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...

Sunday, September 1, 2013


1863 Scott 11 2 1/2 s ultramarine, Rouletted  11 1/2
Eagle Embossed, "Coat of Arms"
Quick History
The Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck, a city-state, existed from 1226-1937, and played a significant role in  German history.
Location of Lübeck (red) within the German Empire
On the river Trave, a port city on the arm of the Baltic Sea in northern Germany, Lübeck was, for several centuries, the "Queen" and "Capital" of the  powerful medieval trade organization, the Hanseatic League.

In 1226, Emperor Frederick II declared Lübeck to be an Imperial Free City.

Old town Lübeck
In 1375, Emperor Charles IV included Lübeck as part of the five "Glories of the Empire", along with Venice, Rome, Pisa, and Florence.
 Lübeck in 1641
In 1811, Lübeck was annexed as part of the Napoleonic French Empire, but regained its free status under the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

Crow-stepped gabled town house in Lübeck
The population was 36,000 in 1834, and had grown to 52,000 by 1871. Stamps with the "Double Eagle" Coat of Arms were introduced in 1859. 

"Coat of Arms" for Lübeck
Stamps were issued through 1865. When Lübeck joined the North German Confederation on January 1, 1868, its own stamp production ceased. Subsequently, Lübeck became a member of the German Empire in 1870.

The governance independence of the Free City of Lübeck came to an ignominious end in 1937, when the Nazis incorporated almost all its territory into Schleswig-Holstein.

By way of food trivia, Lübeck is famous for its marzipan, and Rotspon wine.

Lübeck Possessions, 1815-1937
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for 1859-1865, 14 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 10 stamps are CV $10+-$40, 2 stamps are CV $90-$100, and 2 stamps are CV $400. All are less expensive unused. Not cheap, but a few representative specimens may be collected for interest.

The '69 Big Blue editors, though, eliminated  Lübeck's stamp spaces. The spaces are in the '41/'43/'47 editions.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
16 Schillings = 1 Mark
1859 Scott 3 2s brown "Coat of Arms"
Lithographed, Imperforate, wmk 148
The initial issue for Lübeck consisted of 5 denominations, and was imperforate. The stamps were lithographed. They show nicely the "double eagle" coat of arms. This particular rather rumpled and torn 2s brown illustrated stamp appears unused (CV $10+). A genuine used specimen has a CV of $200. ! I checked the Serrane, and this stamp does not appear to be a "Geneva" forgery or a (rare) reprint.

The watermark is "small flowers" (wmk 148). I believe I detected the watermark, but not enough to show a picture. ;-)
1862 Scott 7 1s yellow orange "Coat of Arms"
Imperforate, unwatermarked
In 1862, a 1/2s lilac and a 1s yellow orange with the same design as previous was issued. CV is $10+-$20+ for the stamps. They were issued unwatermarked.

1863 Scott 10 2s rose "Coat of Arms"
Rouletted 11 1/2, "Eagle Embossed"
The main issue for Lübeck was produced in 1863, and had 5 "Eagle Embossed" denominations. The CV are all less expensive unused, and ranges from $20-$100. Reprints have no embossing, and are imperforate. The 2s rose (illustrated above) had a total of 120,000 stamps issued, while the 2 1/2s ultramarine (shown at the post header) had a total of 50,000 issued stamps.

So are there any other "forgery" caveats with this issue? Not really, but I still got snookered.

 1/2 Schilling cut square
Note the "Couvert" = Envelope script
I bought a small lot of Lübeck stamps. In the included lot was supposedly the 1863 Scott 8 1/2s green. What I received is shown above. Note it appears imperforate, while these specimens should be rouletted. But the real clue is "uvert" in the left upper corner? That is "couvert", which means envelope. Yes, I received a cut square. ;-(
1864 Scott 13 1 1/4 s dark brown
Lithographed, Imperforate
In 1864, a single stamp was released as illustrated. CV is $30+ unused, $70+ used.

1865 Scott 14 1 1/2s red lilac
Rouletted 11 1/2, "Eagle embossed"
In 1865, another single stamp was released, this time with embossing. I checked the Serrane guide again, and this appears to not be a "Geneva" forgery. The reprints are imperforate, and without embossing. 

Also, of interest, the Serrane showed my cancellation LUE/BAH to be the Lübeck train station cancellation LUEBECK/BAHNHOF. CV is $60+ used, while $20+ unused.

Back of Scott 14 with expert mark
Not unusual with the classic central European stamps, is to find an "expert mark" on the stamp reverse. I looked up "W. zeunert" at this excellent site, and, sure enough, he is a "recognized expert" from Hamburg.
Reassuring, but probably not the last word. ;-)

Deep Blue
Lübeck in Deep Blue (Steiner) is found all on one page. Nice!

Lubeck in the '47 BB edition
Big Blue
As mentioned, Lübeck lost its place with the '69 edition.

But, reviewing the '47 edition, Lübeck has one line, sharing the page with Lourenco Marques.

There are five spaces for the 1859-1865 issues. All of the spaces cross the minimum threshold of $10, ranging from $12-$32, but none reach the $35 "Most Expensive" category.

As far as selection, the choices are certainly reasonable. But the 1863 embossed issue is represented by the 1/2s green (CV 30+), rather than the less expensive 2s rose (CV $20).

All choices are less expensive mint.


1* or 6, 3,5,8,14,

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1862 Scott 6 1/2s lilac ($10+)
1859 Scott 3 2s brown (10+)
1859 Scott 5 4s green ($10+)
1863 Scott 8 1/2s green ($30+)
1865 Scott 14 1 1/2s red lilac ($20+)
B) *1 or 6 - Scott 1 is actually CV $400, while Scott 6 is $10+. ;-)

Holstentor in Lübeck
Out of the Blue
Unlike some of the other German States reviewed previously, I was lucky enough this time to have neither forgeries or reprints. Although one cut square did sneak in. ;-)

Note: maps, pictures appear to be in the public domain

Haben Sie Fragen? ;-)


  1. Hi Jim,

    I have two questions for you that I hope you can help me with. I recently acquired a Lubeck 1s which was sold as Sc#2. I note that the background color is darker and more like your 2s. The stamp is also more dull orange-yellow than you bright orange-yellow stamp. Could you SC#7 be a reprint on thin white wove paper?

    Second, for it to be #2 it should have a wmk. I have not used fluid to detect wmks before. Do you have a brand that you recommend that is safe to use on both mint and used stamps? I assume one immerses the stamp and then lets it air dry? Many thanks for your time.

    1. Hi Tyrannus
      I'll address the second question first: I use Clarity watermark brand fluid. It is safe. I believe you can get it from Amos/Scott web site.
      Now the first question: it has been a long time since I examined Lubeck stamps - this blog post was put together nine years ago, and I would need to refresh my memory about them. If you paid a lot of $ for this stamp, you should get a cert for it. There are a lot of landmines in this area. Good luck!