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BADEN (Germany) 1851 issue

Return To Catalogue - Baden 1860-1868 - Baden miscellaneous - Other German States - Germany

Currency: 60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden

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One of the German States. A Grand Duchy in the south-west of Germany. Chief towns are Mannheim, Freiburg and Heidelberg. It issued stamps from 1851 to 1871, it used the stamps of the German Empire afterwards.

1851 Imperforated, value, inscription 'BADEN Freimarke'

1 k black 3 k black on yellow 3 k black on yellow 9 k black on rose

  1 Kr black on grey
  1 Kr black on white (1853)
  3 Kr black on yellow
  3 Kr black on green (1853)
  3 Kr black on blue  (1858)
  6 Kr black on green
  6 Kr black on yellow (1853)
  9 Kr black on lilac

For the specialist: A very rare misprint exists: the 9 Kr black on green (the colour of the 6 Kr instead of lilac), only a handfull of these misprints have survived (3?), they were only discovered in 1893.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
1 k black on grey RRRRR 
1 k black on whiteR** 
3 k black on yellow RR* 
3 k black on greenRR* 
3 k black on blueRRR* 
6 k black on greenRRR*** 
6 k black on yellowRRR* 
9 k black on lilac**** 


(5-ring cancel with numerals in the center)

(red numeral cancel, reduced size)

The 5-ring cancel seems to be the most common. For more information on cancels click here.


All these stamps were officially reprinted (slightly different colours).

(Left: reprint, right: possible reprint)



Forgery detection: The genuine stamps have the following characteristics; the '5' in '1850' should be smaller than the other letters. The 'F' of 'Freimarke' should not touch the frame. In the 3 Kr values we can find a secret sign (engravers mark) just below the top of the inner circle. A small line is added in the design (see picture below). If a stamp doesn't have this mark, then it is a forgery:

Secret sign for the 1 Kr value Secret sign for the 3 Kr values Secret sign for the 6 and 9 Kr.

Similar signs can be found for the 1 Kr, the secret sign is now in the lower left hand side of the inner circle. For the 6 and 9 Kr the sign is at the lower right hand side of the circle.
Furthermore, the stamps are printed quite close together, the maximum margin between two stamps is 1 mm.

Two forgeries:

Forgery! No secret sign Forgery, no secret sign and 'F' touches frame

The 1851 1 Kr black on grey stamp is quite scarce. Forgers have therefore tried to convert the cheaper stamps of 1853 (1 Kr black on white) into this stamp. It seems that they did this placing the stamp in hot tea or coffee. However, the starch in the paper also dissolved at the same time during this process. This provides us with a way to detect these forgeries: lay the stamp flat on the water, if the water does not readily soak into the paper then it probably is genuine. If it has then the stamp probably was changed by the 'coffee' method. (Source: 'Fakes & Forgeries of Germany & Colonies' by the Germany Philatelic Society Inc, 1966.

The above stamp is another forgery, note the bottom inscription 'Freiwarke' with a 'w'! All the inscriptions, espcecially 'BADEN' and 'Freimarke' are slightly different from the genuine stamps. There is no secret mark in the above forgery.

I know of attempts to change the 9 Kr black lilac into the 9 Kr black on green by chemical means. However, I do not know how to detect these forgeries.

More recently (somewhere in the 1980's) the forger Peter Winter made forgeries of the misprint 9 k black on green (even on forged letters). He also seems to have forged the normal 9 k black on lilac. They look very modern:

(Peter Winter forgery on forged letter)

Peter Winter also 2 forged 9 k black on lilac with a large space in between (so-called 'Zwischensteg').

For stamps of Baden issued from 1860 to 1868 click here.


http://home.earthlink.net/~adeptmoron/BadenA.html, very nice explanation of the history of the Baden stamps.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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