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Postage stamps and philately of Germany and German states

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German (Reich) hyperinflation era postage stamps - fake vs. genuine postmarks

German (Reich) hyperinflation era postage stamps - fake vs. genuine postmarksPostally used stamps of German hyperinflation era are said to be minefield of fake cancellations. Each and every stamp catalogue provides a slightly different wording, but the baseline is same: catalog values (from August 1916/early 1919 to end of 1923) apply only for INFLA-signed/certified copies, anything else should be treated equal to mint stamps value. Thus it is somewhat excruciating that many sellers, buyers and collectors do not pay any importance to provided guiding, but always get stuck with the *what if...* scenario. ...(1158 words,5 images, 4 comments)

Dienstmarke vs Dienstmarke: the story behind two kinds of East German (DDR) official stamps

Dienstmarke vs Dienstmarke: the story behind two kinds of East German (DDR) official stampsAt times it is bit of a shame that stamp catalogues do not cover the historical backgrounds of selected stamp issues in more detail. One such example are the East German (DDR) officials. I know a lot of stamp collectors consider these stamps either as toxic waste not worth their time, or alternatively they are very much afraid of their complexity. As so often in this common hobby of ours, a lot of it comes down to what kind of knowledge collectors favorite stamp catalogue provides. ...(837 words,4 images, 2 comments)

Non-governmental stamps - whats your take with them? And where to draw a line what is a postage stamp and what is not?

Non-governmental stamps - whats your take with them? And where to draw a line what is a postage stamp and what is not?Universal Mail. DX Mail. MorgenPost. Fastway Post. DCS. Pete's Post Ltd. TNT International Mail. Easy Post International... If you have not been living under the cave for the past two decades, then you have likely found, seen or at least heard on some of the non-governmental stamp issuers above. I find it interesting how little factual information on these alternative postal service operators and their labels and stamps is out there. With all the postal services deregulation worldwide, it is not as if the number and variety of these alternative postal operators would go down, but maybe some day in the future there will really be a situation where some countries will no longer have their own postal service, but instead fully rely on third party run 'hired gun' to take care of national and international mail collecting. ...(1178 words,10 images, 2 comments)

Hamburg 1864 2½ schilling postage stamp: unusual brownish khaki color, genuine or not?

Hamburg 1864 2½ schilling postage stamp: unusual brownish khaki color, genuine or not?I'm usually not attracted by uncancelled items, but the below Hamburg 1864 2½ schilling stamp caught my interest since stamps of Hamburg are somewhat rarely seen. From first looks it appears as Michel #14  (Scott 23) with one clear exception: the color of the stamp is brownish khaki instead of the standard green-ish color. The starting situation in itself poses two mind-intriguing questions.  First, is the stamp genuine or not?  And second, if it is genuine, then what could have caused the color change? ...(1075 words,3 images, 6 comments)

German ATM stamps (aka. Klüssendorf) - rethinking how to organize

German ATM stamps (aka. Klüssendorf) - rethinking how to organizeThough many might not agree with me, I consider ATM-stamps (which the Americans call Variable Rate Stamps or Variable Value stamps) as one of the best innovations in modern postage stamp production. Although various stamp catalogues have got as many policies with inclusion of ATM-stamps as there are catalogues (with Michel giving them full recognition, Scott listing only the US based stamps), they are real postage stamps. Whereas meters and labels are valid only by the licensed user from the specified location and on the date imprinted, the ATM-stamps behave just like postage stamps - buy once from any vending machine, use whenever and where-ever. With this entry I'll be providing a simplified overview with one of the most common and popular area of them all - the German ATM-stamps. ...(1011 words,15 images, 9 comments)

Marginal notes about postage stamps of Germany

Marginal notes about postage stamps of GermanyWelcome to read the third part of the 'marginal notes' series. This time we're heading into the German 'autobahn' of stamps. The topics of this article include bits of DDR (n)OSTalgia, DGzRS 'quittungsmarken', a mysterious perfin ,and bizarre postmarks (and even more bizarre cancellation practices) on German stamps. As always hope you enjoy the show. ...(944 words,7 images, 3 comments)

Why most stamp collectors could benefit from becoming polyglots

Why most stamp collectors could benefit from becoming polyglotsFew weeks back I wrote about philatelic vocabulary, and with this entry I'm about dig in a bit deeper from another angle. As regular readers of the blog should know, I'm a Finn and Finnish is my native language. That said, I do most of my work (and thinking) in English, so it's also very natural for me. Besides these two major languages in my life, I can do also German and Swedish relatively well, and even Spanish and French words seem to holding up on me slowly but surely. So it's relatively fair to say I'm a polyglot. ...(599 words,1 images, 7 comments)

Klaipeda postage stamp forgeries

Klaipeda postage stamp forgeriesIf you've not heard of stamps of Klaipeda before, worry not. It was new to me since late last year, when I landed with a small lot of Klaipeda forgeries. Shortly put, Klaipeda is Lithuanian name for what's usually referred as the (German plebiscite territory of) Memel in stamp world. Lithuania occupied the Memel territory from the Germans during January 1923 and declared it as autonomous region of Klaipeda within Lithuania. ...(415 words,4 images, 8 comments)

Fake postmark on German occupation of Macedonia stamp

Fake postmark on German occupation of Macedonia stampFor the last few days I've been adding lots of new items to my stamp collection, but there's specifically one item I'd like to pick and share: a Bulgarian stamp with overprint "Македоння/8.IX.1944/15 ЛВ". This appears to be 1944 stamp from the short lived German (and Bulgarian) occupation of Macedonia. ...(148 words,1 images, 2 comments)

Forgery of Camp Post Hanau charity seal

Forgery of Camp Post Hanau charity sealHere is another interesting piece I have lately added to my collections… After the 2nd world war, Europe and especially Germany had millions of displaced persons that were left adrift. As an establishment to bring order into chaos and help people in return to their homes, the governments (and allied forces) started to gather these persons into camps by nationality. Many of these camps provided local postal services. And this is where my item of the day, Camp Post Hanau stamp, comes along. Hanau was an Estonian-Latvian DP camp about 25 km east of Frankfurt am Main. ...(256 words,1 images, 8 comments)

Czechoslovakian 1945/47 definitive postage stamp series: Portraits

Czechoslovakian 1945/47 definitive postage stamp series: PortraitsIn the past weeks I've been digging my way through the gigantic lot of of Czechoslovakian stamps I bought on start of the year. One of the most common designs in this mixture has been the 1945/47 definitive series displaying portraits of Czechoslovak independence movement key figures: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš and Milan Rastislav Štefánik. ...(555 words,4 images, 17 comments)

A simplified anatomy of my BRD stamp collection

A simplified anatomy of my BRD stamp collectionBesides re-organizing my German (BRD) collection lately, I've also spent quite a few hours building a complete (but simplified) inventory of what I have and don't have. Before this I had a gut feeling that my collection of BRD stamps was about halfway complete, with heavy weight on the issues of 1960's, and very scarce on the new issues. But building a proper overview gave me a much more insights in addition of having just a list of haves/wants on main catalog number level. ...(275 words,3 images, 2 comments)

Unlisted doubleprint variety on German postage stamp

Unlisted doubleprint variety on German postage stampLately I've been re-organizing my collection of German stamps, and decided to share something not so common with You once again. This is 110 pfennig commemorative stamp from 1998 series displaying German State Parliaments. I'ts a pretty unimpressive looking stamp on the first view with some short perfs and machine cancellation. But if you take a more closer look, you'll notice plenty of bizarre stuff going on. AFAIK, this appears to be unlisted print variety in Michel. ...(293 words,2 images, 10 comments)

Five-year Plan definitive postage stamps of East Germany (DDR/GDR)

Five-year Plan definitive postage stamps of East Germany (DDR/GDR)During the Christmas season and New Year I did have a blast with German definitive stamps. Very likely one of the most notorious of these is the Five-year-plan (“5-J-Pl.”) issues of German Democratic Republic (more commonly know as East Germany or DDR) which shows “the common men and woman at work”. Despite of rather short lifespan it is without a doubt one of the most dreaded and complex definitive stamp series ever. The first issue came out in August 1953, the last seventh issue in 1959; and the stamps became invalid in 1962. ...(1481 words,9 images, 40 comments)

German Morgenpost stamps

German Morgenpost stampsTim, a German reader of this blog, was kind enough to send me a piece of Morgenpost mail. Morgenpost is one of the many private postal service providers operating in German markets. In a sense this is local issue, but 21st century style. ...(251 words,2 images, 5 comments)

German colonies Yacht postage stamps

German colonies Yacht postage stampsThe Yacht issue refers to a series of German colonies postage stamps bearing the image of the Imperial yacht Hohenzollern.  These stamps were used in all of Germany's colonies meaning Caroline Islands, German East Africa, German New Guinea, German South West Africa, Kamerun, Kiatschou, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Togo from 1900 until the First World War. ...(249 words,1 images, 0 comments)

CTO cancelled Wurttemberg stamps

CTO cancelled Wurttemberg stampsWurttemberg has one specialty that sets it aside of several other German states that issued stamps. Several issues are more common as CTO (Cancelled-To-Order)-cancelled as really used. These can usually be regognized from specific Stuttgart cancellations. ...(137 words,2 images, 3 comments)

The story of Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria

The story of Luitpold, Prince Regent of BavariaTo continue yesterday's Bavaria topic, let's jump over half centuries forward to year 1911.  I know many stamp collectors have seen old stamps of Bavaria with old bearded man.  That's the man I'm going to write today - Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. The story of Luitpold is so amazing, that it's hard to believe it as a part of modern European history. ...(316 words,1 images, 2 comments)

Some early Bavarian postage stamps

Some early Bavarian postage stampsI know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but these early Bavarian stamps are a pleasure to look. The stamp design is simple, colours are vivid and a nice millwheel cancel on top gives the final touch. These stamps also carry a historic message, as Bavaria was the ninth country in the world to release postage stamps. Bavaria was also the first German state to begin stamp production. ...(260 words,1 images, 3 comments)

Private local postage stamps of Hamburg

Private local postage stamps of HamburgWhen buying bizarre looking stamps and other postal items (of which I usually know nothing in depth) I often ask myself a simple question “will I ever see a similar item?” When I came across with these beauties few years back, I knew from the start resistance would be futile. And I was right, I haven’t seen similar set ever since. ...(182 words,1 images, 4 comments)

Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areas

Q&A: stamps of Germany and German areasDo you have a question about stamps / philately of Germany and related areas (including colonies, states etc)? Your questions answered. ...( 145 comments).

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