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Swiss Stamps

Definitives of 1854-1862


Strubel Type - Part 2


1854-1857 Printings

1854 Munich II Printing


For collectors of Swiss stamps, there are many ways to approach the Strubel issues, such as by printing and shade, by printing and plate arrangement, by postmark types, or in some cases, by one stamp of each denomination, without regard to their printing characteristics. With this issue, there is no such thing as a "standard collection arrangement". Every collector of these stamps has the opportunity to construct their arrangements, as they wish. My presentation here is intended to be solely a guideline.

Every book I've read, written by the philatelic experts on the Strubels, has had a different approach to their attribution. For the purpose of these web pages, these Swiss stamps will be presented by printing period numbers, as outlined in the Zumstein catalog.


Munich I Printing 1854
(Zumstein Group: Aa)

The first denominations of the Strubel issue, produced in Munich, were the 5 Rp., 10 Rp., 15 Rp., and 40 Rp., as shown above.

These images are of authenticated examples found on the internet.

The Munich I Printing attributes are as follows:

  • Paper:  Thin Munich paper (0.06 - 0.09 mm).
  • Plates:  Plates of 100 positions with orderly arrangement.
  • Printing:  Frame lines uniform.  Very good embossing. Lozenges sharp but indistinct.   No color accumulations around Helvetia.  Dull colors.
  • Cancellations:  Grid cancels.
  • Silk Threads:  Green (Emerald).

The Munich I Printing catalog details are as follows:

  • 05 Rp.  (1854 - Munich I - ZU #22Aa, Mi #13Ia, Sc #14) - Orange Brown.
  • 10 Rp.  (1854 - Munich I - ZU #23Aa, Mi #14Ia, Sc #N/L) - Blue.
  • 15 Rp.  (1854 - Munich I - ZU #24Aa, Mi #15Ia, Sc #17a) - Pale Rose.
  • 40 Rp.  (1854 - Munich I - ZU #26Aa, Mi #17Ia, Sc #18) - Pale Yellow Green.


Munich II Printing 1854
(Zumstein Group: A)

The Munich II Printing is identical to the Munich I Printing, except for the following attributes.

  • Printing:  Frame lines uniform.  Very good embossing. Lozenges sharp and clear.   No color accumulations around Helvetia.  Fresh colors.

The Munich II Printing catalog details are as follows:

  • 05 Rp.  (1854 - Munich II - ZU #22A, Mi #13Ib, Sc #15) - Brown.
  • 10 Rp.  (1854 - Munich II - ZU #23A, Mi #14Ib, Sc #16) - Blue.
  • 15 Rp.  (1854 - Munich II - ZU #24A, Mi #15Ib, Sc #17) - Rose.
  • 40 Rp.  (1854 - Munich II - ZU #26A, Mi #17Ib, Sc #19) - Yellow Green.


Bern I Printing 1854-1855
(Zumstein Group: B)

The Bern I Printings are shown above.  Their attributes are as follows:

  • Paper:  Thin to medium Munich or Zurich paper (0.06 - 0.10 mm).
  • Plates:  Plates of 25 positions with orderly arrangement.  Variable spacing (0.3 - 1.2 mm).
  • Printing:  Frame lines variable.  Very good to excellent embossing. Lozenges sharp but indistinct.   Light color accumulations around Helvetia.
  • Cancellations:  Grid cancels.
  • Silk Threads:  Green (Emerald).

The Bern I Printing catalog details are as follows:

  • 05 Rp.  (1854 - Bern I - ZU #22B, Mi #13IIAym, Sc #20) - Brown.
  • 10 Rp.  (1855 - Bern I - ZU #23B, Mi #14IIAym, Sc #21) - Blue.
  • 15 Rp.  (1855 - Bern I - ZU #24B, Mi #15IIAym, Sc #22) - Rose.
  • 20 Rp.  (1854 - Bern I - ZU #25B, Mi #16IIAym, Sc #23) - Orange Yellow.


Bern II Printings 1855-1857
(Zumstein Groups: C, D, E)

Yellow Thread

Black Thread

Red Thread

Blue Thread

Maroon Thread

Black Thread

Yellow Thread


The major denomination Swiss stamps of the Bern II Printing, with their colored thread attributions, are shown above. Unlike the Swiss stamps from Zumstein Groups Aa, A, and B, which all have green silk threads, the Swiss stamps within Zumstein Groups C, D, and E are less difficult to attribute, as they have variable colored silk threads that are unique to each of the denominations.

The Bern II Printing attributes are as follows:

  • Paper:  Thin to medium Munich or Zurich paper (0.06 - 0.10 mm).
  • Plates:  Earlier printings:  Plates of 25 positions with orderly arrangement and even spacing.  Later printings:  Plates of 50 positions with misaligned arrangement and narrow spacing.
  • Printing:  Frame lines variable.  Good to fair embossing.
  • Cancellations:  Grid or town cancels.
  • Silk Threads:  Variable colors (see catalog details section).

The Bern II Printing catalog details are as follows:

  • 05 Rp.  (1855 - Bern II - ZU #22C, Mi #13IIAyn, Sc #24) - Brown (Yellow Thread).
  • 05 Rp.  (1856 - Bern II - ZU #22D, Mi #13IIBys,Sc. #25) - Brown (Black Thread).
  • 10 Rp.  (1855 - Bern II - ZU #23C, Mi #14IIAyoa, Sc #27) - Blue (Red Thread).
  • 15 Rp.  (1857 - Bern II - ZU #24D, Mi #15IIByp, Sc #28) - Rose (Blue Thread).
  • 40 Rp.  (1855 - Bern II - ZU #26C, Mi #17IIAyr, Sc #29) - Green (Maroon Thread).
  • 01 Fr.  (1855 - Bern II - ZU #27C, Mi #18IIAys, Sc #30) - Gray (Black Thread).
  • 01 Fr.  (1856 - Bern II - ZU #27D, Mi #18IIByn, Sc #31) - Gray (Yellow Thread).

As detailed in the Brach book, recent studies have yielded significant new discoveries regarding the 1855-1857 printings shown above.   Brach has identified two distinctly different printings affecting all the issues of this period, utilizing plates with completely different configurations and characteristics.  Integrating these new varieties will, of course, require the re-structuring of the catalog arrangement of these Swiss stamps in one's Strubel collection display.  Anyone wishing to explore the technical aspects of these new discoveries in depth, should refer to the Herbert Brach book described in Part 1 of this review. 

The descriptions above are based on those used in the current edition of the Zumstein Schweiz Liechtenstein catalog and the Zumstein Spezialkatalog Schweiz.

The Bern II thin paper variety attributes are as follows:

  • Paper:  Thin Munich paper (0.055 - 0.074 mm).
  • Plates:  Plates of 25 positions with orderly arrangement.  Variable spacing (0.2 - 0.8 mm).
  • Printing:  Frame lines variable.  Fair embossing.
  • Cancellations:  Grid or town cancels.
  • Silk Threads:  Variable colors (see catalog details section).

The Bern II thin paper variety catalog details are as follows:

  • 10 Rp.  (1856 - Bern - ZU #23E, Mi #14IIBzoa, Sc #27a) - Blue (Red Thread).
  • 01 Fr.  (1856 - Bern - ZU #27E, Mi #18IIBzn, Sc #31a) - Gray (Yellow Thread).







Part 1

Part 3



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Definitives of 1854-1862 - Strubel Type Part 2





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