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Wurttemberg Stamps

Numeral and Arms Issues

The first Wurttemberg stamps were issued in 1851, with the stamp designs being very similar to the first stamp issues of Baden. The postal services of Wurttemberg had been provided by Thurn and Taxis, but they joined the German-Austria Postal Union in 1850, which required the adoption of their own postage stamps.

The new stamps, shown above, were placed on sale at post offices in the kingdom in October of 1851.

The new adhesive postage stamps were typographed in black on unwatermarked paper of various colors. The 1 Kr. was printed on buff paper, the 3 Kr. on yellow paper, the 6 Kr. on yellow green paper, the 9 Kr. on rose paper, and the 18 Kr., issued in 1852, on dull violet paper. The new designs featured a square frame, with Wurttemberg at the top and Freimarke at the bottom. In the middle of each stamp was a black numeral, imposed over a diamond shaped ornament.

Reprints of these stamps were made around 1864. On the reprints, the the word "Wurttemberg" is smaller, and the right branch of the "r's" runs upward, instead of downward.

There are multiple types on the lower denominations and many plate varieties for this issue. See the Michel Deutschland Spezialkatalog Vol. I for details.

In 1857, a new series of Wurttemberg stamps, as shown above, were introduced. These new postage stamps were typographed in color on white paper, with an embossed arms of the kingdom in the middle. The word "Wurttemberg" no longer appears at the top of the stamps. Instead, "FREIMARKE" is at the top, and the denomination, spelled out in numerals and letters, appears on each of the three remaining sides.

The paper used for this issue contained orange silk security threads, running horizontally across the sheet, through each row of stamps. This paper was reportedly obtained from Bavaria, who had employed silk security threads for all their numeral definitives, issued after 1850.

The reprints of this issue have red or yellowish security threads, and the stamps are printed 2 mm apart, instead of the 3/4 mm separation of the originals.

The stamps of the 1859 issue, shown above, were similar in color to the previous issue, but they were printed on white paper, without silk security threads.

In 1859 a perforating machine was ordered from Vienna, by the postal administrations of Baden and Wurttemberg, and the new machine was setup at Carlsruhe. For the purpose of facilitating the separation of sheets of stamps, experimentation began in late 1859, utilizing the current imperforate arms definitive postage stamps.

In 1860, some of the newly perforated sheets of stamps were released for sale. They were printed on thick paper and were perforated 13 1/2.

The 1 Kr., 3 Kr., and 6 Kr. denominations are shown above. There was also a 9 Kr., which is not shown in the image.

In 1861, the perforation experiments were deemed a success. All of the existing denominations of the current imperforate arms definitive postage stamps, were re-issued on thin paper, and they were all now perforated 13 1/2.

All of them but the 3 Kr. are shown in the image above.

In 1862, the 1 Kr., 3 Kr., 6 Kr., and 9 Kr. Wurttemberg stamps, shown above, were again re-issued, but they were now perforated 10.

The German-Austrian Postal Administration adopted a regulation under which all the members agreed to use the same colors for their 3 Kr. 6 Kr. and 9 Kr. stamps. Because of the change in color to these denominations, this forced additional color changes to the 1 Kr. and 18 Kr. denominations, as well.

In the 1863 issue, shown above, the perforated 10 gauge was kept, but the postage stamps were issued in new colors, per the German-Austrian Postal Administration regulations. Many shades of these new colors exist though.

In 1865, the Wurttemberg postal service ordered a rouletting machine from Berlin, so they wouldn't have to travel all the way to Carlsruhe, every time they wanted to perforate new stocks of printed sheets of stamps. The new arms definitives of 1863 were now rouletted 10.

The only problem with rouletting sheets of postage stamps was that it made a mess of the individual stamps, when trying to separate them from the sheet, as is evident in some of the examples above.

The 7 Kr. denomination, in blue, was added in 1868, due to a postal rate increase.

In 1873, after the Wurttemberg stamps of the embossed arms design had been retired, a new arms denomination, the 70 Kr., was issued. The new stamp was imperforate and was issued in sheets with a dotted line, for separation, drawn around each of the individual stamps on the sheet.

These new Wurttemberg stamps were issued for heavy letter mail, and they were only used at the Stuttgart, Ulm, and Heilbron post offices. They were not available for sale to the public and were only used by the postal clerks in the three post offices noted above.

They are rare in mint condition and very rare postally used.

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Wurttemberg Stamps - Numeral and Arms Issues - 1851-1874