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Introducing Venezuela's 1871-1880 ESCUELAS Stamps

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Content Covered by the Book
These are some of the topics you’ll find in the book.

Basic Descriptions

Get to know the key indicators that will help you distinguish between the various printings of the First ESCUELAS Series.


Where are they? What do they look like? How many? These questions and more will not only be answered, but also demonstrated to the reader.
Second ESCUELAS Series

Second ESCUELAS Series

Historical overview of the most “straightforward” of the ESCUELAS Series. Its printings and its history.


No prior knowledge is needed and the identification process can be done just as easily with one piece as with a whole batch. Unlock the secrets of the First ESCUELAS Series.
Rarity Guide

Rarity Guide

For the first time in history, not one but three rarity estimation guides for each one of the values from the First ESCUELAS Series.
Third ESCUELAS Series

Third ESCUELAS Series

An approximation of what the author considers to be the most complex of all the ESCUELAS Series. Here you’ll discover why.


Side-by-side comparison of the different overprints, highlighting their characteristics… and also the differences between them.
Beautifully Illustrated

Beautifully Illustrated

More than 100 full-color images, with stamps of each printing, allowing the reader to easily and accurately identify the printing of any given piece.
MIscelaneous Stories

MIscelaneous Stories

From a comparison of the monetary systems used in these series, to stories combining patriotism, flattery and pettiness.

The Book in Numbers...

Languages Available

Years in the Making

Images Inside


Pages Full of Info

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About The Author

About The Author

Williams Castillo is a professional software engineer by trade and stamp collector at heart. A collector since the age of nine, today he has particularly expert knowledge of early Venezuelan stamps up to 1903. An avid student of Venezuelan history as well, he has managed to combine all of these areas of knowledge to the benefit of Venezuelan philately.

A frequent writer for the Asociación Filatélica de Caracas (ASOFILCA), he has focused on the study of counterfeits prioritizing his readers; insisting on reaching out to them with invaluable, easy-to-digest information on how they too can detect forgeries.

He has also been able to help give meaning to several of our series on unearthing old secrets, aimed at exposing false truths. Among them, the enigmatic ‘Tiritas de Coro a La Vela’, the unfortunate series on ‘Los Godos’, the intriguing ‘Libranzas’, the ‘Sellos Numerados’, the ‘Timbres de Minas’, and many more.

In this work, his first book, Williams aims to present a practical tool to help bring his favorite series closer to philatelists the world over, giving them access to information previously known only to the very few specialists of these series −the so-called ESCUELAS.


In 1870, when General Antonio Guzmán Blanco began to rule, he struggled to find a way to make his Free and Mandatory Universal Public Education program a reality. The nation was broke and the country deeply indebted following so many civil wars. So, he created a fiscal tax to be charged on all market transactions. Said tax would be paid by the public, by way of attaching stamps to the document – stamps issued for this very purpose. These stamps were cancelled via the signature of the notary who processed the transaction.

General Guzmán Blanco, on the 27th June, 1870, decreed Free and Mandatory Public Education for all those aged between 7 and 21 years old. These stamps carried, for the first time, the depiction of El Libertador, Simón Bolívar.

Because the stamps themselves financed public education, they carried the printed word ‘ESCUELAS’ (schools), the name by which these stamps continue to be known.

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