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SWITZERLAND issues from 1854-1881

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1854 Sitting Helvetia (so-called Strubel issue), Imperforated

2 c grey Genuine

  2 c grey (1862)
  5 c brown
  10 c blue
  15 c red
  20 c yellow
  40 c green
  1 Fr grey

The word 'RAPPEN' means cents in german language. These stamps are also known as 'Strubeli'. They have silk threads in the colours emerald-green, yellow, black, red, blue and 'regular' green (information obtained thanks to John Barrett Texas).

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
2 c RR 
5 c**** 
10 c**** 
15 c**** 
20 c***** 
40 cR*** 
1 FRRR 

The 2 r grey exists bisected together with a whole 2 r stamp (provisional issue), all other bisected stamps are of dubious origin.

For the specialist; different printings can be distinghuished: Munich printings and Bern printings.

Most stamps have circular town with date cancels, but other cancels exist:

A stamp with the federal grill cancel:

Another cancel:


'EMMEN' in a straight line

The genuine stamps should have 17 vertical lines in the shield with the cross (source: 'The forged stamps of all countries' by J.Dorn).

I know that at least the forger Fournier has made forgeries of the 2 c and 1 F stamps. In 'The Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries' a 2 c stamp with cancel 'BERN 14 DEC 9 18 62 VORM' can be found. The silk thread has been replaced by a printed line.

 

1862 Sitting Helvetia, value in the four corners, Perforated

5 c brown 15 c yellow 20 c orange 25 c green 30 c blue 40 c green 60 c brown 1 F gold

  2 c grey
  2 c brown
  3 c black
  5 c brown
  10 c blue
  10 c red
  15 c yellow
  20 c orange
  25 c green
  30 c red
  30 c blue
  40 c green
  40 c grey
  50 c violet
  60 c bronze
  1 F gold
 

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
ValueUnusedUsedRemarks
Printed on normal paper
2 c grey*c 
2 c browncvc 
3 c*** 
5 c vcvc 
10 c blue***c 
10 c redcvc 
15 c** 
20 ccc 
25 ccc 
30 c red**** 
30 c blue***c 
40 c greenR*** 
40 c greyc* 
50 c** 
1 F** 
Printed on paper with silk threads (see explanation later)
2 c brownc* 
5 c cc 
10 c redcc 
15 cc*** 
20 cc** 
25 cc* 
40 c greycR 
50 cc*** 
1 Fc*** 

These stamps have a strange watermark, an embossed circle with a cross in the middle:


(Front and backside of the stamp, the cross is badly visible in this specimen)


(Reduced sizes)

These stamps exist with overprint 'AUSSER KURS', they were sold by the post office to stamp collectors after they were no longer valid for postal use, examples:


(Reduced sizes)


(Reduced sizes)

For the specialist: All stamps have perforation 11 1/2. They were first issued in 1862 in the values: 2 c grey, 3 c black, 5 c brown, 10 c blue, 20 c orange, 30 c red, 40 c green, 60 c bronze and 1 F gold. The colours were changed and additional values were issued in 1867 to 1878 for the following values: 2 c brown, 10 c red, 15 c yellow, 25 c green, 30 c blue, 40 c grey and 50 c violet. All these stamps are printed on normal paper. In 1881 some of these stamps were issued on paper with small pieces of silk thread incorporated: 2 c brown, 5 c brown, 10 c red, 15 c yellow, 20 c orange, 25 c green, 40 c grey, 50 c violet and 1 F gold. For this last issue uncancelled stamps are cheaper (and sometimes very much cheaper, for example the 15 c, 40 c and 50 c) than cancelled stamps. Example of the backside of a 40 c stamp with the paper of the last issue:


(Paper with small silk threads)

The 2 c was intended to be used on letters upto 15 g with destination within Switzerland. The 3 c was used for letters upto 40 g with destination Italy. The 5 c could be used for local letters with a weight less than 10 g. For local letters with a weight more than 10 g a 40 c stamp had to be used. Registered letters inside Switzerland with a weight less than 10 g needed a 20 c stamp. Letters with destination France, Italy or Belgium needed a stamp of 30 c (if the weight was less than 10 g). A 40 c stamp was used on letters to Germany with a weight less than 15 g. A 50 c stamp was created in 1867 to be used on letters for Great Britain. The 60 c stamp was used on letters less than 7 1/2 g with destination Spain. Finally the 1 F was used for overseas letters.

Forgeries, examples (note for example the letters 'FR' in the corners of the 1 F stamp):


(Forgeries)


Left: forgery of the 2 c with what appears to be a genuine 'BIENNE' cancel, note the different lettering and the visible 'eye' of the woman; to the right a genuine stamp for comparison

Forged cancels:


(Forged cancels)

Some stamps exist with forged cancels, especially when unused specimens are much cheaper than used ones.

Fournier made forgeries of these stamps, for example in 'The Fournier album of philatelic forgeries' an originally genuine 10 c red tamp with chemically removed colour can be seen, ready to receive a 60 c bronze or 1 Fr gold impression. In this way, the paper and cancel are genuine. Fournier possesed the official Swiss cancellations of 1882, in original boxes and with city names interchangeable as issued by the Swiss postal department.

Switzerland alike stamps exist for Russia, Zemstvos issues, Sapozhok:

10 k green and yellow, like Switzerland type


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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