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The Germania definitives.

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Julia Lee19/03/2013 17:52:42
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Well, Michael, I hope you're ready for a rundown of all the longest German defin series, because I'm sure that's what Adrian's going to post!

Adrian19/03/2013 19:00:23
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But I'll see what I can do! smiley

Alex19/03/2013 19:46:26
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The Gothic / Teutonic script used for the overprints is called frakturschrift and was used until 1940 or there abouts.


Overprinted surcharge for German injured veterans, 1919.


Germania overprinted 'Russian - Poland', for use in occupied Poland, 1915.


Germania overprinted for use in the Generalgouvernement / Warsaw region of Poland, 1916 / 1917.


Belgian overprint, 1916 / 1918.


German military administration in Rumania, 1917.

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Germania with Bavarian overprints (Free State Bavaria), 1919 / 1920.

Edited By Alex on 19/03/2013 20:11:57

Alex20/03/2013 09:08:05
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Here is a 1911 package / parcel card for some items sent from Berlin to Brussels, via Cologne. Note it is for a M. Henri Nys, a typo / lithographer in Brussels. The card carries a Berlin value registration label, a label stating the package contains goods of value, a Cologne forign mail label and a Brussels arrival mark, a red manuscript mark, also a wax imprint mark. Quite a busy card!

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By the way, Berlin W30 lies to the south of the city, below the Tiergarten and next to Templehof. It had a large Jewish community at this time.

Edited By Alex on 20/03/2013 09:20:52

Michael Chambers21/03/2013 10:53:23
277 forum posts
255 photos


Thanks for all those images. It shows what an interesting area it is to collect. I think you said in your original post that some people find the design ugly. I must say I like it more and more.

I'm not strong on Germany. Have there been other images of Germania on German stamps apart from this one. I suspect its associations with German imperialism have meant that it has not figured on post war stamps.

I was interested to find out when the figure of Germania came to prominence as a symbolic personification of the German people. A little work on the web suggests it was first used widely in the Romantic era and at the time of the 1848 revolution, often in allegorical paintings showing Germania guarding the Rhine ( the famous 'Watch on the Rhine' but then, as you have said, was taken up heavily by the German empire after unification. I gather that a massive statue of Germania was built near Rudesheim to commemorate the new empire in the 1870s.

Julia Lee21/03/2013 11:03:30
2047 forum posts
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Yes, there was a massive statue called the Niederwalddenkmal, and it's still there.

Alex22/03/2013 08:39:07
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Thanks for your comments, Michael.

There was a German stamp issued last year, in fact, with a Germania 5 pfg. stamp on it. It was for the 100th anniversary of Germany's first official air mail service.


Germania as a personification of that central European region stems from classical times. It was a Roman invention, much like the British figure of Britannia which used to be on the old 50 pence coins.


Germania denarius of Hadrian, circa 120 AD.

It was the German Nazarenes, a group of German artists in Italy, who first used the figure of Germania extensively in the modern era, at the beginning of the 19th century. It was also used as a political image during the occupation of the German states by Napolean, gaining more political merit during the European revolutions of the 1840s. Once Germany was unified, Germania came to represent the entire German nation.

I have also visited the huge Germania figure overlooking the Rhein. You could walk up to it, but there is also a cable car which glides you over the vineyards from the town below. The views are stunning as well, the Rhein below you, the Rhein gorge and the little towns and villages. The figure faces west, towards France, the old enemy.

Edited By Alex on 22/03/2013 08:44:47

Alex25/03/2013 15:38:42
574 forum posts
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The Germania stamps were also issued in booklets and can be collected as panes.


Germania booklet #29.


Germania booklet #31.


The Germania stamps shared some booklets with the numeral definitives, as here for booklet #15. The se-tenant pair to the right comes from such a booklet. The left and central pairs come from the sheets produced to make up the booklets. Note the diamond pattern watermark.


Edited By Alex on 25/03/2013 15:50:21

Doug Cochrane18/02/2014 22:30:59
1 forum posts

Can anyone explain the HAN numbers. Sometimes I see numbers that begin with an H, other times it starts with a V. Do other numbers exist? Sometimes I see numbers without a letter in front of the number.


Julia Lee19/02/2014 10:23:59
2047 forum posts
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230 articles

So you need a HAN-dy guide? (Sorry, sorry).

This is a job for Alex or Adrian, I feel.

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