The 1843 (Bulls Eye) issue of Brazil - Introduction
Overview of the The 1843 (Bulls Eye) issue of Brazil * Next * 1 * 2* 3 * 4 * 5 * 6
Brazil was occupied by Portugal in 1500 but a formal postal service was not established until 1798.Prior to this time transmission of mail was by the favour of travellers making the journey between Portugal and South America.

Following the formation of the Royal Postal Service in January 1798 mail packets made the journey between Lisbon- Assu- Salinas or between Lisbon - Bahia and Rio de Janeiro on alternate months. In 1808 a connection between Falmouth and Rio de Janeiro was established going via Maderia, Pernambuco and Bahia.

In the year 1808 the Portuguese court fled their native country in the face of the Napoleonic invasion, and settled in Brazil. This event coincided with the extension of the postal service to urban areas. Initially mail was marked with a hand stamp to signify that payment had been received but in 1843 Brazil became the second country to introduce a set of stamps for this purpose with the appearance of the distinctive “Bulls Eye” design.

This first set comprised three values, 30Reis, 60Reis and 90Reis each consisting of little more than the appropriate number engraved on a circular engine turned background. The stamps were in service for only 12 months before being replaced by the second (Sheep’s eye) set so have never been common. It is hardly surprising therefore that it was not long before counterfeits made their appearance and by the turn of the century the Reverend Eareé was able to describe, but not illustrate, no fewer than seven sets of such counterfeits. It is this shortcoming that I will now attempt to address.