Forgeries of Baden

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On April 6th, 1850, the governments of Austria and Prussia established a Postal Convention for the interchange of correspondence at fixed rates and other German States were invited to join the Union. Among other things the Articles of this Convention stipulated that, as a rule, correspondence should be prepaid and that such prepayment should be effected by means of postage stamps as soon as practicable. Baden at once agreed to join the Union.
It was decided to issue four values 1kr, 3kr, 6kr, and 9kr and Mr. C. Naumann, of Frankfort, was commissioned to engrave the dies while the paper was obtained from a local paper maker.
The most economical method would be to print all values in black but use paper of a different color for each
The dies for the four values were completed by Naumann on Dec. 20th, 1850, and 100 electrotypes were taken from each of them, except of the 1kr of which only fifty were cast.
It was decided to print the 1kr in sheets of 45, in five rows of nine, and the other values in sheets of 90, in ten rows of nine. The extra cliches were kept in reserve in case any of the others should become damaged or worn and have to be replaced. The paper was machine-made, wove, and differed in color for each value.

The stamps were printed by the University printer, Mr. Hasper, of Carlsruhe, using ordinary black printers’ ink. By the end of February, 1851, a supply considered sufficient to last a year was ready but for some reason or other the stamps were not placed in issue until May 1st. The demand for stamps being much greater than had been anticipated the first supply was exhausted in less than three months and a further supply had to be printed. This second impression was ready in August and the paper used for the 3kr and 6kr differed in tint from that originally used.

1851 Issues

Above 1851 1a & 1b

Above 1851 2 & 2a

Above, 1851 Sc3 & Sc3a

Above 1851 Sc4 & 4a

Above 1851 Color Error – Only three canceled copies and one unused copy of this error are known. Estimated value over $2 million

Above one of the known covers

Above, a Peter Winter forgery of the genuine cover

1853 – 58 Issues
Date and Numbers Printed
-1 k black on grey
Printed in sheets of 45; five rows of nine (1st May 1851),
Later in sheets of 50 (August 1851); Total amount printed 736,780
-1 k black on white
Printed in sheets of 100 (January 1854); Total amount printed 5,123,100
-3 k black on yellow
First printing black on orange in sheets of 90 (1st May 1851)
Second printing black on yellow in sheets of 100 (August 1851).
Total amount printed: 6,157,660 stamps.
-3 k black on green
Issued in February 1854 in sheets of 100.
Total amount printed 12,370,500 stamps.
-3 k black on blue
The green paper of the 1854 was difficult to gum and thus blue color
was used instead (issued December 1858).
Total amount printed 4,132,400 stamps.
-6 k black on green
First printing black on bluish-green in sheets of 90 (1st May 1851)
Second printing black on yellow green in sheets of 100 (August 1851).
Total amount printed 2,558,540 stamps.
-6 k black on yellow
Issued in February 1854 in sheets of 100.
Total amount printed 5,605,200 stamps.
-9 k black on lilac
Printed in sheets of 90 (1st May 1851). Total amount printed 6,276,040 stamps.
9 k black on white exist through bleaching of the paper (naturally or artificially)

Above, right is a plate error above the bottom i.

Traits of the Genuine Stamps

1. Note the break in in the B & E the B is not always broken
2. Note how the lines begin & end, few forgeries get this right.
3. The center arm of the F is broken , generally
4. This is a Secret Mark from the engraver, a dash to the right of the last dot – NOTE that this is the secret mark for the 6Kr also
5. Note the large round dot & distance from the 9. The other values have smaller dots.
6. The 1 is taller than the other letters, the 5 is noticeably smaller than the others.

Note also the dots after the words & numbers on both sides, in particular the colon after the first word on the left.
Note that none of the letters touch the frames.
The stamps are printed quite close together, the maximum margin between two stamps is 1 mm. Any with large margins would be suspect.

Above, the Secret Mark on the 1Kr the dash shown but not always as pronounced or visible under the heavy cancel

Above,note the Secret Mark . This is not always so apparent or is hidden by the cancel.

Above, aside from the secret mark after the 1850 which is not always visible, there is a more pronounced Secret Mark indicated by 2.


Genuine Mi 1

The two above are known as “Coffee Fakes”. The white background Mi 5 was dipped in tea or coffee to produce a reasonable facsimile of the Mi 1.
Mi 1 b was printed in one edition 445,000 stamps, by Mi. 5 it is more than ten times that with 5,123,100 pieces printed in five editions.

The number Mi 5 is on white paper and was printed by the same printing plates used for Mi 1b. Only the paper type was changed. This brings up the point that the fake Mi 5 can be distinguished by the “secret mark’ being absent – this is wrong.  Adulterated Mi 5’s are discovered by the paper and especially UV light.
The most important feature, however, is the deep black, crisp and even print of the black color of the 1b compared to the used plates for the Mi 5.

Above no secret mark.
The to corner elements outside the circle are very different than the genuine as are the side letters.

No secret mark.
The 1 is very different.
Letters touch the frame.
Letters in the side panels are irregular.

A very primitive forgery with many issues in the 1, background and letters.
Also note that the FREIMARKE has a W instead of an M.

A very crude rough forgery.
Side letters are uneven – note the large 6 on the right

GEORG GEHRINGER 1978 reprint (forgery) – note the side panel wording is different. Modern reprints of several German States and other countries were made in 1978 by the printing firm Georg Gehringer in Kaiserslautern (Germany) in mini-sheets of four stamps in enormous quantities.

Above,a reasonable forgery but the background is distorted, the dot after the central number is oval instead of round, small 1 in 1850, the arm of the F is strongly attached, the left & right lettering too large, fonts touch the frame and no secret mark.

Above, the left one would be the same forger as the 3Kr above with the same issues. The right one, the background is crude, tiny dot after the 6, letters touch the frames, missing dots in side panels, letters too small in panels.

Above, the left one would be the same forger as the 3Kr above with the same issues. The right one is an attempt by Peter Winter to imitate the rare color error

Another excellent Winter forgery


Reprints, as noted are very difficult to determine from a scan, paper color, thickness and gum are the main criteria. Any unused examples should be treated with concern as unused stamps are generally rare.

In 1866 or 1867 several of the 1851 and all of the 1853-8 issues were reprinted. There are several differences between the reprints and the originals.

The 1 Kr of the 1851 issue was reprinted on thick Dark Reddish-Brown paper. The 3 Kr. on Brownish Yellow cardstock. The 6 Kr. on Green on cardstock. The ink tended to be a Gray-Black color. There were 5000 of each stamp printed. Apparently the 9 Kr. was not reprinted.

In the 1853-8 issue the 1 Kr. was printed on a whiter shade of paper. The 3 Kr Green tended to a more intense shade of Green. The 3 Kr on Blue tends to be a darker shade under a quartz light. The 6 Kr on Yellow tends to be a darker shade.

There are no reprints of any of the perforated stamps of Baden. Any listed as such must be considered forgeries.

1861 Issues
Numbers Printed
Perforated 13 1/2

Issued June 1860, also exists with red gum
Number of stamps printed: 4,399,200
Issued June 1860, shades of color exist
Also exists with red gum. Number of stamps printed 6,083,500
-6K Orange
Issued in late 1861, shades of color exist
Number of stamps printed 2,424,200.|
-9K Red
Issued in late 1861. Number of stamps printed 978,400.

Left Ultramarine, right , Prussian Blue

1862 Issues 10 perf

The perforation machine used for these stamps was shared with Wurttemberg. This machine was repaired in 1862, when the perforation of the machine was changed from 13 1/2 to 10.

Numbers Printed – Perforated 10
Number of stamps printed 2,675,800.
-6K Blue
Number of stamps printed 1,007,300.
Issued early 1863. Number of stamps printed 1,389,700.
Exists in two shades light and dark brown.
-3K Perf 13.5
200,000 stamps printed, issued April 1862.

Right, the rare Silver Gray

Left Prussian Blue, right Blue

Left Brown, right Dark Brown

1862 perf 13.5

1862 – 65 Issues

A desire was expressed for stamps of a higher value than 9kr, the first step being taken by the Chamber of Commerce of Mannheim, who proposed to the Baden Ministry of Commerce that 18kr and 30kr stamps should be created.

Although the use of the then current 12kr and 18kr envelopes had been very restricted the Ministry decided to introduce 18kr and 30kr labels and Kurz was commissioned to supply the necessary dies for these values. The dies, which were in the design with plain background, were delivered on October, 28th, 1861, and Hasper at once proceeded to make the cliches for the printing plates.

The colors decided on were green for the 18kr and cinnabar-red for the 30kr.

After a small number of sheets of the higher value had been printed Hasper reported that “the cinnabar-red was not fit for printing from galvano-plastic plates, as the quicksilver acted injuriously on the copper.” He was consequently ordered to print this value in orange for the future. Whether the stamps in cinnabar-red were placed in use or not is not certain. – Westoby

lists it as haying been issued and if his statement is correct the stamps in this color must be of extreme rarity.

Numbers Printed – Perforated 10
Number of stamps printed 7,515,400.
Number of stamps printed 7,303,600.
Exists imperforate (so-called Stockach – Provisorium
Shades of color exist. Number of stamps printed 3,081,600.
shades of color exist. Number of stamps printed 5,467,800.
A double sided print exists.
315,200 stamps printed. 151,012 stamps were
destroyed in July 1870.
Beware of forged cancels! 230,400 stamps printed
remainders were sold to a stamp dealer.

Left, Black, right, Gray Black

The imperforate Stockach Provisorium. About 1 dozen copies, all used, but only one of them on cover are known, all canceled at Stockach between December 24 and 29 (year unknown). Value $75,000

Left Ultramarine, right , Prussian Blue

Left, Bister, middle, Brown, right, Dark Brown

Left, Green, right Dark Green

Left, Deep Orange, right, Yellow Orange

Traits of the Genuine Stamps

1. Corner elements are very fine and do not touch the outer frame
2. None of the letters touch the frames
3.Note the shape & size of the cross and ball.
4. Clear space in ring of crown
5. 18 vertical lines in the shield
6. Middle leg of E much shorter.
7. Crowns have 3 diamond rings visible
8. Middle leg of F much shorter.
9. Central vein in each feather.

A key point with all forgeries of Baden are the corner perfs that do not match as they are

From the same forger. Extension to the right at the top of the B in BADEN, missing veins in some feathers, breaks in the frame of both left corner elements.

Fournier forgeries. Shape of cross & ball on top of crown, odd cancel on 30K.

Sperati Forgeries. 17 vertical lines in shield, elements in crown missing.

Differences in the letters, bottom of inner design touches the frame

Left, crude design, wrong name on right side, right, 16 lines in shield

Both 16 vertical lines in shield, ornaments in corners break frame in a few places

Unknown source, vertical lines in shield incomplete, breaks in inner frame.

1868 Issues
Numbers Printed –
Perforated 10
Number of stamps issued 12,896,900
Number of stamps issued 20,525,700
Number of stamps issued 4,473,500.

These are fairly common, mainly unused, as the remainders were sold to dealers in 1878. It is recorded that the dealers were Leipzig (Senf) and two stamp dealer in Hamburg (Goldner) W.E.C.Bredemeyer.
As these dealers are known for forgeries, forged cancels may originate from them.

Blue & Sky Blue

Used copies of the above are sometimes forged, especially the 7K Sky Blue


Both of these are quite good but one key which applies to others forgeries are the corner perfs that don’t match. The perfs are also not 10.

A crude FAKE of a non existent stamp


In 1850 a rural post was established in Baden, its chief object being to operate a messenger service connecting rural villages which had no post-offices of their own with the nearest State Post Office.
It had an organization of its own, distinct from the State Post, but to which, nevertheless, it was an adjunct.
In the year 1862 a Grand Ducal decree was issued, under the date of 26th September, authorizing improvements in connection with this rural post and 1kr, 3kr, and 12kr stamps were ordered to be prepared for its use.
All were printed in black on yellow wove paper and perforated 10.
The inscription “Porto-marke” indicates they were postage due stamps but they were not postage due stamps in the ordinary meaning of the term.
These labels were used solely in connection with the rural post and in addition to being used to collect deficient postage, they were used to collect the delivery charge on parcels, and for various purposes such as the collection and conveyance of money.
At this period the Post-office collected taxes and, in some instances, debts due to tradesmen. For this service it charged a commission fixed at the rate of 1kr per florin and this commission was denoted by means of these rural post stamps.
The stamps were not sold to the public but were used only by officers of the rural post.
The stamps are scarce used, especially the 12kr but they are common enough unused owing to the fact that in 1873 Julius Goldner, of Hamburg, purchased the remainders consisting of 322,800 of the Ikr, 455,400 of the 3kr and 160,000 of the 12kr.
Here again we have an opportunity for Goldner to produce fake cancels.

Numbers Printed – Perforated 10
Number of stamps issued 650,000
Number of stamps issued 1,000,000
Number of stamps issued 350,000

Genuine Traits

1. Loop faces down
2. Small dashes here
3. Loop faces up
4. Vertical line connects all 4 curls
5. 3 half circles in each ornament
6. Extending dashes as in top
7. The right serif of the M is thicker
8. Note the low position of the dash
9. The P is slightly higher than the other letters
10. Note the shape of the leaf, the slightly curved veins and they are not attached to the ornament. This is a key problem area with forgeries.

Note that with these stamps, off center is a common trait.


Only about 700 of the 12 Kr were actually canceled and should have the following name cancels with the proper spelling.

Baden, Birkendorf, Bonndorf, Freiburg-Stadtpost, Markdorf, Merchingen, Mosbach, Saekingen, Steinen, Thingen and Waldshut.

Needless to say, a 12K canceled stamp must be authenticated.

Probably the same forger, upper serif does not curve up, leaves are attached, lower hyphen is too high, left bottom dash missing, serifs of M are small, extra loop on middle left near the P.

Left, P.Winter forgery with many faults, right, The main features is the leaves that look like tulips, no dashes on bottom like the top, bottom hyphen too high.

Tulip leaves, no dashes anywhere, bottom hyphen too high, right false cancel on genuine stamp.