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Freistadt Danzig

Issues of 1923


The Freistadt Danzig (Free City of Danzig) saw many provisional stamp issues during 1923, some with astounding denominations.  Danzig suffered the same hyperinflationary spiral during middle and late 1923, as did Weimar Germany and much of the rest of Europe.


The current airmail stamps of Danzig were re-issued in early January, utilizing paper with a new webbing watermark.

The Michel catalog refers to both this type of watermark and the previous "honeycomb" watermark as a "webbing watermark", with the former being "large webbing" and the later being "small webbing".  Both watermarks are not that dissimilar, so this terminology may be helpful to some people, as the area within the webbing on the later waterrmark appears much smaller.


In January and February, four new very high denomination definitive postage stamps were issued, as shown above.  The designs are similar to that of the Coat of Arms definitive stamps issued in 1921-1922, but they are much wider.


The eight definitive postage stamps shown above were issued during 1923, utilizing paper with the new webbing watermark.  The Danzig Arms definitives were continued, along with smaller sized stamps featuring the vertical and horizontal Coat of Arms designs of 1921-1922.


The two charity stamps shown above were issued on March 12, 1923 to provide assistance for the aged.  The designs feature an elderly pensioner in front of a silhouette of the Free City of Danzig.

Between February and April a new series of airpost stamps, shown above, was issued.  The new 25 Mk. denomination is identical to the vertical type airpost stamps previously issued.  The new horizontal format high denominations, utilize the same designs as the previous issues, but they are much wider, 40 x 23 mm instead of 34 x 23 mm. 

These airpost stamps also utilized paper with the new webbing watermark.


The four scans shown above illustrate all the definitive postage stamps issued between May and September of 1923.  These stamps reflect the out-of-control inflationary trend of this period.  They were all printed on paper with the webbing watermark.

All of these stamps exist imperforate, with the prices being not terribly unreasonable.


The two scans above show all the surcharged hyperinflation definitive stamps issued in September and October of 1923.  These reflect the height of hyperinflation in the Freistadt Danzig.

Most of these surcharges occur on previously issued stamps of Danzig, though in many cases, the colors are different from those of the originally issued postage stamps.

Most of these stamps exist imperforate, as well as with many plate and surcharge varieties.  None of them are unreasonably priced, and they offer a world of possibilities for the specialist.  For details, please refer to the Michel Deutschland-Spezial Katalog Volume I.


The new airpost stamp types shown above were issued on October 18.  The two stamps on the bottom were never issued without the surcharge, though varieties with missing surcharges are known.


At the end of October 1923, the Freistadt Danzig implemented currency reform measures to put an end to hyperinflation.  The old currency, 100 Pfennig = 1 Mark, was replaced by the new reformed currency, 100 Pfennig = 1 Danzig Gulden.

The 12 surcharged stamps shown above utilized previously issued definitive postage stamps, however, they were all printed in rose.  They were all perforated 14, and they were printed on paper featuring a multiple octogon watermark.




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