This lot 4200 will be auctioned in our 53rd Auction.
After the end of the Third Reich in spring 1945, Germany and especially the postal service were in (total) disorder. Each of the four allies had different plans and ideas for the restart of Germany and its postal system. Some post offices restarted within days, others needed months. The allies agreed that the stamps depicting Hitler could not longer be used – for obvious political reasons – and this created a shortage of stamps. Some (local) commanders allowed overprints or even simple ink defacements (so called “Sächische Schwärzungen”). Other post offices – following older rulebooks by the German Reichspost and the UPU – used “postage paid” hand stamps – occasionally bilingual with the French “Taxe percue” as French was the language of the Universal Postal Union – and such post marks were part of the regular equipment of a German post office. Of cause these rubber stamps required that the paid amount was inserted manually. Some (not all) post masters as well as local authorities or local commanders from the allies start to print “provisional” stamps – some with very elaborate designs, others like the one here shown more simple.
Some of the organisers behind these local issues did not bother to clarify decisions with their superiors, others, as in Freudenstadt – a town situated on the western side of the Black Forrest – got the permission from the “representative of the RPD Stuttgart to the French military government in Tübingen” on 9th October 1945 – so this stamp with official recognition both from the German postal administration and the allied military authorieties is still listed in the Michel catalogue, whereas similar stamps, listed in the past, were kicked out.
Nevertheless, the printing was done locally, and it looked that some characters in the letter box had shortages also: at the lower of the show stamps the “b” in “bez.” (=paid) is not a “b” but an inverted “q” – a constant error on position 15 of the sheet. Commercial used examples of these locals are rare, on a registered letter they are very rare – the registration fee was paid cash according to the manuscript note belong the pair.
The signing of the postal contract between Philip the Fair and Francis of Taxis in 1505 is also attributed with the establishment of the first modern postal service. Initially conducted only as a dynastic postal service, it became available to the general public around 1530, with the main postal route in the Holy Roman Empire initially being the Dutch postal route. German princes did not set up their own postal routes until the second half of the 16th century. The main cities of Augsburg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Leipzig and Hamburg were connected by postal routes.
The history of philately, however, began in 1840 with the One Penny Black. Gradually, other states followed their lead. In 1846, following England's example, the principle of the postage stamp was finally adopted in German states, with an initial proposal in February 1845. The pioneer was the Kingdom of Bavaria, which issued the first German stamp, the " Schwarze Einser", on 1 November 1849. It appeared in a fairly large issue of 832,000 stamps and had a face value of one Kreuzer,
the franking at the time for a local letter and the rate for sending printed materials such as price lists or advertising brochures. However, only large post offices were open on the publication date, the All Saints' Day holiday, and consequently only a few stamps are known to have been used as early as November 1.
However, the design of the stamp in deep black ink, designed by the engraver Johann Peter Haseney, whose initials are printed hidden in the patterned background of the large overprinted value, did not prove to be successful, as it was cancelled with black ink. The stamp was produced on two different plates, with the first plate causing a blurred, coarse print. The second plate from 1850 produced a clearer print. With the first plate, printing took place on a double sheet of 180 pieces, and with the second plate, only on a single sheet of 90 pieces. Consequently, the print quality improved. The dark black strip of three shown here was printed with the first plate in 1849 (first printing).
This lot 2726 will be auctioned in our 53rd Auction.
What the English call "sticks out like a sore thumb" is called "known as a colorful dog" in German. The linguistic image is different, but the meaning is identical.
Even if you do not deal with the ethymology of this proverb, the question remains what color the colorful dog had: the airmail collectors named a stamp of the "Flugpost am Rhein und Main" (airmail in the Frankfurt area) for the first flight of Ferdinand von Hiddessen on 10 June 1912 overprinted with the name of the aircraft “Gelber Hund” (yellow dog).
The organizers sold these stamps on red airmail cards at three marks, franked with three of these surcharged stamps and a 5 Pfg Germania and guaranteed the flight of this card with the "Yellow Dog". These cards are called "Red Dog" by some philatelists.
Now, the organizers had planned to overprint "Yellow Dog" - matching the name - in yellow color, but after printing the first sheet they realized that yellow on orange is not very clearly noticeable and spontaneously changed the overprint color to blue. So the stamp should actually be called "Blue Dog" ... the sheet already overprinted with yellow was also overprinted in blue, so that a double print in two colors was created - and these double prints were used like the only one-color blue overprint stamps and sold to the visitors of the air shows in the Rhine-Main area. Of the 100 printed, only 33 double prints have been recovered as of April 2020 - one of which we show here - and will offer in the upcoming June auction.
It happens more often that recognized artists design stamps. The Jugendstil artist Koloman Moser, Friedrich Hundertwasser or, a few years ago, Keith Haring for Deutsche Post AG are just the better-known examples. Karl Graf, also known as the "Painter of the Wine Route," was a German painter and graphic artist who primarily artistically captured the Palatinate landscape, typical Palatinate villages, genre scenes such as viticulture, and iconic views. In his painterly style, Graf described the Mediterranean of his Palatinate homeland.
He first made mainly open-air sketches before painting the oil paintings in large format in the studio. Today, many of his paintings are owned by the State Galleries in Munich and Dresden. Graf also designed four drafts of the stamps issues of the French zone Rhineland-Palatinate, belonging to the series "Hilfswerk Ludwigshafen, St. Martin and St. Christopher", where two stamps (Mi No. 30 + 31) were accepted. The illustration shown shows printing plates from the design phase of this series.
Transylvania, originally located in the Hungarian imperial part of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, belonged to Romania after World War I. The state post office did not serve some hotels/tourist resorts located in the Carpathians with busy postal traffic, so private posts to the nearest state post office were established by the Transylvanian Carpathian Association or by the hotels.
These are the spa house "Hohe Rinne", the villa settlement "Magura" and the vacation resort "Bistra". These private postal stamps are partly very rare, especially on cards or covers. Because of the variety of perforations, colors and cancellations, these issues are very popular with many philatelists.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser was a multifaceted artist who travelled the world and left his mark everywhere, from the Hundertwasser Railway Station in Uelzen on the edge of the Lüneburg Heath to the Quixote Winery in the Napa Valley, USA and the Hundertwasser Toilet in Kawakama in New Zealand, to name just a few of his projects. As an Austrian, he is of course also represented in Vienna, namely with the Hundertwasser House, which was built between 1983 and 1985.
In 1987, the Austrian Post Office dedicated a European stamp entitled "Modern Architecture" to this house. This stamp will certainly be of interest not only to Austria collectors but also to thematic experts in the fields of Architecture, Art, Europe/CEPT. In imperforate condition, this is extraordinarily rare.
Lot 6890 will be auctioned in our 52nd Auction.
Lot 3682 will be sold in our 52nd auction.
Indian stamps were used in many places outside India (the international term for this is "used abroad"), including Aden, Nepal, Burma, various Persian Gulf states, etc. This also applies to Singapore, the British port of departure for mail from Southeast Asia to Europe. Single stamps can usually be determined by the cancellation if they were used in Singapore. However, not in cases where a stamp is cancelled with a mute cancel (standard type, diamond-shaped with 9x9 dots), which was used for cancellation in numerous Indian post offices.
This is only possible if the stamp is affixed to a cover that clearly proves the origin "Singapore", at best by a local postmark next to the stamp or on the back of the cover, as shown. Apart from the fact that this mute cancellation is little known when used in Singapore, the fact that it is struck on a 4-cornered 4 Anna stamp from 1854 makes the cover an exceptional rarity.
These private stamps show photographic representations (portraits) of the royal family and were intended primarily for use by members of the ruling family within the palace area. Usually, one stamp was used for mailing within the palace area, and two stamps were used for mailing outside of it. There are only a few of these stamps in private hands.
Lot 2123 will be auctioned on 15 February 2022.
Between 1814 and the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919, Gdansk belonged to Prussia. According to Article 100 et seq. of this treaty, it was detached from the German Empire, declared a free city and placed under the protection of the League of Nations. Thus, Gdansk had become a free state. Inflation in Germany in 1922/1923 affected Gdansk, as the Free City adhered to the Mark currency. To stabilize the currency, the rentenmark was introduced in the German Reich, but Gdansk decided to take a different path: The Senate of Gdansk created the guilder at 100 pfennigs in the law
„Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht“ („Silent Night, Holy Night) is certainly one of the most famous Christmas carols in the world. It has been translated into over 300 languages and dialects, is on the UNESCO list as an intangible cultural heritage of Austria since 2011, and is the favourite hymn of Pope Francis and certainly of many others. This hymn was first performed at St. Nikola Church in Oberndorf near Salzburg in 1818 by the curate Joseph Mohr, who had already written the text in 1816, and by the village schoolteacher and organist Franz Xaver Gruber. Unusual for a church hymn is the (original) instrumentation of two male voices (tenor and baritone) with guitar accompaniment, an instrument which in those days was associated more with the tavern than the church.
The fact that this instrumentation is due to a hungry church mouse that would have gnawed the bellows in the days before Christmas is a legend from the 1950s,
but this does not prevent the confectioners in Salzburg Land from selling „Stille Nacht-Mäuschen“ (Silent Night Mice).
It is not surprising that this hymn is honored on more than one stamp. This imperforated copy of the Austrian Christmas stamp from 1968 was issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the first performance. Pictured is the nativity scene from the „Silent Night“ memorial chapel in Oberndorf/Austria.
This quite rare stamp will be auctioned in our 52nd auction in March 2022. In addition, there will be an extensive offer of imperforated stamps and stage proofs of Austria from the period 1966 to 2001. In particular, we can already recommend the Austria section of the upcoming auction to thematic collectors.
The first issues of Venezuela, barely larger than a fingernail, have always fascinated collectors of the South American states, not at least because of the different shades of color and sometimes rare cancellations, often with postmarks from the pre-adhesive era.
The color error was mentioned in the literature as early as 1912, but was then forgotten. Until today, only very few genuine copies of this very rare stamp have become known. There is a mint item (ex-Ferrary and
ex-Heister), a used item (heavily repaired) and a used item (ex-Ferrary). The item offered in our 52nd auction is a new discovery and the best used specimen known to date. Dr. Knut Heister, a great connoisseur and expert on the stamps of Venezuela, writes this in his photo certificate from 2021. We ware proud to be able to auction one of the greatest rarities of the Venezuela philately.
Find this lot in our 52nd Auction.
During an appraisal of a collection, our philatelists came across a card dated 5.3.1941, which is interesting not only in philately, but also from a contemporary historical point of view. It was written by Mr. Alfred Sommerguth to Dr. Paul Flütsch in Lugano, concerning Mr. Sommerguth‘s entry into Switzerland and the announcement of an amount of 6000 or even 8000 francs that Mr. Sommerguth could put up as a deposit. Alfred Sommerguth and his wife Getrud were important art collectors and had assembled a collection of 106 paintings. These, being of Jewish faith, were successively stolen from them by the ruling Nazis,
through pseudo-legal activities such as a foreclosure at H.W. Lange, Berlin. The earnings were used to pay the due „Judenvermögensteuer“ (Jewish property tax). The remaining assets were also withheld from them by a blocking of accounts, so that the couple were completely penniless in exile, contrary to the optimistic assumption stated in this card of 5.3.1941. At least the couple made it via Switzerland, Portugal and Cuba to New York, where Mr. Sommerguth died impoverished in 1950, his wife following him four years later.
The Scott Catalogue prices the card without printed address at $14,000, versus $2,500.00 with the printed address. The entire stock of 500 cards was inadvertently sent to Booth, Dailey & Ivins in New York where they were shortly thereafter pre-printed with their address etc. As a result of the printing there remained no Mint cards for collectors. This „Unmarked Specimen“ long ago became accepted as a full mint card in order to allow collectors to have a complete unused collection. Albert Daggett, the contractor for the printing of the Full Face card, was never able to
satisfy the Post Office in Washington due to sub-standard quality of his productions. All submitted samples were rejected and as a result the entire stock of 1,625,000 cards was ordered destroyed by the PMG on April 29, 1902. Another card Full Face McKinley mint was sold at Siegel auction in 2010 at a hammer price of US$16,500.
„Samples without value“ are a particularly inexpensive form of dispatch by the Universal Postal Union. Franked lids of raisin boxes from the German Post Office in Constantinople, fabric samples glued to postal stationeries, straws and dried flowers inserted in letters - such unusual examples, which has long been indispensable in international trade can be found from time to time in auction catalogs.In the present case, it is a still original sealed tea sample with address label from Colombo (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) dated July 1949, addressed to Düsseldorf. Registered airmail certainly reclaimed some of the savings that the „sample without value“ mailing form brought, but the Colombo shipper seems to have chosen this combination more often, having affixed a postmark with this type of mailing. Still, very few of these sample shipments are
likely to exist today, as most recipients may have been interested in the quality sample of the tea and may not have even noticed the unusual combination of shipping methods.
Overall, a fine example of international trade after World War II, which should not only be of interest for Ceylon or Commonwealth collectors, but can also find its place in a collection on the history of Germany as an example of the Wirtschaftswunder of the beginning economic miracle.
Is the tea still enjoyable after more than 70 years?
I would not want to try it, but the seals would have to be broken and destroy this decorative work.
Find this lot in our 52nd Auction.
After World War I, when the Saar region, an important location for the coal and steel industry, was placed under a League of Nations mandate and under French administration, series of postage stamps with views of the Saarland were issued. The highest nominal of 25 Deutsche Mark showed the smoking chimneys of the Burbach ironworks, which illustrates the enormous importance of heavy industry at that time. While nowadays states are courting for battery and chip factories in order not to be dependent on fragile global supply chains, coal and steel production had the importance to provide the materials for armaments at that time. How priorities have changed.
The French administration did its utmost, of course, to connect the Saar region economically to France; thus, the gradual introduction of the French franc took place from the end of 1920/beginning of 1921. The existing stamps in Mark currency were overprinted with the new value in Franc. The inverted overprint shown here was only applied (by mistake) to a sheet of 20 stamps. A small underrated rarity that one has the opportunity to acquire every few years.
Germany and Great Britain exchanges Heligoland for Zanzibar in 1890. In the aftermath of this exchange the island MAFIA – situated east of Tansania – became part of the German East Africa. In January 1915 British-Indian troops occupied Mafia while main parts of the colony were under German control until 1917.
Michel lists these two years four different overprint sets with 32 catalog numbers (not included the various variants), Stanley Gibbons adds two additional overprinted sets on Indian Expeditory Forces stamps.
During May (Stanley Gibbons) or July (Michel) the
british administration issued a set of stamps, where the German East African definities were surcharged „G.R. POST 6 CENTS MAFIA“, changing the denomination from Heller and Rupies into cents. The Rupies values of these series are rare, used examples even rarer and are so rarely offered, that they might be “unique”. For sure it is a unique chance to purchase these stamps now.
Probably the most beautiful of the three Rupei values offered in this auction: lot 6432, a 2 Rupies green of the Yacht design, which features a clear overprint and a neat “FPO 343”.