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German States Stamps


Issues of 1864-1865

All the existing denominations of the German states stamps for the Free City of Hamburg were re-issued, beginning in August 1864, with the new sheets of stamps being perforated.

A new 7 Schilling denomination stamp, printed in a different color from that of the 1859 stamp, was issued in February 1865.

The physical attributes of these re-issued German states stamps for the Free City of Hamburg are identical to those of the imperforate stamp issues of 1859-1864, with the exception that the new sheets were perforated 13 ½

The catalog attributes are as follows.

  • 00 1/2 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #10, Sc. #13) - Black.
  • 01 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #11, Sc. #14) - Brown.
  • 01 1/4 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #12, Sc. #22) - Lilac, Red Lilac.
  • 02 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #13, Sc. #15) - Red.
  • 02 1/2 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #14, Sc. #23) - Yellow Green (Blurred).
  • 03 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #15, Sc. #17) - Ultramarine, Blue, Prussian Blue.
  • 04 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #16, Sc. #18) - Green, Blue Green.
  • 07 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #17, Sc. #19) - Orange.
  • 07 Sch.  (1865 - Mi. #19, Sc. #20) - Violet.
  • 09 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #18, Sc. #21) - Yellow.

Any perforated stamps with gauges other than 13 ½ are probably reprints or forgeries.

Michel #12a - Type I

Michel #12a-12b - Type II

There were two different types of separator lines used for the 1 ¼ Schilling and 2 ½ Schilling perforated denomination stamps.  Paraphrased from the Michel catalog, they are as follows:

  • Type I - (used for the imperforate issues and some of the perforated issues) - Strong separator lines.
  • Type II - (used only for the perforated issues) - Weaker, often incomplete, separator lines.

The perforated stamps, with the Type I separator lines, are very scarce.

German States Stamps - Hamburg

Forgeries and Reprints

Generally speaking, if any of the perforated German states stamps of Hamburg issued in 1864-1865, show a watermark, and they are perforated 13 ½, they are probably authentic.  Though this presumption is widely accepted, it can, in some cases, be a dangerous practice.

Used examples of the 9 Schilling are very rare.  It would be safe to assume that any canceled examples of these that are not authenticated  probably have forged cancellations.

To make things a lot more technical here, each of the perforated stamps has plate characteristics that are NOT PRESENT on the forgeries and reprints.  The plating characteristics of the perforated stamps are identical to those of the imperforate stamps issued between 1859 and 1864.  For the detailed drawings, please refer to the Issues of 1859 and the Issues of Early 1864 pages.

Many private reprints exist of the 1 ¼ Schilling and 2 ½ Schilling perforated stamp denominations, with most of them having been manufactured by the infamous Hamburg stamp dealer / wholesaler, Julius Goldner.

Private Reprints by Julius Goldner

The vast majority of the private reprints are printed on papers of varying thickness and colors, and they are unwatermarked.  The rare watermarked reprints do not have the same plating characteristics (secret marks) that are found on the original stamps.

Overall, the reprints are characterized by poor impressions that do not exhibit the clear detail of the original printings, and their colors are not exactly the same as those of the originals.  As shown in the scan above, the 1 ¼ Sch. reprints are printed in colors that were not even used for the original stamps.  On the other hand though, the 2 ½ Sch. reprints are closer to the shades used on some of the original printings.

Thus, for authentication purposes, these two perforated stamp denominations MUST BE PLATED.

For additional specialized research .... The Postage Stamps of Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck and Bergedorf by Dr. Georges Brunel  is available on CD through  The highlights of this book include enlarged drawings and detailed descriptions of the varieties and marks found only on the genuine stamps. There are chapters on the reprints and forgeries of the stamps of each state, explaining how they can be distinguished from the genuine stamps. Around 100 illustrations. 41 pages.


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Hamburg - Issues of 1864-1865