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Germania

The Germania definitives.

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Alex27/02/2013 15:14:07
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One of the sets I collected from early on were the Germania definitives of Germany. Adrian wrote about these stamps in an article some time back, in Stamp Magazine. Most people find these stamps boring, even ugly. However, in this thread, I hope to show them in a more positive light, using examples in my collection.

Introduced in late 1899, they would become Germany's definitive stamps for a entire generation. Officially, they were issued in January 1900, but some were sold in late December, 1899. Any postally used stamps, or letters, with a clear 1899 postmark carry a premium for collectors.

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The stamps were designed by Paul Eduard Waldraff. In the center is a portrait of 'Germania', the personification of the newly unified Germany. Germania wears a imperial crown and holds a sword and an olive branch. The surrounding border is in the new Jugendstil style of organic, flowing lines. The actress Anna Fuehring, a personal friend of emporer Wilhelm II apparently, was the inspiration, and model, for the figure of Germania. One of several designs put forward, the Germania design was chosen by the emporer himself. The first issued set of 10 stamps was inscribed 'Reichspost' (Imperial post). There was a first run of stamps issued at the end of 1899 with a slightly larger 'Reichspost' print size which command a large premium compared to the normal inscription print size.

Julia Lee27/02/2013 15:15:41
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When you say 'personal friend'...?

Julia Lee27/02/2013 16:15:42
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Said Germania article is on the website!

Michael Chambers27/02/2013 16:28:11
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The Germania stamp is also a brilliant example of the influence of art nouveau on stamp design, something I'm very interested in.

Alex28/02/2013 14:18:52
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The Germania design was also used on postal stationery cards.

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Unused 5 Pfg stationery postcard from 1910 / 1911.

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1916 / 1917 10 pfg stationery postcard with added 1919 National Assembly stamp and postmarked with the special Weimar National Assembly Air Mail handstamp.

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1919 / 1920 15 pfg stationery postcard with added postage, including the 1919 Air Mail set. This card was posted in Munich and has the special Munich Air Mail postmark. The red cachet was added to denote actual air delivery and arrival in, this case, the post office in Constance.

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Official exhibition stationery postcard produced for the International Book and Graphics Exhibition in Leipzig, 1914.

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Locally produced private patent letter. This 1908 example stems from Bremen and has various adverts from local companies.

 

 

 

Edited By Alex on 28/02/2013 14:28:50

Adrian28/02/2013 14:32:58
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That's some great items, Alex, am enjoying your thread very much. Love that patent letter! Any idea why it is called that?

Alex28/02/2013 15:04:54
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Not sure, Adrian. One German philatelic site suggested it was for copyright reasons or due to the design having been patented.

The Germania definitive can also be found on Bavarian stationery cards. These are overprints of Bavarian cards after Bavaria was finally intergrated into greater Germany. These were overprinted in 1921, using up the remaining stocks.

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This is a 1920 Bavarian 'Farewell' stationery card with the Bavaria shield on a oak tree. It was overprinted in 1921 with the blue Germania 30 pfg issue, two bars cancelling out the previous value.

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1919 Bavarian stationery postcard with the 'Freestate Bavaria' overprint. Again, it was overprinted with the Germania issue in 1921. This is a so called 'early inflation' card, posted in 1922. The 1.50 Mark value was the correct postal rate for the period of 1/7/22 to 30/9/22.

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1920 Bavarian 'Farewell' reply card with the 1921 Germania overprint. This card was posted in Munich and has the special air mail postmark. Additional air mail stamps added.

Adrian18/03/2013 12:08:41
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I was sorting some Germany last night and came across my Germania stamps, so I thought I'd show some random items in this thread here.

German stamps at the time had so-called HAN numbers in the margin. HAN stands for Hausauftragsnummer and is basically a print run number. The number is preceded by a H from HAN and ends with the two digits of the year of printing (I presume).

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Overprints received their own HAN number.

18a.jpg

What I also like about German sheet margins is that you can see the difference between plate printings and cylinder printings, the latter having a pattern of vertical lines on the top and bottom sheet margin.

18c.jpg

Julia Lee18/03/2013 12:20:40
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One should always be a bit cautious of Google Translate but I get 'job number' or 'order number' out of it for HAN.

Michael Chambers19/03/2013 17:50:33
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In his article Adrian refers to the use of overprinted stamps in the German occupied territories in the First World War. As he says, that adds another interesting element to any Germania collection. Here are a few of the stamps issued for use in occupied Belgium. I have to say the German Gothic script is a cut above the usual quality of emergeny overprints!

germania.jpeg

Am I right, incidentally, that Germania is the longest running German definitive series?

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