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GERMANY Colonies

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The following german colonies issued stamps:

Cameroons (Kamerun)
Caroline Islands (Karolinen)
German East Africa
German New Guinea
German South West Africa
Mariana Islands (Marianen)
Marshall Islands

Furthermore German post offices in China, Morocco and Turkey existed. A very nice website can be found on http://marshall.csu.edu.au/html/Stamps/Stamps.html, made by Dirk H.R. Spennemann. I would like to thank him here for letting me use some of his images. The German postage stamps of the eagle/value design as well as the Germania series were valid for postage in the German colonies. Stamps used before overprinted stamps were introduced are generally referred to as 'Vorlaufer' or forerunners. Example:

I have also seen some stamps of Germany posted at sea, they have a square box cancel 'AUS WESTAFRIKA'.

Some of the Hohenzollern Ship issues were issued with watermark 'Lozenges', example:

Watermark 'Lozenges'
(Watermark 'Lozenges' on a 3 p brown Marshall Islands stamp, seen from the backside)


Eagle and number (Adler und Krone) forgeries

Forged overprints on genuine stamps

Forged overprints of the colony issues exist on genuine German stamps.

The above two stamps are genuine German stamps used in Berlin. The overprint 'China' is forged afterwards.

I think the following stamp is a genuine German stamp, with a forged overprint 'Deutsch-Ostafrika 3 Pesa':

(Forged 'Karolinen' overprint on genuine German stamp)

(Forged overprint on genuine German stamp cancelled 'KESKASTEL', nowadays situated in Alsace, France)

(Another forgery of Mariana Islands, probably the overprint and cancel are forged, the basic German stamp is probably genuine)

(Forged 'China' overprint on genuine 10 p German Eagle stamp)

(The 'T' and 'G' on this forged 'TOGO' overprint on a genuine stamp do not resemble at all the genuine overprint, next to a forged 'Samoa' overprint, probably made by the same forger)

Fournier forgeries

Fournier has made forgeries of stamps of the German colonies, examples:

Forgeries of the 'REICHPOST' issues:

Fournier forgery!

The above stamp is a Fournier forgery. The stamp, the overprint and the cancel are forged. The perforation is not the same as in the genuine stamps (look at the upper right and lower left corner) and this is an easy way to detect it. I don't know if this is always the case with these Fournier forgeries. Fournier offered this serie of the Mariana Islands (3 p, 5 p, 10 p, 20 p, 25 p and 50 p) for 3 swiss franks in his 1914 price list.


Image obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann
Genuine stamp Forged stamp with forged 'Marshall Inseln overprint


Genuine stamp Forged stamp with forged 'TOGO' overprint

Other Fournier forgeries:

(Forgery from Samoa and Togo)

(Forgeries of German New Guinea)

The above overprints are taken from a Fournier album of philatelic forgeries (image obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann). Besides the above overprints of the German New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Marianas, Togo, Samoa, Cameroons and Carolines, Fournier also made overprints for South West Africa (both the 'Deutsch- Sudwest-Afrika' and 'Deutsch- Sudwestafrika' overprint, sorry, no picture available) and the German post offices in China.

The following cancels can be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries':
'KAMERUN 3 2 98 *' (see image below)
'STEPHANSORT 16 5 99 *': (German New Guinea)
'APIA 1-2 00 10-11V (SAMOA)'
'* YAP * 7/1 99 KAROLINEN'
'JALUIT 8/6 97 * MARSHALL INSELN' (see image below)
'JALUIT MARSCHALL-INSELN 12 2 * 98 *' (see image below)
'SAIPAN 18/11 99 * MARIANEN *' (see image below)
'KLEIN-POPO 5 11 98 *' (Togo, see image below)

'*TSCHINWANGTAU* DEUTSCHE POST 16/2 97' (German post in China)

A sheet with forged cancels of the German colonies (bottom row) and some forged cancels of the French colonies made by the forger Fournier

Brussels forgeries

In 1903 forged overprints of German colonial stamps were reported in the philatelic press. They are commonly known as 'Brussels forgeries'. One of the distinguishing marks is that the capital letters of the overprint are thinner and proportionately longer than those of the originals. Also, the angle of the overprint is a bit lower than in the original (information Dirk Spennemann).

Peter Winter forgeries

As was the case in the Fournier forgeries, in the forgeries made by Peter Winter, the horizontal perforation in the corners does not 'match' the vertical perforation. I've even seen this forgery with 'China' inverted.


Small ship forgeries

For German colonies, ship type forgeries, click here.


Forgeries of the Germania type:

The above imperforate stamp is a forgery, the stamp as well as the overprint 'Marocco 5 Centimos' are forged. Note, for example, that the ornaments in the lower left corner are much larger than in a genuine stamp.

The above stamp is a bogus issue, a genuine 10 p stamp of Germany, overprinted with 'KAMERUN' and 'PIASTER', such a stamp was never issued.

Fournier also made forgeries of the stamps of the German post offices in China (Germania type); I have never seen such a forgery myself, but pictures can be found in the Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries.

Forged postal stationery

I have seen large numbers of forged postcards (Postkarte) from many German colonies in the eagle and the ship design, also with 'GRI' overprints etc. I do not know anything about their origin.

Mourning labels for the German colonies

Labels commemorating the loss of the German colonies exist. They have the size of the large 'Hohenzollern' yacht issue. The stamps have a coloured center surrounded by a black design.

(Reduced sizes)

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Literature on fiscals etc of the German Colonies:

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer