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, March 4, 2017


1851 Scott 4 6kr black/yellow green "Numerals"
Quick History
The Kingdom of Wurttemberg, located between Baden and Bavaria, and on the Bodensee (Lake Constance) to the south, existed between 1805 (after the Napoleonic Wars)  to 1918 in southern Germany. Prior to the Kingdom, it was the Duchy of Wurttemberg from 1495 to 1805.

Coat of Arms Kingdom of Wurttemberg
"Coat of Arms" on stamps between 1857 -1868
Wurttemberg was a member of the German Confederation between 1815 and 1866. The Kingdom became a Federal State of the German Empire in 1870, persisted as such until the dissolution of the Empire in 1918.

Kingdom of Wurttemberg
The capital was Stuttgart, and the population was 2,100,000 in 1900.

Wurttemberg first issued stamps in 1851, having taken over the duties from the postal administration of Thurn and Taxis

The postal authority was relinquished on March 31, 1902. German Empire stamps were then used for regular issues exclusively in the territory.

But Official stamps (Two major branches: "Communal Authorities" and "State Authorities" ) continued to be issued by Wurttemberg until 1923.

One should note that only Bavaria and Wurttemberg continued issuing stamps when all the other German kingdoms became part of the North German Postal Union and of the German Empire in 1869, and ceased their own issues.

During the stamp issuing era, (1851-1923), the reigning kings included William I (1816-1864), Charles I (1864-1891), and William II (1891-1918).

Of note, no monarchs of Wurttemberg appeared on stamps- save one (William II on 1916 ten stamp Official issue) -  as they did with the German states of Bavaria, Hanover, Prussia, and Saxony.

William II abdicated on November 30, 1918 following WW I. The kingdom (monarchy) was replaced by the Free Peoples State of Wurttemberg (Democratic Republic). Wurttemberg was re-established as a member state of the Weimar Republic in 1922.

After WW II, the territory was occupied by the Americans (Wurttemberg-Baden) and the French (Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern). These two states were merged with Baden in 1952 to form the present day German State Baden-Wurttemberg.

1863 Scott 36 3kr rose "Coat of Arms"
Typographed and Embossed, Perf 10
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized 1840-1940 catalogue has, for Wurttemberg 1851-1923, 251 major number descriptions. Of those (67 regular and 184 Official), 166 are CV <$1-$1+ (66%).  The Officials, especially, are quite inexpensive. But the 19th century regular issues ( 11 only CV <$1-$1+ (16%)) tend to be much more expensive.

The coverage in the Scott catalogue is divided into three main categories: Regular; Official-Communal; Official-State. In the "closer look" section that follows, I will divide the review likewise.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
16 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden
100 Pfennigs = 1 Mark (1875)
1851 Scott 2 3kr black/yellow "Numerals"
As mentioned, Wurttemberg had taken over postal duties from the House of Thurn and Taxis on July 1, 1851. It then joined the German-Austrian Postal Union.

Stamps typographically printed in black with a prominent numeral on colored paper (1kr, 3kr, 6kr, 9kr) were used as of October 15, 1851. An 18kr value was added in 1852.

This issue bears a remarkable similarity to the 1851-52 issue of Baden.

CV is $6-$30+ for three stamps.

1859 Scott 16 6kr green "Coat of Arms"
Imperforate, Without Silk Threads
The Imperforate "Coat of Arms" typographed and embossed issue was released with orange colored silk threads embedded for the September, 1857 output (five stamps), or without silk threads for the 1859 (earliest: June, 1858) output (five stamps).

1860 Scott 20 3kr yellow orange
Perf 13 1/2
The 1860 four stamp issue is perforated 13 1/2. The paper is thick.

For 1861, a similar 13 1/2 perf issue (five stamps), but on thin paper, was released.

1863 Scott 37 6kr blue
Perf 10
The "Coat of Arms" design was then issued in perforation 10.

Four stamps were released in 1862, and five stamps (in different colors then the 1862 issue) in 1863-64. The new colors (1kr green, 3kr rose, 6kr blue, 9kr brown, 19kr orange) conform to the color scheme agreed to for denominations by the German-Austrian Postal Union.

1865 Scott 42 3kr rose
Rouletted 10
Finally, between 1865-68, a six stamp issue was released, rouletted 10.

This was the end of the typographic- embossed "Coat of arms" issues, as it was more expensive and bothersome than simple typographic printing.

The estimated cost was 1 kreuzer to produce 22 embossed stamps, but 46 stamps could be produced with the plain typographic process for the same price.

1869 Scott 52 14kr orange
A "Numeral" design was selected for the six stamp 1869-73 typographed issue.

Actually five of the denominations were issued in 1869, but the 9kr denomination was released on January 15, 1873. This was as a result of the new 9 kreuzer rate for single letters to England, France, or the United States

1875 Scott 62 25pf red brown
A large eighteen stamp issue with two designs was released between 1875-1900.

This was largely in part because the denominations were changed in 1875 from Kreuzer/Gulden
to Pfennigs/Mark.

This issue proved to be the last for general use. On April 1, 1902, Wurttemberg ceased their own regular issues.  Official stamps, however, continued to be issued and used until 1923.

Wurttemberg Official Stamps - For the Communal (Municipal)  Authorities

1875 Scott O5 10pf rose
The municipal governments had their own "official" stamps. The issues were produced from 1875-1923.

The first typographic issue of six stamps- unwatermarked- were released between 1875-1900.

1906 Scott O9 5pf green
Stamps of 1875-1900 Official Issue Overprinted in Black
Centenary of Kingdom of Wurttemberg
For the centenary of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg in 1906, five stamps- types of the issue of 1875- were overprinted as shown.

1917 Scott O24 25pf brown & black
Wmk 116 "Crosses and Circles"
Types of 1875 Issue
Between 1906-1921, twenty-one stamps of the 1875 design were released on Wmk 116 "Crosses and Circles" paper. One will need to watermark the stamps that also have an unwatermarked 1875-1900 version.

CV is <$1 for all the stamps in the issue.

Wmk. 116 "Crosses and Circles"
The "Crosses and Circles" watermark is generally quite obvious.

1916 Scott O39 50pf red brown
25th Year of the Reign of King Wilhelm II
For the 25th year anniversary reign of King Wilhelm (William) II, a seven stamp issue was released.

King Wilhelm II 1892
King Wilhelm II would prove to be the last King of Wurttemberg, as the Kingdom was abolished on November 30, 1918. He died in 1921 without male issue, and so the royal branch of the House of Wurttemberg became extinct.

1919 Scott O46 7 1/2pf orange
Official Stamps of 1906-1919 Overprinted
After WW I, the municipal Official issues of Wurttemberg continued until 1923.

In 1919, ten stamps of 1906-19 were overprinted as shown.

CV is <$1 for every stamp.

1920 Scott O53 10pf maroon "Stag"
Lithographed; Wmk 192 "Circles"
A lovely lithographed six stamp "Stag" set was issued in 1920.

1920 Scott O62 20pf ultramarine
Official Stamps of 1906-19 Overprinted
A "German Reich" overprint was applied to five 1906-19 official stamps in 1920.

These stamps were available for official postage throughout Germany, but were basically used only from Wurttemberg.

1923 Scott O73 200m on 2m gray, Red Surcharge
Stamps of 1917-21 Surcharged in Black, Red or Blue
The inflationary era resulted in fourteen 1917-21 stamps being surcharged as shown in 1923.

1923 Scott O80 50th on 15pf violet
This type of a surcharge can be found on eleven stamps released in 1923.

1923 Scott O91 10pf on 25pf orange
1906 Scott O23 Surcharged with New Values
in Rentenpfennig
The last five stamp issue of municipal Officials for Wurttemberg in 1923 uses the 1906 5pf orange stamp surcharged in Rentenpfennig.

Wurttemberg Official Stamps - For the State Authorities

1890 Scott O108 1m violet "Numerals"
1881-1902 Issue; Unwatermarked
"Amtlicher Verkehr" = "Official Business"
Before April 1, 1891 the State (Ministerial Offices) correspondence was postage free. But that was changed, and Official State stamps were issued with the above design between 1881-1902 on fifteen stamps on unwatermarked paper.

CV is <$1-$1+ for ten stamps.

1906 Scott O112 10pf deep rose
Overprinted in Black
In 1906, the preceding issue was overprinted for the centenary of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg on ten stamps.

1906 Scott O128 25pf orange
1906-19 Issue; Wmk 116
Types of 1881 Issue
The 1906-1919 seventeen stamp issue was on watermarked paper (Wmk 116 "Circles and Crosses"). As this issue has the same design as the 1881 unwatermarked issue, and many of the stamp denomination colors are the same, a watermarking tray will be needed. ;-)

1916 Scott O145 violet "King Wilhelm II"
25th Year of the Reign
This is the only issue of Wurttemberg that shows a portrait of a monarch.  For the 25th year anniversary of King Wilhelm's reign, a ten stamp set was produced.

1919 Scott O151 3pf dark brown
Official Stamps of 1890-1919 Overprinted
For 1919, a thirteen stamp overprinted issue was released.

1920 Scott O175 3m yellow green
"View of Stuttgart"
As the municipal officials produced a very nice 1920 "Stag" set, so too there was a 1920 set for State Authorities depicting a "View of Stuttgart" on ten stamps.

CV is <$1-$1 for every stamp in the set.

Although Scott states the 1920 "View of Stuttgart" set is "typographic", it appears lithographic to me. (Likewise, the 1920 Stag" set is lithographic.)

1920 Scott O179 20pf ultramarine
Official Stamps of 1906-19 Overprinted
Finally, In 1920, the German Postal Administration overprinted as shown on eight stamps. This issue could be used throughout Germany, but in fact was almost exclusively used in Wurttemberg.

Deep Blue
1920 "Stag" Official Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 14 pages for the 1851-1923 regular and official stamps of Wurttemberg. The Steiner pages follow the Scott catalogue layout, so all major numbers have a space.

1869 Scott 50 7kr blue
Typographed & Embossed
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on five pages, has 180 spaces for the stamps of Wurttemberg.

Coverage is a healthy 72%.

Seven spaces for the earlier regular issues require an expensive stamp (Threshold: $10+). In fact, four of those spaces require a CV $52+-$160 stamp (In the "Most Expensive $35+" category).

See the Comments section below the checklist for specifics.


2,(4 or 5),

1857-58* (actually -59)
9 or 15, 10 or 16,

20 or 25,(26),





Next Page

Official Stamps
(Communal Authorities)










Next Page

(Official- Communal)




Next Page

(Official- Communal)

For the State Authorities

O94 or O119, O96 or O121,O98 or O122, O124,O127, O102 or O128,

O103 or O130, O104 or O132, O133,O134,

O120, O123, O125,

O110,O111, O112,O113,(O114),(O115),(O116),

Next Page





A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
Choice Blank space: 1851 (Scott 4) 6kr black/yellow green ($30+)
or 1851 (Scott 5) 9kr black/rose ($30+)
1857 (Scott 10) 6kr green ($60))
1861 (Scott 26) 6kr green ($60)
1863 Scott 34 1kr yellow green ($10+)
1863 Scott 37 6kr blue ($52+)
1863 (Scott 39) 9kr yellow brown ($160)
B) (    ) around a Scott number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *1857-58 (actually -59) - orange silk threads vs without silk threads
*1875 - by date- BB calls for unwatermarked. Scott O17 -wmk 116 doesn't belong.
Similar exclusions were made for *1890-96 and *1900.
D) *1890-1907- choices are unwatermarked vs wmk 116.

1920 Scott O164 75pf on 3pf dark brown
Surcharged in Carmine on 1919 Scott O151
Out of the Blue
This is the last of the German States to be posted. One could spend a lifetime acquiring a specialists knowledge for this area.

Note: Maps and pics appear to be in the public domain.

Note: I am aware that the correct spelling of Wurttemberg in German includes an umlaut over the "u". For simplicity sake, I have not included the umlaut.

Have a comment?


  1. Thanks for this great article! I am working on a Wurttemberg collection...BUT I'm havingdificulty determining the watermarks used pre-1900.

    Is there an authoritative index of these watermarks??

    Many thanks!



    1. Hello Peter

      You are in luck. There were no watermarks used on Wurttemberg stamps prior to 1900. The only watermarks are "Crosses and Circles" found after 1906 on some issues (I illustrate that watermark on the post), and "circles" used on the 1920 "Stag" and "View of Stuttgart" issues. An illustration of all the watermarks for all the German States precedes the German States section in the Scott catalogue.

  2. Hi I'm interested in finding out about this 10 zehn pfennig. It doesn't seem to match anything I can find colour wise and such.