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HAMBURG (Germany)

Return To Catalogue - Miscellaneous - Private issues (Boten issues), part 1 - Private issues (Boten issues), part 2 - Other private issues

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One of the German States. A Free City of the Hansa in the north of Germany. Cuxhaven also belonged to Hamburg. It issued stamps from 1859 to 1867. Afterwards it used the stamps of the North German Confederation (from 1st of January 1868 onwards). There also exist private issues for Hamburg and so-called Boten (messenger) issues.

1859 Value and arms, imperforated or perforated (1864-65)

1/2 s black 1 S brown Genuine Typical cancellation: bars

  1/2 Schilling black
  1 Schilling brown
  2 Schilling red
  2 1/2 Schilling green (1867, perforated only)
  3 Schilling blue
  4 Schilling green
  7 Schilling orange
  7 Schilling lilac (1865, only issued perforated)
  9 Schilling yellow

These stamps should have a watermark (one wavy line), all the forgeries don't have this line.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
Imperforate
1/2 sRRRRR 
1 sRRRR 
2 sRRRR 
3 sRRRRShades of blue
4 sRRRRR 
7 s orangeRRRR 
9 sRRRRRR 
Perforated 13 1/2
1/4 s****** 
1 s***R 
2 sRR 
2 1/2 sRR 
3 sRRRShades of blue
4 s***R 
7 s orangeRRRRRR 
7 s lilac****** 
9 s***RRR 

Forgeries:

Since the perforated stamps are much cheaper than the imperforate ones, often the perforation has been cut from these cheaper stamps, to make them appear 'imperforate'!

I have been told that this is a Fournier forgery:


(Fournier forgery)

I do not know the distinguishing characteristics of this Fournier forgery. However, it does not resemble the forgeries in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries'. Fournier sold two kinds of forgeries of Hamburg: first choice and second choice. The above one is apparently a 'first choice' forgery.

The following forged cancels can be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries':
'HAMBURG BAHNHOF 21 11 65 8-10 1/2 N' in a single circle
'HAMBURG 13 MAR 1860' between two wavy lines
Four wavy lines
'HAMBURG 2 9 67 9-10 N' in a single circle
'HAMBURG 5 DEZ 65' in a single circle
'HAMBURG 5/8 66 6-7N' in a single circle


(First forgery of the 7 s of Album Weeds)

The above forgery is the first one of the 7 s described in Album Weeds. There are no ornaments below the 'S' of 'Sieben' or above the 'n' of this word. This forgery also exists in the colour yellow. By the way, this forgery was also sold by Fournier as 'second choice'. I've only seen this forgery cancelled with 'HAMBURG' in a circle (no date).

The above forgery is the first one of the 1 s described in Album Weeds. The tail of the 'G' in 'HAMBURG' is very long. The label containing the word 'HAMBURG' touches the left hand frame line (it doesn't in the genuine stamp). By the way, this forgery was also sold by Fournier as 'second choice'.


(Note the different lettering in this 3 Sch forgery, for example the slanting 'E' in 'POSTMARKE')


(These forgeries of the 1/2 Sch and 3 Sch can be found in Fournier's Album of Philatelic Forgeries: the cancel is 'HAMBURG' in a circle with no indication of a date


(Forgery)

The above forgery is described as the first forgery of the 2 1/2 Sch in Album Weeds. The scrolls with 'HAMBURG' and 'POSTMARKE' are not placed the same as in the genuine stamps. For example, the lower scroll touches the frame line below the 'M' and the higher one is placed too low (there is too much space above the 'B'). The 'K' and 'E' in 'POSTMARKE' are touching at the bottom in this forgery, and the 'O' is too round. This forgery was also sold by the forger Fournier, a picture can be found in 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries'. I think the cancel consists only of 'HAMBURG' in a circle (without any indication of a date).


(Other forgery of the 9 Sch stamp)

 

1864 As 1859 issue but design changed, imperforated or perforated (1864-65)

Genuine

  1 1/4 Schilling lilac
  2 1/2 Schilling green

For the specialist: these stamps have a watermark wavy lines. Reprints were made in 1872, but these reprints don't have any watermark.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
Imperforate
1 1/4 sRRRRShades varying from violet to grey
2 1/2 sRRRR 
Perforated 13 1/2
1 1/4 sRR*** 
2 1/2 sRRR 

 

1866 As 1859 issue but design changed, rouletted, no watermark


(Probably genuine stamps)

  1 1/4 Schilling violet
  1 1/2 Schilling red

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
1 1/4 sRR 
1 1/2 s***RR 

Reprints of these two stamps exist:
The genuine 1 1/4 Sch stamps have a small white circle in the stars (this is filled up in the reprints). The triangles in the corners are different from the genuines 1 1/4 Sch stamp (they were attached using a postal stationery as I understand it); the thickness of the inner two lines is different. There are also differences in the 'g' of 'Schilling' in the rerprints compared to the original stamps, in the genuine stamps there is a small line going trough the upper open part of this letter which is missing in the reprint.
The 1 1/2 Sch reprints are printed on much thicker paper. There are again differences in the 'g' of 'Schilling' in the rerprints compared to the original stamps, in this case however, there is a line going halfway through the upper part of the 'g', but this line is not present in the genuine stamp.
Source: 'The Forged Stamps of all Countries' by J.Dorn. Examples of what I think are reprints:

1 1/4 s violet
(Probably reprints, in the lower left part of the 1 1/4 stamp, the attached triangle can be seen)

Modern reprints also exist (made by Gehringer in Kaiserslautern).


Cancels

Straight bars ('Strichstempel'):


(Black and blue bars cancel, I don't know if they are genuine)

Wavy bars:


(Genuine blue wavy bar cancel; "Wellenstempel von Ritzebüttel", reduced size)

Butterfly cancel ('Schmetterlingstempel')


(Butterfly cancel, reduced size)

Three ring cancel with number ('Dreiringstempel'):

Three ring cancel with number in the center (the 2 1/2 sch green of the 1864 issue can only be found with this Danish cancel!):

This cancel was originally used by the two Danish post offices in Hamburg (Dänisches Oberpostamt). During the war between Prussia and Denmark these post offices were occupied by the Prussians. The cancels (numeral cancel 2) were then used on stamps with destination Denmark or Schleswig-Holstein. There seem to be two types of this cancel: with slightly smaller and with slightly larger '2'. Experts are capable of distinghuishing in which of the two post offices the stam was cancelled. Source: http://www.sporvejenes.dk/udst/UDSTILLING/SLESVIG_GB2.HTML


(Blue cancel 'St P.A. HAMBURG')

Forged cancels

Examples:

Forgery! 9 s yellow

A circular cancel with 'HAMBURG' and two stars on each side was used to cancel remainders (to increase the value of the stamp). This cancel was only used as an arrival cancel on envelopes, but never to cancel stamps! So these stamps are genuine stamps with a fake cancel. In 'Philatelic forgers, their lives and works' by Varro E. Tyler, we can read that the forger Julius Goldner obtained these genuine cancels with various dates of 1866 and 1867 from a post office official in 1868. He then cancelled remainder Hamburg stamps that he had obtained earlier.


Private reprints

Goldner reprints

The forger Julius Goldner made enormous quantities of private reprints of Hamburg. If I'm well informed these reprints do not have any watermark.

 

Gehringer reprints

In 1978, the printer Gehringer of Kaiserslautern made reprints of the 1 1/4 Sch and 1 1/2 Sch stamps. Enormous quantities must have been printed, the quality is very good (the embossing on the backside of the stamp can clearly be seen).


(Reprint consisting of a block of four 1 1/4 Sch stamps, for the 'WELTPOSTKONGRESS' in Hamburg, I've also seen these sheets without the Weltpostkongress text, note there is watermark alike pattern in the whole sheet)


Gehringer mini sheet reprint containing four 1 1/2 Sch stamp for 'NAPOSTA 85' and 'MOPHILA 85'


A whole sheet of Gehringer reprints containing 25 stamps of the 1 1/2 Sch value, inscription 'Hamburg Nr. 21 - Neudruck 1978'

Similar sheets exist with the value 1 1/4 Sch (also 25 stamps).


(Cut from such a sheet, reduced size)


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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