POSTAGE STAMPS OF WÜRTTEMBERGThis is based on the original text by Bertram William Henry Poole published in 1914
The kingdom of Württemberg lies between Baden and Bavaria and touches Switzerland (Lake of Constance) on the south. It entirely surrounds Hohenzollern, in which state, as well as in Baden, it owns several enclaves. Its total area is 7,529 square miles and it has a population of about three millions. It is drained for the most part by the Neckar and its tributaries, while the Danube crosses the country towards the south. The most striking geographical feature is the Swabian Alb, the most characteristic portion of the South German Jura. The Black Forest borders the kingdom on the west. On the whole the surface lies high (3,000 to 1,500 feet), the greater part belonging to one or other of the German plateau systems; but there are many valleys, all of great fertility. Agriculture is the principal industry; wine and fruit are produced in large quantity; and market gardening is actively pursued at Stuttgart, Ulm, Heilbronn and elsewhere. Iron and salt are mined and there are numerous mineral springs scattered over the whole kingdom. There is a good deal of manufacturing industry of a varied character, the more important branches producing iron, gold, and silver goods, cutlery, fire-arms, machinery, scientific and musical instruments, chemicals, prints and books, confectionery and beer. The capital of the kingdom is Stuttgart.
The bulk of the people (69 per cent) are Protestants; the Roman Catholics, who have a bishop at Rottenburg, amount to 30 per cent and there are about 12,000 Jews. The state university is at Tübingen, and there is a polytechnical high school at Stuttgart. Education stands at an exceptionally high general level, even for Germany; there is not a single individual in the kingdom over ten years of age who is unable to read and write. Württemberg has four votes in the Federal Council, and returns seventeen deputies to the Imperial Diet. The Württemberg troops constitute the 13th Army Corps of the German Army, having a total strength of about 24,000. The King is a hereditary constitutional sovereign and he is assisted by two houses of parliament. The national receipts and expenditures balance at about $17,500,000 per annum (about $300 million today, 2010), while the national debt, nearly all incurred for railways, stands at about $110,000,000 (about $1,800 million today, 2010).
The territory now called Württemberg , then occupied by the Suevi, was conquered by the Romans in the first century AD. In the third century it was settled by the Germanic Alemanni and they, in turn were subdued by the Franks. In the 9th century it was incorporated in the duchy of Swabia, Ulrich (1241-65) being the first count. In 1495 the reigning count was made a duke of the empire. Duke Frederick II, (1797-1816) on going over to the French was rewarded with 850 square miles of new territory and an addition of 125,000 subjects, as well as the dignity of Elector (1802). In Napoleon’s war against Austria (1805) he sided with the French, and his troops fought with them down to 1813; in return for which he acquired the kingly title and an increase of territory which more than doubled the number of his subjects. Throwing in her lot with Austria in 1866, Württemberg was beaten at Könniggrätz and Tauberbischofsheim, and her king (Charles, 1864-91) was compelled to purchase peace from Prussia at the cost of an indemnity of $4,000,000 (about $65 million today, 2010).
From an early period the postal service of Württemberg was, with some interruptions, in the hands of the princely House of Thurn and Taxis, but by an agreement dated March 22nd 1851 the Government of Württemberg liberated itself by purchasing the postal privileges from July 1st of that year for the sum of 1,300,000 florins (about $525,000)(which is about $11 million in today’s money, 2010). It then proceeded to form its own administration and to join the German-Austrian Postal Union, established by the convention of April 6th 1850. As one of the provisions of this convention required the adoption of postage stamps, preparations were immediately made for providing them.
1851/52 THE FIRST ISSUE
By a notice of October 7th 1851, the public were informed that stamps of 1, 3, 6 and 9 kreuzer would be on sale at the various post offices on the 12th of that month and that their use would commence from the 15th of the same month. In design these stamps are very similar to those of Baden, issued a few months earlier. All values were printed in black on coloured papers, the design, common to all, mainly featuring large numerals to denote the respective denominations. The first series of stamps consisting of 1, 3, 6 and 9 kreuzer values were placed on sale to the public on the 12th October 1851, though their use for postal purposes did not commence until three days later. In April 1852, a new denomination 18 kreuzer was added to the set and as the design is similar to that of the lower values, all can best be treated as one set. To quote the late Mr W A S Westoby:
"The resemblance between the stamps of the first series of Württemberg and those of the first series of Baden is so remarkable as to leave no doubt that the Government of Württemberg availed itself of the results of the investigations made by that of Baden previously to the issue of the first series for this latter State, on May 1st 1851. The dies were similarly constructed, the inscriptions were similar, mutatis mutandis, and the stamps were printed on coloured paper. The matrix die was composite, the numeral of value in the centre being within a frame, almost square, of 9½ mm. placed angle upwards within a frame measuring externally 22½ by 22 mm. and internally 15½ by 15 mm. and carrying the following inscriptions on tablets: In the upper one, running the whole width was ‘Württemberg’, and on a similar tablet at the foot was ‘Freimarke’ with an ornament at each end resembling a vine branch with the two bunches of grapes, the lower one of which was incomplete. On the tablet on the left side was ‘Deutsch-Oestr. Postverein’, and on another on the right side ‘Vertrag v. 6 April 1850’. These were set up in movable type, the upper and lower ones in ordinary German lower case characters with capital initials, and those on the sides in diamond type, as in those of Baden. The spaces between the rectangle carrying the numeral of value and the inner line of the frame were filled in with arabesque ornaments."
The design is similar for all values with the exception of the central portion carrying the numerals. In the case of the 1 and 6 kreuzer the background is composed of lines running parallel to the sides of the rectangle making a design of small squares; in the 3 kreuzer, the ground consists of small ovals; in the 9 kreuzer the ground is composed of small circles resembling lace work; while on the 18 kreuzer the background is formed of horizontal lines.
The dies were engraved at the Mint in Stuttgart, where the electrotypes composing the printing plates were also made. The printing was done under the direction of the post office, in typographic presses, the sheets consisting of sixty stamps arranged in ten rows of six. All denominations were printed in black on coloured papers. The paper was obtained locally and while it is always wove, it varies considerably in thickness and most values provide numerous shades. The stamps were all issued imperforate.
Mr Westoby tells us that,
“It may be noted that occasionally one or both of the full stops are wanting after the ‘v’ or the ‘6’ in the inscription in the right tablet of the 3 kreuzer, and there is a difference in the position of the stop after the word ‘Postverein’ in the left tablet. The first of these is probably due to imperfections in the moulds from which the electrotypes were made, while the second points to the making of new plates.”
Mr Robert Ehrenbach, writing in the London Philatelist for August 1893, points out that differences in the position of the period after ‘Postverein’ may be found in all values except the 18kr. There are three types in all. In Type I the period is between the second and third points of the zigzag lines of the border; in type II it is exactly over the second point; and in type III it is exactly above the third point. All three types are found on the 3 kreuzer, types I and II are found in the 1, 6 and 9 kreuzer, while the 18kr is known only with the first type. Whether the varieties are found side by side on the same sheet or are the distinguishing points of separate plates we are not told.
Printed by J B Mezier
1. 1kr black on buff
2. 3kr black on yellow
3. 6kr black on green
4. 9kr black on rose
5. 18kr black on lilac
1857 THE SECOND ISSUE
Although it is obvious that the design of Württemberg’s first stamps was inspired by the numeral series for Baden, it was not long before more original ideas prevailed and an entirely new series of stamps was issued. In December 1856 the numeral design was suppressed in favour of a new one showing the Arms of the kingdom. The values were the same as before with an 18kr stamp in addition and all were printed in colour on white paper, the paper containing orange coloured silk threads like the ‘Dickinson’ paper employed in Great Britain. The new design shows the Arms of the kingdom, with supporters and motto, embossed in colourless relief on a ground work of colour covered with white horizontal loops. This is contained within a rectangular frame, measuring 22½ mm. square, which is inscribed ‘FREIMARKE’ at the top and with the value on each of the other three sides. The inscriptions are all in Roman capitals and the design is completed by the addition of small six-rayed stars in each of the angles. An excellent description of the Arms design appeared in Gibbons’ Stamp Weekly for September 5th 1908, which I cannot do better than reproduce:
“In 1817, King William of Württemberg simplified the Arms of the kingdom, the proper arms of the royal house having become too complicated through additions at various times. The arms now consist of an oval shield divided into two parts or fields, surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves, in gold, surmounted by a gold helmet bearing a royal crown.
The two fields are:-
On the right, for Württemberg , three stag’s antlers, in black, placed one upon the other, on a golden field; the upper antlers having each four points, the lower one but three. These are the original arms of the counts of Württemberg , and have reference to their office of Hereditary Grand Huntsman.
On the left, for Swabia, three black lions, one above the other, also on a golden field; the lions have their tongues hanging out of their mouths, and their right paws are raised. These are the three lions of Hohenstauffen, and were only added to the arms of Württemberg in 1806 by King Frederick, in memory of the famous family of Hohenstauffen, which, in former times occupied the country which now forms Württemberg .
The supporters of the shield are, on the right, a black lion bearing a golden crown; and on the left, a golden stag. The proper colours for the ribbon bearing the motto are purple with a black reverse, and the motto itself, in gold letters, reads ‘Furchtloss und treie’ ie ‘Fearless and true’.”
The design is the same for all denominations, varying only in the designation of value. The dies were engraved and the electrotypes made at the Mint in Stuttgart. The printing form for each value consisted of sixty electrotypes, arranged in ten rows of six, which were separated as a rule by a space of only ¾ mm.
The paper varies considerably in thickness and that at first employed contains orange coloured silk threads similar to the ‘Dickinson’ paper, found in connection with some of the early British stamps. These silk threads were so placed that they traversed the stamps in a horizontal direction, one thread being apportioned to each horizontal row of stamps. This paper was apparently obtained from Bavaria.
The values in this new series corresponded exactly to those previously in use, the set being issued on September 22nd 1857, according to Mr Westoby, Mr Ehrenbach and other writers on the subject. In the Monthly Journal some few years ago a copy of the 9kr was reported with cancellation dated December 30th 1856, and on the strength of this Gibbons’ catalogue assigns the date December 1856, to the whole series. This seems particularly slender evidence on which to antedate the whole issue by some nine months for the cancellation might easily have been an error for 1857. We should like to hear of other early dated specimens before accepting 1856 as the correct date of issue.
Most of the stamps of this set vary in shade but these variations are not very striking being, as a rule, confined to pale and deep tints.
Sept 1857(?) Silk thread paper Imperf
Printed by Railway Commission Ticket Printing Office
6. 1kr brown
7. 3kr yellow
8. 6kr green
9. 9kr rose
10. 18kr blue
1858 THE THIRD ISSUE
If we accept the date of September 1857, as correct for the second issue the use of the silk-thread paper lasted but a very short time for in June 1858, the stamps began to appear on white-wove machine made paper, without threads. This paper is usually fairly thick but, like that of the preceding issue, it varies in texture. The sheets contained sixty stamps as before but the electrotypes were re-arranged so that the spaces between them varied from 1½ mm. to 1¼ mm.
An interesting variety of the 1kr of this issue is described in the Monthly Journal for September, 1904, viz:
“Mr Giwelb has shown our publishers a copy of the 1 kreuzer with a clear impression on the back reading the right way. Probably a sheet that was defective in some part of the impression was passed through the press again, for the sake of economy, but it is not the silk thread paper. The specimen is postmarked Stuttgart 1 Jun 1867.”
The stamps of this issue are almost exactly like the corresponding stamps on the silk thread paper and variations in shade are of little consequence with the exception of the 1kr. This value exists in two very striking shades of brown one being yellowish and the other almost a black-brown.
1858 Without silk threads Imperf
11. 1kr brown
12. 3kr yellow
13. 6kr green
14. 9kr rose
15. 18kr blue
1859/60 THE FOURTH ISSUE
In describing the stamps of Baden I mentioned that in July 1859 a perforation machine was ordered from Vienna on the joint account of the postal administrations of Baden and Württemberg and this was set up at Carlsruhe. This machine was of the harrow type and was capable of perforating an entire sheet of 100 stamps at one operation, its gauge being 13½. Although the machine was primarily intended for use on sheets of 100 stamps those of Württemberg remained the same as before, i.e. sixty impressions in ten rows of six. Some of the perforated values began to be circulated in November 1859. The paper, colour, and arrangement of the cliches remained as before.
1859-60 Thick paper Perf 13½
16. 1kr brown
17. 3kr yellow
18. 6kr green
19. 9kr rose
1861 THE FIFTH ISSUE
The next change, though it affected all the values, was a somewhat minor one. It was found that the paper was a little too thick for easy working in the perforating machine and beginning with February 1861, a much thinner paper was employed. The 1kr of this series exists in a number of distinct shades ranging from a palish brown to an almost black-brown. The 3kr and 18kr differ in tint a little, while the 9kr is found in two colours. The original shade was rose, similar to that of the preceding issues, but early in 1862 the colour was changed to a dull purple or claret.
Imperforate specimens are known of all values but it is considered doubtful that any were ever issued for use in this condition though postally used specimens are known. Mr Westoby ascribes the existence of these imperforate varieties to “the difficulty attendant on two administrations using the same perforating machine.”
1861 Thin paper Perf 13½.
20. 1kr brown
21. 3kr yellow
22. 6kr green
23. 9kr rose
24. 9kr purple
25. 18kr blue
1862 THE SIXTH ISSUE
During the second quarter of 1862, it became necessary to overhaul the perforating machine and it was provided with a new set of punches having a gauge of ten, instead of 13½ as before. Stamps with the new perforation began to appear about June 1862, and all except the 18kr were issued by the end of the year. The 18kr in blue does not exist with the 10 perforation, as plenty of the 13½ perforation remained in stock and by the time more were required, the colour was changed. The 9kr is known in carmine as well as the more usual purple. These were probably due to one or more imperforate sheets of the preceding issue, having been found and perforated after the gauge of the machine had been changed.
1862 Type as before but perf 10
26. 1kr brown
27. 3kr yellow
28. 6kr green
29. 9kr purple
1863/64 THE SEVENTH ISSUE
The German-Austrian Postal Union had adopted a regulation under which all the members of the Union agreed to use the same colours for their 3, 6 and 9 kreuzer stamps. An order of the Minister of Finance of Württemberg , dated September 12th 1862, directed, therefore, that to conform with this regulation the stamps would for the future be printed in green for the 1 kreuzer, in rose for the 3 kreuzer, in blue for the 6 kreuzer, in brown for the 9 kreuzer, and in orange for the 18 kreuzer. The issue in the altered colours was to have taken place on October 1st 1862, but as there were large stocks of all values in the old colours still on hand it was decided to use these up first. Consequently, the new varieties appeared at various times as follows: the 1 kreuzer in February 1863, the 3 and 9 kreuzer in June 1863; and the 6 and 18 kreuzer in June 1864. The paper and perforation were as before. All values except the 18kr exist in a number of different shades. Mr Ehrenbach mentions a minor variety of the 3 kreuzer which is probably worth looking for, viz: has a prominent flaw in the upper right corner a large red spot on a ground of white instead of the usual white star on a coloured ground.
1863-64 New Colours Perf 10
30. 1kr green
31. 3kr rose
32. 6kr blue
33. 9kr brown
34. 18kr orange
1865/68 THE EIGHTH ISSUE
With the increasing use of postage stamps the Württemberg Government found considerable inconvenience and delay was occasioned by having to send them to Carlsruhe to be perforated and this inconvenience became so great in time that the administration at Stuttgart ordered a machine from Berlin for rouletting the stamps in line, similar to the Prussian stamps of 1861. This machine was set up in August 1865 and the first stamps rouletted by it were delivered in October following though it was not until June 1866 that the issue of the 1, 3, and 6 kreuzer was made; and these were followed by the 9 kreuzer in March 1867; and by the 18 kreuzer in February 1868. The electrotypes all appear to have been re-set and the distance between the stamps is now 2 mm.
On November 23rd, 1867, an agreement was made with the North German Confederation by which the 2 silbergroschen rate was raised from 6 to 7 kreuzer. A new value, 7kr, also rouletted, was added to the series. The Württemberg public were informed of this change by means of a post-office notice dated April 2nd 1868, and at the same time it was stated that 6, 9, and 18 kreuzer values would cease to be manufactured though they would continue available for postage purposes till the stocks were exhausted. The colour chosen for the new value was blue though it was of a darker colour than that used for the superseded 6kr denomination.
1865-68 Types as before Rouletted 10
35. 1kr green
36. 3kr rose
37. 6kr blue
38. 7kr deep blue
39. 9kr brown
40. 18kr orange
1869/73 THE NINTH ISSUE
The typographic embossing method of production was found to be very expensive, especially in the case of the low denominations, and in 1868 the Government decided to abandon it in favour of ordinary typographic printing. That a considerable saving would be effected by the new method is conclusively shown from the statement that while it cost 1 kreuzer to produce 22 stamps by the embossed process, 46 stamps could be produced for the same sum by the plain typographic process. With the new process a new design was introduced. In this the main theme was a large numeral in the centre, to denote the value, surrounded by suitable inscriptions and ornamentation. On November 27th 1868, a Post-office circular was published giving notice that from January 1st 1869, stamps of a new design of 1, 3, and 7 kreuzer would be issued according as the stocks of the former series were exhausted. The actual date of issue of these values is not known. On May 3rd, 1869, another value of 14 kreuzer was issued in the same design, and on December 2nd 1872, a 2 kreuzer value was added to the set.
Early in 1873 the rate for single letters sent to England France, or the United States by way of Bremen or Hamburg was fixed at 9 kreuzer and on January 15th a stamp of “this value was issued corresponding in design to the other denominations then current. The design is the same for all six values and shows large uncoloured shaded numerals in the centre on a ground of crossed lines, within an upright oval with a band of oak leaves around the edge. Around this is an oval band of horizontal lines inscribed ‘POST’ at the left, ‘FREI’ at the top, and ‘MARKE’ on the right, while there is a small posthorn at the bottom. The various inscriptions are separated by small ornamental scrolls. Surrounding this is another inscribed oval band containing, on an uncoloured ground the name ‘WURTTEMBERG’ at the top and the value in words at the base, the two inscriptions being separated by small crowns. In the spandrels are small shields containing three lions in the upper left and lower right corners and stag’s horns on the others. The die was engraved at Stuttgart, as in the case of the previous issues, the stamps being printed in sheets of sixty, in ten rows of six, on plain white wove paper. The printing was heavy, consequently the design is generally found deeply indented in the paper. The stamps were rouletted with the machine used for the preceding series.
1869-73 Rouletted 10
Printed by Railway Commission Ticket Printing Office
41. 1kr green
42. 2kr orange,
48. 3kr rose,
44. 7kr blue
45. 9kr bistre
46. 14kr orange
1873 THE TENTH ISSUE
On January 1st 1873, a stamp bearing the fiscal value of 70 kreuzer and in the Arms type of 1857 made its appearance. The object of this high denomination, as shown by a post office notice of December 24th 1872, was to prepay heavy letters. Its use was confined to the three chief post-offices of the kingdom situated at Stuttgart, Ulm, and Heilbron, and the stamp was not permitted to be sold to the public. Any letters requiring these high value stamps could be posted at other offices, when they were forwarded under official cover to one of the three above named offices, and then franked with the 70kr stamps.
The design of this value is exactly similar to that of the series of 1857, except that there is an exterior border formed of small dots. The stamps were printed in sheets of six, two horizontal rows of three, on white wove paper and were not perforated. In the top margin is an inscription in black referring to the price of each stamp and the total value of each sheet, viz:
6. St. Postfreimarken zu 70kr. = F1.1.10. = 2 Mk.
Ztisammen im Werthe von 7 Fl. = 4 Thl. = 12 Mk.
Two plates were used for printing these stamps differing chiefly in the arrangement of the dotted border. Whether both plates were used concurrently or at separate times does not appear to be known for certain, though probably the former was the case if Mr Ehrenbach’s statement that postmarks of the same dates are found on stamps from both plates. Mr Ehrenbach gives the best description of the differences between the two plates, viz:-
"(1) The dark shade (believed by most people to be the first plate). The dimensions of the little black dotted frame running round the stamps is 79½ mm horizontally, and 53 vertically. They are only divided from each other by a single line of little black dots. The stamps are 3¼ mm. apart from one another. In the inscription over the top row there is no stop after the word ‘Mk.’, and the two little lines (denoting equal to) between 70kr, 1F1, 10, etc., are only ¾ mm. wide.
(2) The light shade. The Arms in the stamps are more embossed, the stamps show a somewhat clearer impression. The dimensions of the outer border are 77 mm. by 52 mm. The stamps are likewise printed 3¼ mm. apart, but two dotted lines (¾ to 1 mm apart) divided the stamps instead of one only. In the black inscription on the top there is a stop after ‘MK.’, and the lines (equal to) are 1½ mm. wide."
1873 Embossed Imperf
47. 70kr violet
1874 THE ELEVENTH ISSUE
Towards the end of 1874 the perforating by rouletting ceased as the Government purchased a new perforating machine having a gauge of 11½ by 11. The only value of the kreuzer series perforated by this machine was the 1 kr which was issued in November 1874. Before it was necessary to print further supplies of any of the other values the design was changed and though specimens are known with this perforation they are fraudulent productions.
1874 Perf 11½x11
48. 1 kr green
1875/79 THE TWELFTH ISSUE
In 1874 it was decided to change the currency, which up to that time had consisted of the florin of 60 kreuzer, similar to that of the other States of south Germany, to the Imperial currency of marks and pfennige, and January 1st 1875, was fixed as the date for the change. A notice, dated December 23rd 1874, was issued by the Post-office, stating that a stamp of 20 pfennige of a new design would be issued on that day to take the place of that of the 7 kreuzer, just as soon as the stocks of the latter value held in the various post-offices were exhausted.
The design shows uncoloured numerals on a circular ground of lines crossing each other diagonally, above which, on a curved scroll is ‘K. WURTT. POST’, while on a similar scroll below, the value is shown in words. On the left is a shield containing three stag’s horns and on the right are three lions in a similar shield. The whole is enclosed by an ornamental rectangular frame measuring 21 by 18½ mm.
The die was engraved and the printing plates were constructed at the Mint in Stuttgart and the printing was done under the direction of the Post-office as in the case of the preceding issues. As the new currency was a decimal one a change in the size of the plates was made and the stamps were printed in sheets of 100 arranged in ten rows of ten. They were perforated by the new machine gauging 11½ by 11.
On May 28th 1875, the Post-office issued another notice announcing that from July 1st next the former series of stamps in kreuzer would be entirely superseded by a new series with values in pfennige. These, it was stated, would be on sale at the various post offices on June 15th and that after August 15th the stamps with values in kreuzer would cease to be valid for postal use. The new denominations consisted of 3, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 pfennige all of similar type to the 20pf already described. At the same time the colour of this latter value, which had hitherto been printed in blue, was changed to ultramarine.
About the same time a 2 marks stamp of similar type was issued in place of the 70 kreuzer. Its sale was prohibited to the public and its use was at first confined to the offices of Stuttgart, Ulm, and Heilbronn, though later it was extended to almost every post office in the kingdom. Notwithstanding this prohibition the stamp was frequently sold to the public, as appears from a post-office circular of August 18th 1879 and in November of that year the stamp was printed in vermilion on orange coloured paper and on the back ‘unverkauflich’ (not to be sold) was printed in ultramarine.
The 50pf was at first printed in grey but in February 1878, consequent on an agreement made with the Imperial Post Office at Berlin, its colour was changed to grey-green.
All values exist in a number of more or less striking shades and specialists will also find that most of them exist with yellow and white gum, the latter representing the later printings.
1875-79 Perf 11½x11
Printed by Eisenlohr and Weigle, Stuttgart
49. 3pf green
50. 5pf violet
51. 10pf rose
52. 20pf blue
53. 20pf ultramarine
54. 25pf brown
55. 50pf grey
56. 50pf grey-green
57. 2mk orange
58. 2mk vermilion on orange
188183 THE THIRTEENTH ISSUE
On November 1st 1881 a 5 mark stamp was issued and though this was chiefly intended for telegraphic purposes it was also available for postal use. The design was similar to that of the preceding series except that the central circular portion was uncoloured, and the numeral of value was printed on it in black by a second operation. This value was reported with central numeral inverted some years ago and though the error is listed in Scott’s catalogue I cannot find that its existence was ever authenticated.
On January 1st 1883 the 2 mark stamp was also issued with value in black on an uncoloured ground. The value is known in two distinct shades and is also known imperforate, a sheet having been accidentally issued in this condition.
1881-83 Perf 11½x11
59. 2 marks orange and black
60. 5 marks blue and black
1890/93 THE FOURTEENTH ISSUE
Early in the year 1890 the colours of the 3, 5, 25, and 50 pfennige values were changed to conform with those of the corresponding denominations of Germany, while in 1893 a new value, 2 pfennige, was issued. The design and perforation remained exactly as before. The 5pf is said to exist imperforate.
1890-93. Perf. 11½x11
61. 2pf grey
62. 3pf brown
63. 5pf green
64. 25pf orange
65. 50pf red-brown
1900 THE FIFTEENTH ISSUE
In 1900 the set was enriched by the addition of 30 and 40pf values. The design was exactly like that of the other values of the series, but, like the mark denominations, the numerals of value were printed at a second operation in black on a plain ground. These were the last stamps issued by Württemberg for general use for in 1902 its postal system was united with that of the Imperial government. A paragraph in Alfred Smith’s Monthly Circular referred to the matter as follows:-
An agreement has been concluded between the Imperial Postal Administration and that of Württemberg by which the postal systems are to be united for a definite period of four years from April 1st 1902, after which it will be subject to a notice of one year on either side. On the date mentioned the separate issues of each country will give place to a unified series inscribed ‘DEUTSCHES REICH.’
1900 Perf 11½x11
66. 30pf orange and black
67. 40pf rose and black
On April 1st 1902 the kingdom of Württemberg ceased the issue of its own separate stamps, those for the German Empire superseding them.
In addition to its stamps for ordinary use, Württemberg has issued Municipal Service and Official stamps, both these special series still continuing in use.
The Municipal Service stamps were first issued in July 1875, there being two denominations, 5 and 10 pfennige. The first of these was for use on the official correspondence of municipalities, irrespective of weight, and the 10pf was for use on money orders and parcels.
In 1880 the colour of the 5pf was changed from mauve to green. In 1897 a change in the postal rates led to the issue of a 3pf stamp and in 1900 other regulations led to the issue of 2 and 25 pfennige values. In 1906 all five values were overprinted with the dates ‘1806-1906,’ surmounted by a crown in commemoration of the centenary of Württemberg’s being raised to a Kingdom. In 1906-7 all five values were printed on paper watermarked with a design of crosses and circles and at the same time 20 and 50 pfennige values were added to the set.
Until April 1st 1881 the correspondence of the ministerial offices was conveyed free of charge, but on the suppression of this privilege a series of stamps of special design was issued for use on official correspondence. The values at first issued were 3, 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 pfennige, but in 1882 a 1 mark stamp was added. In 1890 the colours of the 3, 5 and 25pf and 1 mark were changed to conform with those of the regular series. The colour of the 50pf was also changed shortly afterwards and in 1900 a 2pf stamp was added to the set. In 1903 30 and 40 pfennige stamps were issued in colours corresponding to those of the ordinary stamps of 1900, while in 1906 all denominations were overprinted in a similar manner to the Municipal Service stamps. During 1906-7 all denominations appeared on the new paper watermarked with circles and crosses.
MUNICIPAL SERVICE STAMPS
With the exception of a few stamps issued by Bavaria in 1908 for the use of Railway Officials, Württemberg is the only German State that has issued a regular series of official stamps. These fall into two classes those for general use and those for the use of municipalities. The latter class, known as Municipal Service stamps, was first issued on July 1st 1875 for use on the official correspondence of municipalities within the kingdom of Württemberg . The rate of postage was fixed at 5 pfennige irrespective of the weight of the letters. A stamp of this value printed in mauve like the ordinary 5pf stamp then current was issued in a special design. In the centre is a diamond of solid colour on which a large ‘5’ surrounded by ‘POST-FREI-MARKE PFENNIG’ is shown. Around this is a lozenge shaped band inscribed ‘PORTO PFLIGHTIGE DIENST SACHE’ meaning ‘Service matter liable to postage.’ In each of the four angles are small oval shields showing three stag’s horns on their left and three lions on their right hand sides. The design is completed by a thick frame line. These stamps, like those for ordinary use, were printed in sheets of 100, the dies and plates being manufactured at the Mint in Stuttgart and the printing taking place under the supervision of the Post-office. Imperforate specimens are known of this 5pf stamp. A 10pf stamp of similar design was issued about the same time for use on parcels and money orders.
In 1890 the colour of the 5pf was changed to green to conform with the change of colour in the corresponding value of the ordinary set. Several distinct shades of this variety may be found.
On January 10th 1897 a new value of 3 pfennige in brown was issued and in 1900 a 2pf in grey and a 25pf in orange appeared. The design of all three was similar to that of the first 5pf.
In 1906 all five denominations were overprinted with a crown above the dates ‘1806-1906’ in commemoration of the centenary of Württemberg’s being raised to the dignity of a Kingdom.
In 1906 some of the values began to appear on paper watermarked with a multiple device of crosses and circles and by the following year all values had appeared on this new paper and two new values 20 and 50 pfennige were also issued. The stamps on this watermarked paper were printed by the German Imperial Printing Office, at Berlin, and apparently the plates for the two new values were also made in Berlin. These stamps are still in use for the agreement between the Imperial Administration and that of Württemberg regarding the unified series of stamps affected those for public use onlv.
1875-1900 Perf 11½x11
66. 2pf grey
67. 3pf brown
68. 5pf mauve
69. 5pf green
70. 10pf rose
71. 25pf orange
1906 Overprinted in black Perf 11½x11
72. 2pf grey
73. 3pf brown
74. 5pf green
75. 10pf rose
76. 25pf orange
1906-7. Wmk Crosses and circles Perf 11½x11
77. 2pf grey
78. 3pf brown
70. 5pf green
80. 10pf rose
81. 20pf blue
82. 25pf orange
83. 50pf lake
Until April 1st 1881, the correspondence of the ministerial offices was conveyed free of postage, but at that time the privilege was taken away and a series of special stamps was issued for use on all official correspondence. M. Moens described their issue as follows:
“Official stamps for franking correspondence connected with the business of the State, churches, schools, and public benevolent institutions were issued, in part, on the first of April last in terms of a decree, dated 26th March, 1881, of the Ministry of Churches and Schools. Article 3 of this Decree sets forth that ‘Delivery of these stamps shall be made against printed acknowledgments of their receipt upon forms to be furnished by the post-office department. At the end of every month the post-office authorities shall prepare a statement of number of receipts in their possession for stamps issued, and shall submit it to our Department for examination and payment."
The values at first issued were 3, 5, 10 and 20 pfennige and these were followed on April 18th by 25 and 50 pfennige. The colours correspond to those of similar denomination of the ordinary series then current. The design, which is the same for all, shows uncoloured labels on all four sides and a fifth one crossing the centre of the stamps obliquely from the left lower to the right upper corner. The labels at the sides are inscribed ‘K. WURTT.’ at the left, ‘*POST*’ at the top, ‘PFENNIG’ at the right, and the value in words at the bottom. The diagonal label contains the words ‘AMTLICHER VERKEHR’ meaning ‘Official Business.’ On each side of the central label are escutcheons, containing the numerals of value, resting on an ornamental background.
In 1882 a new value of 1 mark printed in yellow was added to the series.
In 1890 the colours of the 3, 5, and 25pf were altered to conform with those of the ordinary stamps and at the same time the colour of the 1 mark was changed to violet. Shortly afterwards the colour of the 5pf was also altered and in 1900 a 2pf stamp was added to the series.
In 1903 30 and 40 pfennige stamps were issued and these, like the ones for ordinary use were printed at two operations with the value in each case in black.
In 1906 all ten values were overprinted in a similar manner to the Municipal Service stamps in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of Württemberg’s existence as a kingdom and in 1906-7 all denominations were issued on the watermarked paper used for the Municipal Service stamps of the same date. These latter were printed in Berlin by the German Imperial Printing Office and they are still in use.
1881-82 Perf 11½x11
84. 3pf green
85. 5pf mauve
86. 10pf rose
87. 20pf blue
88. 25pf brown
89. 50pf grey-green
90. 1mk yellow
1890-1903 Perf 11½x11
91. 2pf grey
92. 3pf brown
93. 5pf green
94. 25pf orange,
95. 30pf orange and black
96. 40pf carmine and black
97. 50pf red-brown
98. 1mk violet
1906 Overprinted in black Perf 11½x11
99. 2pf grey
100. 3pf brown
101. 5pf green
102. 10pf rose
103. 20pf blue
104. 25pf orange
105. 30pf orange and black
106. 40pf carmine and black
107. 50pf red-brown
108. 1mk violet
1906-7 Wmk Crosses and circles Perf 11½x11
109. 2pf grey
110. 3pf brown
111. 5pf green
112. 10pf rose
113. 20pf blue
114. 25pf orange
115. 30pf orange and black
116. 40pf carmine and black,
117. 50pf red -brown
118. 1mk violet
Few stamps have been more reprinted than the first three issues of Württemberg, and few Governments have shown greater docility in supplying enterprising dealers and collectors, to order, with supplies of the stamps in every abnormal colour that could be desired by the most morbid imagination. The so-called reprints of the first issue are, in fact, nothing better than official counterfeits. None of the printing plates were in existence when these imitations were made in 1864, nor were the dies, except the central portions and the frames without the inscriptions. These latter were, therefore, set up again, and small plates constructed consisting of six or twelve electrotypes. In the imitations the letters of ‘Wurttemberg’ and ‘Freimarke’ are smaller than in the originals, the letter ‘W’ is 1½ mm from the left side-line of the label instead of 1 mm. as in the genuine, and the lower bunch of grapes in each of the two ornaments in the lower tablet are complete whereas in the originals they are not complete. These ‘reprints’ should hardly confuse the most inexperienced collector. Mr Westoby tells us that
“In 1865 a further printing was made on paper of various thicknesses, and of all the colours of the rainbow. The printing seems to have been specially confined to the 1 kreuzer, though the other values are recorded as existing. The reprinting was made on the condition that the reprints should not be used postally.
In 1864 all the values of the Arms series were reprinted and some of these are apt to prove rather confusing. None of the original ‘Dickinson’ paper with orange thread used for the stamps of 1857 remained in stock and though a supply of silk-thread paper was obtained from the Bavarian Administration the colour of the thread was different, being red. The 6kr is known with yellow thread and various values in fancy colours are reported as existing with green silk thread. The colour of the thread, therefore, is sufficient test in detecting whether the specimen is an original or a reprint. The detection of the reprints on paper without silk thread is a more difficult matter for the colours of the originals were very closely copied and there is no appreciable difference in the paper. The original plates of 1857 did not exist however, so that the plates employed for the rouletted stamps current at the time the reprints were manufactured were evidently used. On these the stamps were much more widely spaced than in the originals, the distance between the stamps measuring about 2 mm instead of ¾ mm as in the genuine. In the case of pairs, therefore, the reprints are at once distinguishable and specimens with unduly large margins may also be condemned without hesitation.
None of the later issues were reprinted.
This is an edited version of the chapter on Württemberg in ‘The Stamps of the German Empire’ (free download pdf file of original book) by Bertram W H Poole. Originally published in 1914 by Mekeel-Severn-Wylie, Boston, USA.
Some of the duplications in the original chapter have been removed; the article has been updated with later information and colour scans have been used to replace some of original black and white engravings.
Württemberg continued to produce and use Municipal Service stamps till 1923 & Official stamps till1920.
Links to other useful sources of information on Wurttemberg Stamps and Postal History
Wurttemberg by Evert Klaseboer
Wurttemberg Printed to Private Order Newspaper Wrapper
From June 1894 to June 1898 a total of 49 monthly issues of the "Die Briefmarke" magazine were issued and posted using printed to private order newspaper wrappers.