The Catalog

It is with tremendous joy that I share the culmination of a small project in which I have been working on for some time. It’s a practical catalog specialized in Venezuelan Formular Cards. With it we will be able to identify, very easily, the different printings and their transfers, as well as the relative rarity […]

The Four Printings

There were four different printings of 10,000 cards each, except the first where 20,240 were printed. The printings were issued in the follow dates: Between July and August, 1880. June 18, 1883 February 1884 Between March and April, 1885. Based on my research, the second and third printings were definitively printed in the workshops of […]

Postal Rates

Venezuela Formular Cards began their journey in 1880, the same year Venezuela joined the Universal Postal Union, or UPU. For good or bad, that caused that its usage and rates were not as polished as they should’ve been. In this article I am going to explain what happened to the postal rates between 1880 and […]

Key to Types Legend

There are many clues that allow us to identify the types of these cards. Some of them are sufficient, some are necessary. The easiest and fastest way to tell the type of a card is to get acquainted with the keys that are considered sufficient. Those will let us identify the printing and type in […]


Rosettes? What are the rosettes? I’m glad you asked. The rosettes are another key identifier to tell printings and transfers apart. They won’t tell you exactly which transfer a certain card is but it will certainly help you discard a bunch of transfers the card is NOT. Before we get too deep into the details, […]

Paper Colors

The big headache of this series! One of the most frustrating emotions that a collector can feel is not knowing what exactly is out there. We need to know that we either have a complete collection… or the pieces our collections are missing. That wasn’t possible with Venezuelan Formular Cards. For decades, collectors had always […]

Relative Rarity

Establishing a rarity level for any collectible is always difficult and controversial. Philately and any of its related branches are not an exception. Personally, it has always been hard to believe in a rarity estimation stated by a merchant, or derived by one, because is very hard to have an unbiased judgement when your own […]

Varieties And Errors

At first sight, these cards seem to have an insane amount of varieties and errors. Turns out the printing was pretty consistent. The quality of the plate was not the best, but the results were pretty good. What most people consider errors or varieties are most of the time just different transfers from different printings. […]

Earliest and Latest Usages

I’m going to try to keep public track of the earliest and latest usages found on this series as well as for every individual printing so if you have pieces that are earlier or later than the ones shown here I’d appreciate if you can send me a scan of it (at least 300dpi .) […]

Available Literature

In order to do my research about Venezuela Formular Cards, I went through a huge number of magazines including The Philatelic Record, The London Philatelist, The American Philatelist (up to 1920), The Stamp’s Collector, Le Timbre-Poste, and the different magazines published by Club Filatelico de Caracas and its successor, Asociación Filatélica de Caracas. Similarly, I […]