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Bavaria was the first German State to adopt postage stamps to prepay mail. The first day of issue was November 1, 1849.
An ordinance of King Maximilian, dated June 5th, 1849, authorized the issue of postage stamps and fixed the rates of postage. Local letters and printed matter were carried for 1 kreuzer, subject to certain limitations of weight; the rate on ordinary single letters (weighing not more than 1 loth or 1/3oz.) was fixed at 6kr for distances up to 12 German miles; while 6 kreuzer was the charge for carrying single letters for longer distances. Postage stamps of these values were, therefore, prepared and, according to an elaborate “code of instructions” dated October 25th, 1849, these were to be placed on sale on November 1st following.
From that day on all matter sent by mail had to bear postage stamps, which, according to the edict of October 21, 1849, had to be affixed in the upper left corner of the letter.

The 1 Kreuzer Black

The design and engraving was made by the engraver Seitz, who, was found out later, included the initial of his name (S) in the engraving. The printing was done in simple typography by the University Press of Munich.
The printing itself was first done in sheets of 180 stamps, and later in sheets of 90 stamps.
The printing consisted of two issues: The first printing in deep black, and the second issue in gray black. This change in the color was made simply for the reason that a black cancellation on a deep black stamp was hardly visible.
In the second edition, the cancellation was clearly visible on the lighter background.
In the manufacture of the second issue several damaged spots showed on the plate. These are clearly to be seen in the frame lines of the large figure of value “1.”
Soon after the appearance of this stamp the forgers started to produce and market their wares.
The rare 1 k black has been the target of most forgers (more than 20 different kinds of forgeries exist), but the 12 k and 18 k values were also forged.
Some time later in the following issues the Bavarian Postal-Department began to protect itself against forgeries by using a special paper into which a silk thread was introduced.
Later on, for still further protection, embossed printing, watermarks, etc. were added, which made it more difficult for the counterfeiters.

 Stamps of Bavaria 1 Kreuzer, black, with silk thread are proof from a single sheet, and do not exist in used condition. These are quite valuable.

1849 Black, plate 1 & 1850 1 Kr. Black, plate 2

Plate 1 & 2. The key difference is the lines around the “1” are less broken.

Genuine Characteristics

Paper: white, medium to hard, hand-made.
1. Initials “fs” of engraver
2. White line thicker over “BA”
3. “W” shape
4. Point of “1” in middle of lozenge
5. Lozenge open at top
6. Middle stroke of this “E” is very short
7. M shaped item
8. Width 3.5 mm
9. Back of “K” slanted
10. “S” initial of Seitz
11. Corner open
12. Opening between 2 shapes
13. Crescent moon shaped item
14. Bottom stroke of “E” longer than others.
The bottom left ’1” is generally shaded in Plate 2 (see below) and sometimes has light shading in Plate 1

Note the configuration and intersections of the lines

Plate Varieties

Most forgeries are lithographed
Also the dark areas tend to be filled in black without the mottling of the genuine

2 very crude forgeries

Left, another crude forgery, note the small “1’s” in the corners
Right, background crude, no shading in the corner squares.

Left a Winter forgery, quite good, very large letters (dent in “E” of BAYERN), no shading in the corners
Right, small corner 1’s, letters very crude (note “E” in EIN), background missing details

Left, very good forgery, central “1” too narrow, lozenges in corners too large.
Right, Fournier forgery, background lacking details, corner lozenges too much shading.

Sperati forgeries, excellent but lacking in letters, ‘K” is straight, “E’s” not accurate, missing details of genuine.

Sperati tete-beche

A modern reproduction on eBay for $60

Genuine left, Sperati right

1849 3 Kr  

The addition of silk threads from this point on during the manufacture of the paper proved to be a great deterrent to most forgers. Some however added a thread and then glued an extremely thin layer of paper over it. If any of these were soaked, the layers fell apart.

Mi 2I (Prussian Blue) & Mi 2II ( Dark Blue)
It appears that the break in the lower right 3 is consistent in the 2II

Plate Varieties

Plate faults

Close-up of Dent variety

This is a Black print (Instruction stamp).
They were used on parcels with stamps which were sent to the post offices. The clerks could thus easily see which stamps were in the parcels.
The colors of the backgrounds match the color of the stamps in the parcel

These are forgeries. The color is wrong and the corner numerals do not match the original.
It is recorded that these Black prints are the most forged stamps of Bavaria but I have found hardly any genuine or forged samples.
They are apparently fairly crude and generally the wrong color.

1849 6Kr
Many of these were pen cancelled and as the unused is 30X more valuable than the used, skilled forgers have removed the pen cancels. Buy expertized only.

1849 6 Kr brown, plate I, right, 1849 6 Kr. Dark Brown, Type I,

1850 6 Kr. Dark Brown, plate 3

The 1850 6Kr is often represented as the more valuable 1849 6Kr

However a simple comparison clearly shows the difference.
Of 5 on eBay tagged as the 1949 with corresponding prices, 4 were the 1850.

The 1849 on the left has thick frame lines and the inner circle is cut off on the sides
The 1850 on the right has thin frame lines and the inner circle is complete
There is also a color difference.

There is also a difference in the scroll which may be harder to define.
The scroll of the 1849 & 1850 are illustrated on the right.

This is apparently an 1849 trial proof. It appears genuine in all respects

1850 – 1858

1850 1 Kr. Rose Mi. 3Ia & 1850 9 Kr Yellow Green

1851 Matte Green and 1853 Rare Blue Green

1850 & 1858 12 Kr

1858 Block

1854 18Kr


The cancel on the left is unknown for this series, overall decent but crude letters “U”should be flat not rounded
The right one the letters are to thick and the corner numerals are wrong.

Left, the words ‘BAYERN’ and ‘FRANCO’ are too broad and the ornaments different (especially inside the ‘8’
Right, color wrong, letters are awkward (esp. the “Z”, some should be closer together


Left 1862 1 Kr. Mi. 8I with square corners, right 1862 3 Kr. Mi. 9a
There is also a much rarer 8II with round corners as in the1850 1 Kr. Rose 3Ia above. Note that all corners need to be noticeably rounded. Value is about 10X more.

1862 6 Kr. Mi. 10a & 10b
The color difference is slight but the 10a is valued higher unused & less used than the 10b

1862 9 Kr Mi.11 color variations Ocher & Bright Ocher

1862 12 Kr. Mi. 12

1862 18 Kr. Mi. 13a & 1866 18 Kr. Mi. 13b
This is a case where proper ID is crucial but it may be very difficult from an auction picture.
The 13a is valued much higher (6-8X) in unused or mint condition but only about 1/3 in used.

13a & 13b
One feature is in the color, vermilion vs. pale red which again is an issue on a poor auction picture.
There are those who mention line widths but I do not think this is accurate.
The key is a close-up of the stamp which shows that the 13b has a patchy, mottled texture as seen below

13a top, 13b bottom. Note the ragged edge on the 13b

The main forgeries in this group are the 12 Kr. And the 18 Kr. Values

Left, Fournier forgeries. These are quite good , there are variations in the letters and particularly the corner elements. Right unknown forger. One should beware of his cancels shown below.

A Winter forgery. An excellent forgery, some minor differences in the letters, the top of the “1” is slanted, the corner elements don’t match.


In March 1877, the stamp dealer Georg Zechmeyer in Nurnberg obtained all remainders of 1850-1875 Bavarian stamps and postal stationery. He acquired 3,998,701 stamps. Before this, in 1869, many remainders were already sold to W.Faber & Co in Heidelberg (source: ‘Handbuch der Neudrucke’ by Paul Ohrt) . The book of Meyer says that Faber obtained remainders of the 1850 issue (3 k blue, 1 k red, 6 k brown, 9 k green, 12 k red and 18 k yellow).
This is the reason that many uncancelled stamps are more common than cancelled stamps of this area.
The book of Poole mentions that following remainders were bought by Zechmeyer:
1 k: 942,000 stamps (watermark wavy lines)
3 k: 1,470,000 stamps (watermark wavy lines)
6 k: 171,600 stamps,
7 k: 321,000 stamps (watermark wavy lines)
9 k: 174,000 stamps
10 k: 120,000 stamps (watermark wavy lines)
12 k: 3,000 stamps
18 k: 99,000 stamps (watermark wavy lines)
The 1896 Catalog of Hugo Krotzsch notes that there were no 1 Kr. In the lot as they were all used up ?

1877 advertisement from Zechmeyer


1867 Mi. 14a Green & Mi. 14b Dark Green

1867 Mi. 14c Dark Blue Green

Differentiating between the colors is again important as the values vary considerably  between 14b & 14c used or mint by a factor of 10X for mint.

MI. 15 & 16

MI. 17 & 18

Mi. 19


Forger unknown, no silk thread, background lines lacking
We will end the list of regular issues here as the remainder are very similar


On the occasion of the 1873 Vienna World Fair, which was contributed to by the Bavarian General Post Department, reprints were made.
The latter, however, differ strongly from the originals, in the shade of the colors and there is no silk thread in the paper. In place of the silk thread corresponding lines were drawn in red ink. Only of the 6 Kr. brown and class=”tm22 “>7 Kr. blue values are there any reprints on silk-threaded paper, and these in very small numbers indeed.
The reprints listed are;
1867, Mi 14, 15, 18
1868, Mi 20, 21
1870, Mi 22-29
Unlike many reprints, These are quite valuable.

Sample Reprints

Postage Due
The postage due stamps of Bavaria served not only for collection of postage on an article that was insufficiently franked, but also as regular stamps for official items.
Due to the crude. and bad printing, many mistakes appear in the single words. One finds Empfange, Empfiinger, Empfaniper.
Forged cancels are numerous. Cogwheel cancels are fakes as they were discontinued prior to these issues.

Characteristics of the genuine 1862 stamp

1. Pointed tip at the top of the “P”
2. Double line on the “K”. Outside one is thin
3. The “a n” are slightly higher than the other letters
4. The “E” has a curved inner line pointing to the top left corner
5. The center line is lined up with the inside left of the lower part
6. Numerous breaks in the outer line.

Genuine block showing differences. Note the position of the letters on the left & right sides.

The used stamps of this issue are more valuable, so many bear fake cancels.

Left, a very crude forgery, letters all wrong
Right a very good forgery, the center of the “3” does not line up with the bottom curve, the “a n” is lower than other letters, numerous breaks in the thin frame line

Fournier forgery – the letters do not match the genuine.

1870 Postage Due

Note the letters that touch the frame. I have no info on forgeries as these are relatively common. Not so for the cancelled ones which are 50-75X more. Forgeries are a definite possibility.

Airmail (semi-official)
The Bayensene Aero Club received the authorization to open an airmail In Munich and Nuremberg for the years 1912-1914. This is a popular stamp and I am aware of at least 1 common forgery.

Genuine left, forgery right, I do not know if the white spot in the “C” is a common although it has appeared on a couple of forgeries.

Characteristics of the Genuine

1. Serifs on the “S”
2. Tail feathers complete
3. Note the tip on the upper part which shows up on the genuines I have seen
4. Even bars on the tail
5. Pronounced claws
6. Eye not filled in

Prestamped postcard