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SAXONY (Sachsen) first two issues

Sachsen - Saxe

Return To Catalogue - Forgeries of the first issue, part 1 - Forgeries of the first issue, part 2 - Forgeries of the first issue, part 3 - Forgeries of the first issue, Sperati forgeries - Forgeries of the first issue, Peter Winter forgeries - Saxony other issues 1851 onwards - Saxony cancels - Other German States - Germany - Later issues (1945) for Saxony

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One of the German States. A Kingdom in the east of Germany. It issued stamps from 1850 to 1867, it used the stamps of the North German Confederation afterwards.

1850 Value, imperforated (so-called Sachsen-Dreier)

Certified genuine with Rismondo certificate Certified genuine Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com I've been told that this stamp is genuine Certified genuine Genuine Plate 3, Position 16

  3 Pfennige red

This stamp is very rare. It was issued on 1st July of 1850 and was the second stamp issued in Germany, in german it is called 'Sachsendreier'. It was used for tie wrappers to newspapers, and therefore many of the stamps were destroyed when the wrapper was removed. About 460,000 stamps were issued, but only 3000 to 4000 are thought to have survived now. Only one whole sheet (4 rows of 5 stamps) is known to exist and was discovered in 1871 in the post office of the town of Eibenstock (information found on http://www.dresden-dresden.de/dreier.htm). The stamps were printed by J.B.Hirschfeld in Leipzig. It was replaced by the 3 p green stamp on 1st August 1851.
In total six different printing plates of each 20 stamps exist. Three different shades of red exist. Due to the printing process, size differences of individual stamps can exist (up to 1 mm).

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
3 p RRR RRR Exists in several shades of red.
Printed in sheets of 20. Small size differences exist.

According to the 'Praktisches Handbuch der Freimarken des Konigreichs Sachsen' by Friedrich W.Dieck, 1921; the Hirschfeld made black proofs of these stamps. Hirschfeld printed 25,000 sheets of stamps (Dieck mentions 500,000 stamps in 8 different printings explaining the slight colour differences). One sheet was send to the ministry of Finance in Dresden. This sheet was later cut and the stamps sold individually for 3 Marks to collectors 'with connections'. 463,058 stamps were sold up to 12 September 1851 and the remainder of 36,992 stamps were burnt on 10 December 1851 in the Main Post Office Building in Leipzig.

Block of four that once belonged to the famous collector Ferrari

The only surviving block of 20 stamps, image obtained from https://www.stampsx.com/forum/topic.php?id=398&s=55361ef6ee752019cf69c0f7eb10fdaa, it once belonged to the stamp collector Ferrari, and was sold as item 546 in the VIth Ferrari auction. The stamps on this sheet were extensively repaired.

This is how the sheet originally looked like.

If my information is correct, these stamps were printed in 6 different plates, the lines between the stamps are either according to the so-called Bavarian system (continuous vertical lines as in the above sheet, this was done for plate 5), or the Saxon system (continuous horizontal lines, in all other plates).

Stamp with the same characteristics as the third stamp on the first row: red dot in the lower part of the "3" and smudge in the first "E" of "PFENNIGE".


When they were first issued, the stamps were supposed to be cancelled by black pen (Federstrichentwertung) in a cross-like manner in such a way that the cross would cover the newspaper wrapper as well. Next to it a towncancel was supposed to be applied.

I've been told that this stamp is genuine Certified genuine
Cross-like pen cancel.

On the 5th July 1850 this compulsary cancellation system was changed to a towncancel in black (Ortsstempel in schwarzer Farbe).

Image reproduced with permission from: http://www.sandafayre.com
Towncancel in black colour

Other cancels are very rare (and usually forgeries).


Attention: many forgeries exist of this stamp. Click here for more information on the forgeries of the first issue, part 1, part 2, or part 3 or Sperati forgeries or Peter Winter forgeries. The great majority of stamps that I have seen were forgeries!
The following text (in German) can be found in the 'Praktisches Handbuch der Freimarken des Konigreichs Sachsen' by Friedrich W.Dieck, 1921 (see also http://www.archive.org) concerning forgeries:
Die Fälschungen der Dreiermarke sind ebenso zahlreich, wie teilweise hervorragend gut ausgeführt. Die ersten Fälschungen stammen schon aus den 50er Jahren und wurden in Buchdruckausführung von Nürnberg (Zechmeyer), später in Steindruck von Hamburg (Goldner und andere) aus vertrieben. Sehr gute Steindruckfälschungen wurden Ende der 80er Jahre von Dresden aus (Elb und Fohl) angeboten, sind aber leicht an dem auf echten Marken fast nie vorkommenden Vollgitterstempel zu erkennen. Auch das von Gebrüder Senf seinerzeit herausgegebene Faksimile auf geglättetem Schreibpapier wurde durch Entfernung des Aufdrucks "Falsch" und Ueberstempelung der Rasur "echt" gemacht. Die Stahlstichfälschung (1890) von Thiele, Hannover, ist daran zu erkennen, daß die Schraffur der großen Wertziffer aus Punkten und nicht aus kleinen "3" besteht. Die beste Fälschung ist der berüchtigte Lichtdruck des Photographien Schröder, der Ende der 70er Jahre in der Leipziger Lichtdruckanstalt von Naumann & Schröder ausgeführt und in Zeichnung, Papier und Farbe vom Original kaum zu unterscheiden ist. Man erkennt ihn eigentlich nur daran, daß der Druck, wenn man ihn schräg gegen das Licht hält, vollkommen flach und glatt erscheint, während die im Buchdruckverfahren hergestellten Originale rauh, an den Druckstellen etwas vertieft und rückseitig durchscheinend sind. Die Farbe des Lichtdrucks ist mehr kirsch- als ziegelrot, und das sehr glatte Papier hat einen leicht bläulichen Schein, während das der Originale mehr gelblich ist.
Daß sich anscheinend auch das Ausland an den Fälschungen beteiligt, schließe ich daraus, daß ich kürzlich aus Paris eine Fälschung mit dem Ortsstempel "Risa" statt Riesa erhielt.
In allerletzter Zeit werden nach Thier vorzügliche Fälschungen, anscheinend von Sachsen aus, mit Gitterstempel oder mit dem Doppelkreisstempel Leipzig 21. Oct. 50, in der Mitte 5 - 5 1/2, vertrieben.

Miscellaneous: Inscription "DRESDEN" instead of "SACHSEN", Local issue of the city of Dresden issued in 1900 to commemorative the 50th birthday of the 'Sachsendreier':

"DRESDEN" issue


1851 Arms of Saxony


  3 Pfennige green

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
3 p RR RR Intended to be used on printed matter.
12,500,000 stamps printed

These stamps have been forged. On the horizontal band of the shield, there should be shadelines.

(Fournier forgeries)

Page from a Fournier Album.

The above forgeries are made by the forger Fournier and are taken from 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries'. I think it is actually reprinted by the Philatelic Association of Geneva especially for this book (they added the overprint 'FAUX', which means 'forged' in English). Fournier did not sell his forgeries with the large green margin as shown above. The ornaments above the first 'S' and 'N' of 'SACHSEN' are not close enough to the frameline above them when compared to genuine stamps. According to the Serrane guide, the genuine stamp has the left hand side of the cross (on the crown) detached from the rest of it. The Fournier forgery has it attached. Also, the shading around the outer edges of the arms is too heavy in the Fournier forgery. It exists with the following forged 'LEIPZIG 11 MAI 63' cancel (see third image above):

Numeral cancel '6', 'LEIPZIG 11 MAI 63' and 'LEIPZIG 5 1/2 - 6', reduced sizes (Fournier forged cancels)

The Serrane guide mentions two old German forgeries. One of them has three rows of dots in the arms design (instead of two rows) and no dot behind 'SACHSEN'. A second one has the 'D' slanting(?) and 10 pearls in the crown's outer branches (should be seven). I have never seen these forgeries.

I have seen many forgeries with the cancel 'DRESDEN 17 VIII 61 2', (I have even seen this forgery in strips of 3), these are modern reproductions:


The same(?) forgery was also offered in a pair of two with two grill cancels (no number inside) on Ebay recently (September 2003).

(Another pair of forgeries from the same source)

I posess a Peter Winter forgery of this stamp (made around 1980). This forgery is printed on very white paper. So-called 'proofs' or 'Farbenentwürfe' in six different colours and the center in black (with blank spaces where the value should have been) are from the same source. Example of such forgery and a 'proof':

(Winter forgeries, second one of a 'proof')

('proof', reduced size)

I have seen 'proofs' in the colours light-brown and black, dark-brown and black, green and black, dark-blue and black, light-blue and black and orange and black. They are trying to imitate so-called Hirschfeld proofs.
I've been told that the original proofs were not made in two colours and do not have a distinctive point at the bottom of the crest. The original Hirschfeld proofs were made in 1900 for the 100 years existence of the Hirschfeld firm in the colours yellow and black, blue and black, green and black, red and black, light-brown and black and dark-brown and black. They have no value inscription.

I've seen two other genuine Hirschfeld proofs (also made in 1900) in the colours black on green and green on green. These ones do have the value 'Drei Pfennige'.

I know that the forger Sperati also made forgeries of this stamp (Reproduction 'A' and Reproduction 'B'). If my information is correct, in Reproduction 'B', the 'A' of 'SACHSEN' has a break at the left hand side and the 'E' of this same word has a break in the bottom. Sorry, no picture available yet.

What is this? A black on lilac stamp. Also a lilac stamp (different design, for example no dot behind "SACHSEN").

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer