Between 1926 and 1928, the Saar Plebiscite Territory,
"Saargebiet" or "Saar Occupation" in German, issued their first
surcharged charity stamps and a brand new series of definitive postage
On October 25, 1926, the set of four "Volkshilfe" or "Charity" stamps shown above was issued. The new stamps were photogravure, unwatermarked, and perforated 13 1/2. The surtax was to raise funds for charitable organizations.
The four designs feature a red cross dog leading a blind man, a nurse with an invalid, children drinking at a spring, and a maternity nurse with a child.
On October 1, 1927, the same set of stamps was re-issued with the overprint "1927-1928".
At the end of 1926, the Saar Plebiscite Territory began issuing a brand new series of definitive postage stamps. The 1926-1927 issues are shown in the first three images above. These new stamps were wider than the previous definitive postage stamps, and one could say the stamps were beginning to get that French-colonial-postage-stamp "look" to them. These new stamps were printed in photogravure, and they were all perforated 13 1/2.
The designs, which are repeated throughout the set, feature (in the order of their appearance): the Market Fountain in St. Johann, a view of the Saar Valley, a scene from the Saarlouis fortifications, Colliery Shafthead, Tholey Abbey, and the Burbach Steelworks.
September 1928, two new airmail stamps were issued. They are shown in
the last scan above. Though intended for airmail service, they were
also used as regular postage stamps. The design features a biplane
flying over Saarbrücken.
On December 23, 1928, the third set, in what would become an annual charity stamp issue, was place on sale. These seven new stamps, shown above, have the same characteristics as previous (and subsequent) surcharged charity stamp issues.
The three designs, repeated in the set, feature details from paintings representing "charity", as follows: "The Blind Beggar", by Dickmans (1811-1888), "Almsgiving", by Schiestl (1869-1939), and "Charity", by Raphael (1483-1520).
The charity issues of
Saargebiet are very popular with thematic collectors of Art / Paintings
on Stamps, which has resulted in these sets becoming quite expensive.
The 1928 set, containing the painting by Raphael, is the most expensive.
Subsequent issues, though not cheap, are more affordable.