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...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Germany: 1919-1940

1922-23 Scott 196 20m indigo & green "Plowing"
Quick History
After WWI, a national constitutional assembly met in Weimar in 1919 to establish a federal republic and a parliamentary representative democracy (Reichstag). During the fourteen years of its existence, the Weimar Republic,as it now called, was faced with considerable challenges. The Treaty of Versailles demanded large reparation payments to the victorious allies. The Germans had little experience with "democracy" with its more attended chaos. Both the political right and the left were enemies of the republic, and the moderates were discouraged.
The French and Belgians occupied the Ruhr region, damaging the economy. Hyperinflation set in. In 1919, a bread loaf costs one Mark; in 1923 100 billion Marks. The worldwide economy and Germany took a significant blow with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. The rise of the National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazi Party), and Adolf Hitler, a charismatic orator who promoted Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anticommunism, spelled the end of the Weimar Republic (And literally President Paul von Hindenburg who died in 1934). When Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, he brought a totalitarian single party dictatorship espousing the Nazi ideology, and with the goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people.

This most troublesome time filled with turmoil is clearly reflected in the Deutsches Reich (Weimar Republic) and the Third Reich (Nazi) era stamps between 1919 and 1940. Lets take a look.

Map of Germany after WWI with territorial loses noted
Germany also lost all of it's colonies

The Deutsche Reich during the Weimar Republic
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 364 major descriptive numbers for the regular issue stamps of Germany from 1919-1940. This excludes the Germania design or other stamps that were covered in the preceding blog through 1921. Of these, 256 are <$1, many at minimum catalogue value. An additional 39 are <$4. "Affordability" Index is a quite good 81%. 
It should be noted that throughout the inflationary era until December, 1923 ( When the Rentenmark replaced One Trillion Reichsbank Marks ( Yes 12 zeros!)), mint stamps can usually be found at minimum catalogue value. Used stamps, OTOH, were usually valued at $1+ or higher.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
The end of WWI and the need to set up a new government brought forth the 1919-20 National Assembly issue.

1919-20 National Assembly Issue
10pf carmine rose & 15pf chocolate & blue
The four stamps in the issue focused on an allegorical representation of rebuilding Germany. The 10pf shows a live stump of a oak tree symbolizing that Germany will survive, while the 15pf illustrates new shoots springing  forth.

Now the remaining issues have several watermarking differences. So let us remind ourselves how these watermarks look.

Left: Lozenges (Rauten) watermark
Right: Network (Waffeln) watermark 
These two watermarks are found on (almost) all German stamps throughout the 1920's and early 30's until the Nazi era. Not infrequently, there are two similar issues, but each has a different watermark and catalogue valuation. The watermark often is fairly obvious, and just turning over the stamp onto a dark surface will suffice for identification purposes. But watermarking fluid and a watermarking tray will be needed to positively identify all the stamps. I've found many many misplacements of stamps in albums (or even dealer stock) with the German stamps of this era. After awhile, checking for watermarks becomes second nature: so just do it! ;-)

 1921 Scott 141 30pf blue green "Numerals" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 166 40pf red orange wmk Network
During 1921-22, there were two similar issues produced with different watermarks. The 1921 issue had 19 stamps, and the 1921-22 issue had 24 stamps. There is a very large overlap between the issues with stamps having the same denominations and colors. The "Numeral" design stamps presented above could come from either issue. The difference? The 30pf has a Lozenges watermark (valuation $1+), while the 40pf has a network watermark (valuation $3+).

1921 Scott 144 60pf red violet  "Iron Workers" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 171 80pf carmine rose wmk Network
I'm not showing all the stamps for the issue, just the major designs found in the issue. Again watermarking these stamps will tell you which issue is which. Surprise! The 80pf carmine rose with Network watermark is valued @ >$50+ used!

1921 Scott 147 120pf ultramarine "Miners" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 172 100pf olive green wmk Network
I think many collectors tend to pass over the 1920's Germany stamps as not worth their time. True, the mint stamps are usually minimum catalogue value. But the genuinely postally used stamps are not! Their valuations range from $1+ to "much more". ;-) And they tend to languish in collections, perhaps not even mounted, as most collectors instinctively prefer a 'fresh" mint copy in their album. Hint: Seek out postally used copies. ;-)
(More about the pitfalls of "used" later)

1921 Scott 149 160pf slate green "Farmer" wmk Lozenges
1921-22 Scott 175 150pf orange wmk Network
The German Post Office had the good habit of usually cancelling directly on the stamp. I can tell from the 150pf cancellation that it was stamped in August (8), 1922 (22). The last numbers refer to the time of day.

This is the last of the "workers" design for the issues.

1921(wmk lozenge),1921-22(wmk network),1922-23(wmk network) 4m "Posthorn"
4m deep green & yellow green (Scott 152,179,) & 4m dark green (Scott 187)
The next design featured a "posthorn", and was issued with a a lozenges or network watermark. The 1921 & 1922-23 issues had two colors, while the 1922-23 issue had one color. The bi-colored issues can be found either with a lozenges or a network watermark, while the single color issue is only found with a network watermark.

1921 Scott 150 2m deep violet 5 rose "posthorn" wmk lozenges
1921-22 Scott 178 3m red & yellow wmk network
As mentioned, the bi-colored "posthorn"  found in the 1921 or 1921-22 issues are defined by their watermark. So check the watermarks on the bi-colored 2m,3m, and 4m denominations. ;-)

1921-22  bi-colored "posthorn" values wmk network
1922-23 single color "posthorn" values wmk network
This pic of Deep Blue shows the "posthorns" of 1921-22 & 1922-23. All the stamps here are only found with the Network watermark, except for the 1921-22 2m,3m,and 4m values which can also be found with the Lozenges watermark from the 1921 issue. 

If you looked carefully at the pic, you may have noticed two 6m and two 8m spaces. What is up with that?

1922-23 Scott 189a 6m dark blue Type I
1922-23 Scott 189 6m dark blue Type II
The "6"'s come in two types as illustrated above. The Type II "6"'s lean toward the right and are a bit thinner.

1922-23 Scott 190  8m olive green Type I
1922-23 Scott 190a olive green Type II
The single color "posthorn" "8"'s also come in two types. With Type II, the numerals are not as wide (2mm), and is thinner. I was able to find both the "6" and "8" numeral types by checking my feeder albums where they had sat unaware all these years. ;-)

1921 Scott 154 10m carmine rose "Numeral of Value" wmk lozenges (Engraved)
1922-23 Scott 194 5m orange wmk network (Engraved)
The only denominations that are engraved for the "Numerals of Value" are the 5m and 10m. These values are illustrated above, and can be either a lozenges or network watermark. So check these values for watermarks. 
You might also want to compare these engraved stamps with the other denominations "Numerals of Value" stamps issued that were lithographed. Can you see a difference in printing quality? And do you have a preference?
1922 Scott 160 500m orange/buff "Numeral of Value" wmk Lozenges (Lithographed)
1922-23 Scott 199 100m brown violet/buff  wmk Network (Lithographed)
The range of valued illustrated here is to remind that the 100m-200m-300m-400m-500m values can either be found with the Lozenges or Network watermark. These values are lithographed, compared to the 5m-10m values, which were engraved.

1922-23 Scott 198-209 "Numerals of Value"
All Lithographed wmk Network
Illustrated above is the "network" watermarked lithographed 1922-23 "Numerals of Value" stamps. The 50m, and 1000m-100,000m denominated stamps are only found watermarked network. But, as mentioned previously, the 100m-500m denominations can also be found with the lozenges watermark.

Do you notice something? The value denominations are climbing!

1923 Scott 209 100,000m vermilion "Numeral of Value"
The value illustrated above, is, so far, the highest regular denominated stamp put out by the Weimar Republic. But that record wouldn't last long. ;-)

1922-23  (Type of 1921) Miners, Farmers, and Numerals
A new design "Miners" stamp, along with the "Farmers" design, and higher valued "Numerals" was issued in 1922-23 (Scott 221-234). The denomination values are definitely heading up foreshadowing the hyperinflation that will come soon.
As is usual with this time in German stamp production, mint is generally minimum catalogue value, while a cancelled specimen is at least $1+. So what about nicely placed CTO specimens? No, sorry, they are valued the same as mint. Well then one should go for a socked on the nose or heavily cancelled specimen, because they are more likely postally used, right? Hmmmm, take a look at the next scan...

1922-23 Sott 230 200m carmine rose (two specimens)
A "fake" cancel
I pulled one of these specimens from a feeder album, and thought "Wow- a nice cancel, let's put it in". Then I found a second specimen-with the same cancel-in another feeder album. Oh-Oh. :-(
Obviously someone had canceled sheets of mint stamps to make them look genuinely postally used: and no doubt made a tidy profit. Certainly would have fooled me. Perhaps somewhere there is a data base of "fake" cancels for Germany. Sending the stamp away for authenticity is really not worth it, as the CV is only $1+. 

So a lesson is learned. Even "good looking" cancellations may be fake.

O.K., now we are going to get into the Hyperinflation era.

Values on stamps

Note that in German, the "Billion", becomes "Millarde".

Numerals 1923/ Stamps of 1922-23 surcharged
Numerals were produced for values up to 75 Tausend Marks, and the "Farmer" and other designs were surcharged up to 30 Tausend. (Scott 238A-240, 241-249) All stamps on the page are watermarked network, except for the 8 Tausend surcharge on the 30pf  blue green, which is found with both the lozenges and network watermarks. (Scott 241 & 242A) After this, the lozenges watermark is no longer used, and only the network watermark is found on German stamps until 1933, when the Swastika watermark was produced.

Stamps of 1922-23 surcharged
These stamps are perforated 14, and are very well known-found in every general German collection, generally mint-consisting of surcharged various numerals. (Scott 250-278) Note the stamp value is now up to 2 Million Marks.

Stamps of 1922-23, surcharged/Serrate Roulette 13 1/2
1923 Numerals Perforated 14
More stamps were surcharged  (upper row of page). These stamps, however, are serrate rouletted 13 1/2. (Scott 273-278) 

A new design of Numerals (18 stamps) was issued in 1923. The values range from 500 Tausend to 50 Milliarden Marks-that is to 50 Billion Marks.! Considering that a loaf of bread in late 1923 was priced at 100 Billion Marks, perhaps the stamp value is not so outrageous from a relative point of view. ;-)  (Scott 280-299) Note that these stamps are perforated 14.

1923 Numerals serrate roulette 13 1/2
Stamps of 1923 surcharged perforated 
And serrate roulette 13 1/2
The 10 Million-50 Billion values were also produced in 1923 using serrate roulette 13 1/2. (Scott 301-309)  And more stamps of 1923 were surcharged using perforation 14 (Scott 310-316), with a few also serrate rouletted 13 1/2 (Scott 319-321).

No doubt, the collector will need to pay attention to Perf 14 and serrate roulette 13 1/2 differences among the higher value denomination stamps. They are each given a major Scott number. The serrate roulette 13 1/2 stamps vary in denomination from 400 Tausend surcharged stamps to the 50 Milliarden stamp.

1923 Scott 316 10mird m on 100mil m gray surcharged
A closeup of the 10 Billion on 100 million nark surcharge is shown, with perforation 14 in this case. This surcharge is also found on the 50 and 20 million mark stamp. There is also a 10 Billion on 50 million surcharged stamp, this time with serrate roulette, 13 1/2 perforations.

1923 5 thousand Marks on 40pf red orange
1923 50 billion Marks
It might be instructive to take a brief second look at the hyperinflation stamp era,as it is difficult to grasp the full impact on first review.

The scan above shows the range of high stamp values in 1923. The ratio of the stamp values is 10,000,000 to 1.

100 thousand-1 million-10 million-100 million- 1 billion- 10 billion
Hyperinflation stamps that multiply by a factor of 10
This scan of hyperinflation stamps demonstrates by factors of 10, a 100,000 increase in valuation

1923 Scott 289 50mil m dull olive green "Numerals" perforated 14
1923 Scott 303 50mil m dull olive green serrate roulette 13 1/2
As mentioned, the collector will need to be aware of the different perforations. Take a look at the scan to see that the serrate roulette has thicker squared-off perforations, and measures 13 1/2, while the "perf 14" obviously measures a 14 perforation.

So, in summary, how many different stamps were issued in 1923? 85! Fortunately the hyperinflation came to an end with the next stamp series....

1923 Scott 323-328 3pf brown through 100pf brown violet
The Rentenmark, knocking 12 Zeros off, stabilized the economy
The Rentenmark (Debt Security Mark), subdivided into 100 Rentenpfennig, was introduced on November 15, 1923, and was backed by mortgaged land and industrial goods. The exchange rate was 1 U.S. dollar= 4.2 RM. It replaced the Deutsche Mark, which was essentially worthless, @ 1 Trillion:One.

It worked.  The hyperinflation crisis was over.

On August 30, 1924 the Reichsmark ( as legal tender) replaced the Rentenmark, and was valued the same.
The Rentenmark notes continued to be valid until 1948.

1924 Scott 336 50pf orange "German Eagle"
In 1924, a seven stamp issue featuring the 'German Eagle" was issued. What is interesting from a catalogue perspective is, once again , mint stamps are generally valued higher than postally used specimens.

1928 Scott 342a "Dr. Heinrich von Stephan"
Chalky Paper
From 1924-28, a four denomination stamp set was issued featuring Dr. Heinrich von Stephan, who reorganized the German postal service, and helped found the Universal Postal Union in 1874. Of interest,  the 60pf red brown illustrated above, was partially issued on chalky paper.

1926-27 Scott 361 50pf brown "Johann Sebastian Bach"
In 1926-27, a twelve stamp set with the theme "Famous Men" was issued. Along with Beethoven ( which is also given a stamp), Johann Sebastian Bach is featured on the 50pf brown. They are two of my favorite classical composers. :-)

1928-32 President Friedrich Ebert, President Paul von Hindenburg
Between 1928-32, a 21 stamp set (Scott 366-386) was issued featuring the Weimar presidents: Friedrich Ebert (1919-25) and Paul von Hindenburg (1925-34). Of interest, Hindenburg was in poor health in 1932, but was persuaded to run for re-election, as he was considered the only one that could defeat Adolf Hitler.

1932 Scott 394 19pf dark red "Pres. von Hindenburg"
In 1932, a seven stamp set was issued featuring President von Hindeburg on his 85th birthday. He was, however, in poor health, and died August 2, 1934. Because of political instability, he had to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in January, 1933.

There are two stamps in this issue that can cause confusion, because they were reprinted with different watermarks later.  See next two scans...

1932 Scott 392 5pf bright green wmk network
1934 Scott 418 5pf bright green wmk swastikas
Be aware that there are two varieties of the 5pf "Pres. von Hindenburg" stamps. They differ in watermark. I will have more to say about the swastika watermark later.

1932 Scott 395 25pf ultramarine wmk network
1934 Scott 425 25pf ultramarine wmk swastikas
And the 25pf ultramarine was also printed in two watermarks. Just so you know. ;-)

1933 Scott 400 25pf ultramarine "Frederick the Great"
In 1933, a three stamp set with "Frederick the Great" was issued. He was King of Prussia from 1740-1786, and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz ("Old Fritz").

1933 Scott 407 15pf maroon & Scott 409 30pf olive green
Fourteen stamp set, watermarked network.
In 1933, a fourteen stamp set (Scott 401-414) was issued of von Hindenburg based on the design of the 1932 series, but different colors. This is the last set that features the network watermark.

That is because a sea change is occurring: Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party is now in power. When von Hindenburg died in 1934, Hitler declared the office of the president vacant, and as "Fuehrer and Reichskanzler", and was now Head of State.

As a collector, one again needs to pay attention to the watermarks of the von Hindenburg design stamps during this transition time, as we will see with the next issue.

1933-36 Hindenburg Type of 1932
1934 Hindenburg Memorial Issue
All watermarked ""Swastikas" wmk 237
The next issue (17 stamps-Scott 415-431) , first found in later 1933, had the same design ( von Hindenburg) and the same color denominations (as well as additional denominations) as the earlier 1933 issue, but had the Swastika (Hakenkreuze) watermark. In addition the 5pf and 25pf of the 1932 Hindenburg issue was also reprinted.

Therefore, the collector will find that many ( pf: 3,4,5,6,8,10,,12,15,20,25,30,40,50,60,80,100) of the von Hindenburg denominations come in both network and swastika watermarks. One will need to check the watermarks for the stamps that are going into the album.  I have found frequent errors (even in dealer stock) in placement of these stamps in feeder albums. A word to the wise. ;-)

The second issue illustrated is the 1934 Hindenburg Memorial issue ( six stamps-Scott 436-441), which is characterized by the black border surrounding the stamps. This issue, as well as all subsequent issues that have a watermark during the Nazi era, will have a swastika watermark.

The Swastika watermark on two von Hindenburg stamps
Illustrated above is the swastika watermark. The bad news (at least for me), is the watermark is relatively unclear. If one steps away from the computer screen and views, it becomes somewhat clearer. Still one can make out the Hakenkreuze symbol. So it is not that big of a difficulty, and these watermarks are only really important to differentiate with the von Hindenburg issues. Fortunately, the network watermark (illustrated elsewhere in this blog) appears a lot different, and is usually fairly obvious and clear.

1934 Scott 434 12pf dark carmine & chocolate "Karl Peters"
Issued in remembrance of the lost colonies of Germany
The Nazi era has begun with the stamp themes reflecting the new nationalism. 

In 1934, a four stamp set (Scott 432-435) was issued featuring the men who were instrumental in obtaining colonies for Germany. Of course, Germany lost those colonies after WWI. Here illustrated, is Karl Peters, who founded the colony of German East Africa. He was an adventurer who, as head of the "Society of German Colonization", signed treaties with tribes on the east African mainland opposite Zanzibar.

1935 Scott 451 25pf dark blue "Germania Welcoming Home the Saar"
The Saargebiet was occupied by France in 1920 under the provisions of the Treaty of  Versailles, and a 15 year League of Nations mandate. Time was up in 1935. A plebiscite held in the Saargebiet in 1935, and 90% voted to rejoin Germany.

Saarbeckengebiet 1920-1935
Two plebiscite stamps were issued in 1934 by Germany, and then this issue (1935-four stamps-Scott 448-451), with the allegorical theme of Saar returning to the Motherland.

1935 Scott 452 6pf dark green "German Soldier"
War Heroes' Day saw the issue of two stamps (Scott 452-453) honoring the German soldier.

1935 Scott 464 15pf brown lake 
"Bugler of Hitler Youth Movement"
By 1930, the Hitler-Jugend had enlisted 25,000 boys over the age of 14 into the movement. They were viewed as future 'Aryan Supermen", and were taught the Nazi doctrines, such as anti-Semitism. Of interest, the Boy Scout movement was banned in German controlled areas, but the Hitler-Jugend appropriated many of the Boy Scout activities. Uniforms with ranks and insignia were worn similar to the Stormtroopers (Sturmabteilung).

By the end of 1933, there were 2,300,000 members. By 1940, the Hitler-Jugend ( including younger ages and girls)  had 8,000,000 members.

The issue of 1935 (2 stamps-Scott 463-4) illustrates a Hitler Youth Bugler.

1935 Scott 468 12pf dark carmine
"Nazi Flag Bearer and Feldhernnhalle at Munich"
This 1935 two stamp set (Scott 467-8) commemorates the Hitler "Putsch" of Nov. 9, 1923 in Munich. Hitler had tried to overthrow the Weimar Republic and seize power in Munich, known as the "Beer Hall  Putsch". Hitler was subsequently arrested and charged with high treason, but spent only eight months in prison and, while there, wrote his "Mein Kampf".

1936 Scott 480 12pf copper red "Salute to Swastika"
For the 1936 Nazi Congress, this two stamp issue (Scott 479-80) was produced. The imagery is chilling even today.

1937 Scott 491 3ph brown "Shield Bearer"
The Reich's Air Protection League was honored on a three stamp issue (Scott 481-483) in 1937. "Luftschutz" means air raid protection.

 1938 Scott 484 6pf dark green 
"German and Austrian Carrying National Flag"
The Anschluss (link-up) occured on March 12, 1938 as Austria was annexed into the German Third Reich. The Austrians had to capitulate as Hitler had already authorized sending troops into Austria. Finding that neither France nor Britain would help, Chancellor Schuschnigg resigned and allowed the Nazis to take over the Austrian government to avoid "shedding of fraternal blood" (Bruderblut). The German Wehrmacht crossed the border and were greeted by Austrians with Nazi salutes, Flags, and flowers. Because of the response, the annexing of Austria is called the Blumenkreig (war of flowers).

This stamp design was issued in 1938 in two different sizes (Scott 484,485) depicting the unification.

1939 Scott 493 12pf orange red "The Krantor, Danzig"
Two stamps (Scott 492-3) were issued in 1939 celebrating the unification of Danzig with the Reich. The Free City of Danzig was created in 1920 in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles. But after the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Danzig was incorporated into the newly formed Reichgau of Danzig-West Prussia.

This ends the review of the regular issues of Germany up to 1940.

Below I include two maps for your interest. The first depicts Germany in 1939 at the onset of WWII. The second map shows the widest extent of the Third Reich and occupied land during 1941-42.

 Germany 1939 at the onset of WWII

1941-42 German Reich, Italy, "Friendly" countries (i.e. Finland), "Puppet" governments and occupied zones (Blue)
Allies (Red)

Deep Blue
The Deep Blue album (Steiner) has 20 pages for the regular issues between 1921-1940. All of the major Scott numbers have a space, and the 1922-23 Posthorn 6pf and 8pf "types" have a space also. I am not including pictures of the album pages here as there are plenty elsewhere in this blog.

1922 Scott 217 20m lilac rose/pink "Arms of Munich"
 Six stamp set  for the Munich Industrial Fair
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 7+ pages, has 284 stamp spaces. Coverage for the time period (1921-40) is 79%.

BB generally provides only one space for the watermark different 1921 & 1921-22 issues, the 1922-23 'Numerals of Value" issue, and the von Hindenburg 1933 and 1933-36 issues. There is also only one space for some of the hyperinflation 1923 Perf 14 & Serrate Rouleted 13 1/2 issues. But the big news....

Big Blue's (Second) 1933 page: the 20 stamps presented are two of each
Each in their own correct space
One Perf 14 (10 stamps) and one serrated rouletted 13 1/2 (10 stamps)
Big Blue is known to ignore perforations and only present one space for multiple perforation varieties. But in Germany's 1933 page layout, it does the opposite: namely providing 2 spaces for a stamp-one perf 14, the other serrated rouletted 13 1/2!
I have not seen this before in Big Blue, and I imagine it has caused confusion and consternation for BB collectors. So I have placed the stamps on the page above where they should go.  Just enlarge the page to see the helpful markings too. (Scott number and perf markings)

The markings on the page are:
A) The Scott number is listed under the stamp.
B) Above the stamp: "14" inside a circle or a line and arrow from the "14" indicates a perf 14 stamp.
C) Above the stamp: "S" inside a circle or a line and arrow from the "S: indicates a serrated stamp.

Starting from the top, and reading left to right, these are the 20 stamps (Ten perf 14, Ten serrated):
272 Perf 14
278 Serrated
286 Perf 14
287 Perf 14
289 Perf 14
291 Perf 14
294 Perf 14
295 Perf 14
296 Perf 14
298 Perf 14
299 Perf 14
301 Serrated
302 Serrated
303 Serrated
304 Serrated
305 Serrated
306 Serrated
307 Serrated
308 Serrated
309 Serrated

A caveat. I show all the double stamps, but not necessarily the places where either a perf 14 or a serrated stamp could go in a space. This will be done however in the checklist.

The second caution is Big Blue provides a space for the 1932 von Hindenburg 5pf bright green and 25pf ultramarine (Scott 392 & 395) with the network watermark, and the 1934 von Hindenburg 5pf bright green and 25pf ultramarine (Scott 418 & 425) with the swastika watermark. I provide a discussion and pics of these stamps elsewhere in the blog. So even if, as a BB collector, one does not have to check watermarks very often (unless one wishes), here one will. ;-)

Simple checklist

1921-22 (Begins on last line of page)
137 or 161,138 or 162,139 or 163,140 or 164,141 or 165,142 or 166,143 or 167,

Next Page

144 or 168,145 opr 171,146 or 172,147 or 173, 148 or 175, 149 or 176,
150 or 177,151 or 178, 152 or 179,180,181,182,183,184 or211,
153 or 194,154 or 195,155 or 196,

198,156 or 199,157 or 200,158 or 201,159 or 202,
160 or 203,204,205,206,


Next page

242,241 or 242A,243,244,245,246,

Next Page

313 or 319,314 or 320, 315 or 321, 316,319,320,,321,

Next Page

342 or 342a,343,340,341,337,338,


351 or 352,353,355,356,357,359,360,361,



Next Page



415,401 or 416,402 or 417,418*,
403 or 419, 404 or 420, 405 or 421,406 or 422,407 or 423,408 or 424,425*,
409 or 426,410 or 427,411 or 428,412 or 429,413 or 430, 414 or 431,

Next Page




Next Page

484 or 485,


A) Most expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None

B) See pic of second 1933 page above for stamps that have two spaces for different perfs.(20 stamps total)

C) * von Hindenburg stamps that have two spaces (with different wmks) are 5pf bright green (Scott 392 & 418), and 25pf ultramarine (Scott 395 & 425). There are pics and discussion above and elsewhere in the blog.

D) As stated, BB doubles up on several issues, only giving one space. They are marked by a "or" between choices. One might want to consider separating out the issues-of course your choice. :-)

E) I have included considerable information on the issues in BB elsewhere in this blog. Please read. ;-)

1925 Scott 350 5m dull green "Speyer Cathedral"
Out of the Blue
It is somewhat ironic that none of the stamps discussed in this blog are very expensive, yet they provide a profound education in history. And from a philatelic point of view, many of them are quite interesting in their own right.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Germany 1919-1940 - Bud's Big Blue

What do you think? Would like a comment!


  1. Great post. I enjoyed it a lot.

    Just one slight "correction" (with the map inscription)... Finland was never an "occupied zone" of Germany, but more of a ally like Italy.

  2. Keijo - Thanks. :-)

    Of course you are right about Finland. I will correct the inscription when I return home this weekend.

  3. I think your statement for the 1924 7-stamp issue (with the German Eagle) where you write "What is interesting from a catalogue perspective is, once again , mint stamps are generally valued higher than postally used specimens" may have it backwards as earlier you had said that postally used were valued more.

    What a great history of German stamps from this very complicated postal era! It's an excellent description -- one of your best -- and makes me want to look at German stamps more carefully. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for the nice complement, Drew. :-)

    I perhaps was not clear with the statement- the intent is to first note that used is more valuable throughout the hyperinflation era, but that turns around to the more customary ( from the catalogue point of view) mint being more valuable with the 1924 Eagle issue.

  5. Aha! That's what "once again" meant as in "and now, back to what you'd expect where mint values exceed used." Now I get it. Great Germany article. Enjoyed looking at it and the fantastic stamps.

  6. I pretty much have all of these old stamps. Some with the BEST cancelling marks I can't imagine. Really takes me back in time. As my grandfather was in world war one. These were his stamps in envelopes from many countries and am putting them now in books form. When I'm finished I will probably sell them. Can't believe no one has done this work before because I find it thrilling, going to countries back into 1800 to early 1900.

  7. Yes my Father had many of these stamps too, but that was WW II. ;-)

  8. There are also many of the hyper-inflation stamps with flaws in the zero's printed at the base of the stamps. Some have less than half a circle printed. These were hard times indeed for a bankrupt country.

  9. Interesting, I wasn't particularly aware of that- but it makes sense.

  10. Which watermark is called "quatrefoille" then? Is it the 'network'? I have seen the rounder, chicken-wire looking one called 'waffles'. I am now officially confused!

  11. Mavis- I thought you said you had a "quatrefoille" watermarked stamp? - So I thought you knew what the watermark looked like. The quatrefoille watermark is fairly rare on regular issue German stamps, and that is the reason the CV was $400. (See prior comment discussion under Germany 1872-1921.) I don't show a pic of the quatrefoille watermark in the blog because i don't have one. ;-) There is a pic of the watermark in the Scott catalogue at the beginning of the German section.. Look there to see it.

  12. I have taken great interest in all of the above info . I also have a good portion of Germany stamps in my collection along with 2 Berlin NS and more.

  13. Glad you are enjoying the blog post, Patrick. :-)

  14. Great blog, I was looking up information for the orange 500m stamp (1922). Thanks.

  15. Glad the blog could be of help Futon.

  16. Lots of work went into this article and it's very much appreciated.

    I'd like to see greater clarification on the watermarks. I have some Third Reich stamps and can't see the watermarks -the problem is I don't know what I'm looking for. I mean I know what a Swastika is; but where is it located on the back of the stamp and how large is the Swastika?

    Maybe show the back of a stamp with a line drawing overtop to show where the Swastika is and how it's positioned.

    Then again, I'm just a beginner with so much to learn yet -maybe it's right before my eyes!

    Keep up the great work.

    1. The swastika watermarks are never clear enough to make out. If you don't see a clear network watermark then it is a swastika issue

  17. I appreciate the difficulty of seeing the Hackenkreuze (Swastika) symbol, as it is not that easy to see on these stamps. Step away from the computer, and look at the image of the back of the stamps. You will see, what appears to be lines at an angle, and some intersect for the symbol. The size of each Hackenkreuze is only about 1/16 the size of the stamp. If you still have difficulty, even after using watermark fluid, bring the stamps to a local stamp club ( you should be able to find one) and let them help you. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the explanation I am very happy because I have all these stamps that carry the history of Germany

  18. Interesting analysis. Liked it very much.

  19. Hello Big Blue, Love your pages! I have a scott 171 80pf not showing a watermark did they make with out water mark? Have a great day.

    1. Not that I know of. Should be wmk 25(Scott 144) or wmk 126 (Scott 171).

  20. Hello. We found the most interesting and mysterious postcard from 1923. It is interesting for the following reasons: 1)It has been cancelled in Breslau which no longer exists as since 1945 it changed into Wroclaw and became Polish from German. 2) it was cancelled, thus used, but contains no address...so how could it be sent?? 3) There is an imprinted 75Marks stamp plus the person added a 500 stamp (with losanges watermark) and a 400 Mark stamp...but wrote nothing on the postcard. 4) Mystery A is there are neat 22 marks stamped on half of each stamp. Actually there are three 22 overstamps which do not contain info like Millionen so don't look like surcharges and there only two stamps...plus the surcharge font doesn't correspond to what we have. 5) Mystery B, the watermark under the 400 Mark stamp seems very discernible and easy to trace. But it looks nothing like the watermarks from that era... We are going crazy over this and were wondering if you could help us. We have pictures of everything including the watermark. My way of discerning a watermark on a stamp of a cover is pencil over tracing paper and then software enhancement if necessary. it works 70% of times.

    1. Hello Victoria - Interesting, isn't it? As you are intrigued with the mysteries of this postcard, you have the beginnings of a philatelist. !! Keep working on it! There are plenty of resources (fellow collectors, stamp clubs and societies, philatelic literature) - go for it!