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GERMANY 1900-1920 Germania issues

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1900 so-called 'Germania' issue

Inscription 'REICHSPOST'

40 p red and black "Reichspost"

  2 p grey
  3 p brown
  5 p green
  10 p red
  20 p blue
  25 p orange and black on yellow
  30 p orange and black
  40 p red and black
  50 p violet and black
  80 p red and black on red

Surcharged and bisected

(Image obtained from a Hans Grobe auction)

  '3 PF' (violet) on half of 5 c green (1901)

This surcharged and bisected stamp was only used on the warship 'Vineta', it is commonly known as 'Vineta-provisorium'. They were produced because of the need of 3 p stamps. The status of this stamp is doubtful, only 600 stamps were overprinted. It seems that the man responsable for making these provisional stamps, made later forgeries using the handstamp and the original backdated shipcancels.

This surcharge has been forged, example:

(Overprint in wrong colour; black)

(Other forgery)

Inscription 'DEUTSCHES REICH' (with lines behind Germania) (1902)

10 p red 20 p blue "Deutsches Reich" 80 p red and black on red "Deutsches Reich" 4 M black and red

  2 p grey
  3 p brown
  5 p green
  5 p brown (1920)
  10 p red
  10 p orange (1920)
  20 p blue
  20 p green (1920)
  25 p orange and black on yellow
  30 p orange and black
  30 p blue (1920)
  40 p red and black
  40 p red (1920)
  50 p violet and black
  50 p lilac (1920)
  60 p lilac (1905)
  60 p olive (1920)
  75 p green and black (1919)
  75 p lilac (1920)
  80 p red and black on red
  80 p blue
  1 M violet and green (1920)
  1 1/4 M red and lilac (1920)
  2 M red and blue (1920)
  4 M black and red (1920)

Surcharged (1921)

  '* 1,60 M *' on 5 p brown
  '3 M 3' on 1 1/4 M red and lilac
  '* 5 Mark *' (green) on 75 p lilac
  '10 M 10' on 75 p lilac

Overprinted 'Fur Kriegs beschadigte' in fancy letters and surcharged (1919)

  10 + 5 p red
  15 + 5 p violet

A misprint exists of the 3 pf brown, the so-called 'F-variety': 'DFUTSCHES' instead of 'DEUTSCHES' (one error can be found on every sheet of stamps):

'DF' instead of 'DE' in 'deutsches' error

('DE' and 'DF', zoom-in)

I've seen a forged 'F' variety, in which the bottom part of the 'E' was scratched away.

Inscription 'DEUTSCHES REICH', Germania on white background

7 1/2 p orange

  2 p olive (1918)
  2 1/2 p grey (1916)
  7 1/2 p orange (1916)
  15 p brown (1916)
  15 p violet (1917)
  15 p lilac (1920)
  35 p brown (1919)

These stamps with overprint in 'PARA', 'PIASTER', or 'CENTIMES' were used in the German post offices in Turkey.

These stamps surcharged with '5' or '10' were used in Poland:

These overprints are rare and have been forged, examples:

(Forged inverted overprints)

Forgery (to deceive the postal authorities); the perforation is wrong (13 instead of 14 x 14 1/2)and there are some differences is the design (for example the '6' at the right):

(Postal forgery known as Cologne forgery)

Another postal forgery is known as the Chemnitz forgery (10 p red, 'Deutsches Reich').

For the specialist: the 'REICHSPOST' issues are all without watermark. The 'DEUTSCHES REICH' issues were first issued without watermark, but later reissued in 1905 with watermark lozenges, example:

(Lozenges watermark)

The 75 p lilac and 1 1/4 M also exist with watermark 'Wafles' (issued 1921).

A distinction can be made between the first printings of the 30 c blue, 75 c lilac and 80 c blue and the later printings of these stamps. The first printings of these stamps were done in two seperate parts, the frame seperately and the center, name and value seperately. A small shift can be seen between those two parts. Later, the frame and the rest was printed in only one operation (these are the ones commonly encountered).

(Example of a stamp printed in two seperate parts, not that 'DEUTSCHES REICH' is not placed symmetrically in the containing label)

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare

"Reichspost", no Watermark

2 pcc 
3 pcvc 
5 p cvc 
'3 pf' on half of 5 pRRRRRRVineta provisional issue; dubious issue
10 pcvc 
20 p*vc 
25 p*c 
30 p*c 
40 p*c 
50 p**c 
80 p***c 
'Deutsches Reich', no Watermark
2 p greycvc 
3 pcvcvariety 'DFUTSCHES': **
5 p greencvc 
10 p redcvc 
20 p blue*vc 
25 p*c 
30 p orange and black**c 
40 p red and black**c 
50 p violet and black***c 
80 p black and red on red***c 
"Deutsches Reich", Watermark Lozenges
2 p*clined background
2 p oliveccwhite background
2 1/2 pccwhite background
3 pcvc 
5 p greencvc 
5 p brownvcvc 
7 1/2 p cvcwhite background
10 p redcvc 
10 p orangevcvc 
15 p brown*vcwhite background
15 p violetcvcwhite background
15 p lilacvcvcwhite background
20 p bluecvc 
20 p greenvcvc 
25 p cvc 
30 p orange and black cvc 
30 p bluevcvc 
35 pvcvcwhite background
40 p red and blackcc 
40 p redcvc 
50 p violet and black*vc 
50 p lilaccc 
60 p lilac*vc 
60 p olivevcvc 
75 p green and black cvc 
75 p lilaccc 
80 p red and black on red cc 
80 p bluevcvc 
1 Mvcvc 
1 1/4 Mvcvc 
2 Mcvc 
4 MccExists with fiscal 'Flower' watermark: R
'Deutsches Reich', watermark 'Wafles'
75 p lilaccc 
1 1/4 Mcc 
'Deutsches Reich', watermark 'Quatrefoils (Vierpass)'
1 1/4 MRRRPrinted erroneously on paper with
fiscal watermark 'Quatrefoils'
1.60 M on 5 p brownvcvcWatermark 'Lozenges'
3 M on 1 1/4 MvccWatermark 'Lozenges'
5 M on 75 p lilacvccWatermark 'Lozenges'
10 M on 75 p lilacccWatermark 'Lozenges'
Overprinted 'fur Kriegs = beschadigte' (war charity)
10 p + 5 pcc 
15 p + 5 pcc 

Se-tenant values

I have seen parts of booklets with two Germania stamps or more of different value printed together. I have seen 7 1/2 p and 15 p violet. I have also seen a block of six stamps, four 7 1/2 p stamps and the bottom center and bottom right stamp 5 p green. Other values exist. From the same source tete-beche pairs can be found, for example the 10 c orange or the 40 c red.

Postal forgeries of the surcharged stamps:

(Postal forgery of the 10 M on 75 p, stamp and cancel genuine, overprint forged)

Postal forgeries exist of the 1.60 M on 5 p and 10 M on 75 p, the basic stamp is genuine, the overprints are forged.

Bogus issue:

(A bogus overprint)

The above overprint (of a man with a sword and flag?) on Germania stamps is bogus. This overprint exists in black, red, silver or gold. It seems to have been made in Aachen. Furthermore, stamps with overprint 'Freistaat Sachsen' are also bogus (sorry, no picture available yet).

"Spy fakes":

So-called 'spy-fakes', made by the British during world war I:

(These forgeries even have watermark!)

The 'Spy-fakes' are printed on paper whiter than the genuine paper (according to 'Fakes & Forgeries of Germany & Colonies' by the Germany Philatelic Society Inc.). The watermark is also imitated, but is slightly smaller and differently spaced (according to the same source). The design is copied very accurately. These forgeries are not very well centered (compared to genuine German stamps). These forgeries have probably never been used.

Advertisement labels and forgeries:

These stamps exist with advertisement labels attached.

(A genuine advertisement label 'Apfelwein Heinr. Besser St.Johann')

However, these have also been forged. Next a total forgery (stamp, label, cancel) made by Peter Winter in the 1980's:

(Forgery of a 'Photo-Papiere Satrap' label)

Peter Winter also made forgeries of other labels, I have seen: 'Aquadent Ferd. Jacob', 'Appetitanregend Lecin' and 'Gewerktschaft Quint' (all attached to a 10 p stamp). Note, that the perforation does not 'match' in the corners in these forgeries.

(What is this? Inscription 'KINDERPOST' 2 p grey, a toy-stamp?)

Stamps overprinted with 'CIHS' in a small circle were issued for Upper Silesia.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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