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first issues > countries > baden


Thursday, May 1, 1851

German State 6

  Baden Scott #1, Gibbons #1  

Imperforate, no watermark, engraved.
Printed by ???.


Description # printed   Scott SG Mi Y&T
1st printing, May 1, 1851
1 kreuzer black on buff
291,780   1a      
3 kreuzer black on orange yellow
2,755,260   2a      
6 kreuzer black blue green
723,240   3a      
9 kreuzer black pale rose
456,840   4a      
Printed in August, 1851
1 kreuzer black on straw
445,000   1      
3 kreuzer black on yellow
3,402,400   2      
6 kreuzer black yellow green
1,835,300   3      
9 kreuzer black lilac rose
5,819,200   4      

All issue quantities are approximate.

The postal administration of the Grand Duchy of Baden agreed to join the Austro-Prussian Postal Union on April 6, 1850. The decision was ratified by the legislative assembly. The dies were completed in December 1850, and the first issue was printed in February 1851. 5 ring number cancels were used from the beginning of the stamp period.

The dies were made from two parts: the inner value tablet, and the outer frame, which was used for all four stamps. The dies were engraved on copper from which electrotypes were made. 50 types were made for the one kreuzer, of which 45 were used to produce sheets of 5 stamps in 9 rows. The last 5 types were kept in reserve. For the 3, 6 and 9 kreuzer stamps 100 types were produced, 90 of which were used to produce sheets of 9 stamps in 10 rows, the last 10 types kept in reserve.

The initial quantity printed was meant to last for a year, but it was soon realized that more stamps were needed. In August 1851 the second printing was made using thicker paper in slightly different colors. The paper used for the first printing is almost translucent. The stamps of the second printing were issued as the stamps of the first printing were used up. The earliest known usage dates for the second printing are as follows:

For the second printing the reserve types were used to produce sheets of 50 and 100 stamps, respectively. The 1, 3 and 6 kreuzer stamps were only printed in these two printings. Over 8 years the 9 kreuzer was printed 7 times, with slight differences in paper color, the last two printings being more purple in color.

These stamps were printed close to each other, the normal width between stamps being only around 1 mm. Full margins would therefore be only about ½ mm. on each side. The Scott catalog states 'Very fine examples of No. 1 - 9 will have one or two margins touching the frameline.' It also states that stamps with all four margins clear command higher prices. Most stamps will have one or more framelines cut in and should be priced much lower than catalog values. Mint stamps are most often found without gum. It is also worth noting that the first stamps of Baden are very difficult to find in larger units, such as pairs, strips and blocks.

The genuine stamps have the following characteristics; the '5' in '1850' should be smaller than the other letters. The 'F' in 'Freimarke' should not touch the frame. In the 3 kreuzer values there's a secret sign - engravers mark - just below the top of the inner circle. A small line is added in the design. If a stamp doesn't have this mark, then it is a forgery. Similar signs can be found on the 1 Kreuzer, but here the secret sign is in the lower left hand side of the inner circle. For the 6 and 9 kreuzer the sign is at the lower right hand side of the circle. Too wide margins can also give away a forgery. Also, these stamps have been reprinted, consult your catalog.

In 1853 this design was again used, and one more time with new paper colors.

The stamps of Baden were superseded by the stamps of the German Empire on January 1, 1872, but the stamps were valid until March 25, 1872.

Get some hands-on forgery detection info at GotStamps.

Get an overview of Germany and German States 1849 - 1872.

FI ref: 27 Page credit: JA

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 25-May-2017