Custom Search


Helgoland


Issues of 1867-1868


Before Helgoland (in German) or Heligoland (in English) began issuing its  own postage stamps, the postage stamps of Hamburg were used at the post offices on the island.  These are considerably scarce and are seldom encountered today.  The scans shown above were contributed by Dr. Lawrence Mead, APS, APEX, GPS.

Their first official postage stamps of Helgoland appeared in 1867, featuring the portrait of Queen Victoria.  The new postage stamps were bi-colored, denominated in Hamburg currency, and they were all printed in Berlin by the Prussian State Printing Office.

As described in the Philatelic Overview article, all of the 1867-1868 issues described on this page will have the following attributes in common.

  • Originals - All are rouletted 10 x 10.  The rouletting is often indistinct, showing rounded corners, and giving a ragged appearance to the edges of the stamp.  All MUST show at least a trace of the "ridge" on one of the outer edges of the stamp.  Stamps with a different roulette gauge or ones that do not show the "ridge" are reprints.
  • Berlin Reprints - Can be difficult to discern.  Paper is brownish white to greyish white with crackly gum.  The colors are slightly different than those of the originals.  Rouletting ranges from very slightly ragged looking to distinct, with squared corners.  Some of the reprints were also perforated.
  • Leipzig Reprints - Paper is bright and ivory colored (glossy looking) with smooth gum.  The colors are different from those of the originals.  Rouletting ranges from very slightly ragged looking to distinct, with squared corners. Some of the reprints were also  perforated, having noticeably smaller perforation holes.
  • Hamburg Reprints - Paper is off-white with smooth gum.  The colors are different from those of the originals.  Rouletting is usually distinct, with squared corners.  The perforated reprints are always perforated 14 x 14.


1867 - 1/2 Schilling - Mi. #1 I
Original - Mint
Auth. - Muller VP


The 1/2 Schilling denomination (Michel #1 I), featuring Head Type I, was issued in March 1867.  The stamp was printed in Dark Bluish Green & Carmine.

Total quantity printed:  20,000

The Head Type 1 stamps of this denomination were NEVER REPRINTED.

1867 - 1/2 Schilling - Mi. #1 I - Position 15
Original - Unlisted Plate Fault - Dot in "C" of "Schilling"
Scan from - L. Mead


The stamp shown above, from position 15, shows a constant plate flaw in the "C" of "Schilling".  This plate variety is not listed in the Michel Spezial Katalog.  The flaw is on the inside edge of the "C", making the letter appear similar to today's "Є" (Euro) symbol.


1868 - 1/2 Schilling - Mi. #1 II
Original - Mint
Scan from - L. Mead

1868 - 1/2 Schilling - Mi. #1 II
Original - Mint
Auth. - Georg Bühler

1868 - 1/2 Schilling - Mi. #1 II
Leipzig Reprint

1868 - 1/2 Schilling - Mi. #1 II
Leipzig Reprint

1868 - 1/2 Schilling - Mi. #1 II
Hamburg Reprint


The 1/2 Schilling denomination (Michel #1 II) was again issued in August 1868, and this new design featured Head Type 2.  These were printed in Bluish Green & Reddish Carmine.

Total quantity printed:  10,000

The majority of the private reprints are various shades of Yellowish Green & Rose.  For further details, see the Links to Other Sites section at the end of this article.

1867 - 1 Schilling - Mi. #2
Original - Used
Scan from - L. Mead

1867 - 1 Schilling - Mi. #2
Original - Used
Auth. - C. Brettl BPP


The 1 Schilling denomination (Michel #2), featuring Head Type 1, was issued in March 1867.  The stamp was printed in Rose Carmine & Dark Green

Total quantity printed:  40,000

The private reprints of the 1 Schilling denomination are Head Type 3.  There are many different colors of the reprints ranging from Carmine to Red & from Yellow Green to Gray Green.  For further details, see the Links to Other Sites section at the end of this article.

1867 - 2 Schilling - Mi. #3
Original - Mint
Auth.  - L. Mead

1867 - 2 Schilling - Mi. #3
Leipzig Reprint

1867 - 2 Schilling - Mi. #3
Probable Leipzig Reprint

Perforated 13-3/4 x 14-1/4


The 2 Schilling denomination (Michel #3), featuring Head Type 1, was issued in March 1867.  The stamp was printed in Lilac Carmine & Dark Yellow Green

Total quantity printed:  200,000

The private reprints of the 2 Schilling denomination are also Head Type 1.  There are many different colors of the reprints ranging from Dull Lilac Carmine to Salmon Red & from Green to Olive Green.  For further details, see the Links to Other Sites section at the end of this article.

1867 - 6 Schilling - Mi. #4
Original - Mint
Scan from - L. Mead

1867 - 6 Schilling - Mi. #4
Reprint


The 6 Schilling denomination (Michel #4), featuring Head Type 1, was issued in March 1867.  The stamp was printed in (Dark) Gray Green & Lilac Rose

Total quantity printed:  100,000

The private reprints of the 2 Schilling denomination are also Head Type 1.  There are many different colors of the reprints ranging from Blue Green to Dull Olive Green & from Claret to Copper Red.  For further details, see the Links to Other Sites section at the end of this article.


An 1867 Plate Proof?


The 1/2 Schilling Helgoland stamp shown above recently appeared on the US eBay site.  Is this a Plate Proof, from the time production printing of these stamps began in 1867?  No, it is not.  Here's the story ....

A PLATE PROOF is an impression made from a brand new plate, before it is placed into use for printing postage stamps.  The fine detail from any first impression should be clear and sharp.  This example exhibits porosity in the colored fields, the frame lines are of irregular thickness, and the frame lines are broken at the corners.  This example appears to have been printed from a worn plate.

The new plate of the 1/2 Schilling, implemented in April 1867, featured Head Type I (Michel #1I, Scott #1).  This stamp features Head Type II (Michel #1II, Scott #1A).  The Head Type II plate was not implemented until August 1868.

The Michel catalog actually does list two "black" proofs (rouletted and imperforate) for April 1867 issue, but they do not indicate a known sale price.  This listing may be erroneous.  A recent consensus of the experts in Helgoland philately indicates that an authenticated example of a plate proof of the April 1867 stamp has NEVER APPEARED in the philatelic marketplace.  This may indicate that these 1867 proof stamps may actually have NEVER EXISTED.

The stamp shown above is actually an 1891 Hamburg Reprint of the 1868 1/2 Schilling Type II (Michel #1II), printed in black.

Hellmuth Lemberger, in the 1970 edition of his book, has these "black printing" stamps cataloged at the beginning of the table concerning the 1891-1895 Hamburg Reprints.  There were three varieties of these "black printings" of the 1/2 Schilling stamp ..... Imperforate (full impression), Imperforate (porous impression), and rouletted (porous impression).  The stamp shown above appears to be of the second type.

Even though these are officially categorized as "reprints", these "black printing" examples of the Hamburg Reprints are actually very scarce.  They are quite collectible, and they are sought after by many Helgoland specialists.  In 1970, Lemberger valued each of them at DM 60,00 in his book.



Links to Other Helgoland Sites


Heligoland Stamps by Fritz Wagner

The Robert Pollard Study

The authoritative work on Helgoland postage stamps is the German language book, "Helgoland Philatelie" by Hellmuth Lemberger, published in 1970.  If copies can be located, they are usually very expensive.  The APRL has a couple copies that can be checked-out by APS members.




eBay Auction and Store Links
German States


The following links feature category-focused affiliated seller listings on various eBay sites worldwide. They may enable visitors to shop for and to buy specific items for the particular collecting subject they've just read about. 

The affiliated eBay seller auction lots provided by eBay, Inc. are not the responsibility of the management of this website.  On high priced material, make sure the lots you are buying are properly authenticated.

Remember that the lots on European eBay sites are priced in EUROS.  Shipping charges may be more, and the lots may take longer to arrive.  Also, make sure the foreign seller ships to your country, before bidding on or buying his lot.








Return to German States Stamps from
Helgoland - Issues of 1867-1868





SBI!