Stamp News January 2006
Woodchip-free Zone Germany (West), with acknowledgement to Mr Stadly
Germany this month, and I’ll not mention the war . I will however explain the ‘Mr. Stadly’ connection. I have previously in this column mentioned that nostalgia can (and perhaps preferably should) play an important role in considering new collecting topics. Personally, as I’ve intimated before, amongst other collecting interests I’m taken with collecting the types of stamps which I vividly recall being present in Whole World ‘all different’ packets of the type regularly received from family/friends when I was a kid. Now, however, unlike back in the ’fifties, I collect my stamps commercially used only on original cover, card, parcel label, etc.
Back to Mr. Stadly, who was the next door neighbour to my parents for decades. Mr Stadly was German, with an Import/Export business in which I worked during school holidays. Much of the business incoming mail was from his contacts in Germany, and I was permitted to keep the stamps which, sadly, I dutifully removed from the covers and parcels as they arrived. The ‘Heuss’ (Figures 2, 3, 4) series was the then current definitives, and the incoming mail I had access to was occasionally peppered with commemoratives. It was to me logical (and of course nostalgic) therefore that I should include usage of this stamp series, which I’ve expanded to include also the other definitive series’ shown in the illustrations. In this group of reference collections, and for all of the collections for other countries I develop, I include usage of the contemporaneous commemorative and other special issues, in combination or not with the subject definitive series’.
The subjects shown in Figures 1 to 5 which follow are selected from our reference collections for the respective series’, which range in scope from one (16 pages) to eight frames (120 pages) for exhibition purposes. I do usage only (ie commercially used on covers/cards, etc), whereas others may prefer to include mint stamps, philatelic covers, Stationery, etc, in a ‘Series’ dedicated collection. The valuations provided are largely interpreted from Michel’s excellent ‘stamps on cover’ catalogue, which provides a price for most German stamps commercially used on cover as a (i) solo franking, (ii) double franking and (iii) combination franking with other issue/s. These provide a useful ‘blueprint’ from which to extrapolate a usage collection. Michel also provide postal rates but as they are in German I have ‘interpreted’ these and may be proven wrong. I’d be happy to be corrected if a knowledgable reader cares to take the trouble to do so.
Figure 1. The ‘glamorous’ Posthorn series
The first definitive series of the then West Germany was the ‘Posthorns’. A ‘glamour’ set mint, and quite expensive in that grade yet readily available to those with the ‘readies’, I have found interesting commercial covers difficult to find, at least in Australia. I have managed only a ‘one-framer’ to date, although with the inclusion of mint blocks and varieties as detailed in Michel’s German Specialised catalogue one could greatly expand upon my humble exhibit. Figure 1 is one of the more attractive covers I have found. The ‘Posthorns’ are particularly notable for the often vibrant colours in the series, and the ‘apple-green’ for the 90pf is a good example of this attribute. This Michel (iii) usage (see categories above) of a block of five on 17 Sep 1952 registered cover (to the then Minister for Shipping and Transport no less) from Hamburg conveniently gives the weight (mss. ‘25g’ at upper left) for us to determine the airmail rate as 450pf (90pf for 5g x 5), plus 40pf registration. Value : $150 (stamps off cover $10).
Figure 2. Three ‘Heuss’, two ‘Fräuleins’
Definitive issues in combination with commemoratives often make for colourful diversity in a usage collection, and the inclusion of two issues from the 1958 Humanitarian Relief and Welfare Funds set certainly enhances the ‘Heuss’ 10, 20 and 40pf which are otherwise rather unmeritorious on this cover. The combined franking of 100pf for this 20 Jan 1959 cover to U.S. was for the 5-10g airmail rate. The ‘+5’ and ‘+10’ expressed in the commemoratives did not contribute to the postal rate but rather was accounted to for Charity purposes. Value : $10 (stamps off cover 70c). The ‘Heuss’ series is a good one for a usage study collection (I have no difficulty assembling an ‘eight-framer’); there are many uncommon usages, two of which follow.
Figure 3. 60pf ‘Heuss’ solo franking for airmail postcard rate
I have a number of the 60pf ‘Heuss’ (intermediate format) used as a solo franking to U.S. for the 5g airmail rate, and imagine that these do not represent anything unusual; postwar correspondence between Germany and the U.S. was large. I have one only solo use of this stamp however for the airmail postcard rate to Australia (the letter airmail rate was 90pf). Given that Australia is where one would expect to locate such usage I can reasonably deduce that this is going to prove an uncommon usage. Figure 3 represents that solitary solo, a 13 Nov 1957 use from Freiburg to North Fitzroy (Vic). Value : $30 (off cover 20c).
Figure 4. 1960 use of the ‘heavy’ denominations to Australia
The 2 and 3DM are the top two denominations of the ‘Heuss’ series and are rather uncommon on cover (less so on Packet cards). The use in Figure 4 from Hamburg to Melbourne on 3 Aug 1960 of a 2DM, strip of three 3DM and a 70pf is for a total franking of 11DM 70pf. This was for 55-60g airmail/letter rate, and 50pf was for registration. A very desirable item in a usage collection of this series. Value : $200 (stamps off cover about $5).
Figure 5. 1962 Registered, Express Airmail to Australia
‘Heuss’ was replaced by the ‘Famous Germans’ series from 1961 and the replacement is another good series subject for a usage study collection. Figure 5 is a 19 Jul 1962 use of the 50pf and 1 and 2DM denominations from Munich to Ringwood (Vic). This was 240pf for 15-20g airmail/letter rate, 50pf registration, and 60pf Express service. International Express items are sought-after. Value : $35 (stamps off cover 50c).
I find the above and indeed all definitive series’ of the former West Germany very good subjects for usage study collections. The material is generally readily available, although uncommon usages do take some finding. Still, that’s what makes the ‘thrill of the chase’ the exciting concept its followers know it to be!
Hardly Germany, but a nice cover to finish with for this month. Last issue I featured Australian KGVI issues, for which I had just completed a revision of suggested pricing for commercial covers for the pending ACSC King George VI. During November Figure 6 appeared in a Melbourne auction, and is only the fourth 3d blue Die I ‘White wattles’ I have seen on commercial cover, and is probably the most attractive of these. In my price revisions I suggested $400, up from $300 in the first edition of the catalogue. Some readers may be forgiven for being of the opinion that catalogue editors just ‘dream up’ prices published in philatelic catalogues, and on occasions they may well be correct! Figure 6 realised $372 at auction, so it is reassuring to learn that I dreamt reasonably accurately in determining a catalogue price for this item. Rod Perry has been a philatelic trader since 1962 and a regular Stamp News advertiser since the 1960s. He founded Rodney A Perry Auction Galleries (now Millennium Philatelic Auctions) in 1971. As a collector he has exhibited nationally and internationally. Rod prefers his used stamps on cover and likens taking a stamp off its original cover to converting a tree to woodchips.