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Morocco Agencies (Spanish currency)


Morocco used a well-organised system of internal "Sherifien" mail, and all international mail was carried out by foreign postal systems under contract. This led to a large number of competing offices in the main towns (especially the ports) run by Germany, France, Spain, and the UK. At first the British post offices were run by the Gibraltar postmistress (with, it is alleged, a formidable rule of iron) as if the huge country was a sort of sub-office of Gibraltar. The first stamps were therefore Gibraltar stamps simply overprinted "Morocco Agencies" (1898) and retained their Spanish currency.


When control of the Moroccan agency was transferred from Gibraltar to London the overprinted Gibraltar stamps were replaced by British stamps with a Spanish currency overprint in 1907. At first they were used in British post offices throughout Morocco (alongside stamps in British currency), but in 1917 they were replaced by overprints in French currency in the places where that currency was in use, and in 1927 Tangier had a distinctive overprint on the main low values.


Historical note: The presence of foreign post offices in Morocco was not purely about a benevolent desire to give overseas postage facilities to residents, it was also about military control, trading imperatives and even domination. A history of Morocco states that "Attacks on foreigners were frequent and the tribes took power into their own hands. At that time, the French occupied Morocco, The Spaniards, for historical reasons, insisted on sharing the influence on Morocco. In 1906, the Conference of Algeciras (in which 30 nations were present) took place and had the effect of internationalizing the whole affair. Tangier was an international free port, and the whole country was under the protectorate of the French government." Even the delineations between the "French Zone", "British Zone", "Spanish Zone" were fiercely protected by the respective national armed forces, sometimes with the Moroccans as bemused and innocent bystanders; this situation lasted until the middle of the 20th century.

 


See further under Morocco Agencies British currency, Morocco Agencies French currency and Tangier.


All stamps overprinted "MOROCCO AGENCIES" with new value in Spanish currency.


Note: this numbering system was drawn up by the Society for the website, and may not be used without permission.


King Edward VII

De La Rue printings, ordinary paper unless otherwise stated

1 January 1907 (except as stated)

Morocco Sp Ed7 DLR 200Morocco Sp Ed DLR high values 200

(temporary picture)

1 "5 CENTIMOS" on d pale green

2 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red

3 "15 CENTIMOS" on 1d purple & green, chalky paper

4 "20 CENTIMOS" on 2d green & red, chalky paper

5 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue (perf 14, see No. 13 below)

6 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d green & brown, chalky paper (29 October 1907)

7 "50 CENTIMOS" on 5d purple & blue, chalky paper

8 "1 PESETA" on 10d purple and red, chalky paper

9 "3 PESETAS" on 2/6d purple, chalky paper

10 "6 PESETAS" on 5/- red

11 "12 PESETAS" on 10/- blue (30 April 1907)


overprint varieties


1 v1
5c overprint double

1 v1 10c overprint double

1 v2 10c overprint misplaced

3 v1 15c overprint double

3 v2 15c overprint double, one albino

Morocco Spanish missing 1 72
(image ex Rossi auction, courtesy of Warwick & Warwick)

3 v3 15c "1" omitted, reading "5 CENTIMOS"

Note: This variety affects, to a greater or lesser extent, the first vertical column of one sheet and was probably caused by something getting in the way of the overprinting plate; the parts of the "1" that do not show are still there as an albino overprint. As can be seen from the example above, on some of the stamps parts of the "5" are also missing.

4 v1 20c overprint double


watermark varieties


5 wx 25c no watermark


stamp varieties


8 sv1 1P, no cross on crown



Changed colour

12 May 1910

Morocco Sp Ed7 4d 200


12 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d orange (ordinary paper)


Harrison printing

1912

Morocco Sp Ed7 Harrison 200


13 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue, perf 15*14 (& see No. 5 above)


overprint varieties


13 v1 overprint double, one albino


Somerset House printing

1912

Morocco Sp Ed7 SomsetHse 200


14 "12 PESETAS" on 10/- blue (ordinary paper)


King George V

Downey head issue die II, watermark crown

1912

Morocco Sp G5 Downey


15 "5 CENTIMOS" on d green

16 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red


overprint varieties


15 v1 5c misplaced overprint


stamp varieties

MAgs Spanish 10c no cross on crown

(image courtesy of playpenphilatelics)

16 sv1 10c, no cross on crown


Mackennal head, script cypher watermark,
Seahorses (Waterlow) (22mm wide, normal top tooth, see illustrations below)

1914 unless otherwise stated

Morocco Sp G5 script 200

Note: unlike the earlier sets, and the other Morocco Agencies currency sets, the post office appears to have had considerable difficulty deciding the best font and layout for the George V overprints; it is worth noting that the 3c and 40c stamps came out in 1917 at the same time as the French currency overprints, and use the same layout as the latter. This was probably useful to distinguish the 3c and 5c stamps (the French currency overprints used different colours instead of different layout).


17 "3 CENTIMOS" on d green (1917)

18 "5 CENTIMOS" on d green

19 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red

20 "15 CENTIMOS" on 1d brown (1915)

21 "20 CENTIMOS" on 2d orange die I

22 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue

23 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d grey (1917)

24 "1 PESETA" on 10d blue

25 "6 PESETAS" on 5/- red

26 "12 PESETAS" (in red) on 10/- blue


overprint varieties


20 v1 15c overprint double, one albino

21 v1 20c overprint double, one albino

22 v1 25c overprint double, one albino

23 v1 40c overprint double, one albino

24 v1 Pt1 overprint double, one albino

25 v1 Pt6 overprint double, one albino

25 v2 Pt6 overprint treble, two albino

26 v1 Pt12 overprint double, one albino

26 v2 Pt12 overprint treble, two albino

26 v3 Pt12 overprint misplaced


watermark varieties


19 wi 10c watermark inverted

19 wir 10c watermark inverted & reversed

22 wi 25c watermark inverted


Seahorses, De La Rue printing (22mm wide, wide top tooth, smaller perf holes, see illustrations below)

1918

Morocco Sp G5 DLR 200


27 "3 PESETAS" on 2/6d brown

28 "12 PESETAS" (in red) on 10/- blue


overprint varieties


27 v1 Pt3 overprint double, one albino

27 v2 Pt3 overprint misplaced

28 v1 Pt12 overprint double, one albino

28 v2 Pt12 overprint misplaced


Watermark block cypher
Seahorses, Bradbury Wilkinson printing (22-23 mm wide, normal top tooth, see illustrations below)

1925-1931

Morocco Sp G5 block 200

29 "5 CENTIMOS" on d green (1931)

30 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red (1929)

31 "15 CENTIMOS" on 1d brown (1925)

32 "20 CENTIMOS" on 2d orange (1931)

33 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue (1925)

34 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d grey (1930)

35 "3 PESETAS" on 2/6d brown (1926)


Seahorse types detail 400

5s (top) Waterlow, 2/6d (middle) De La Rue wide tooth, 2/6d (bottom) Bradbury Wilkinson (wider design)


overprint varieties


32 v1 20c overprint double, one albino

33 v1 25c overprint double, one albino

34 v1 40c overprint double, one albino


watermark varieties


33 wi 25c watermark inverted


Silver Jubilee

8 May 1935

Morocco sp g5 jubilee 200


36 "5 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on d green

37 "10 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on 1d red

38 "15 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on 1d brown

39 "25 CENTIMOS" (in red) on 2d blue


overprint varieties

Morocco G5 setenant French & Spanish
(image courtesy of Cavendish stamp auctions)


37 v1 10c "10 CENTIMOS" se-tenant with "10 CENTIMES"

This error appears to have arisen when the Spanish overprinting was completed and the overprint plate was being changed to French currency and a French currency cliche was accidentally inserted (or retained) instead of a Spansih one . About 25 copies are known from sheets printed before the error was corrected. The number of copies surviving in the centre of a block of 9 suggests that it was very quickly spotted by collectors.


Photogravure set

1935-1936

Morocco Sp G5 photo 200

Morocco Sp G5 1d photo size 200

1d intermediate and small formats; as well as the difference in size the general appearance of the small format stamp is of denser colour and design.

Morocco Sp G5 1.5d photo size 200

1d large and small formats (same comment as above).


40 "5 CENTIMOS" on d green, small format (9 June 1936)

41 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red, intermediate format (Nov 1936)

42 10c on 1d, small format stamp

43 "15 CENTIMOS" on 1d brown, large format (April 1935)

44 15c on 1d, small format stamp

45 "20 CENTIMOS" on 2d orange, small format (26 October 1936)

46 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue (8 September 1936)

47 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d grey (8 May 1937)

48 "1 PESETA" on 10d blue (14 April 1937)


Note: the d to 2d unoverprinted stamps have several sizes, but only the 1d and 1d have more than one such format when overprinted with Spanish currency.


overprint varieties


45 v1 20c overprint double


King Edward VIII

26 October 1936

Morocco Sp Ed8 200

Morocco Sp Ed8 sizes 300

The spacing of "MOROCCO" is most obvious, but "AGENCIES" is also slightly larger.


49 "5 CENTIMOS" on d green

50 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red, 14mm overprint

51 "15 CENTIMOS" on 1d brown

52 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue


15 mm overprint

5 January 1937

(see illustration above)


The longer overprints come from part of the sheets on later printings, largely prepared to meet philatelic demand in London; these printings comprised a mixture of both sizes. Rather remarkably the position of the large overprints varies through the successive printings over a fairly short period of time, allegedly as the overprint in various parts of the sheet wore out and was inadvertently replaced by the larger format.


53 10c 15mm overprint


King George VI


Coronation

13 May 1937

Morocco Sp G6 coron 200


54 "15 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on 1d brown

 

Definitive set

11 June 1937 unless otherwise stated

Morocco Sp g6 1st set 200


55 "5 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on d green

56 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red

57 "15 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on 1d brown (4 August 1937)

58 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue

59 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d green (3 September 1940)

60 "70 CENTIMOS" on 7d green (Sept 1940)

61 "1 PESETA" on 10d blue (16 June 1952)
Note: the 1 Peseta stamp was actually issued after the "changed colours" set of 1951, but is included here for convenience.


overprint varieties

Morocco Spanish G6 1p spacing 200

61 v1 1P: the distance between the top two lines and the value at the foot can vary on some rows.


Stamp Centenary

6 May 1940

Morocco Sp G6 centenary 200


62 "5 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on d green

63 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d red (thick overprint, top half-sheet)

64 10c thinner overprint (bottom half of the sheet)

65 "15 CENTIMOS" (in blue) on 1d brown

66 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue


overprint varieties

Morocco Sp G6 centenary types 300


63 v1 10c vertical se-tenant pair, both types

Se-tenant pairs are scarce as sheets were normally torn in half.

The thick overprint is noticeably darker and bulkier, but the main difference is that it has a large square serif on the "1", whereas the thinner overprint has a smaller indistinct serif.


Silver Wedding

26 April 1948

Morocco Sp G6 SWedding 200

67 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue

68 "45 PESETAS" on £1 blue


overprint varieties

Morocco Sp G6 Silver Wedding misplaced 72

(illustration from unknown web auction)

68 v1 Pt45 misplaced overprint

Note: the overprint also slopes quite a bit, so the displacement varies from stamp to stamp; the above is from the bottom right corner.


Olympic Games

29 July 1948

Morocco Sp G6 olympics 200


69 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d blue

70 "30 CENTIMOS" on 3d violet

71 "60 CENTIMOS" on 6d purple

72 "1 PTA 20 CTS" on 1/-


overprint varieties

Morocco Spanish G6 olympics double opt 200Morocco Spanish G6 olympics double opt (2) 72

As the overprint slants slightly the actual position of the extra overprint varies from stamp to stamp, as can be seen from these images.
(images courtesy of Temple Bar auctions,and Warwick & Warwick ex Rossi respectively)


72 v1 Pt1.20 overprint double


Changed colours

The colours of the low values were changed to conform with UPU requirements for standard rates of postage.


3 May 1951

Morocco Sp G6 2nd set 200


73 "5 CENTIMOS" on d orange

74 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d blue

75 "15 CENTIMOS" on 1d green

76 "25 CENTIMOS" on 2d red

77 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d blue (26 May 1952)

Note: the "1 PESETA" stamp of July 1952 is included in the 1937 set for convenience.


Queen Elizabeth


Watermark Tudor Crown E2R

1954-1955

Morocco Sp QE Tudor 200


78 "5 CENTIMOS" on d orange (1 September 1954)

79 "10 CENTIMOS" on 1d blue (1 March 1955)

 

Watermark St Edward's crown E2R

1956

Morocco Sp QE EdE2R 200

80 "5 CENTIMOS" on d orange (June 1956)

81 "40 CENTIMOS" on 4d blue (25 August 1956)


The Spanish currency issues were withdrawn on 31 December 1956 and all offices were closed.


select bibliography


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page last updated on: 11 February 2007, 17 July 2009, 28 Feb 2012, 6 March 2013, 26 June 2017

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