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Weimar Republic

Airmail Issues


In 1919, the Weimar Republic began issuing airmail stamps, that is, definitive postage stamps, designed to be used specifically for mail carried on airplanes or airships.

Of course, regular definitive postage stamps could be used to make up airmail rates, as airmail stamps could be used to make up surface letter rates.  The new airmail stamps though, had designs emblematic of the new technology of aviation, during this exciting new era.

Packages being loaded on a biplane for a
Berlin - Weimar Airmail Flight in February 1919
Photo from the Bundesarchiv

The first official German airmail stamps were issued on November 10, 1919.  They are shown above (Mi. #111-12, Sc. #C1-2).

The 10 Pf. design shows a winged posthorn, and the the 40 Pf. design shows an early biplane.  A rare ungummed variety of the 40 Pf. airmail stamp exists imperforate.

Between 1922 and 1923, the airmail stamps in the two scans above (Mi. #210-18, #235-37, Sc. #C3-14) were issued.  The high denominations, from the 1 Mk. through the 100 Mk. are bi-colored.

These stamps feature a Carrier Pigeon in Flight, an allegorical representation of airmail.  Over history, carrier pigeons have been used to deliver messages by air over great distances.

As can be seen by the large denominations of these airmail stamps, they were issued during the beginning of the period of hyperinflation in Germany.

Later, in 1923, the 5 Mk. - 100 Mk. denomination airmail stamps were re-issued, and a 200 Mk. denomination was added (Mi. #263-67, Sc. #C15-19).  These stamps are single-colored instead of bi-colored.

After the period of hyperinflation in late 1923, new airmail stamps had to be re-issued, with their denominations expressed in the reformed German currency.

The airmail stamps shown above (Mi. #344-50, Sc. #C20-26) were issued on January 11, 1924, and they are all denominated in Pfennig.  The designs are the same as those airmail stamps of the previous issues, but the sizes of these stamps are smaller.

These new airmail stamps were not in use for very long, and as a result, they are quite a bit scarcer than the previous issues.  A mint condition LH set can run considerably over $200.

The 5 Pf., 20 Pf., and 200 Pf. denominations come with upright and sideways watermarks.  The sideways watermarked issues are the scarcer of the two.

Between April 1926 and May 1927, the Weimar Republic issued the set of eight airmail definitive postage stamps shown above (Mi. #378-84, Sc. #C27-34).

The designs feature a stylized German Eagle Taking Flight.  These would continue in use, as the standard airmail definitive postage stamps, until the beginning of the Third Reich.

The 10 Pf., 15 Pf., and 20 Pf. denominations were also issued in booklets.  Booklet panes of these are quite expensive.

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Airmail Issues - 1919-1927