The two German states stamps for the Free City of Hamburg, issued during the first half of 1866 were a complete departure from the manufacturing characteristics of all their earlier postage stamp issues.
The new 1 ¼ Schilling denomination was issued on June 27, 1866, and the new 1 ½ Schilling denomination was issued on April 4, 1866. Authenticated blocks of them are shown above.
These new German states stamps for the Free City of Hamburg were embossed on unwatermarked paper, and they were rouletted 10 x 10.
For a set of stamps that is relatively inexpensive, at least in mint condition, determining whether examples are originals or reprints can be extremely problematic. The table below will explain the characteristics of the reprints and originals for the two denominations.
Rule of thumb ..... if a stamp EXHIBITS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING REPRINT CHARACTERISTICS, then it is a REPRINT. If a stamp DOES NOT EXHIBIT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING REPRINT CHARACTERISTICS, then it is probably an ORIGINAL.
Analysis of the Reprints shown Above
2 ½ Schilling - Mi. #22a
2 ½ Schilling - Mi. #22b
The final German states stamp for the Free City of Hamburg was issued on May 5, 1867. The new 2 ½ Schilling denomination stamp features the 1859 frame design instead of the 1864 frame design used for the former 2 ½ Schilling denomination stamp. There were two printings which are both shown above.
These new stamps were typographed on serpentine watermarked paper, and they are perforated 13 ½.
These 2 ½ Schilling stamps also exist imperforate and as horizontal and vertical pairs, imperforate between the stamps. They are scarce, as such, but the prices in the Michel catalog are quite reasonable.
On January 1, 1868, the postage stamps of the Free City of Hamburg were replaced by those of the North German Confederation.
For additional specialized research .... The Postage Stamps of Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck and Bergedorf by Dr. Georges Brunel is available on CD through Amazon.com. 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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