A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Germany- Semi-Postal, Air Post, Officials, Offices Abroad

1911 Offices in Morocco: Scott 54 1p25c on 1m
German stamps of 1905  surcharged "Marokko"
Quick History
This section is not really "Quick History", as I've covered that with the preceding German blogs.

But let's discuss briefly stamp categories.

I generally would label these stamp categories as "Back of the Book" or "BOB", as that is the way they are organized in the Scott catalogue..  But the term is only used in the U.S. and Scott-centric world, so I decided to list major categories in the Title post. Michel lists all the different category stamps together in their catalogue. I believe Stanley Gibbons does the same thing.

I did not list all the major categories, however. The large category for "Occupation stamps" is not there as I have only a few stamps. One would think the "Occupation stamps" category for Germany would be overflowing. ;-)

For WWI, Germany occupied, in whole or part:

For WWII, Germany occupied in whole or part:

Many stamps were issued for these occupied territories by Germany. So why aren't they found here?

Because the Scott catalogue  lists any "Occupation Stamps" under the the country that was occupied. ;-)
So one would have to go to "Belgium" for instance, to find the overprinted Germania stamps of Germany there. It makes sense in a way. as these are the stamps of the country, however unpleasant for them, for that period of time.

But collectors have different agendas. If one collects Germany, than the "occupied" stamps of a country that Germany occupied are quite popular to collect. But popularity for German collectors of stamps issued  by another country (Belgium)  while occupying Germany? Not so much.

Who wants to be reminded of the time when another country was occupying one's own? ;-)

So one often finds very little "Occupation of Germany" stamps in a German collection, when filled by a German collector. On the other hand, a Belgian collector from Belgium might very well like to collect these stamps.

Human Nature.

1935 Semi-postal Scott B80 12 + 6pf carmine
"Ski jump": Winter Olympic Games in Bavaria 1936
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has (Listed by category):
Semi-Postal 1919-1940
187 descriptions
136 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 72%

Air Post 1919-1938
60 descriptions
39 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 65%

Official stamps 1920-1934
112 descriptions
90 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 80%

Newspaper Stramps 1939
2 descriptions
2 <$4 CV

Franchise Stamps 1938
11 descriptions
11 <$4 CV

Occupation Stamps 1919-21
Issued under Belgian  Occupation
68 descriptions
46 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 68%

German Offices Abroad
Offices in China 1898-1913
49 major descriptions and 7 minor descriptions
15 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 31%

Offices in Morocco 1899-1911
57 descriptions
23 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 40%

Offices in the Turkish Empire 1884-1908
59 descriptions
16 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 27%

Categories Total = 605 major descriptions

German Total ( Includes "regular" ) = 1101 major descriptions

A) The least "affordable" category are the "Offices Abroad" stamps.
B) "Occupation stamps" are affordable, just not in my German collections. ;-)
C) Semi-postals "look" affordable, but there are many fairly expensive stamps in the category. The "affordable" stamps are $1-$3, rather than 20 cents.
D) "Official" stamps are often 20 cents mint, as many of them were issued during the hyperinflation era.
E) The "Franchise" category were stamps issued by the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

Semi-Postal stamps

1919 Scott B2 15pf + 5pf   (On 1917 15pf dark violet "Germania")
Surtax for the war wounded
The first semi-postal for Germany was a two stamp issue for the WWI wounded. The  earlier German semi-postals are quite inexpensive mint.

1922 Scott B3 6m + 4m ultramarine & brown
"Planting Charity"
This two stamp issue, despite it's striking design is 20 cents mint. The German script says the surtax is for the children and the elderly.

1923 Scott B6 25m + 500m
Surtax for the Rhein and Ruhr areas
500 marks surtax - a lot, but this is at the onset of the hyperinflation era- was for the Rhein and Ruhr areas of Germany, either for post-war help, or for natural disasters- I believe the latter. Perhaps a reader knows?

1926 Scott B16  "Coat of Arms" Baden
There was both a 1925 and 1926 set with German States "Coat of Arms" design. "Nothilfe" means "help for the needy".

1927 Scott B22  50pf bister brown "Pres. Paul von Hindenburg"
80th birthday of von Hindenburg
I had the (four) stamps - the Hindenburgs above- in one of my feeder albums, but couldn't find a space for them. Only later, when going through the semi-postals did I realize they were in that category. ;-)  They apparently sold for twice face value, and the surtax was for War Invalids.

1935 Scott B77 30 + 20pf olive brown "Friesland"
A ten stamp issue, featuring "Costumes" from different parts of Germany was produced in 1935.  A rather attractive set.

1936 Scott B89 40 + 35pf violet "Equestrian"
An eight stamp semi-postal set for the summer Olympic Games held in Berlin in August was issued in 1936.
These were the infamous Olympics where the specter of Hitler and the Nazi Party loomed over the Games. I recall watching Jesse Owens 100 meter, 200 meter, and long jump victories in black & white Newsreel footage.

1937 Scott B108 5pf + 3pf black "Lightship Elbe I"
In 1937, an interesting nine stamp set featuring Ships was issued. Above illustrated is a "Lightship".

1938 Scott 117 12 + 8pf bright carmine
"Youth carrying Torch and Laurel"
For the 5th anniversary of the assumption of power by the Nazis, a two stamp set was produced featuring an  Aryan youth carrying a torch. The racial superiority motif is hard to miss.

1938 Scott B132  6 + 4pf blue green "Sudeten Couple"
The Sudetenland, territory in Czechoslovakia, was "annexed" to the Reich. The surtax was for Hitler's National Culture fund.

1939 Scott B140 6 + 19pf black brown "Adolf Hitler"
There are at least six semi-postal stamps with Hitler as the portrait. The above illustrated was for the "Day of National Labor".

1940 Scott B169 24 + 76 dark green
"Hall of Chancellery, Berlin"
Issued for the Second National Stamp Exposition in Berlin, this rather attractive stamp has a CV $5+.

1940 Scott B175 12 + 8pf orange red "View of Malmedy"
There are a number of stamps during the Nazi era that celebrate the "return" of territory to the motherland. This two stamp set is for the reunion of Eupen-Malmedy with the Reich.

Air Post

1919 Scott C2 "Biplane"
The first Air Post issue is a two stamp set featuring a Biplane. Again, the earlier Air Post stamps are quite inexpensive mint, but in the $3-$10+ valuations used.

1924 Scott C24 100(pf) dull violet "Carrier Pigeon"
Between 1922-24, there were three sets (24 stamps in two sizes) issued with the "Carrier Pigeon" design. The 1922-23 and 1923 issues are minimum CV mint, but somewhat higher for used. The 1924 set (Seven stamps C20-C26), though, ranges from $1+ to almost $100.

1926-27 Scott C34 3m black & olive green "German Eagle"
An eight stamp set featuring the German Eagle was produced in 1926-27. The CV range from $1-$50+.

1934 Scott C53 80(pf) orange yellow
"Swastika Sun, Globe and Eagle"
A nine stamp issue with the above design was produced in 1934. Even today, the "Swastika Sun" stamp is so overreaching, that it should fill one with dread and chills.

1934 Scott 56 3m blue & black "Otto Lilienthal"
Two additional stamps in the preceding series had a portrait of Otto Lilienthal.  He was a 19th century German pioneer of aviation, who was known as the Glider King.

Official Stamps
In 1920, Germany began producing "Official Stamps". 
In addition, the "Official Stamps" of Bavaria and Wurttemberg" were overprinted "Deutches Reich".  And. although they could be used throughout Germany, they were almost exclusively used in the respective States, so they will be  discussed there.

The earlier Official and the Local Official  stamps that are mint are almost all are valued at minimal CV.

1920-21 Scott O12 2m dark blue "Numerals of Value"
From 1921-23, there was two issues (21 stamps) of "Numerals of Value" design, all at minimum CV mint. The postally used varieties are valued @ $1+. In general, for Germany 1920 issues, resist the urge to put a pristine mint stamp in the space, and search out used copies.

1923 Scott O22 20m red lilac overprinted "Dienstmarke"
The regular issue of 1923 (seven stamps) was overprinted as above. A used copy of the above stamp would have a CV of $7+!.

1923 Scott O37 1 mil m on 75pf
We are now entering the hyperinflation era. The above stamp has a 1 million mark overprint. There were eleven Official "Numerals of value"stamps now surcharged to try to keep up with the inflationary spiral. It didn't work.  And seven more stamps had to be surcharged up to 50 billion marks. 

The escalating surcharges didn't settle down until the Rentenpfennig was introduced, backed by land and real goods, in late 1923.

1924 Scott O55 10pf vermilion 
Overprint on "German eagle" regular issue
By 1924, the hyperflation crisis was over. Here we see a 1924 regular "German Eagle" issue overprinted as an "Official Stamp" (nine stamps). 

1927-33 Scott O78 40pf violet "Numerals in Oval Seal"
Between 1927-33, an eighteen stamp issue was produced with the above design. A used stamp is still generally valued at more.

1934 Scoot 66 & 66a 12pf bright carmine
There is a watermarked (Swastika) and an unwatermarked variety
Alerted by the page layout in Deep Blue (which gives the unwatermarked minor number variety a space), I checked my 12pf bright carmine's, and I found one (CV $5)! 
This series (12 stamps) for Official use, obviously declares the change in government that occurred in 1933-34.

1903 Scott OL7 40pf lake & black
1920 Scott OL15 1m red/buff
Prussia ( and to a lesser extent Baden) also used "local" Official stamps. The "21" refers to the district of Prussia. There was an eight stamp series in 1903, and a seven stamp series in 1920, illustrated above. Again, mint copies are minimum CV.

Occupation Stamps

1919-21 Scott 1N1 1c orange
Overprinted Belgian stamps of 1915-20
As I mentioned at the introduction of the blog, my German feeder albums did not have many Occupation stamps. I attribute this to the lack of enthusiasm that German collectors have for Occupied stamps (of Germany). Certainly, the CV are reasonable, so that is not the problem.

This example illustrates the overprint design for the first 17 stamps issued. There are three other overprints also issued.
Eupen & Malmedy 1920 seven stamps
Eupen 1920-21 seventeen regular & five postage due stamps
Malmedy 1920-21 seventeen regular and five postage due stamps

Newspaper stamps
Only two stamps issued in 1939 (<$1 CV).

Franchise stamps

1938 Scott S2 3pf bister "Party Emblem"
For use by the Nazi Party, a eleven stamp issue was produced in 1938. Can one imagine the concern if the Democrats or Republicans in the U.S. were able to have their own stamps? ;-)

Germany Offices Abroad

Offices in China

1901 Scott 25 5pf green
German stamps of 1900 (Reichspost) overprinted
Offices in China stamps were first produced in 1898, 1900, and 1900 ( 14 major numbers, 7 minor numbers); all with different "China" overprint stamp at a diagonal. They range from $2+-$15,000+!
I don't have any. ;-)

In 1901, the "Reichpost" Germania stamps were overprinted horizontally for China (Example above). This 14 stamp set ranges in CV from $1+-$400+.

1905 Scott 40 10c on 20pf surcharged on 1902 German stamps
1906-13 Scott 47 1c on3pf surcharged on 1905 German stamps-wmk
A 1905 issue ( 10 stamps), using the 1902 German regular issue-unwmk, and a 1906-11 issue (10 stamps), using the 1905 German regular issue -wmk Lozenges, was produced. One example of each set is illustrated above. As usual, one needs to watermarks these stamps for certainty. Ten of these stamps are CV <$4.
Notice the "cents" denomination? 100cents = 1 dollar for 1905 and later stamps.

Offices in Morocco

In 1899, a six stamp issue was produced with a diagonal overprint. CV ranges from $2+-$20+. I don't have any. ;-)

1900 Scott 9 10c on 10pf carmine
Stamps of Germany 1900 (Reichpost) surcharged
A 14 stamp issue (CV $1+-$300+) from the regular German "Reichpost" design was produced in 1900. They are overprinted/surcharged as above. 100 Centimos = 1 Peseta. 

1905 Scott 20 3c on 3pf unwatermarked
On German stamps of 1902
In 1905, a thirteen stamp issue was produced using the 1902 "Germania" Deutches Reich stramps. They were overprinted/surcharged as the Scott 20 above. Six stamps are <$6 CV.

1906-11 Scott 34 5c on 5pf - watermarked
German stamps of 1905 surcharged
The next twelve stamp set produced from 1906-11 is the same as the preceding set essentially, except it is watermarked-Lozenges. Four stamps are CV <$6, but others are as high as $130+.

1911 Scott 45 3c on 3pf overprinted 'Marokko"
German stamps of 1905 surcharged
The 1911 set (Thirteen stamps) changed the name to "Marokko", but was otherwise similar to the 1906-11 set. The 3p75c on 3m is a red overprint.

1911 Scott 54 1p25c on 1m
"Marokko overprint"
"The General Post office in Berlin" design is illustrated above in this set. Look familiar? This image was also used for the header of the blog. ;-)

Offices in the Turkish Empire

There is a 1884 issue (six stamps) that is overprinted/surcharged from the 1880-83 German issue. The least expensive is $5. The rest range from $30+-$190+.

1889 Scott 12 2 1/2pi on 50pf chocolate
German stamps of 1889-1900 surcharged in black
The 1889 set (Five stamps) was based on the German 1889-1900 issue as viewed above. 40 Paras = 1 Piaster. Three stamps are <$3 CV.

1900 Scott 17 1 1/2pi on 30pf orange & black/salmon
The 1900 "Reichpost" issue of Germany was surcharged,also in 1900, and given a thirteen stamp edition.  Six stamps now catalogue for <$5.

1905 Scott 33 ultramarine 1pi on 20pf -unwatermarked
1906-11 Scott46  orange & black/yellow 1 1/4pi on 25pf- watermarked
In 1905. the "Deutsches Reich" Germania issue of  1902 was surcharged for the Offices in Turkey. The twelve stamp set has three stamps with CV <$3. The 1pi on 20pf ultramarine is illustrated above. Note the surcharge/overprint is different than in the preceding "Reichpost" stamps.

In 1906-12, the German 1905 "Germania" edition was used, which is watermarked Lozenges. This twelve stamp set has four stamps with CV <$2. The 1 1/2pi on 25pf orange & black/yellow is shown above.

1905 Scott 39 5pi on 1m
Double postmarked "Constantinopel"
Finally, to end this section, is a lovely 1905 5pi on 1m with a gorgeous postmark.  This is from the German issue of 1902 which is unwatermarked. Nice!

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 24 pages for the semi-postals. A number of pages are for souvenir sheets, which naturally expands the presentation. There are 4 pages for Air Post, 7 pages for Officials, 1 page for Newspaper, 1 page for Franchise, 5 pages for (Belgium) occupation stamps, 5 pages for Offices in China, 5 pages for Morocco, and 6 pages for the Turkish empire. That is a lot of real estate to fill. ;-)

Deep Blue follows the modern 2011 Scott classic catalogue in presentation, and there are no problems finding the appropriate space.

1936 Air Post Scott C58 75pf dull green "Hindenburg"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69 has 5 pages for semi-postal stamps, 1 page for Air Post, 2 pages for Officials, and 2 lines of one page for Franchise.
Big Blue has one page for the Offices in China, and Morocco. Interestingly, BB has the Offices in Turkey section ( 2 lines) separated out, and is put with the German New Guinea and German South West Africa page.
There is one page for the (Belgium) occupation stamps.

Curiously, there is a line for the Posen (Pozan) issue of Poland in 1919: which were overprinted/surcharged Germania stamps! There was a Polish uprising, or military insurrection, against Germany on December 27, 1918, which resulted in them taking control of most of the Province of Posen.

Map of Prussia (blue) with the Posen Province in red
This territory was given to Poland by the Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles then granted them the territory for the newly reconstitutes Poland. Big Blue, as said, puts the stamps in the Germany "Occupied" section, although the Scott catalogue has these stamps under Poland.
Nazi Germany of course took back this area, but it was returned to Poland after WWII.

Addendum: I neglected to post the number of stamps by category in Big Blue and the total number for Germany. Thanks to Joe for the reminder. :-)

103  1872-1921 (This includes the four stamp 1919-20 "Republic National Assembly" issue.)
284  1921-22 to 1940
387 Total regular

For this post...
145 Semi-postal
40  Air post
84  Officials
11  Franchise
56  Offices (Includes Offices in the Turkish Empire)
42  Occupation ( Includes "Polish" occupation -Posen)

378 Total for this post

Grand Total for Germany (Does not include North German Confederation or Turn and Taxis ) = 765

Simple Checklist

Semi-postal stamps












Next Page



Next Page



Next Page

B129,B130,B131, B121,B122,




Next Page


Next Page

Air Post









Next Page

Official Stamps

1903 ( Local-Prussia)
Note: The '97 BB apparently also includes
OL9,OL10,OL11, OL12,OL13,OL14,OL15,



O14,O15,O17 or O18, O19,O20,O21,(O15),

O29,O30,O31,O32,O34,O35,(O33 or O36),

1924 (actually 1923)

Next Page

(Official Stamps)



O80,O81,O82,O83,O84,O85,O86 or O86a,O87,

Franchise Stamps


Next Page

Offices in China



37 or 47, 38 or 48, 39,40,(41),(51),(52),

Offices in Morocco



20 or 33, 21 or 34, 22,23,24,25 or 37,(26),


Next Page ( Section is separate, and on the same page as with German New Guinea & German SW Africa)

Offices in the Turkish Empire




31 or 43, 32 or 44, 33,(45),(48),


Next Page (Back to the German Section)

Occupation Stamps
(Belgium Occupation)



Postage Due

Polish Occupation (Posen)*

A) Most expensive stamps ($10 threshold)
Semi-postal 1934 B67 40 + 35 pf plum "Judge" ($45)
Semi-postal 1938 B119 42 + 108 pf deep brown "Horsewoman" ($20+)
Semi-postal 1939 B144 25 + 50pf ultramarine "Racehorse "Investment" and Jockey ($10+)
Air Post 1924 (C23) 50(pf) orange "Carrier Pigeon" ($10+)
Offices in China 1898 (6) 50pf red brown ($10+)
Offices in Morocco 1899 4 25c on 25pf ultramarine ($10)
Offices in Morocco 1899 (6) 60c on 50pf red brown ($20+)

B)*B188 is a 1941 semi-postal

C) *O40,O41 blank space choices: No design left;  I chose the same OP, different design 1923

D)*Polish Occupation: Scott numbers found in the regular Poland country section

E) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice

1908 Scott 55 5c on 5pf : Surcharged diagonally
Offices in the Turkish Empire
Out of the Blue
I learned a good deal about classical era German stamps with these last four blogs.
It was worth it. :-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Your thoughts?  Comment below!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Germany: 1919-1940

1922-23 Scott 196 20m indigo & green "Plowing"
Quick History
After WWI, a national constitutional assembly met in Weimar in 1919 to establish a federal republic and a parliamentary representative democracy (Reichstag). During the fourteen years of its existence, the Weimar Republic,as it now called, was faced with considerable challenges. The Treaty of Versailles demanded large reparation payments to the victorious allies. The Germans had little experience with "democracy" with its more attended chaos. Both the political right and the left were enemies of the republic, and the moderates were discouraged.
The French and Belgians occupied the Ruhr region, damaging the economy. Hyperinflation set in. In 1919, a bread loaf costs one Mark; in 1923 100 billion Marks. The worldwide economy and Germany took a significant blow with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. The rise of the National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazi Party), and Adolf Hitler, a charismatic orator who promoted Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anticommunism, spelled the end of the Weimar Republic (And literally President Paul von Hindenburg who died in 1934). When Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, he brought a totalitarian single party dictatorship espousing the Nazi ideology, and with the goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people.

This most troublesome time filled with turmoil is clearly reflected in the Deutsches Reich (Weimar Republic) and the Third Reich (Nazi) era stamps between 1919 and 1940. Lets take a look.

Map of Germany after WWI with territorial loses noted
Germany also lost all of it's colonies

The Deutsche Reich during the Weimar Republic
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 364 major descriptive numbers for the regular issue stamps of Germany from 1919-1940. This excludes the Germania design or other stamps that were covered in the preceding blog through 1921. Of these, 256 are <$1, many at minimum catalogue value. An additional 39 are <$4. "Affordability" Index is a quite good 81%. 
It should be noted that throughout the inflationary era until December, 1923 ( When the Rentenmark replaced One Trillion Reichsbank Marks ( Yes 12 zeros!)), mint stamps can usually be found at minimum catalogue value. Used stamps, OTOH, were usually valued at $1+ or higher.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
The end of WWI and the need to set up a new government brought forth the 1919-20 National Assembly issue.

1919-20 National Assembly Issue
10pf carmine rose & 15pf chocolate & blue
The four stamps in the issue focused on an allegorical representation of rebuilding Germany. The 10pf shows a live stump of a oak tree symbolizing that Germany will survive, while the 15pf illustrates new shoots springing  forth.

Now the remaining issues have several watermarking differences. So let us remind ourselves how these watermarks look.

Left: Lozenges (Rauten) watermark
Right: Network (Waffeln) watermark 
These two watermarks are found on (almost) all German stamps throughout the 1920's and early 30's until the Nazi era. Not infrequently, there are two similar issues, but each has a different watermark and catalogue valuation. The watermark often is fairly obvious, and just turning over the stamp onto a dark surface will suffice for identification purposes. But watermarking fluid and a watermarking tray will be needed to positively identify all the stamps. I've found many many misplacements of stamps in albums (or even dealer stock) with the German stamps of this era. After awhile, checking for watermarks becomes second nature: so just do it! ;-)

 1921 Scott 141 30pf blue green "Numerals" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 166 40pf red orange wmk Network
During 1921-22, there were two similar issues produced with different watermarks. The 1921 issue had 19 stamps, and the 1921-22 issue had 24 stamps. There is a very large overlap between the issues with stamps having the same denominations and colors. The "Numeral" design stamps presented above could come from either issue. The difference? The 30pf has a Lozenges watermark (valuation $1+), while the 40pf has a network watermark (valuation $3+).

1921 Scott 144 60pf red violet  "Iron Workers" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 171 80pf carmine rose wmk Network
I'm not showing all the stamps for the issue, just the major designs found in the issue. Again watermarking these stamps will tell you which issue is which. Surprise! The 80pf carmine rose with Network watermark is valued @ >$50+ used!

1921 Scott 147 120pf ultramarine "Miners" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 172 100pf olive green wmk Network
I think many collectors tend to pass over the 1920's Germany stamps as not worth their time. True, the mint stamps are usually minimum catalogue value. But the genuinely postally used stamps are not! Their valuations range from $1+ to "much more". ;-) And they tend to languish in collections, perhaps not even mounted, as most collectors instinctively prefer a 'fresh" mint copy in their album. Hint: Seek out postally used copies. ;-)
(More about the pitfalls of "used" later)

1921 Scott 149 160pf slate green "Farmer" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 175 150pf orange wmk Network
The German Post Office had the good habit of usually cancelling directly on the stamp. I can tell from the 150pf cancellation that it was stamped in August (8), 1922 (22). The last numbers refer to the time of day.

This is the last of the "workers" design for the issues.

1921(wmk lozenge),1921-22(wmk network),1922-23(wmk network) 4m "Posthorn"
4m deep green & yellow green (Scott 152,179,) & 4m dark green (Scott 187)
The next design featured a "posthorn", and was issued with a a lozenges or network watermark. The 1921 & 1922-23 issues had two colors, while the 1922-23 issue had one color. The bi-colored issues can be found either with a lozenges or a network watermark, while the single color issue is only found with a network watermark.

1921 Scott 150 2m deep violet 5 rose "posthorn" wmk lozenges
1921-22 Scott 178 3m red & yellow wmk network
As mentioned, the bi-colored "posthorn"  found in the 1921 or 1921-22 issues are defined by their watermark. So check the watermarks on the bi-colored 2m,3m, and 4m denominations. ;-)

1921-22  bi-colored "posthorn" values wmk network
1922-23 single color "posthorn" values wmk network
This pic of Deep Blue shows the "posthorns" of 1921-22 & 1922-23. All the stamps here are only found with the Network watermark, except for the 1921-22 2m,3m,and 4m values which can also be found with the Lozenges watermark from the 1921 issue. 

If you looked carefully at the pic, you may have noticed two 6m and two 8m spaces. What is up with that?

1922-23 Scott 189a 6m dark blue Type I
1922-23 Scott 189 6m dark blue Type II
The "6"'s come in two types as illustrated above. The Type II "6"'s lean toward the right and are a bit thinner.

1922-23 Scott 190  8m olive green Type I
1922-23 Scott 190a olive green Type II
The single color "posthorn" "8"'s also come in two types. With Type II, the numerals are not as wide (2mm), and is thinner. I was able to find both the "6" and "8" numeral types by checking my feeder albums where they had sat unaware all these years. ;-)

1921 Scott 154 10m carmine rose "Numeral of Value" wmk lozenges (Engraved)
1922-23 Scott 194 5m orange wmk network (Engraved)
The only denominations that are engraved for the "Numerals of Value" are the 5m and 10m. These values are illustrated above, and can be either a lozenges or network watermark. So check these values for watermarks. 
You might also want to compare these engraved stamps with the other denominations "Numerals of Value" stamps issued that were lithographed. Can you see a difference in printing quality? And do you have a preference?
1922 Scott 160 500m orange/buff "Numeral of Value" wmk Lozenges (Lithographed)
1922-23 Scott 199 100m brown violet/buff  wmk Network (Lithographed)
The range of valued illustrated here is to remind that the 100m-200m-300m-400m-500m values can either be found with the Lozenges or Network watermark. These values are lithographed, compared to the 5m-10m values, which were engraved.

1922-23 Scott 198-209 "Numerals of Value"
All Lithographed wmk Network
Illustrated above is the "network" watermarked lithographed 1922-23 "Numerals of Value" stamps. The 50m, and 1000m-100,000m denominated stamps are only found watermarked network. But, as mentioned previously, the 100m-500m denominations can also be found with the lozenges watermark.

Do you notice something? The value denominations are climbing!

1923 Scott 209 100,000m vermilion "Numeral of Value"
The value illustrated above, is, so far, the highest regular denominated stamp put out by the Weimar Republic. But that record wouldn't last long. ;-)

1922-23  (Type of 1921) Miners, Farmers, and Numerals
A new design "Miners" stamp, along with the "Farmers" design, and higher valued "Numerals" was issued in 1922-23 (Scott 221-234). The denomination values are definitely heading up foreshadowing the hyperinflation that will come soon.
As is usual with this time in German stamp production, mint is generally minimum catalogue value, while a cancelled specimen is at least $1+. So what about nicely placed CTO specimens? No, sorry, they are valued the same as mint. Well then one should go for a socked on the nose or heavily cancelled specimen, because they are more likely postally used, right? Hmmmm, take a look at the next scan...

1922-23 Sott 230 200m carmine rose (two specimens)
A "fake" cancel
I pulled one of these specimens from a feeder album, and thought "Wow- a nice cancel, let's put it in". Then I found a second specimen-with the same cancel-in another feeder album. Oh-Oh. :-(
Obviously someone had canceled sheets of mint stamps to make them look genuinely postally used: and no doubt made a tidy profit. Certainly would have fooled me. Perhaps somewhere there is a data base of "fake" cancels for Germany. Sending the stamp away for authenticity is really not worth it, as the CV is only $1+. 

So a lesson is learned. Even "good looking" cancellations may be fake.

O.K., now we are going to get into the Hyperinflation era.

Values on stamps

Note that in German, the "Billion", becomes "Millarde".

Numerals 1923/ Stamps of 1922-23 surcharged
Numerals were produced for values up to 75 Tausend Marks, and the "Farmer" and other designs were surcharged up to 30 Tausend. (Scott 238A-240, 241-249) All stamps on the page are watermarked network, except for the 8 Tausend surcharge on the 30pf  blue green, which is found with both the lozenges and network watermarks. (Scott 241 & 242A) After this, the lozenges watermark is no longer used, and only the network watermark is found on German stamps until 1933, when the Swastika watermark was produced.

Stamps of 1922-23 surcharged
These stamps are perforated 14, and are very well known-found in every general German collection, generally mint-consisting of surcharged various numerals. (Scott 250-278) Note the stamp value is now up to 2 Million Marks.

Stamps of 1922-23, surcharged/Serrate Roulette 13 1/2
1923 Numerals Perforated 14
More stamps were surcharged  (upper row of page). These stamps, however, are serrate rouletted 13 1/2. (Scott 273-278) 

A new design of Numerals (18 stamps) was issued in 1923. The values range from 500 Tausend to 50 Milliarden Marks-that is to 50 Billion Marks.! Considering that a loaf of bread in late 1923 was priced at 100 Billion Marks, perhaps the stamp value is not so outrageous from a relative point of view. ;-)  (Scott 280-299) Note that these stamps are perforated 14.

1923 Numerals serrate roulette 13 1/2
Stamps of 1923 surcharged perforated 
And serrate roulette 13 1/2
The 10 Million-50 Billion values were also produced in 1923 using serrate roulette 13 1/2. (Scott 301-309)  And more stamps of 1923 were surcharged using perforation 14 (Scott 310-316), with a few also serrate rouletted 13 1/2 (Scott 319-321).

No doubt, the collector will need to pay attention to Perf 14 and serrate roulette 13 1/2 differences among the higher value denomination stamps. They are each given a major Scott number. The serrate roulette 13 1/2 stamps vary in denomination from 400 Tausend surcharged stamps to the 50 Milliarden stamp.

1923 Scott 316 10mird m on 100mil m gray surcharged
A closeup of the 10 Billion on 100 million nark surcharge is shown, with perforation 14 in this case. This surcharge is also found on the 50 and 20 million mark stamp. There is also a 10 Billion on 50 million surcharged stamp, this time with serrate roulette, 13 1/2 perforations.

1923 5 thousand Marks on 40pf red orange
1923 50 billion Marks
It might be instructive to take a brief second look at the hyperinflation stamp era,as it is difficult to grasp the full impact on first review.

The scan above shows the range of high stamp values in 1923. The ratio of the stamp values is 10,000,000 to 1.

100 thousand-1 million-10 million-100 million- 1 billion- 10 billion
Hyperinflation stamps that multiply by a factor of 10
This scan of hyperinflation stamps demonstrates by factors of 10, a 100,000 increase in valuation

1923 Scott 289 50mil m dull olive green "Numerals" perforated 14
1923 Scott 303 50mil m dull olive green serrate roulette 13 1/2
As mentioned, the collector will need to be aware of the different perforations. Take a look at the scan to see that the serrate roulette has thicker squared-off perforations, and measures 13 1/2, while the "perf 14" obviously measures a 14 perforation.

So, in summary, how many different stamps were issued in 1923? 85! Fortunately the hyperinflation came to an end with the next stamp series....

1923 Scott 323-328 3pf brown through 100pf brown violet
The Rentenmark, knocking 12 Zeros off, stabilized the economy
The Rentenmark (Debt Security Mark), subdivided into 100 Rentenpfennig, was introduced on November 15, 1923, and was backed by mortgaged land and industrial goods. The exchange rate was 1 U.S. dollar= 4.2 RM. It replaced the Deutsche Mark, which was essentially worthless, @ 1 Trillion:One.

It worked.  The hyperinflation crisis was over.

On August 30, 1924 the Reichsmark ( as legal tender) replaced the Rentenmark, and was valued the same.
The Rentenmark notes continued to be valid until 1948.

1924 Scott 336 50pf orange "German Eagle"
In 1924, a seven stamp issue featuring the 'German Eagle" was issued. What is interesting from a catalogue perspective is, once again , mint stamps are generally valued higher than postally used specimens.

1928 Scott 342a "Dr. Heinrich von Stephan"
Chalky Paper
From 1924-28, a four denomination stamp set was issued featuring Dr. Heinrich von Stephan, who reorganized the German postal service, and helped found the Universal Postal Union in 1874. Of interest,  the 60pf red brown illustrated above, was partially issued on chalky paper.

1926-27 Scott 361 50pf brown "Johann Sebastian Bach"
In 1926-27, a twelve stamp set with the theme "Famous Men" was issued. Along with Beethoven ( which is also given a stamp), Johann Sebastian Bach is featured on the 50pf brown. They are two of my favorite classical composers. :-)

1928-32 President Friedrich Ebert, President Paul von Hindenburg
Between 1928-32, a 21 stamp set (Scott 366-386) was issued featuring the Weimar presidents: Friedrich Ebert (1919-25) and Paul von Hindenburg (1925-34). Of interest, Hindenburg was in poor health in 1932, but was persuaded to run for re-election, as he was considered the only one that could defeat Adolf Hitler.

1932 Scott 394 19pf dark red "Pres. von Hindenburg"
In 1932, a seven stamp set was issued featuring President von Hindeburg on his 85th birthday. He was, however, in poor health, and died August 2, 1934. Because of political instability, he had to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in January, 1933.

There are two stamps in this issue that can cause confusion, because they were reprinted with different watermarks later.  See next two scans...

1932 Scott 392 5pf bright green wmk network
1934 Scott 418 5pf bright green wmk swastikas
Be aware that there are two varieties of the 5pf "Pres. von Hindenburg" stamps. They differ in watermark. I will have more to say about the swastika watermark later.

1932 Scott 395 25pf ultramarine wmk network
1934 Scott 425 25pf ultramarine wmk swastikas
And the 25pf ultramarine was also printed in two watermarks. Just so you know. ;-)

1933 Scott 400 25pf ultramarine "Frederick the Great"
In 1933, a three stamp set with "Frederick the Great" was issued. He was King of Prussia from 1740-1786, and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz ("Old Fritz").

1933 Scott 407 15pf maroon & Scott 409 30pf olive green
Fourteen stamp set, watermarked network.
In 1933, a fourteen stamp set (Scott 401-414) was issued of von Hindenburg based on the design of the 1932 series, but different colors. This is the last set that features the network watermark.

That is because a sea change is occurring: Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party is now in power. When von Hindenburg died in 1934, Hitler declared the office of the president vacant, and as "Fuehrer and Reichskanzler", and was now Head of State.

As a collector, one again needs to pay attention to the watermarks of the von Hindenburg design stamps during this transition time, as we will see with the next issue.

1933-36 Hindenburg Type of 1932
1934 Hindenburg Memorial Issue
All watermarked ""Swastikas" wmk 237
The next issue (17 stamps-Scott 415-431) , first found in later 1933, had the same design ( von Hindenburg) and the same color denominations (as well as additional denominations) as the earlier 1933 issue, but had the Swastika (Hakenkreuze) watermark. In addition the 5pf and 25pf of the 1932 Hindenburg issue was also reprinted.

Therefore, the collector will find that many ( pf: 3,4,5,6,8,10,,12,15,20,25,30,40,50,60,80,100) of the von Hindenburg denominations come in both network and swastika watermarks. One will need to check the watermarks for the stamps that are going into the album.  I have found frequent errors (even in dealer stock) in placement of these stamps in feeder albums. A word to the wise. ;-)

The second issue illustrated is the 1934 Hindenburg Memorial issue ( six stamps-Scott 436-441), which is characterized by the black border surrounding the stamps. This issue, as well as all subsequent issues that have a watermark during the Nazi era, will have a swastika watermark.

The Swastika watermark on two von Hindenburg stamps
Illustrated above is the swastika watermark. The bad news (at least for me), is the watermark is relatively unclear. If one steps away from the computer screen and views, it becomes somewhat clearer. Still one can make out the Hakenkreuze symbol. So it is not that big of a difficulty, and these watermarks are only really important to differentiate with the von Hindenburg issues. Fortunately, the network watermark (illustrated elsewhere in this blog) appears a lot different, and is usually fairly obvious and clear.

1934 Scott 434 12pf dark carmine & chocolate "Karl Peters"
Issued in remembrance of the lost colonies of Germany
The Nazi era has begun with the stamp themes reflecting the new nationalism. 

In 1934, a four stamp set (Scott 432-435) was issued featuring the men who were instrumental in obtaining colonies for Germany. Of course, Germany lost those colonies after WWI. Here illustrated, is Karl Peters, who founded the colony of German East Africa. He was an adventurer who, as head of the "Society of German Colonization", signed treaties with tribes on the east African mainland opposite Zanzibar.

1935 Scott 451 25pf dark blue "Germania Welcoming Home the Saar"
The Saargebiet was occupied by France in 1920 under the provisions of the Treaty of  Versailles, and a 15 year League of Nations mandate. Time was up in 1935. A plebiscite held in the Saargebiet in 1935, and 90% voted to rejoin Germany.

Saarbeckengebiet 1920-1935
Two plebiscite stamps were issued in 1934 by Germany, and then this issue (1935-four stamps-Scott 448-451), with the allegorical theme of Saar returning to the Motherland.

1935 Scott 452 6pf dark green "German Soldier"
War Heroes' Day saw the issue of two stamps (Scott 452-453) honoring the German soldier.

1935 Scott 464 15pf brown lake 
"Bugler of Hitler Youth Movement"
By 1930, the Hitler-Jugend had enlisted 25,000 boys over the age of 14 into the movement. They were viewed as future 'Aryan Supermen", and were taught the Nazi doctrines, such as anti-Semitism. Of interest, the Boy Scout movement was banned in German controlled areas, but the Hitler-Jugend appropriated many of the Boy Scout activities. Uniforms with ranks and insignia were worn similar to the Stormtroopers (Sturmabteilung).

By the end of 1933, there were 2,300,000 members. By 1940, the Hitler-Jugend ( including younger ages and girls)  had 8,000,000 members.

The issue of 1935 (2 stamps-Scott 463-4) illustrates a Hitler Youth Bugler.

1935 Scott 468 12pf dark carmine
"Nazi Flag Bearer and Feldhernnhalle at Munich"
This 1935 two stamp set (Scott 467-8) commemorates the Hitler "Putsch" of Nov. 9, 1923 in Munich. Hitler had tried to overthrow the Weimar Republic and seize power in Munich, known as the "Beer Hall  Putsch". Hitler was subsequently arrested and charged with high treason, but spent only eight months in prison and, while there, wrote his "Mein Kampf".

1936 Scott 480 12pf copper red "Salute to Swastika"
For the 1936 Nazi Congress, this two stamp issue (Scott 479-80) was produced. The imagery is chilling even today.

1937 Scott 491 3ph brown "Shield Bearer"
The Reich's Air Protection League was honored on a three stamp issue (Scott 481-483) in 1937. "Luftschutz" means air raid protection.

 1938 Scott 484 6pf dark green 
"German and Austrian Carrying National Flag"
The Anschluss (link-up) occured on March 12, 1938 as Austria was annexed into the German Third Reich. The Austrians had to capitulate as Hitler had already authorized sending troops into Austria. Finding that neither France nor Britain would help, Chancellor Schuschnigg resigned and allowed the Nazis to take over the Austrian government to avoid "shedding of fraternal blood" (Bruderblut). The German Wehrmacht crossed the border and were greeted by Austrians with Nazi salutes, Flags, and flowers. Because of the response, the annexing of Austria is called the Blumenkreig (war of flowers).

This stamp design was issued in 1938 in two different sizes (Scott 484,485) depicting the unification.

1939 Scott 493 12pf orange red "The Krantor, Danzig"
Two stamps (Scott 492-3) were issued in 1939 celebrating the unification of Danzig with the Reich. The Free City of Danzig was created in 1920 in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles. But after the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Danzig was incorporated into the newly formed Reichgau of Danzig-West Prussia.

This ends the review of the regular issues of Germany up to 1940.

Below I include two maps for your interest. The first depicts Germany in 1939 at the onset of WWII. The second map shows the widest extent of the Third Reich and occupied land during 1941-42.

 Germany 1939 at the onset of WWII

1941-42 German Reich, Italy, "Friendly" countries (i.e. Finland), "Puppet" governments and occupied zones (Blue)
Allies (Red)

Deep Blue
The Deep Blue album (Steiner) has 20 pages for the regular issues between 1921-1940. All of the major Scott numbers have a space, and the 1922-23 Posthorn 6pf and 8pf "types" have a space also. I am not including pictures of the album pages here as there are plenty elsewhere in this blog.

1922 Scott 217 20m lilac rose/pink "Arms of Munich"
 Six stamp set  for the Munich Industrial Fair
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 7+ pages, has 288 stamp spaces. Coverage for the time period (1921-40) is 79%.

BB generally provides only one space for the watermark different 1921 & 1921-22 issues, the 1922-23 'Numerals of Value" issue, and the von Hindenburg 1933 and 1933-36 issues. There is also only one space for some of the hyperinflation 1923 Perf 14 & Serrate Rouleted 13 1/2 issues. But the big news....

Big Blue's (Second) 1933 page: the 20 stamps presented are two of each
Each in their own correct space
One Perf 14 (10 stamps) and one serrated rouletted 13 1/2 (10 stamps)
Big Blue is known to ignore perforations and only present one space for multiple perforation varieties. But in Germany's 1933 page layout, it does the opposite: namely providing 2 spaces for a stamp-one perf 14, the other serrated rouletted 13 1/2!
I have not seen this before in Big Blue, and I imagine it has caused confusion and consternation for BB collectors. So I have placed the stamps on the page above where they should go.  Just enlarge the page to see the helpful markings too. (Scott number and perf markings)

The markings on the page are:
A) The Scott number is listed under the stamp.
B) Above the stamp: "14" inside a circle or a line and arrow from the "14" indicates a perf 14 stamp.
C) Above the stamp: "S" inside a circle or a line and arrow from the "S: indicates a serrated stamp.

Starting from the top, and reading left to right, these are the 20 stamps (Ten perf 14, Ten serrated):
272 Perf 14
278 Serrated
286 Perf 14
287 Perf 14
289 Perf 14
291 Perf 14
294 Perf 14
295 Perf 14
296 Perf 14
298 Perf 14
299 Perf 14
301 Serrated
302 Serrated
303 Serrated
304 Serrated
305 Serrated
306 Serrated
307 Serrated
308 Serrated
309 Serrated

A caveat. I show all the double stamps, but not necessarily the places where either a perf 14 or a serrated stamp could go in a space. This will be done however in the checklist.

The second caution is Big Blue provides a space for the 1932 von Hindenburg 5pf bright green and 25pf ultramarine (Scott 392 & 395) with the network watermark, and the 1934 von Hindenburg 5pf bright green and 25pf ultramarine (Scott 418 & 425) with the swastika watermark. I provide a discussion and pics of these stamps elsewhere in the blog. So even if, as a BB collector, one does not have to check watermarks very often (unless one wishes), here one will. ;-)

Simple checklist

1921-22 (Begins on last line of page)
137 or 161,138 or 162,139 or 163,140 or 164,141 or 165,142 or 166,143 or 167,

Next Page

144 or 168,145 opr 171,146 or 172,147 or 173, 148 or 175, 149 or 176,
150 or 177,151 or 178, 152 or 179,180,181,182,183,184 or211,
153 or 194,154 or 195,155 or 196,

198,156 or 199,157 or 200,158 or 201,159 or 202,
160 or 203,204,205,206,


Next page

242,241 or 242A,243,244,245,246,

Next Page

313 or 319,314 or 320, 315 or 321, 316,319,320,,321,

Next Page

342 or 342a,343,340,341,337,338,


351 or 352,353,355,356,357,359,360,361,



Next Page



415,401 or 416,402 or 417,418*,
403 or 419, 404 or 420, 405 or 421,406 or 422,407 or 423,408 or 424,425*,
409 or 426,410 or 427,411 or 428,412 or 429,413 or 430, 414 or 431,

Next Page




Next Page

484 or 485,


A) Most expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None

B) See pic of second 1933 page above for stamps that have two spaces for different perfs.(20 stamps total)

C) * von Hindenburg stamps that have two spaces (with different wmks) are 5pf bright green (Scott 392 & 418), and 25pf ultramarine (Scott 395 & 425). There are pics and discussion above and elsewhere in the blog.

D) As stated, BB doubles up on several issues, only giving one space. They are marked by a "or" between choices. One might want to consider separating out the issues-of course your choice. :-)

E) I have included considerable information on the issues in BB elsewhere in this blog. Please read. ;-)

1925 Scott 350 5m dull green "Speyer Cathedral"
Out of the Blue
It is somewhat ironic that none of the stamps discussed in this blog are very expensive, yet they provide a profound education in history. And from a philatelic point of view, many of them are quite interesting in their own right.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

What do you think? Would like a comment!