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German Empire


Offices in China - Postage Stamps



The German Empire post offices in China began operation in 1886. Initially, contemporary German Empire definitive postage stamps were used. These are called "forerunners". Many of these are not expensive, and collecting these forerunner issues is very popular with German postmark collectors.


In March 1898, the six stamps shown above were issued, featuring a  45 degree diagonal overprint.  The 3 Pf. denomination is scarce.  The other denominations are relatively common.

Vertical gutter pairs exist of all the stamps in this set.  Pairs of the 5  Pf. through the 50 Pf. denominations, surprisingly, are not unreasonably expensive! 


In December 1898, the six stamps shown above were issued, featuring a  56 degree diagonal overprint.

Vertical gutter pairs exist of all the stamps in this set, and they are all inexpensive, being about four times the price of a mint single in the Michel catalog.


The image above shows an authenticated COMPLETE SET of the regularly-issued Boxer Rebellion Provisionals of 1900-1901 (Michel #7-14)These were used primarily in Foochow and TientsinMost Germany stamp collectors will NEVER OWN any authentic examples of these stamps!

I created this image by combining the images from an old Spink auction catalog that I found on the internet.

The combined Michel catalog value of mint lightly hinged examples of these eight stamps is €36,250 (US $50,750).  Considering the prices realized, which were in Pounds Sterling, I have a feeling that they sold for much more than the catalog value.

The REICHPOST 25 Pf., 40 Pf., 2 Mark, and 3 Mark denominations were also overprinted in this manner, but they were never issued.  The 25 Pf. and 40 Pf. denominations catalog €50,000 each in the Michel catalog.  Examples of the 2 Mark and 3 Mark denominations are unknown.

If you really want to collect Boxer Rebellion stuff ..... Try collecting the German Empire definitive postage stamps of this period with China Feldpost postmarks.  There are numerous varieties, and they are infinitely cheaper than the provisional postage stamp issues.


Between 1901 and 1904, the Germania and Representative Subject definitive postage stamps of Germany, inscribed REICHSPOST, were overprinted "China".

In the same manner as the high denomination Representative Subject issues of Germany, the 2 Mk. denomination comes in two types, the 3 Mk. denomination comes in two types, and the 5 Mk. denomination comes in four typesType I of the 5 Mk. denomination is rare..  All of the other types of each denomination are moderately priced.  For detailed   information, please refer to the Germany - Empire / Germania Issue - 1900 page and the Michel Deutschland Spezial-Katalog volume one.


In 1905, the 1902-1904 Germania and Representative Subject definitive postage stamps of Germany, inscribed DEUTSCHES REICH, were overprinted "China", AND they were surcharged in Chinese currency.

The 1/2 Dollar and 1 1/2 Dollar denominations come with 26 x 17 perforation holes and with 25 x 16 perforation holes.  The 1 Dollar and 2 1/2 Dollar denominations only come with 26 x 17 perforation  holes.


Between 1906 and 1913, the 1905-1913 Germania definitive postage stamps of Germany, inscribed DEUTSCHES REICH, were overprinted "China".  These stamps are Peacetime printings, and they are printed on Lozenge Watermarked paper

Wartime printings of the 1 Cent and 40 Cent denominations were made in 1918 and 1919They were printed in Berlin for sale to stamp collectors, and they were never placed on sale at the German post offices in China.

The stamps shown above are all Peacetime printings.

Between 1906 and 1913, the 1905-1913 Representative Subject definitive postage stamps of Germany, inscribed DEUTSCHES REICH, were overprinted "China".  These stamps are Peacetime printings, and they are printed on Lozenge Watermarked paper.

Wartime printings of these high denomination stamps were made in   1918 and 1919They were printed in Berlin for sale to stamp collectors, and they were never placed on sale at the German post offices in China.

There are a multitude of varieties on these high denomination stamps, including the number of perforation holes, stamp shades, overprint shades, differences in overprint spacing and measurements, etc.  For details, refer to the Michel Deutschland Spezial-Katalog volume one.

After China declared war on Germany in 1917, all the German Empire post offices were closed.




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German Colonies & Foreign Post Offices

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.








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