A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

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...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Germany- Semi-Postal, Air Post, Officials, Offices Abroad

1911 Offices in Morocco: Scott 54 1p25c on 1m
German stamps of 1905  surcharged "Marokko"
Quick History
This section is not really "Quick History", as I've covered that with the preceding German blogs.

But let's discuss briefly stamp categories.

I generally would label these stamp categories as "Back of the Book" or "BOB", as that is the way they are organized in the Scott catalogue..  But the term is only used in the U.S. and Scott-centric world, so I decided to list major categories in the Title post. Michel lists all the different category stamps together in their catalogue. I believe Stanley Gibbons does the same thing.

I did not list all the major categories, however. The large category for "Occupation stamps" is not there as I have only a few stamps. One would think the "Occupation stamps" category for Germany would be overflowing. ;-)

For WWI, Germany occupied, in whole or part:

For WWII, Germany occupied in whole or part:

Many stamps were issued for these occupied territories by Germany. So why aren't they found here?

Because the Scott catalogue  lists any "Occupation Stamps" under the the country that was occupied. ;-)
So one would have to go to "Belgium" for instance, to find the overprinted Germania stamps of Germany there. It makes sense in a way. as these are the stamps of the country, however unpleasant for them, for that period of time.

But collectors have different agendas. If one collects Germany, than the "occupied" stamps of a country that Germany occupied are quite popular to collect. But popularity for German collectors of stamps issued  by another country (Belgium)  while occupying Germany? Not so much.

Who wants to be reminded of the time when another country was occupying one's own? ;-)

So one often finds very little "Occupation of Germany" stamps in a German collection, when filled by a German collector. On the other hand, a Belgian collector from Belgium might very well like to collect these stamps.

Human Nature.

1935 Semi-postal Scott B80 12 + 6pf carmine
"Ski jump": Winter Olympic Games in Bavaria 1936
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has (Listed by category):
Semi-Postal 1919-1940
187 descriptions
136 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 72%

Air Post 1919-1938
60 descriptions
39 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 65%

Official stamps 1920-1934
112 descriptions
90 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 80%

Newspaper Stramps 1939
2 descriptions
2 <$4 CV

Franchise Stamps 1938
11 descriptions
11 <$4 CV

Occupation Stamps 1919-21
Issued under Belgian  Occupation
68 descriptions
46 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 68%

German Offices Abroad
Offices in China 1898-1913
49 major descriptions and 7 minor descriptions
15 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 31%

Offices in Morocco 1899-1911
57 descriptions
23 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 40%

Offices in the Turkish Empire 1884-1908
59 descriptions
16 <$4 CV
"Affordability" Index= 27%

Categories Total = 605 major descriptions

German Total ( Includes "regular" ) = 1101 major descriptions

A) The least "affordable" category are the "Offices Abroad" stamps.
B) "Occupation stamps" are affordable, just not in my German collections. ;-)
C) Semi-postals "look" affordable, but there are many fairly expensive stamps in the category. The "affordable" stamps are $1-$3, rather than 20 cents.
D) "Official" stamps are often 20 cents mint, as many of them were issued during the hyperinflation era.
E) The "Franchise" category were stamps issued by the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

Semi-Postal stamps

1919 Scott B2 15pf + 5pf   (On 1917 15pf dark violet "Germania")
Surtax for the war wounded
The first semi-postal for Germany was a two stamp issue for the WWI wounded. The  earlier German semi-postals are quite inexpensive mint.

1922 Scott B3 6m + 4m ultramarine & brown
"Planting Charity"
This two stamp issue, despite it's striking design is 20 cents mint. The German script says the surtax is for the children and the elderly.

1923 Scott B6 25m + 500m
Surtax for the Rhein and Ruhr areas
500 marks surtax - a lot, but this is at the onset of the hyperinflation era- was for the Rhein and Ruhr areas of Germany, either for post-war help, or for natural disasters- I believe the latter. Perhaps a reader knows?

1926 Scott B16  "Coat of Arms" Baden
There was both a 1925 and 1926 set with German States "Coat of Arms" design. "Nothilfe" means "help for the needy".

1927 Scott B22  50pf bister brown "Pres. Paul von Hindenburg"
80th birthday of von Hindenburg
I had the (four) stamps - the Hindenburgs above- in one of my feeder albums, but couldn't find a space for them. Only later, when going through the semi-postals did I realize they were in that category. ;-)  They apparently sold for twice face value, and the surtax was for War Invalids.

1935 Scott B77 30 + 20pf olive brown "Friesland"
A ten stamp issue, featuring "Costumes" from different parts of Germany was produced in 1935.  A rather attractive set.

1936 Scott B89 40 + 35pf violet "Equestrian"
An eight stamp semi-postal set for the summer Olympic Games held in Berlin in August was issued in 1936.
These were the infamous Olympics where the specter of Hitler and the Nazi Party loomed over the Games. I recall watching Jesse Owens 100 meter, 200 meter, and long jump victories in black & white Newsreel footage.

1937 Scott B108 5pf + 3pf black "Lightship Elbe I"
In 1937, an interesting nine stamp set featuring Ships was issued. Above illustrated is a "Lightship".

1938 Scott 117 12 + 8pf bright carmine
"Youth carrying Torch and Laurel"
For the 5th anniversary of the assumption of power by the Nazis, a two stamp set was produced featuring an  Aryan youth carrying a torch. The racial superiority motif is hard to miss.

1938 Scott B132  6 + 4pf blue green "Sudeten Couple"
The Sudetenland, territory in Czechoslovakia, was "annexed" to the Reich. The surtax was for Hitler's National Culture fund.

1939 Scott B140 6 + 19pf black brown "Adolf Hitler"
There are at least six semi-postal stamps with Hitler as the portrait. The above illustrated was for the "Day of National Labor".

1940 Scott B169 24 + 76 dark green
"Hall of Chancellery, Berlin"
Issued for the Second National Stamp Exposition in Berlin, this rather attractive stamp has a CV $5+.

1940 Scott B175 12 + 8pf orange red "View of Malmedy"
There are a number of stamps during the Nazi era that celebrate the "return" of territory to the motherland. This two stamp set is for the reunion of Eupen-Malmedy with the Reich.

Air Post

1919 Scott C2 "Biplane"
The first Air Post issue is a two stamp set featuring a Biplane. Again, the earlier Air Post stamps are quite inexpensive mint, but in the $3-$10+ valuations used.

1924 Scott C24 100(pf) dull violet "Carrier Pigeon"
Between 1922-24, there were three sets (24 stamps in two sizes) issued with the "Carrier Pigeon" design. The 1922-23 and 1923 issues are minimum CV mint, but somewhat higher for used. The 1924 set (Seven stamps C20-C26), though, ranges from $1+ to almost $100.

1926-27 Scott C34 3m black & olive green "German Eagle"
An eight stamp set featuring the German Eagle was produced in 1926-27. The CV range from $1-$50+.

1934 Scott C53 80(pf) orange yellow
"Swastika Sun, Globe and Eagle"
A nine stamp issue with the above design was produced in 1934. Even today, the "Swastika Sun" stamp is so overreaching, that it should fill one with dread and chills.

1934 Scott 56 3m blue & black "Otto Lilienthal"
Two additional stamps in the preceding series had a portrait of Otto Lilienthal.  He was a 19th century German pioneer of aviation, who was known as the Glider King.

Official Stamps
In 1920, Germany began producing "Official Stamps". 
In addition, the "Official Stamps" of Bavaria and Wurttemberg" were overprinted "Deutches Reich".  And. although they could be used throughout Germany, they were almost exclusively used in the respective States, so they will be  discussed there.

The earlier Official and the Local Official  stamps that are mint are almost all are valued at minimal CV.

1920-21 Scott O12 2m dark blue "Numerals of Value"
From 1921-23, there was two issues (21 stamps) of "Numerals of Value" design, all at minimum CV mint. The postally used varieties are valued @ $1+. In general, for Germany 1920 issues, resist the urge to put a pristine mint stamp in the space, and search out used copies.

1923 Scott O22 20m red lilac overprinted "Dienstmarke"
The regular issue of 1923 (seven stamps) was overprinted as above. A used copy of the above stamp would have a CV of $7+!.

1923 Scott O37 1 mil m on 75pf
We are now entering the hyperinflation era. The above stamp has a 1 million mark overprint. There were eleven Official "Numerals of value"stamps now surcharged to try to keep up with the inflationary spiral. It didn't work.  And seven more stamps had to be surcharged up to 50 billion marks. 

The escalating surcharges didn't settle down until the Rentenpfennig was introduced, backed by land and real goods, in late 1923.

1924 Scott O55 10pf vermilion 
Overprint on "German eagle" regular issue
By 1924, the hyperflation crisis was over. Here we see a 1924 regular "German Eagle" issue overprinted as an "Official Stamp" (nine stamps). 

1927-33 Scott O78 40pf violet "Numerals in Oval Seal"
Between 1927-33, an eighteen stamp issue was produced with the above design. A used stamp is still generally valued at more.

1934 Scoot 66 & 66a 12pf bright carmine
There is a watermarked (Swastika) and an unwatermarked variety
Alerted by the page layout in Deep Blue (which gives the unwatermarked minor number variety a space), I checked my 12pf bright carmine's, and I found one (CV $5)! 
This series (12 stamps) for Official use, obviously declares the change in government that occurred in 1933-34.

1903 Scott OL7 40pf lake & black
1920 Scott OL15 1m red/buff
Prussia ( and to a lesser extent Baden) also used "local" Official stamps. The "21" refers to the district of Prussia. There was an eight stamp series in 1903, and a seven stamp series in 1920, illustrated above. Again, mint copies are minimum CV.

Occupation Stamps

1919-21 Scott 1N1 1c orange
Overprinted Belgian stamps of 1915-20
As I mentioned at the introduction of the blog, my German feeder albums did not have many Occupation stamps. I attribute this to the lack of enthusiasm that German collectors have for Occupied stamps (of Germany). Certainly, the CV are reasonable, so that is not the problem.

This example illustrates the overprint design for the first 17 stamps issued. There are three other overprints also issued.
Eupen & Malmedy 1920 seven stamps
Eupen 1920-21 seventeen regular & five postage due stamps
Malmedy 1920-21 seventeen regular and five postage due stamps

Newspaper stamps
Only two stamps issued in 1939 (<$1 CV).

Franchise stamps

1938 Scott S2 3pf bister "Party Emblem"
For use by the Nazi Party, a eleven stamp issue was produced in 1938. Can one imagine the concern if the Democrats or Republicans in the U.S. were able to have their own stamps? ;-)

Germany Offices Abroad

Offices in China

1901 Scott 25 5pf green
German stamps of 1900 (Reichspost) overprinted
Offices in China stamps were first produced in 1898, 1900, and 1900 ( 14 major numbers, 7 minor numbers); all with different "China" overprint stamp at a diagonal. They range from $2+-$15,000+!
I don't have any. ;-)

In 1901, the "Reichpost" Germania stamps were overprinted horizontally for China (Example above). This 14 stamp set ranges in CV from $1+-$400+.

1905 Scott 40 10c on 20pf surcharged on 1902 German stamps
1906-13 Scott 47 1c on3pf surcharged on 1905 German stamps-wmk
A 1905 issue ( 10 stamps), using the 1902 German regular issue-unwmk, and a 1906-11 issue (10 stamps), using the 1905 German regular issue -wmk Lozenges, was produced. One example of each set is illustrated above. As usual, one needs to watermarks these stamps for certainty. Ten of these stamps are CV <$4.
Notice the "cents" denomination? 100cents = 1 dollar for 1905 and later stamps.

Offices in Morocco

In 1899, a six stamp issue was produced with a diagonal overprint. CV ranges from $2+-$20+. I don't have any. ;-)

1900 Scott 9 10c on 10pf carmine
Stamps of Germany 1900 (Reichpost) surcharged
A 14 stamp issue (CV $1+-$300+) from the regular German "Reichpost" design was produced in 1900. They are overprinted/surcharged as above. 100 Centimos = 1 Peseta. 

1905 Scott 20 3c on 3pf unwatermarked
On German stamps of 1902
In 1905, a thirteen stamp issue was produced using the 1902 "Germania" Deutches Reich stramps. They were overprinted/surcharged as the Scott 20 above. Six stamps are <$6 CV.

1906-11 Scott 34 5c on 5pf - watermarked
German stamps of 1905 surcharged
The next twelve stamp set produced from 1906-11 is the same as the preceding set essentially, except it is watermarked-Lozenges. Four stamps are CV <$6, but others are as high as $130+.

1911 Scott 45 3c on 3pf overprinted 'Marokko"
German stamps of 1905 surcharged
The 1911 set (Thirteen stamps) changed the name to "Marokko", but was otherwise similar to the 1906-11 set. The 3p75c on 3m is a red overprint.

1911 Scott 54 1p25c on 1m
"Marokko overprint"
"The General Post office in Berlin" design is illustrated above in this set. Look familiar? This image was also used for the header of the blog. ;-)

Offices in the Turkish Empire

There is a 1884 issue (six stamps) that is overprinted/surcharged from the 1880-83 German issue. The least expensive is $5. The rest range from $30+-$190+.

1889 Scott 12 2 1/2pi on 50pf chocolate
German stamps of 1889-1900 surcharged in black
The 1889 set (Five stamps) was based on the German 1889-1900 issue as viewed above. 40 Paras = 1 Piaster. Three stamps are <$3 CV.

1900 Scott 17 1 1/2pi on 30pf orange & black/salmon
The 1900 "Reichpost" issue of Germany was surcharged,also in 1900, and given a thirteen stamp edition.  Six stamps now catalogue for <$5.

1905 Scott 33 ultramarine 1pi on 20pf -unwatermarked
1906-11 Scott46  orange & black/yellow 1 1/4pi on 25pf- watermarked
In 1905. the "Deutsches Reich" Germania issue of  1902 was surcharged for the Offices in Turkey. The twelve stamp set has three stamps with CV <$3. The 1pi on 20pf ultramarine is illustrated above. Note the surcharge/overprint is different than in the preceding "Reichpost" stamps.

In 1906-12, the German 1905 "Germania" edition was used, which is watermarked Lozenges. This twelve stamp set has four stamps with CV <$2. The 1 1/2pi on 25pf orange & black/yellow is shown above.

1905 Scott 39 5pi on 1m
Double postmarked "Constantinopel"
Finally, to end this section, is a lovely 1905 5pi on 1m with a gorgeous postmark.  This is from the German issue of 1902 which is unwatermarked. Nice!

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 24 pages for the semi-postals. A number of pages are for souvenir sheets, which naturally expands the presentation. There are 4 pages for Air Post, 7 pages for Officials, 1 page for Newspaper, 1 page for Franchise, 5 pages for (Belgium) occupation stamps, 5 pages for Offices in China, 5 pages for Morocco, and 6 pages for the Turkish empire. That is a lot of real estate to fill. ;-)

Deep Blue follows the modern 2011 Scott classic catalogue in presentation, and there are no problems finding the appropriate space.

1936 Air Post Scott C58 75pf dull green "Hindenburg"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69 has 5 pages for semi-postal stamps, 1 page for Air Post, 2 pages for Officials, and 2 lines of one page for Franchise.
Big Blue has one page for the Offices in China, and Morocco. Interestingly, BB has the Offices in Turkey section ( 2 lines) separated out, and is put with the German New Guinea and German South West Africa page.
There is one page for the (Belgium) occupation stamps.

Curiously, there is a line for the Posen (Pozan) issue of Poland in 1919: which were overprinted/surcharged Germania stamps! There was a Polish uprising, or military insurrection, against Germany on December 27, 1918, which resulted in them taking control of most of the Province of Posen.

Map of Prussia (blue) with the Posen Province in red
This territory was given to Poland by the Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles then granted them the territory for the newly reconstitutes Poland. Big Blue, as said, puts the stamps in the Germany "Occupied" section, although the Scott catalogue has these stamps under Poland.
Nazi Germany of course took back this area, but it was returned to Poland after WWII.

Addendum: I neglected to post the number of stamps by category in Big Blue and the total number for Germany. Thanks to Joe for the reminder. :-)

103  1872-1921 (This includes the four stamp 1919-20 "Republic National Assembly" issue.)
284  1921-22 to 1940
387 Total regular

For this post...
145 Semi-postal
40  Air post
84  Officials
11  Franchise
56  Offices (Includes Offices in the Turkish Empire)
42  Occupation ( Includes "Polish" occupation -Posen)

378 Total for this post

Grand Total for Germany (Does not include North German Confederation or Turn and Taxis ) = 765

Simple Checklist

Semi-postal stamps












Next Page



Next Page



Next Page

B129,B130,B131, B121,B122,




Next Page


Next Page

Air Post









Next Page

Official Stamps

1903 ( Local-Prussia)
Note: The '97 BB apparently also includes
OL9,OL10,OL11, OL12,OL13,OL14,OL15,



O14,O16,O17 or O18, O19,O20,O21,(O15),

O29,O30,O31,O32,O34,O35,(O33 or O36),

1924 (actually 1923)

Next Page

(Official Stamps)



O80,O81,O82,O83,O84,O85,O86 or O86a,O87,

Franchise Stamps


Next Page

Offices in China



37 or 47, 38 or 48, 39,40,(41),(51),(52),

Offices in Morocco



20 or 33, 21 or 34, 22,23,24,25 or 37,(26),


Next Page ( Section is separate, and on the same page as with German New Guinea & German SW Africa)

Offices in the Turkish Empire




31 or 43, 32 or 44, 33,(45),(48),


Next Page (Back to the German Section)

Occupation Stamps
(Belgium Occupation)



Postage Due

Polish Occupation (Posen)*

A) Most expensive stamps ($10 threshold)
Semi-postal 1934 B67 40 + 35 pf plum "Judge" ($45)
Semi-postal 1938 B119 42 + 108 pf deep brown "Horsewoman" ($20+)
Semi-postal 1939 B144 25 + 50pf ultramarine "Racehorse "Investment" and Jockey ($10+)
Air Post 1924 (C23) 50(pf) orange "Carrier Pigeon" ($10+)
Offices in China 1898 (6) 50pf red brown ($10+)
Offices in Morocco 1899 4 25c on 25pf ultramarine ($10)
Offices in Morocco 1899 (6) 60c on 50pf red brown ($20+)

B)*B188 is a 1941 semi-postal

C) *O40,O41 blank space choices: No design left;  I chose the same OP, different design 1923

D)*Polish Occupation: Scott numbers found in the regular Poland country section

E) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice

1908 Scott 55 5c on 5pf : Surcharged diagonally
Offices in the Turkish Empire
Out of the Blue
I learned a good deal about classical era German stamps with these last four blogs.
It was worth it. :-)

Note: Map appears to be in the public domain.

Germany - Semipostals, BOB - Bud's Big Blue

Your thoughts?  Comment below!


  1. Jim,
    Did you ever figure out a number for Germany? I had 801 for the whole shebang.

  2. Addendum: I neglected to post the number of stamps by category in Big Blue and the total number for Germany. Thanks to Joe for the reminder. :-)

    103 1872-1921
    288 1919-1940

    For this post...
    145 Semi-postal
    40 Air post
    84 Officials
    11 Franchise
    56 Offices (Includes Offices in the Turkish Empire)
    42 Occupation ( Includes "Polish" occupation -Posen)

    378 Total for this post

    Grand total for Germany (Does not include North German Confederation)= 769

    Joe says he has 801 Total -and he has been right every time ;-) - so there may be an error in my figures, as I only did the addition once.

    Joe - can you tell me where I am going wrong? ;-)

  3. Jim,
    I had 103 (1872-1921, counting the Thurns & Taxis page); 313 from 1919-40; 145 (SemiP), 40 (Air), 91 (Officials), then 11, 56 & 42, just as you had.
    For the record, I haven't been right every time...


  4. It is interesting how the simple act of counting is fraught with errors. ;-)

    This time I actually opened the 1969 Big Blue and counted every space in a category where there was a discrepancy.

    Then I repeated and counted again to make sure I had the right total.

    These are the figures I came up with....

    103 1872-1921 (This includes the four stamp 1919-20 "Republic National Assembly" issue.)
    284 1921-22 to 1940
    387 Total "regular"

    For this post...
    145 Semi-postal
    40 Air post
    84 Officials
    11 Franchise
    56 Offices (Includes Offices in the Turkish Empire)
    42 Occupation ( Includes "Polish" occupation -Posen)

    378 Total for this post

    Grand Total for Germany (Does not include North German Confederation or Turn and Taxis ) = 765

    I'm at a lost to explain if there still are differences.

  5. Jim,
    I figured it out: you've switched to counting up the '69 Big Blue while I'm still in the '97. That'd do it...

  6. Your 765 + 29 (for the Confederation/Thurns page) + the seven additional Official stamps in the '97 (versus the '69) equals my 801 for Germany.
    Life is in balance.

  7. Joe this is actually exciting news. :-)

    I've been trying to determine if the '97 has any content differences from the '69,other than Anjouan getting lopped off in the '97.

    You say there are 7 additional Officials in the '97 compared to the '69?

    Could you tell me what they are?

    I no longer have the '97 edition.



  8. Assuming you have the '47 edition (I don't have the '69), the Officials have undergone a couple of alterations by the '97.
    Looking at the '47, row 6 of the first page of Officials is gone. Eight stamps simply disappear. All the rest are the same, but a new, separate page of Local Official Stamps has been added. It has two rows and includes all 15 stamps. Row 1 (1903) has OL-1 through OL-8, and Row 2 (1920) has OL-9 through OL-15.

  9. Thanks Joe

    I think I know how this occurred.

    The '41/'47 editions include a unique sixth row -O37-O49.
    Also, the '41/'47 editions had a separate page for Parma and Prussia. Prussia's offerings included two rows of local Officials -OL1-OL8, & OL9-OL15.

    The '69 edition dropped the Parma & Prussia page, but added on row one of the Officials the Prussia locals OL1-OL8.
    To make room, row six (O37-O49) disappears.

    The '97 edition does not add back the sixth row, but removes row one of locals (OL1-OL8), and puts them on a separate page reuniting the dropped local officials in the '47/'41 edition from Prussia (OL9-OL15).

    Bottom line: The '97 has seven more Officials (OL9-OL15) than the '69, but both are missing O37-O49 from the '47/'41 editions. And the '47/'41 editions had the OL9-OL15 spaces as well.

    Joe, let me know if I misread your information. ;-)

  10. It's been awhile. (I might see that I'm working my way though the Blue!). Anyway, check the last line of the Occupation Stamps. You have 1N49 twice.


  11. Ha I see the total numbers of German stamps in Big Blue was discussed before, SO does the '69 edition counts 765 stamps? or 765 + 7 official stamps = 772? When we add the 14 & 15 from Turn and North Confed. that makes it 801?

    Thanks for your confirmation...

    1. The information is as discussed in the above comments.

      The '69 BB has 765 stamp spaces + Turn (14) and North German Confederation (15) = 794

      The '97 BB has 765 spaces + more officials (7) + Turn (14) + North German Confederation (15) = 801

    2. Thanks Jim, will make adjustments in excell file Axel

  12. Hi Jim, You have the last three occupation postage due stamps listed as 1NJ36,1NJ37,1NJ38. I think the "3"s should be omitted: 1NJ6, 1NJ7, 1NJ8. Kind regards, Troy

    1. Thanks Troy. I don't know how that "number gremlin" got in there. Changed.