This cover caught my eye earlier this year at an online auction. I like the neatness and simplicity, but mostly I like the Charity Stamps that were Germany's first "semi-postals" to raise money for the war wounded.
Used on cover they are not easy to find, but collectors in Germany love to put entire sets on envelopes and either mail them to a friend who might collect stamps or have them "handed back" by a post office clerk after canceling them. I believe this actually went through the postal system, possibly along with countless others who may have squirreled them away.
There were/still are a lot of stamp collectors in Germany who wanted a souvenir of the first charity stamps issued May 1, 1919 (May Day!) this one was postmarked on the 21st of May, so it is NOT a "first day cover."
The cover catalogues in my 2007 Michel for €18 but if it turns out they are the scarcer color varieties (red to dark red; or dark rose to dark rose red for the 10+5pg and blackish grey violet or blackish blue violet for the 15+5pf), the value soars to a whopping €512!
Maybe I need to figure out the exact color...........
This postal card, while registered and innocently trying to pose as a legitimate-usage cover, screams stamp collector contrived; I could be wrong (comments anyone?) but I like it anyway.
The original pre-printed card may have been of the Third Reich era, even portraying a now-forbidden Hitler definitive stamp likeness, so this counts, technically I think, as an "uprated" card.
The neatness and wide spaces allowed between some of the stamps suggests a careful placement for balance and aesthetics. Most hurried clerks or postal patrons would not have taken the obvious philatelic care in preparing a cover for a simple registration and mailing fee.
This simple cover dating from 1875 was addressed simply to Mr. Enrico Coppier, in Torino.
No street address, no Post Office Box, not even the name of the country (Italy) was needed.
What did postal employees earn way back in 1875? Whatever it was, they earned their salary! Today such a letter wouldn't be likely to get to its intended destination....maybe we should pay our postal workers the equivalent of their 1875 salaries!
Looks like the German writing is Ver---- Ausdehnung / Hafen Pflichtwerbedienst which has something to do with the expansion of a port and compulsory service or guard duty....I just can't find the relevant information! Did Erich Schattat ever get this urgent letter? Who was the mysterious sender from Hotel Wiesbaden--was it the notated A. Zenker below the Hotel Address???..... and lastly, why would someone pencil in such an odd price of €8.68 ?
I bought it, of course, because of all the questions! And I like HOTEL and REGISTRATION and EXPRESS combination covers anyway!
Ah my first "Gelber Hund" semi-official airmail cover from 1912.
Love at first sight; I kept the auction tag to remind me I overpaid for this card in 2003. ALthough eBay was doing well in 2003 with a lot of stamps and cover--I sold and bought quite a few way back then but I didn't utilize eBay's notification alert system for the items I was looking for, so I bought this elsewhere (Regency Stamp Auctions)
Today the cover (or one of many very similar) goes for a lot less than what I paid for it; but like one's first love there are some things worth paying more for, as I enjoyed it over the past twelve years for a "loss" of about a penny and a half per day.
This World War II era postcard shows a bold propaganda slogan cancel--
"more than 32 million British Registered Tons are gone!"
I spent hours one night trying to ascertain if the figure of 32,000,000 BRT was overly exaggerated. I couldn't come up with a definitive answer other than the figure appears slightly overblown as of the summer of 1943.
What if they had Google in 1939, would that have changed history?
What if Hitler had access to, and surfed the Internet, would he have spent all his time playing war-games thus sparing the lives of millions???
Actually this is NOT a cover I own, but one I passed up on eBay earlier this year.
There are way too many fake covers "postmarked" from the last days of the Nazi regime in 1945. Berlin was in flames and the Russian army was pounding heavy artillery daily--although postal service was continuing on an abbreviated level, most collectors had other things on their minds than getting the latest stamps nicely cancelled (let alone delivered!)
German Philatelic experts often disagree or even change their minds sometimes about the authenticity of covers like this; I feel its best to stay away and not encourage anyone who might still have war-looted postmark cancellers and plenty of sheets of nearly-worthless Nazi era German stamps....too much temptation.
Stay away or you'll get burned!!!
OK if you must, at least do some research (Philaseiten.de is a great place, as is googling BDP archives) before spending your hard-earned money on a big gamble!
reads the top title of this map printed on the reverse of a 1949 cover. It shows a map of divided Germany and a Soviet chain surrounding the eastern occupation zone which soon became the German "Democratic" Republic (East Germany). To the right are the areas of Germany cleansed of German nationals and turned over to Poland. Only the Western zones of the US, Britain, and France remained free of communist rule under the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Cold War was in full swing, and an "Iron Curtain" was quickly descending on half of Europe. ==============================================================
The bottom reads "Self-determination right for all people! Reunification in peace and freedom!"
Only after the Berlin Wall fell, and negotiations lasting over a year, was a peace treaty finalized known as the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany (also Two Plus Four) In the treaty the Four Powers renounced all rights they held in Germany, allowing a united Germany to become fully sovereign the following year.
It would take forty more years to achieve this, but by the end of 1989 all of Germany was on a fast, if bumpy ride to reunification in peace and freedom.
this cover seemed strange to me......addressed to a philatelist of some sort, a First Day Cover to boot.
Turns out so soon after the war there were many cancelers that had their Nazi-era slogans that were cut out; I believe this to be genuine, probably not of great value but, well, since I don't drink coffee, into my collection it went!
This letter has a colorful etiquette, or Cinderella, exhorting the public to Read the National-Sozialistische Press. The pre-addressed envelope was postpaid with a meter, or Freistempel and made its way to the WHW offices, Lottery Division in Luebeck on the Baltic (Ostsee).
The WHW was an annual charity drive with "None shall starve nor freeze" as its slogan. Originally set up in 1931, Hitler would later claim sole credit. From 1933 to 1945 (October through March) WHW was designed to provide food, clothing, coal, and other items to less fortunate Germans during the inclement months.
In German-occupied France a similar drive was set up, known in French as the Secours d'Hiver and in the Netherlands known as the Winterhulp.
In 1923 the inflation that had been rampant really ramped up. This cover dates from the 25th of March, 1923 when just the prior month it cost 70 Marks to mail a letter between 20 and 100 grams. I am assuming it is short-paid, as rates went up to 120 Marks on March 1, perhaps the postal clerk or sender didn't know the current letter rates. They climbed monthly, then even weekly, who could keep up!
This cover to the mining company in Trier, near the western border with Luxembourg, was franked with fourteen copies of an official 5 Mark stamp issued as the highest value in 1920 according to my 2007 Michel Spezial catalog. It lists three different color varieties; the "cheapest, siena-to-blackish-siena" valued at € 55.50 for fourteen singles franked on a cover.
A post office employee, I assume, dutifully marked out with his pencil the stamps that escaped the machine cancel then in use, even though the value of uncancelled stamps dropped to near nothing. Nowadays like when one gets older low value postage stamps on mail; often they are uncancelled but noone even bothers to mark through them with a pen like they used to.
If it were the scarcer peace-time printing, described as "reddish-brown to dark red-brown" the catalog value soars to a whopping € 450.00. The scarcer paper and gum used for the peace time printing is hard to differentiate, especially on cover. The vast majority of these official stamps were printed using the cheaper emergency, war-time paper and gum.
I like to think one day with advancing technology it would be easy to differentiate paper types and I would hit the jackpot; for now I will gladly acknowledge it is likely the more common issue.
As an aside, in 2007 the German stamp market was in a better all-around state; today the market is a bit, shall we say, stagnant especially with many baby-boomer collectors now retiring and wanting to sell their stamps. I would assume newer issues of Michel catalogs reflect this trend.
This sad-looking letter made my mother cry when I brought in the mail just over forty years ago, in 1974. I was a 15 year-old stamp collector and normally ripped any stamps off our incoming mail to soak and add to my growing collection.
Curious as to how she knew her favorite uncle had died, I was quickly introduced to the since-forgotten practice of sending Mourning Covers to family and acquaintances. Poor Onkel Ferdi, I had visited him two years before and he was ill but young ones think their family members will live forever.
In a way he does, as I always think of Onkel Ferdi fondly and smiling when I see this cover.
Never again do I tear stamps from their envelopes!
This postcard solicitation for Die Rigaer Zeitschrift ("The Riga Magazine") touted it as a great German-language periodical needed by anyone wishing to keep abreast of the lucrative Russian/Baltic market for German goods and services.
The first sentence (in bold, on top) mentions how "The Baltic-Russian market is independent of wild currency swings because of its hunger for goods building on Russia's 140 million inhabitants"
These are some really nice pieces, Jim. A few comments, from the top.
1919 Semi-Postals -- these appear to be the common colors. Probably a philatelic usage, unless it was a really heavy letter.
Glider-post -- really love the glider cachet. It's a shame the postal clerk didn't press a little harder on the cancels, because those are really nice commemorative cancels.
AMG -- this is a really interesting piece. The "AM Post" Bi-Zone issues were printed by the Americans, British, and Germans, and there are noticeable differences in the three (here's a handy reference). For example, you have three 3 Pf varieties -- the first is American, the second British, and the bottom one German. That screams philatelic, but it's neat nonetheless. The rate is a little excessive (84 Pf), but it's correct if you discount the 12 Pf AM Post that's covered-up by the 25 Pf and 10 Pf. It seems odd that a philatelic usage would cover-up a stamp, so there may be a reason behind doing so that would also explain the rate.
Torino -- love the handwriting. It's actually readable, which is rare for the period!
Hotel -- the handwriting appears to be a mix of Kurrent and Sütterlin scripts, with horrible penmanship on top of it all. I can't get the business name, but the address appears to be Lindenstraße 20, unit 5. This would be mere yards from the Berlin SW 68 post office, which was on Ritterstraße between Lindenstraße and Alte Jakobstraße, about a block SE of what would later become Checkpoint Charlie. The building that's currently at that address appears to be old, so it's probably the same building your addressee lived/worked in.
Gelber Hund -- nice one. The corners aren't in bad shape, which is a good sign. These tend to be rough around the edges.
BRT cancel -- awesome machine cancel. Catalogs in Bochmann as MS 403. Used at numerous post offices from June-December 1943.
SA/SS -- I agree! Stay away!!! Fake cancels on fake SA/SS stamps.
FDC -- interestingly enough, it was FDC for the 30 Pf stamps, but not the 60 Pf. It's also a gross overfranking, unless they were mailing a brick!
NSDAP -- neat cinderella, but let's talk about the cancel for a moment. During the period, it was common for companies (for some reason, largely financial institutions) to pay for machine cancels advertising their business. This one is advertising the Hamburger Sparcasse (still around, but now spelled Hamburger Sparkasse), a bank in Hamburg founded in 1827. The counter (4821) indicated how many cancels had been applied, so the post office knew how much to charge the business.
Officials -- not sure what's going on with the rate on this one. There's no combination of weight/services which would warrant a 70 M rate. Either a shorted 100 M, or excessive postage for a 60 M letter.
Mourning cover -- nice that you have one with a personal connection!
Unfranked -- another great machine cancel. Catalogs in Bochmann as Gera 4 (4/i A), and was in use from 1937-40/
This cover also has a nice free franking marking from the II. Battalion, Kavallerieschützenregiment 7 (2nd Battalion, Cavalry Rifle Regiment 7), which was based at Gera.
This nice Hindenburg Zeppelin postcard dates from 19 July 1936, and has the appropriate red flight cancel, atop a nice Olympics slogan machine cancel!
It is postmarked at the original shipyard/foundry in Friedrichshaven, but I am not sure it actually was carried on board--does anyone know if the red flight cancels prove it flew on board as mail or not?
I think the addressee reads Muernitz bei Wilhelmsfuerth/Mittelfranken.
If you look closely at the bottom of the picture, you can see teeny tiny people scurrying about as the immense airship makes its ascent!
A few years ago I picked up this WWI-era German Feldpost (soldier's mail) censored cover at a local stamp bourse. Although it was a bit pricey, I'm glad the dealer let me have it for what I thought was a reasonable price. He remembered I would always ask for censored/registered/mourning/military/or otherwise interesting covers, and he set it aside for me.
The blue censor label (cut from being wrapped around to the back of the letter) states the cover was opened officially by the wartime military authorities. Wilhelmshaven, the principal German naval base in the North Sea, was very important to the U-Boot fleet. A censoring official likely filled out the field below "Wilhelmshaven". Additionally there are Torpedo Company(?) auxiliary markings on the cover. The dealer told me what he knew about the cover at the time, but unfortunately I didn't write it down, and I've forgotten it! Perhaps it's a letter from someone aboard a U-Boot--I may post this on a German forum as well. Any further information discovered I will share here.
Jim and PostmasterGS, this a great thread, with excellent comments. Philatelically-competent and with content skillfully written, the comments are also nuanced with italic and bold features, in perfect manner. This is a world-class thread. Bravo!
An insured cover from the German State of Bavaria is from 1920, and may be a philatelic-inspired cover. The pair and the block of four 15 Pfennig stamps seem to be two different shades of red. Seems a collector at some point wrote in pencil the Michel catalogue numbers of the two different shades. Nice work, if it's correct!
This cover is franked with five different values of the President Heuss series from the mid-fifties. Three other stamps added likely overpaid the rate to Canada in 1956 (DM 1,60 was the total postage paid, worth about 35 US cents at the time). Perhaps it was sent to a stamp collector; I picked it up for less than the price of a cup of tea!
Another cover I like for the symmetry of the stamps; it is franked with a tiny blue 2pf compulsory Notopfer ("emergency victim") stamp required for raising funds to build homes; this variety is imperforate and there are several other varieties, some with only slight differences. Literally billions and billions were printed and used on domestic mail in Germany from about 1949 to 1956. This commercial letter was sent from the Kuttroff Brothers, a jewelry- and clock-housing manufacturer in the heavy-bombed (during WWII) industrial town of Pforzheim, which I visited for the second time in October 2018.
What is the price of a cup of tea ?? :D .....I do not drink tea..... René
Usually between US$1 and $2.50, where I go. Since I don't drink coffee (and only drink tea very rarely) I kind of poke fun at people who get their daily cup of fancy latte coffee or cappuccino and pay around $US5 or more. For that kind of money I'd rather stay thirsty (or drink water!) and get a nice cover!
Again, I don't mean to disparage people who need their dailycaffeinefix; I am even more addicted to stamps and philately in general (and The Stamp Forum) than I care to admit!
delcampe & eBay: stampguyAPS177-681 one day soon I will start listing a lot of interesting worldwide covers cards and stamps....
This cover was sent to a small town called Blaubeuren in Baden-Wuerttemberg not far from the town of Ulm. I stayed in a lovely hotel there last year with my son and wife, while visiting family nearby. I remember visiting the same town when I was ten or eleven years old living with my parents nearby. So naturally I remembered the town when I saw this cover in a dealer's box and just had to have it, for way less than the price of a cup of coffee! The special cancel is from the nearby town of Sigmaringen, another popular tourist town!
This black-and-white picture postcard from the famous town of Weimar piqued my curiosity when I found it rummaging through some old family pictures. Imagine my surprise when I found it was sent by my grandmother to my parents while they lived in Stuttgart in 1957 two years before I was born! What made it more unusual is that I knew my mother's mother (my Oma) lived in Weimar at the time, which was in the former East Germany. I knew my mother had recently left Weimar to escape the Communist oppression there in 1955, and wondered why my Oma was writing to my mother in Stuttgart (West Germany).
Seems my grandmother had received permission form the DDR regime to visit her daughter (my mother) who was expecting her first child--my older brother. Since my grandmother didn't have the luxury of a telephone she relied on this postcard to tell my mother that my grandmother's train would be arriving at 7:41 am on April 26, a Friday.
Years later my grandmother told me it took her nearly a full day, and four changes of train, for the 290-Kilometer (180 mile) trip; today it takes less than four hours! At least the postal system was fast; the postcard was received in plenty of time for my parents to pick up my grandmother as the cancellation shows it was mailed three days before, on a Tuesday (23-4-1957).
I always wondered, and recently asked my mother, why Oma was allowed to visit the West. The Communist regime would allow family members to visit Western relatives, but only if there was ample reason to believe they would return to the East.
My grandmother had four younger children at home in Weimar; ages eight, ten, twelve, and sixteen (my mother's four younger sisters) and the authorities felt a mother traveling alone had more reason to return if her children were forcibly kept behind. Years later, one by one, my four aunts made their escape and fled to the West, each time staying with us or other relatives in West Germany until they managed on their own.
Eventually my grandmother and grandfather did finally flee, but only after the Berlin Wall in 1961 made escape that much more difficult. My grandfather had hesitated because, of all things, he did NOT want to leave his prized stamp collection behind!
This Inflation-era cover is missing a stamp, but the other three M75,000 Local Post emergency issues on the cover intrigued me with their color and simple design.
I seem to recall a Walter Behrens being a stamp dealer but I can't be sure. Whether or not it is philatelic in nature can be debated but I have never seen these issues unused nor on a cover, so I bid on it recently and won!