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A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Denmark "Royal Emblems" Issues 1851-1863: A closer look

1855 Scott 3 2s blue "Royal Emblems"
Dotting in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
Into the Deep Blue

The 1851-1863 "Royal Emblems" square shaped imperforated and rouletted stamps of Denmark, the very first issues, are fascinating - Definitely worth a closer look!

They are typographed printed (Alas, not engraved!), and have a "Small Crown" (Wmk 111) watermark, with a few examples having a "Crown" (Wmk 112) watermark.

Scott has ten major numbers between 1851-63, and  nine major numbers show the "Royal Emblems" overall design (Scott 1 has a different look).  The CV is relatively modest for Scott 2 ($40), Scott 4 ($15), and Scott 7 ($8+). Others are a bit more expensive: (Scott 3 ($60); Scott 5 ($67+); Scott 8 ($82+)). 

Finally, the Scott 1($1,000) is quite expensive (Not a "Royal Emblems" design, and will not be covered here); the Scott 6 is $190, and the Scott 10 is $650 (although "Royal Emblems", I don't have, and will not be covered). These CV prices are for "used" from the 2020 Scott catalogue.

Resources consulted for this post include the Scott catalogue, the Michel Classic Europe 1840-1900 catalogue (2017), and the Scandinavian Facit catalogue (2008 Special).

96 Skilling "S"  (Rigsbank Skilling "RBS") = 1 Rigsbank Daler

1851 Scott 2 4rs brown "Royal Emblems"
A2 design; Yellow Brown Burelage
The "Royal Emblems" motif design was used for the first issue (1851- this one stamp), the 1854-57 issue, and the 1858-62 & 1863 issue. 

The 1851 Scott 2 (above) has an A2 design; the 1854-57 issue (four stamps) has the A3 design; the 1858-62 issue (two stamps) has the A4 design, while the rouletted 1863 issue (two stamps) have an A4 and A3 design respectively. The difference in design will become clear as we discuss the respective issues.

The A2 design (above): for the frame, has "Kongeligt" and ""Frimerke" printed out on the left and right sides respectively (unique for A2).

The major color is "brown", although Scott does list "yellow brown" & ""chestnut" for minor colors.

Note the numeral postmark "36" for this stamp? The 2020 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue lists the towns/ P.O locations (some 173 of them!) that these numeral postmarks signify, and "36" is "Kolding" with a CV of $52+.

Note the Yellow Brown Burlage?
All of the "Royal Emblems" designs stamps have a burlage imprinted on the stamp paper (sometimes fairly weak). Of interest, the first printing of the 1851issue (Scott 1 & 2) had the burlage printed from a copper plate, giving a clear impression, while the rest of the impressions for the issue(s) were typographed.

In total, four plates were used for the 4rs, with 100 cliches in each plate.

1st printing (plates 1 & 2): (Ferslew): April 1, 1851: 3.8 million
2nd printing (plates 1 & 2): (Thiele): April, 1852: 4 million
3rd printing (plates 1 & 2): (Thiele): 1853: 4 million
4th printing (Plates 3 & 4): (Thiele): 1854: 4 million

Upper row: "Small Crown" (Wmk 111)
Lower row: "Small Crown" & "Crown" (Wmk 112)
All of the 1851-63 "Royal Emblem" stamps are watermarked. And the good news, is they are usually easy to see, often even without watermarking fluid. !!

The 1851, 1854-57, and the 1858-62 (with one exception) issues are all Wmk 111 ("Small Crown"). The rouletted 1863 issue is Wmk 112 ("Crown").

The difference? The lower oval is larger for Wmk 112, and the upper two irregular circles for Wmk 112 also are larger and bulge out a little more (But not as much as Wmk 113).

1851 Scott 2 4rs"Royal Emblems"
A2 design; Yellow Brown Burelage
I think the color for this 1851 Scott 2 is more of a "maroon-brown" rather than "brown". Michel lists a "red-brown" for 1852. Facit lists "chocolate-brown" shades, "red-brown" shades, "black-brown", "yellow-brown", "chestnut", "grey-brown", "olive-brown", and "nut-brown".

Note "1"? for the numeral postmark? - Might be "Kjobenhawn" (CV $40). 

1851 Scott 2 4rs"Royal Emblems"
A2 design; Yellow Brown Burelage
It is clear that a bulls-eye cancel (with dot in the middle) was also used. The numeral cancellations are only found after October, 1852.

I should mention that Facit illustrates a number of consistent plate flaws for the 1851 4rs, if one wants to go down that specialist's rabbit hole. ;-)

1855 Scott 3 2s blue "Royal Emblems"
A3 Design: Dotting in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
Between 1854-57, a four stamp issue was produced with the A3 design.

The issue has "KGL" and "FRM" in the frames along the left and right sides respectively. But the 1858-62 issue has the same look, so the difference is the "Dotting in Spandrels".

This 2s stamp was first issued July 5, 1855.

CV (unused) is $75 for the 2s.

The Scott 3 2s in Scott is only listed as "blue". To me, this stamp has more of an aquamarine color. Michel also lists "light blue". Facit has "blue in shades", "light blue", "greenish blue", and "dark blue".

1855 Scott 3 2s blue "Royal Emblems"
Dotting in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
The color looks to me to be a "blue".

The "1" numeral postmark indicates "Kjobenhavn" (CV $40).

The 2s was printed using 2 plates. (One printing: 4 million)

Close-up of "Dotting in Spandrels"
Here is a close-up of the A3 "Dotting in Spandrels" design.

1854 Scott 4a 4s yellow brown  "Royal Emblems"
Dotting in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
The 4s was issued May, 1854, and, like the rest of the 1854-57 issue, has an A3 design (dotting in spandrels). CV is $15.

Scott lists Scott 4 as "yellow brown" and Scott 4a as "brown". My example looks more orange-brown, which agrees with Michel's description of color choices as "red-brown" and "orange-brown". Facit has, for the 4s: "brown", "orange-brown" (1854), "light chestnut" (1854), "reddish brown" (1855), "light orange brown" (1856), "orange brown" (1857), ""reddish brown" (1860), and "dark red brown" (1860).

There were six printings from three pairs of plates.

More importantly, there are three types of stamps printed of the 4s: Type I, Type II, Type III.
Type I: Control number in lower left corner square is a 4. Dot only after FRM.
Type II: Control number in lower left corner square is a 4. Dot after R and M in  FRM.
Type III: Control number in lower left corner is a 2. Dot after R and M in  FRM.

Let's take a look at this example...

Unfortunately, this example has a color "blob" in the right upper corner of the lower left corner square, so is it a "4" or a "2"? :Unknown. But this example only has one one dot after "M" of FRM. Therefore this is a Type I.  

1854 Scott 4a 4s yellow brown  "Royal Emblems"
Dotting in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
The color again looks "orange-brown". This stamp has a "55" numeral postmark: "Ribe" 

Let's look at what type...

Unfortunately, the cancel ink goes right through the area of the lower left corner square, so I cannot discern if it is a "4" or a "2". But there is a dot after "R" and "M" in FRM. Therefore, I can narrow the possibilities to Type II or Type III.

1857 Scott 6 16s gray lilac"Royal Emblems"
Dotting in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
Scott gives only "gray lilac" as the color, and this stamp is definitely gray. CV is $190.

The numeral postmark "30" indicates that this stamp was cancelled in Horsens.

Michel indicates that 565,000 stamps were produced.

Facit says there was one printing from one plate of Type III. And, if one looks carefully, one can see a "2" in the right upper corner of the lower left corner square, :-)

Facit also lists three colors: "grey", "violet-grey", "grey-violet".

1858 Scott 7 4s yellow brown "Royal Emblems"
A4: "Wavy lines in Spandrels", Yellow Brown Burlage
The 1858-62 issue of two stamps (4s & 8s) is identical to the 1854-57 issue in outward appearance except there are wavy lines in the Spandrels rather than dots.

The 4s stamp was issued May, 1858 in double sheets of 2X100 stamps. There were five printings from two double plates: output 44 million. CV $8+.

The 4s stamp can exist as Wmk 111 (small crown) and Wmk 112 (Crown), so check watermatks for this issue denomination.

Scott lists "yellow brown" as the major color, and also "brown", for the 4s stamp. Michel has "orange brown" and "dark brown" as the colors for the Wmk 111 stamp, and "brown" for the Wmk 112 stamp.

Facit lists "brown", "orange brown" (1858), "brown reddish brown" (1859), "red brown", "dirty brown" (1860), "dull brown", "dark coffee brown", and "rose brown" (1861).

1854 Scott 7 4s yellow brown  "Royal Emblems"
Waving lines in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
The numeral postmark on this 4s looks like "1": "Kjobenhavn".

Wavy Lines in Spandrels close-up
If it is not already apparent, here is a close-up of the wavy lines in the Spandrel (A4 design).

1854 Scott 7 4s yellow brown  "Royal Emblems"
Wavy lines in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
Perhaps this stamp is the closest I have to Scott's "yellow brown". It is curious though that neither Michel or Facit describes any 4s stamp with that color. I think "orange brown" is more accurate.

1854 Scott 7a 4s  brown  "Royal Emblems"
Wavy lines in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
Now this is interesting. This 4s is clearly a "brown" color (compared to the others I have). Michel also lists "brown" as a color that can be found with the Wmk 112 stamp.

Upper row (Control Examples): Wmk 111 (small crown); Wmk 112 (Crown)
Lower row: (Specimen to be examined): Looks like Wmk 111
I dipped the 4s "brown" into the watermarking tray, and it is clearly a Wmk 111, not a Wmk 112.

Therefore, this example is Scott 7a "brown", with Wmk 111. If the watermark had been Wmk 112, my example would have been 1862 Scott 7b.

1858 Scott 8 8s green  "Royal Emblems"
Wavy lines in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
The other stamp, in the two stamp 1858-62 issue, is the 8s green. CV is $82+.

This stamp was issued Sept 25, 1858 with one printing from two plates. There were 777,000 stamps produced.

"Green" is the only color listed by all my catalogues.

1863 Scott 9b 4s red brown "Royal Emblems"
A4: "Wavy Lines in Spandrels", Yellow Brown Burlage
Rouletted 11, Wmk 112 (Crown)
In 1863, a two stamp rouletted issue, with Wmk 112, was released.  Recall that all preceding "Royal Emblems" stamps were imperforated, and had Wmk 111 (Except for the 1858-62 4s, which is found with both Wmk 111 & Wmk 112).

The Scott 10 16s violet is an A3 design, and I will not say more about it as I don't have it, and it is expensive (CV $650).

The above A4 design 4s, though, is a much more modest CV $15.

Scott lists three colors: Scott 9 "brown", Scott 9a "deep brown", and Scott 9b "red brown". To me, my specimen is a "red brown" color.

Michel only has "reddish brown", while Facit lists "brown", "dull yellow brown", "dull brown", and "red brown".

1858 Scott 8 8s green  "Royal Emblems"
Wavy lines in Spandrels; Yellow Brown Burelage
Out of the Blue
I learned a bit more about these early Danish "Royal Emblems" stamps, and I hope you did too!

Comments appreciated!


  1. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for this post, it let me figure out two 4s stamps I have. Also, I think that for both 8s green depicted you meant wavy lines in spandrels.

    1. Thanks Tyrannus. Actually, there were a number of stamps that the label needed to be changed to "Wavy Spandrels". That's what happens when one cuts and pastes, and forgets to change the label. :-) Now fixed.

  2. One possible way to have a "reasonable" Sc1 might be to get an 1884 reprint with burelage. Technically it was approved so not a forgery. Facit lists them for about $10. I recently finished the forgeries and found 10 of the 12 or so known ones - none really dangerous. Many collectors inherit forgeries and are not aware

  3. 8 Skilling, 1857 - I have the 1951 specialised 2 volume catalog by SCHMIDT-ANDERSEN and 3 colors are noted - yellow-green, green & blue-green. There was only 1 printing. A 1924 reprint in green is also noted.

    1. Thanks Ron for the comments.
      Check out Ron's Stamp Forgeries site at: