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German States Stamps

Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

German States stamps for the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were first issued in 1864. 

The Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was actually split in half by the larger Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.  The Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is indicated by the yellow-colored areas in the map above.  The Duchy was bordered by Schwerin, Lauenburg, and the territory of the Free City of Lübeck.

The Duchy is most famous for two royal marriages. In 1761, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz married King George III, to become the Queen Consort of Great Britain.  In 1793, Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz married Frederick William III of the House of Hohenzollern, to become the Queen Consort of Prussia and eventually the mother of the first German Emperor. In 1866, the Duchy came under the influence of the Kingdom of Prussia, and in 1868, it joined the German Confederation.  In 1871, Mecklenburg-Strelitz became a duchy of the German Empire.

The last Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Charles Michael (1863-1934).  The House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz survives to this day, though its head is referred to as Serene Highness, and he yields no power.

The six German states stamps for the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz shown above were issued in October 1864.  They are printed on white paper with an embossed Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in the center of each stamp, and they are all rouletted 11 1/2

In mint, hinged condition these stamps are moderately expensive, but they are all readily obtainable in the philatelic marketplace.  Having only been in use about three years, used condition examples of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz stamps are very rare, and fake cancellations are plentiful.  These stamps should only be purchased with proper authentication markings or certification.  The prices of used condition multiples and used condition stamps on authenticated covers are obscene, with each being in the realm of €10,000 or more!

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 1/4 Sgr.  (1864 - Mi. #1, Sc. #1) - Red Orange, Yellowish Orange.
  • 1/3 Sgr.  (1864 - Mi. #2, Sc. #2) - Gray Green, Olive Green.
  • 01 Sch.  (1864 - Mi. #3, Sc. #3) - Gray Violet (shades).
  • 01 Sgr.  (1864 - Mi. #4, Sc. #4) - Rose (shades).
  • 02 Sgr.  (1864 - Mi. #5, Sc. #5) - Ultramarine (shades).
  • 03 Sgr.  (1864 - Mi. #6, Sc. #6) - Brownish Ocher (Bister).

On January 1, 1868, the postage stamps of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were replaced by those of the North German Confederation.

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