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Swiss Stamps

Cross & Numeral Issues

of 1882-1907


New lower-denomination Swiss stamps were first issued in 1882, replacing the perforated Sitting Helvetia definitive postage stamp types of 1862-1881. These new stamps are referred to by Swiss philatelists as the "Kreuz und Wertziffer" or "Cross and Numeral" Series.

This series is much more simple to understand than the concurrent Standing Helvetia series of higher-denomination definitive postage stamps, as only ONE perforation gauge was used over the entire lifetime of this Cross and Numeral series.

The different issues described in this page are presented in Zumstein catalog order.  I personally find this listing format very logical and easy to understand. The Michel listings are excruciatingly precise, but they can be confusing.

Control Mark Type I

Control Type II


The so-called cross-in-oval watermark is NOT ACTUALLY A PAPER WATERMARK at all! The cross-in-oval was impressed into the paper, as a control mark, after its manufacture.

Two types of the cross-in-oval control mark were used.

  • Type I - This control mark was used from 1862 through 1892.  On this type, the oval is 8.9 mm wide at its widest point.  The branches of the cross are thicker, and the double lines of the oval are fairly wide apart.
  • Type II - This control mark was used from 1894 though 1904, when it was abandoned in favor of paper containing the Swiss Cross watermark.  On this type, the oval is 8.4 mm wide at its widest point.  The branches of the cross are thinner, and the double lines of the oval are very close to each other.





Cross and Numeral Issues

Cross-in-Oval Control Mark
Perforated 11 3/4



The five Cross and Numeral type definitive stamps shown above were issued on April 1, 1882.  These new stamps are printed on white, wove paper, with the Cross-in-Oval control mark Type I.

Their catalog listing attributes are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #53) - Olive Brown.
  • 05 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #54) - Brown Lilac.
  • 10 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #55) - Rose.
  • 12 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #56) - Ultramarine.
  • 15 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #57) - Yellow.


White Paper (left) and Granite Paper (right)


The seven Cross and Numeral type definitive stamps shown above were issued between April 1882 and December 1889.  These new Swiss stamps are printed on granite paper, with the Cross-in-Oval control mark Type I.

Their catalog listing attributes are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #58A) - Olive Brown.
  • 03 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #59A) - Gray.
  • 05 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #60A) - Brown Lilac.
  • 10 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #61A) - Carmine, Rose, Carmine Rose.
  • 12 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #62A) - Ultramarine.
  • 15 C.  (1882 - Type I - Zu. #63A) - Yellow, Yellow Orange, Orange.
  • 15 C.  (1889 - Type I - Zu. #64A) - Purple.

Six of the seven Cross and Numeral type definitive stamps shown in the scan directly above were re-issued in 1894.  These re-issued Swiss stamps are printed on granite paper, with the Cross-in-Oval control mark Type II.

Their catalog listing attributes are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1894 - Type II - Zu. #58B) - Olive Brown.
  • 03 C.  (1894 - Type II - Zu. #59B) - Gray.
  • 05 C.  (1894 - Type II - Zu. #60B) - Brown Lilac.
  • 10 C.  (1894 - Type II - Zu. #61B) - Vermilion.
  • 12 C.  (1894 - Type II - Zu. #62B) - Ultramarine, Blue.
  • 15 C.  (1894 - Type II- Zu. #64B) - Lilac, Brown Lilac.


The 5 C. denomination stamp shown above was printed in green, beginning in 1899.  This stamp is printed on granite paper, with the Cross-in-Oval control mark Type II.

Its catalog listing detail follows:

  • 05 C.  (1899 - Type II - Zu. #65B) - Green.



During 1905, a new granite paper containing a Swiss Cross watermark was introduced, and all Swiss postage stamps have been printed on paper with this watermark since then. The new watermark is shown in the image above.


Paper with Swiss Cross Watermark
Perforated 11 3/4



The six Cross and Numeral type definitive stamps shown above were issued during August 1906.  These Swiss stamps are printed on granite paper, with the Swiss Cross watermark.

Their catalog listing attributes are as follows:

  • 02 C.  (1906 - Zu. #80) - Olive Brown.
  • 03 C.  (1906 - Zu. #81) - Brownish Gray.
  • 05 C.  (1906 - Zu. #82) - Green.
  • 10 C.  (1906 - Zu. #83) - Vermilion, Red.
  • 12 C.  (1906 - Zu. #84) - Ultramarine.
  • 15 C.  (1906 - Zu. #85) - Brown Lilac.





eBay Auction and Store Links

Switzerland

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 most of the European eBay sites are priced in EUROS.  The lots on the Switzerland eBay site are priced in SWISS FRANCS.  The Swiss Franc is roughly equivalent to the US Dollar.  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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Swiss Stamps - Cross & Numeral Issues of 1882-1907






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