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MARSHALL ISLANDS

Return To Catalogue - German colonies - Germany Overview

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them:
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A very nice website can be found on http://marshall.csu.edu.au/html/Stamps/Stamps.html, made by Dirk H.R. Spennemann, I reproduced some of his images and text here with his permission. Prior to the use of German stamps, stamps from the Phillipines were used. Stamp of Germany, used in Marshall Islands:

 

1897 Stamps of Germany overprinted 'Marschall-Inseln' (Marschall with 'sch')

3 p brown
(Reduced size)

  3 p brown
  5 p green
  10 p red
  20 p blue
  25 p orange
  50 p brown

The spelling on these stamps was actually wrong, therefore a second serie of stamps with the correct spelling was issued in 1899. For forgeries of these stamps, see after the next issue. These stamps are rare, especially the 3 p, 5 p, 25 p and 50 p, since only a limitid number of stamps were issued (several thousands).

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
3 pRRRRRRreprint: R
5 pRRRRRRreprint: ***
10 p***Rreprint: ***
20 p***Rreprint: ***
25 p--Not issued, reprints exist: ***
50 p--Not issued, reprints exist: ***

Reprints were made in Berlin (some very rare reprints were actually postally used).

 

1899 Stamps of Germany overprinted 'Marshall-Inseln' (Marshall with 'sh')

Image obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann 50 p brown

  3 p brown
  5 p green
  10 p red
  20 p blue
  25 p orange
  50 p brown

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
3 p** 
5 p** 
10 p***** 
20 p**** 
25 p**** 
50 p****** 

Forgeries of this and the previous issue:

Fournier has made forgeries of this series, examples:


(Fournier forgeries, 1897 series, images obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann, note the cancel 'JALUIT MARSHALL INSELN 8/6 97')

Image obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann


(Fournier forgeries, 1899 series, image obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann, note the cancel 'JALUIT MARSCHALL INSELN 12 2 98', this date is impossible)

The stamps as well as the overprints and cancels are forged by Fournier. Note that the corners of the stamps are badly perforated compared to genuine stamps. I presume that the cancels used by Fournier were always the same, I have seen 'JALUIT MARSHALL INSELN 8/6 97' and 'JALUIT MARSCHALL INSELN 12 2 98'. He offers the previous issue (6 values) for 3 Swiss Francs and this issue (6 values) for 2 Swiss Francs in his 1914 pricelist.

I've been told that the above stamp is a Fournier forgery as well, it indeed has the cancel 'JALUIT MARSHALL INSELN 8/6 97', but the overprint is missing. However, it might be an imitation of a Fournier cancel made by another forger, see for more details: http://marshall.csu.edu.au/html/Stamps/CancelPix/Forged07.html on this subject.

Other forged overprints on genuine stamps:


(Note the 'Berlin' cancel)


(Reduced sizes, images obtained from Dirk Spennemann, the first stamp has a Wiesbaden cancel)

According to Dirk Spennemann, these forgeries were made from genuine stamps stamps of Germany. They have cancels from Germany, sometimes with dates which are impossible. Common to all forgeries is the weak and fuzzy execution of the overprint, as well as the fact that the angle is less steep than normal. For more information on forgeries of the German Colonies, click here.

 

1900 Ship of the Emperor, 'Hohenzollern'

Small size

5 p green Image obtained from Dirk Spennemann

  3 p brown
  5 p green
  10 p red
  20 p blue
  25 p orange and black on yellow
  30 p orange and black
  40 p red and black
  50 p lilac and black
  80 p red and black on 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
No Watermark
3 pc** 
5 pc* 
10 pc** 
20 pc** 
25 pc*** 
30 p**** 
40 p**** 
50 p**** 
80 p**** 
Watermark 'Lozenges' (1914)

Watermark 'Lozenges'

3 pc-Non issued in Marshall Islands, only sold in Berlin
Large size

  1 M red
  2 M blue
  3 M violet and black
  5 M black and red

5 M with watermark

For the specialist; all these stamps are without watermark. However, a 3 p brown and 5 M black and red with watermark lozenges were prepared but never put into use due to the first world war. They could only be bought at the philatelic service in Berlin.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
No watermark
1 M*R 
2 M**R 
3 M***RR 
5 MRRRR 
Watemark 'Lozenges' (1914)
5 M***-Non issued in Marshall Islands, only sold in Berlin

Forgeries:


(Fournier forgeries, images obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann)

The above stamps are Fournier forgeries. Often the perforation is very bad. For more information click here.

Other forgeries were made in the 1970's in the USA. The stamps can be easily recognised by their generally dull and flat appearance. The colours are weak and the shading is often solid colour. The paper is unwatermarked and somewhat coarse. It is less stiff than that of origimal stamps. The forged stamps are perforated 13 (as opposed to perf. 14 for originals). While most items are uncancelled, some bear falsified postmarks as well (information from Dirk Spennemann). I don't have a picture of these forgeries.

Forged cancels, example:


('JALUIT 9/4 01 MARSHALL INSELN' forged cancels, reduced sizes)

 

1914 British occupation, stamps of 1900 surcharged with 'G.R.I.' and value

Note: These stamps were issued in New Guinea (and not used in Marshall Islands)!

Image obtained from a Shreves Auction '2 d.' on 10 p red '2 d.' on 10 p red

Small size
  1 d on 3 p brown
  1 d on 5 p green
  2 d on 10 p red
  2 d on 20 p blue
  3 d on 25 p orange and black on yellow
  3 d on 30 p orange and black
  4 d on 40 p red and black
  5 d on 50 p lilac and black
  8 d on 80 p red and black on red

Surcharged

  '1' on 2 d on 10 p red
  '1' on 2 d on 20 p blue

Large size

Image obtained from a Shreves Auction


(Reduced size)

  1 Sh on 1 M red
  2 Sh on 2 M blue
  3 Sh on 3 M violet and black
  5 Sh on 5 M black and red

There are two types of overprint, differing in the space between the 'G.R.I.' and the value.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
Cheapest overprint type:
1 p on 3 p****** 
1 p on 5 p****** 
2 p on 10 p**** 
2 p on 20 p**** 
3 p on 25 p RRRR 
3 p on 30 pRRRR 
4 p on 40 pRR 
5 p on 50 pRRRR 
8 p on 80 pRRRR 
1 Sh on 1 MRRRRRR 
2 Sh on 2 MRRRR 
3 Sh on 3 MRRRRRR 
5 Sh on 5 MRRRRRR 
1 on 2 p on 10 p RRRR 
1 on 2 p on 20 pRRRRRR 

Warning: all these overprints are rare and many forgeries exist!


Cancels


(Stamp and postcard with manuscript cancel, images obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann)

Manuscript cancels exist for the stamps with ship design. These cancels were used in between the islands of the Marshall Islands. The name of the island or the ship carrying the mail was used.

Japanese cancels, some stamps are known to be overprinted with the personal seals of Japanese officers (according to Dirk Spennemann), they were never used for postal purpuses, example:


(Image obtained thanks to Dirk Spennemann)


For mourning labels of Marshall islands click here.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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