- Issue date: 11/10/2011
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: Estucado engomado fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm. (vertical)
- Sheet effects: 25
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,80 €
- Print run: 300.000 sellos
- Dented: 13 ¼ (horizontal) y 13 ¾ (vertical)
The America UPAEP series is issued once a year by member countries of the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal with a common theme. This year’s topic is “Mailboxes”.
In Spain there were no mailboxes to deposit the post until 1762 and it was delivered by hand to the mail clerk. That year an official provision established opening a : "hole or fence in all paths in which to throw the letters without being able to receive them by hand." This avoided suspicion arising at the possible loss of shipments whilst providing better service by not having to wait for the "driver" to hand over the mail. Since then and over the years post boxes have varied in shapes, decorations and materials used in their manufacture.
The most common, perhaps because they were first to be installed, have been the mouth-mailboxes placed on the walls of post offices. This type of mouth-mailbox was very popular in rural areas. They were generally made of iron and enamelled in blue or red and had the word Post written on them and a white envelope. There were also ones made of wood, simple metals, bronze or marble, adorned with witty decorations or allegorical figures. The most represented element was the head of a lion, a symbol of courage and bravery and the most effective animal to look after the post.
The stamp depicts a mouth-mailbox of white marble with a carved lion's head topped by a crenellated tower. It was installed in the Casa de Postas in the Puerta del Sol, former headquarters of the main post office in Madrid until 1916
It is part of the collection of mailboxes of the Post and Telegraph Museum which is responsible for the maintenance and custody of exhibits and documents relating to the history of mail, telegraph and philately.