and Puerto Rico shared postage stamps of the Antilles until
1876. From June 1873 and because of currency smuggling between
the two countries, Puerto Rico began to counter-mark the stamps.
By 1877 each colony had its own stamps, having joined the
Post General Union, now called International Postal Union.
In 1860 lithographic stamps were printed in Cuba for the first
time, one with a picture of Queen Isabel II, the second with
the Spanish official courier. These stamps circulated on the
island together with others printed in Spain. In 1877 a stamp
bearing an image of Alfonso XII shows the title "Cuba" instead
of "Ultramar" (Overseas). In 1890 and with a picture of Alfonso
XIII, the first postage stamp with the name "Island of Cuba"
was printed. During the "Ten Year War" the mambises established
their own mail system and printed two stamps, both with the
Republic's coat of arms. After intervention by the United
States, stamps were surcharged in strips of 5 and five reprints
were made. A series with symbols and landscapes of the island
was printed in 1899. During the neo colonial Republic period
lots of stamps were printed paying tribute to prominent personages
that excelled in culture or in the war of independence against
Spain and to celebrate important political and social happenings.
With the inauguration of the national airline in 1930, a 10c-value
stamp was printed. On January 28th, 1959, a filigree stamp,
D perforated, was printed to commemorate the triumph of the
revolution. In 1960 a series named "Centenary of stamp" was
sold at a price of two dimes. An important series was printed
during the following years: 1967, five paintings from the
National Museum, water-marked, F perforated with a print run
of 125 000 were printed. The latest prints are: 1973, Cuban
colonial cartography, 12 perforated; 1975, six postage stamps
with the first series about endemic birds, 12 perforated,
786 000 printed; 1976 one stamp to commemorate the V National
Philatelic Exhibit, 13 perforated, size 89 x 99 mm; 1978,
flowers at the National Botanical Garden, 12 perforated, 666
000 printed; 1978, series Cuban Painters dedicated to Amelia
Pelaez, 12 perforated, 635 000 printed. In recent years Cuban
philately has won international prestige not only because
of the meetings held on the island but also for the high value
of private collections which reveal, in a coherent manner,
the history of Cuban postage stamps.