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Preview of Stamps Catalogue: VOLUME 1

HAMBURG (Germany), 1859 issue

Return To Catalogue - Hamburg 1864 issue - Hamburg 1866 issue - Hamburg, cancels - Hamburg, forgeries of the 1859 issue - Miscellaneous - Private issues (Boten issues), part 1 - Private issues (Boten issues), part 2 - Private issues (Boten issues), part 3 - Other private issues

Currency: 1 Hamburg Mark = 16 Schilling

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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. Postoffices of Thurn and Taxis, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden/Norway, Hannover and Mecklenburg existed in the city of Hamburg. The majority of foreign letters were send by the Thurn and Taxis post office.

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

1/2 s black 1 S brown Genuine Certified genuine

  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 'single wavy line' (or sometimes called 'bell-curved', for an example of this watermark see the 1864 issue). Actually, the whole sheet has 12 wavy lines, surrounded by a square (which can sometimes be seen on the outer stamps of the sheet). All the forgeries don't have this watermark. The first stamps were issued on 1st January 1859.

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
1/2 s RR RRR To be used for printed matter to Ritzebuttel, Bremen, Lubeck,
and Oldenburg. Later also for letters to Altona and local letters.
Bisected provisionals exist to make up the 1 1/4 s rate (unofficial).
1 s RR RR To be used on local letters, letters to Bergedorf and printed
matter to Helgoland, The Netherlands and Great Britain.
2 s RR RR To be used as letter rate for other towns in Hamburg and Lubeck.
3 s RR RR Shades of blue. To be used on letters to Bremen and most of Oldenburg.
4 s RR RRR To be used on letters to Helgoland and certain towns in Oldenburg.
7 s orange RR RR To be used for letters to the Netherlands (after 1st July 1859 also to
Great Britain and Ireland).
9 s RRR RRR To be used for letters to Great Britain and Ireland at first. Also used
for other foreign letters.
Perforated 13 1/2 (appeared between September 1864 and April 1865)
1/2 s *** ***  
1 s *** R  
2 s R R Could also be used on money orders to Schleswig Holstein and for
the registration fee on letters in Hamburg.
Also in use for letters to Helgoland.
2 1/2 s R R Issued June 1867.
3 s R RR Shades of blue
4 s *** R  
7 s orange RRR RRR  
7 s lilac *** ***  
9 s *** RRR  

Genuine 9 sch stamp, front and backside (with watermark)

I've been told that these are color proofs: 4 sch blue and 9 sch red.

The remainders of the perforated stamps were sold without gum in 1869 to Julius Goldner, a stamp dealer in Hamburg.

Block of four 9 s stamps, with numbers in the left margin.


Click here for Hamburg, cancels. Forged cancels are also described here.


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'! Click here for more information about forgeries of this issue. In the Philatelic Journal of America March 1893, No 111, page 122, in an article translated from Hugo Krotzsch, it is said that: "As early as 1864 the 7 and 9 sch., of the first issue, appeared in counterfeits made in Hamburg."

Instruction stamps (Instruktionsmarken):

Instruction stamps

I've seen 1/2 s, 1 s, 2 s, 3 s, 4 s, 7 s and 9 s imperforate in black on yellow paper. I've been told that these are 'instruction stamps'. They were pasted on parcels of stamps, such that the clerks at the post office could easily identify which stamps were in which parcel. The only reference I could find about these stamps is in K.K.Doberer "Die Briefmarken von Altdeutschland" under the Bavaria(!) section.


Hamburg 1864 issue
Hamburg 1866 issue

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer