire of Brazil (Wittig & Wittig, Lohmar, 2016). The same P.O. code is applied for its cancels, now completed by small letters (a, b, c, etc.). Thus, every cancel code refers directly to its province and to Wittig’s List as well.

Eventually, there are alternative local or train station names. Whenever Koester had already mentioned them, a respective marking is given.

Whenever possible, a small map was provided to every town or train station. This is generally marked in it with a red ellipse.

Almost all stamp pictures were digitally altered, to enable more clarity on their cancels. Their colours, size etc. can therefore differ from the original. Cancels, on the other hand, are supposed to be as close to the original as possible, even in cases when the original picture quality was unsatisfying.

Every cancel picture has its source (abbreviated) and applying time. Many examples of the same cancel in the archives mean a greater exactness in stating the period of use. Few examples of a cancel may lead to an estimation about it (abbreviated through “?, ff”, etc.).

Historical data is chronologically listed for all towns and train stations, occasionally accompanied by legal information (Alvará, Lei, Decreto-Lei, etc.). Thus, a cancel date can be checked with the town status. But please note: local names could switch in their cancels with considerable delay, especially in small villages. Moreover, it could take months or even years from creating to operating a P.O.

The main sources for population data are the Guia Postal do Império (1880) and the IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), with estimated nunbers for 2018 and 2019. The reader can see how much a town population has increased (or decreased) between the given years. Besides, these numbers can give some hint about the rarity of a cancel. Considering that ca. 80 % of the population in imperial Brazil was illiterate – and in rural regions even more than that – a cancel from a village of about 1.000 people must have been seldom.

What you won’t find in the book. There is nothing about cancel colours, catalogue and action prices, or mute cancels. Such information can occasionally occur, provided they are relevant and confirmed. The main obstacle on describing colours in philately is the lack of international definition norms. In addition, modern technical devices have made the manipulation of colours quite easy, especially in the internet.

Acknowledgements. This work would not have been possible without the achievement of Reinhold Koester (1911-1994), who from 1961 on has published his research on cancels of Imperial Brazil in the Brasil Filatélico magazine (Clube Filatélico do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro) until initial P was completed.

Francisco da Nova Monteiro had already published his Brazilian P.O-list in the same magazine (Administrações e Agências Postaes do Brasil Império, 1934-5). In 1937, the Catálogo de Carimbos (Brasil-Império) by Paulo Ayres was released, and has become an indispensable work on this theme since then.

After Koester’s Carimbologia, Karlheinz Wittig published his List of the Postal Agencies in the Empire of Brazil with Dieter Kerkhoff in 1983 and republished it in 2016 (with Barbara Wittig, ArGe Brasilien). Finally, José Francisco de Paula Sobrinho wrote a splendid work about the História Postal de Minas Gerais in 1997.

Two outstanding websites must be mentioned, which both provided valuable help for this project through their actuality and accuracy: Paulo Novaes’s site on the postal agencies in the States of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo ( and Ralph M. Giesbrecht’s, on the Brazilian railroads (

It was absolutely necessary to build a data bank with Brazilian imperial cancels, so must the author express his gratefulness to the suppliers of these images. First of all and in name of his colleagues, to the philatelist and stamp dealer José A. Junges, who has made scans of his long-term collection of imperial cancels available. This was partly originated from the Koester estate. Junges has good reasons to see himself as a co-author of this work.

Furthermore, many other philatelists from several countries have contributed with images, suggestions, corrections and also critics. At a time when philately seems to become a niche for a minority interested in History and Culture, such an engagement will keep this History and Culture alive. The author is therefore deeply indebted to all of them.

By jmkarlsruhe

Brazilian-German philatelist who lives in Germany since 1981.

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