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Lot# 2172 - Auction 250-256

  • Lot# : 2172 Colombia

    Correo Semanal del Dorado 1868/70: Collection on five sheets, well written up, incl. two covers, five blocks of four, a pair and two singles. The two covers of July and November 1870 were sent from the Laguna de Siecha in the Guasca district, both directed from Geo Crowther to Enrique Urdaneta in Bogota and each bearing a single private post adhesive of 1 real, tied by handwritten 'G', standing probably for Guasca. The blocks of four, three of them in tête-bêche configuration, and the other adhesives show the diversity of papers used for printing with thin bluish, white vertically laid and ordinary thick papers, as any available piece of paper was used. A rarely seen offer of this elusive issue including several items described in Bortfeld, Private Mail Carriers of Colombia on pages 59-68. There are only about ten covers known from this private mail carrier.rnNote: It was believed that in the Siecha Lake (in the Guasca municipality of the Cundinamarca Department), a difficult to access lagoon at an altitude of more than 3,000 metres, the Muisca people had hidden from the Spaniards the legendary El Dorado treasure. A Colombian citizen, Enrique Urdaneta partnered with the English engineer George Crowther and acquired in 1866 the shares that enabled them to drain the lake. As communication was difficult due to geographical reasons, a private carrier service was established in 1868. This first Colombian private carrier provided a weekly mail service of El Dorado, which transported mail from the Siecha lagoon to Bogota, which lasted to 1870. Adhesives were created, a cliché was cut, the value of postage stamps was set to 1 real (10 centavos de peso) and printed on various available papers. There are only about ten covers known. The November cover being part of this lot is thought to be the last one sent. Two days later Crowther and twelve coworkers died in a tunnel which brought the whole project to an end.
    Starting bid : 7,000 CHF
    Hammer price : 11,500 CHF