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ALSACE AND LORRAINE

Elsass-Lothringen

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Alsace and Lorraine were occupied by the Germans in the French- German war of 1870-1871. Some stamps with inscription "POSTES", the value and "CENTIMES" were issued. For political reasons no country name was indicated. Be aware: many forgeries and reprints exist! Before 1870 French stamps were issue, later German stamps were used, examples:


('4345' large french numeral cancel 'Wissembourg' on cover with french 20 c Napoleon stamp, 1868)


(So called 'Hufeisenstempel' or Horseshoe cancel of Strassburg on two stamps of Germany)


(Strassburg Elsass Ruprechtsau cancel on a normal German stamp, 1898)


1870 Perforated

Genuine, Points down Genuine? 25 c brown, lines pointing up in background

  1 Centimes green
  2 Centimes brown
  4 Centimes grey
  5 Centimes green
  10 Centimes brown
  20 Centimes blue
  25 Centimes brown

For the specialist: there are two ways the wavy background lines are printed on the stamps, one with the lines pointing upwards and on with the lines pointing downwards.


(Front and backside of the 5 c stamp)

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks

Wavy background pointing upwards

1 c *** ***  
2 c *** ***  
4 c *** ***  
5 c *** ***  
10 c *** *  
20 c *** **  
25 c R ***  

Wavy background pointing downwards

1 c RR RR  
2 c RR RR  
4 c R R  
5 c RRR RRR  
10 c R **  
20 c RR R  
25 c RRR RRR  

Reprints

All values * *  

When the war ended, the use of these stamps was stopped in the occupied territories on 24 March 1871, but they continued to be used upto 31 December 1871 in Alsace and Lorraine.

Cancels:


Special fieldpost cancel "K:PR:FELDPOST RELAIS" in a rectangle.


"K.PR. FELDPOSTRELAIS" in a circle.

Reprints:

These reprints were made with the original background pattern, however the text was newly made. They were ordered in Hamburg in 1885(?) with the original background pattern. Reprints can be recognized by the position of the "P" of "POSTES", if we draw a line connecting the upper left corner of the containing rectangle to the lower right corner, the line should go through the bottom part of the "P". However, in the reprints it will go through just below the center of the "P".

1 c green 2 c brown 4 c grey 5 c green 10 c brown 20 c blue 25 c brown, lines pointing down in background

20 c blue


(Reprint with a forged cancel?)

Fournier forgeries:

The Fournier forgeries exist with forged cancels. One forged cancel on these forgeries is known to be easily detectable: "Urbeis 31 2 71 2-3N", this can never be a genuine cancel, since February never has 31 days! (I have never seen this date on his forgeries myself). The perforation in the corners is not perfect in the Fournier forgeries. Furthermore, according to 'The Forged Stamps of all Countries' by J.Dorn, the wavy background patterns are not as parallel as in the genuine stamps and the patterns they form are also slightly different.

Fournier took great pride in his forgery of the 4-centime stamp of Alsace and Lorraine, the variety with figure displaced to the left, and vertical bar at the top of the T of "centimes." He himself considered it to be one of his 'masterpieces' (this text is translated from Serranne, in the french introduction of 'The Fournier album of philatelic forgeries').

The following cancels can be found in 'The Fournier album of philatelic forgeries'. According to the Serrane guide these cancels had interchangeable date.


(Reduced sizes)

The following cancels can also be found in this album, but I think they were used on telegraphic stamps of France instead (the date is 1869!):


Reduced sizes


Fournier forgeries of the 25 c value with "GEISPOLDSHEIM 11/1 71 4-5 N.", and 4 c and 25 c forgeries with "EGISHEIM" cancels as shown above. Also a 4 c with a forged "URBEIS 31 2 71 2-3N" cancel (an impossible date, since February never has 31 days....).


Two Fournier forgeries with "BOLCHEN 20 6 71 4-5N" cancel.


Fournier forgery of the 10 c value with "K.PR. FELDPOST - RELAIS No 19 3 1 1"


Fournier forgery with "POSTES * EPINAL *" cancel


1 c Fournier forgery with "URBEIS 1 2 71 2-3N" cancel.


Another page from a Fournier Album.

Modern Hialeah forgeries:


(Hialeah forgeries, reduced size)

The above forgeries are made with a scanner and printer. The printing is very badly done (as the perforation). I've also seen the value 1 c of this particular forgery.


(Mystery stamp, 10 c, no underprint and no "CENTIMES", forgery?)

Furthermore so-called Paris forgeries and Brussels forgeries exist (sorry, no images available yet), both with perforations 13 1/2 instead of 13 1/2 x 14 according to 'Germany and it Colonies' by Bertram W.H.Poole. These two forgeries are also mentioned in 'The London Philatelist' 5 1896, p.61 'Manchester Philatelic Society' news by Vernon Roberts. According to the Barefoot guide, the Paris and Brussels forgeries are actually the same forgeries.


Could this be one of those forgeries?


These stamps look very suspicious to me, they might be Paris forgeries?


Railway stamps

Reichseisenb. in ElsaB-Lothringen


(Reduced size)

I have seen the following values: 5 p red, 30 p green, 40 p orange, 50 p lilac, 60 p blue, 70 p lilac and 90 p brown. I think these stamps are not very common.


ALSACE (German occupation during World War II)

1940 During world war II, some stamps of Germany (Hindenburg design) were overprinted 'Elsaß'

  3 p brown
  4 p blue
  5 p green
  6 p dark green
  8 p orange
  10 p brown
  12 p red
  15 p brown (maroon)
  20 p blue
  25 p blue
  30 p olive
  40 p violet
  50 p green and black
  60 p lilac and black
  80 p blue and black
  100 p orange and black

 

LORRAINE (German occupation during World War II)

1940 During world war II, some stamps of Germany (Hindenburg design) were overprinted 'Lothringen' (=Lorraine)

  3 p brown
  4 p blue
  5 p green
  6 p dark green
  8 p orange
  10 p brown
  12 p red
  15 p brown (maroon)
  20 p blue
  25 p blue
  30 p olive
  40 p violet
  50 p green and black
  60 p lilac and black
  80 p blue and black
  100 p orange and black

Fiscal stamps

Some fiscal stamps were issued in Alsace, after the German occupation of 1870.

 

1871 Inscription 'DIMENSION REICHS-STEMPEL' with German eagle, value in 'cents' or 'franc'

20 c violet, 50 c brown, 1 F green, 1F50 brown, 2 F blue and 3 F red.

 

1875 Inscription 'ELSASS-LOTHRINGEN', with German eagle, value in 'PFENNIG' or 'MARK'


(Left: large arms in center with some feathers upwards; right: small arms with all feathers downwards)

16 pf violet, 20 p grey, 40 pf brown, 80 pf green, 1.20 M brown, 1.60 M blue and 2.40 M red. Two slightly different designs seem to exist for all values (except 20 p, for examples see above).

 

1888 Inscription 'STEMPELMARKE ELSASS-LOTHRINGEN'

The following values were issued in 1888: 10 p red, 20 p blue, 40 p brown, 50 p brown, and 80 p grey. In 1896 similar stamps (but slightly smaller) were issued in the values: 5 p green, 10 p red, 20 p blue, 40 p violet, 50 p brown and 80 p violet.

 

1900 Inscription 'GERICHTSKOSTEN ELSASS-LOTHRINGEN'

The following values were issued: 5 p, 10 p, 20 p, 30 p, 40 p, 50 p, 60 p, 80 p (all in red), 1 M, 1.50 M, 2 M, 3 M, 4 M, 5 M, 6 M, 7 M, 8 M, 9 M and 10 M (all in blue). The value is printed in black.

 

1907 Inscription 'LOHNSTEUER' (revenue on income) and 'TEILBETRAG' (partial amount) or 'JAHRESBETRAG' (year amount)

The following values were issued: with inscription 'TEILBETRAG': 2.50 M red, 4 M, 6 M blue and 7.50 M brown; with inscription 'JAHRESBETRAG': 5 M red, 8 M, 12 M blue and 15 M brown.

 

Other series exist. Example:


Arms, inscription 'STEMPELMARKE ELSASS LOTHRINGEN', reduced size


Stamps - Timbres-Poste - Briefmarken

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer