Forgeries of  Brunswick (Braunschweig)

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Since the first issue of Brunswick is so highly valued unused, many copies have the pen cancellations removed in order to give the appearance of an unused stamp. For this reason one should be extremely careful in dealing with stamps not having the original gum.
Another important aspect is in the rouletted stamps. It is advisable to get the stamps of Brunswick that are rouletted on a letter only, or on piece; or when buying unattached specimens, at least make sure they are accompanied by the certificate of an expert.
In the stamps that have been rouletted in arc it is especially important to determine that the arcs of the rouletting do not touch each other at the ends, and that there is a small space between every single rouletting curve and the next one.

1852 Issues

The stamps were designed and engraved by Herr K. Petersen, and printed bv Herr J. H. Meyer, in Brunswick.
According to Mr. Ehrenbach (London Philatelist vol. III, p. 162) the stamps were printed in sheets of 120 arranged in twelve horizontal rows of ten each, the stamps being about 2 mm. apart.
Mr. Westoby states that the plates were composed of type-metal casts, which may account for the existence of the three “types” of the Isgr differentiated by Mr. Ehrenbach as follows :

Type I. With no dots on the figures of value.
Type II. With a dot on the figure at right.
Type III. With a dot on the figure at left.

Mr. Ehrenbach further states that there is an error of lettering in the type I with the word “SILBG” reading “SIL.33.” – Excerpt from The Stamps of the German Empire – Poole 1891

According to the Ausfuhrliker Katalog – Hugo Krotzsch 1896, 600,000 of the 3 issues were printed. This seems high considering their rarity especially for unused ones. Poole alludes to restrictions on early sales so perhaps the remainders were destroyed as they were only in service 14 months.
Leaping Saxon horse with crown in oval.
1 Silbergroschen pale rose, light rose, lilac rose.
2 Silbergroschen blue, Prussian blue, light blue.
3 Silbergroschen red, brick-red, salmon red.
Imperforate. Typographed.
Paper: yellowish white, medium strong. Unwatermarked.
Gum: Pink to brown red.

1 Silbergroschen

Rose, light rose, lilac-rose.
The oval around the figure of value on the right is broken on the top right.
The right inside frame line is broken in the middle.
In the center field are forty vertical lines.
The top “G” has a broad end
The numeral 1 has a long top serif
The oval around the figure of value on the left is broken at the bottom right and generally the top right..
The height of the ovals around the figures of value is 4 1/2 mm.
The width of the ovals is 3 1/4 mm.
The height of the characters is 1 1/4 mm.
The belly of the horse has seven shade lines but indistinct.
There are 4 stones and ground line id broken in the middle.
No letters are joined

Note the shape of the mane


Fournier Forgeries
Frame lines & ovals are not broken
The “1” has a tiny serif and is narrow
Ground line is not broken
The “W” is odd shaped
Belly lines are very distinct

Reasonably good forgeries
Frame & ovals not broken\
Serifs on the “1” are too short
Ground line not broken
Right one has several letters joined

Crude forgeries
Frames & ovals not broken.
Left letters too thick and joined, right one letters are uneven
Left no ground line, right not broken
Right no serifs on the “1”

This forger has made copies of almost all the early stamps.
His trademark is the shape of the ends of the bottom scrolls.
Many of his letters touch the frames.
In this case the very thick “1” is also a trait.

An excellent Peter Winter modern forgery

2 Silbergroschen

Blue, Prussian blue (left), light blue (right).
The left limb limb of the “N” in ” BRAUNSCHWEIG” is usually broken.
The horizontal limb of the ” H” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” is without support and never touches the vertical limbs.
The “G” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” has a thickened end foot.
The width of the ovals around the figures of value is 3 1/3 mm.
The height of the same ovals is 4 1/2 mm.
In the center field there are forty-one vertical lines.
The inner frame line is noticeably broken at the top right, and at various other places.
The top of the crown has a large prominent cross.
In the belly of the horse there are seven shade lines.
Note the size & shape of the 4 stones.
The ground line is solid.


Both probably Sperati forgeries
Overall reasonably good.
The left, the top letters vary in thickness especially the CHW which are thinner than the original
The right one also has issues with the letters especially the H and they get shorter on the right

Another Sperati forgery

Left the top letters are thin, the U is not inclined to the right
The left “2” is too narrow
The right one is very crude
The letters touch the frame
The rock formation is wrong
The 2’s have a pronounced curve on the bottom.
The scroll ends are all very wrong

An extremely crude forgery with many issues

3 Silbergroschen

Red, brick-red, salmon-red.
The height of the letters in the upper inscription is 1 1/2 mm.
The breadth of the ovals around the figures of value is 3 1/3 mm.
The height of the same ovals is 4 1/2 mm.
In the center field there are thirty-eight vertical lines which are broken on the right where the print is· very finely executed.
The inner left frame line is broken at the center.
The horizontal limb of the “A” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” does not touch at the right of the vertical limb.
In the belly of the horse there are five complete shading lines; the others are smudged.


Fournier forgery
Overal reasonable
Background lines are not even and too wide (wrong number)
The “W” is too short.
Left frame line is intact
The letters in “DREI” are not properly inclined

1853 – 1865 Issues with posthorn watermark

Imperforate. Typographed.
Paper: Differing strengths with watermarks : Post Horn, framed. There were several printings and many shades exist.
Every posthorn of the 120 contained in a sheet differs in size and shape from the others.
The “bits” for the dandy-roll were made by hand.
These values have the same distinguishing features as before.

1/4 Silbergroschen 1856

black/ brown.
The right inner frame line is broken in several places.
The feet of the ” R” and the “A” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” are joined or extremely close.
The “1” on the left is taller.
In the oval on the right side the fraction line ends at the horizontal line of the figure “4.”
The foot of the “4” on the right almost touches the frame
In the oval on the left side the fraction rule extends further down.
In the belly of the horse are seven shading lines.
In the center field there are thirty-eight vertical lines.
Between the hind legs of the horse no lines of the base pattern appear.
The outer frame line is broken in the upper left corner.


Left, Thin horse
No thick end on the “G”
Lines in the scrolls too fine, pointed scrolls almost touch the frame.
“I” of “DREI” is awkward
Both “1” are the same as well as the fraction line.

Right, Thick “1”
No space between the “W” & “E”
Tips of bottom scrolls wrong.

1/3 Silbergroschen 1856

black/ white.
The horizontal limb of the “H” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” is broken.
The horizontal line over the first vertical limb of the “W” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” is broken .
The center limb and the upper horizontal limb of the “E” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” is broken in most cases.
In the center field there are thirty-three vertical lines.
In the belly of the horse are seven shading lines.
Between the hind legs of the horse are no lines of the base pattern.
The “3” in the fraction is thinner on the left than the right.
The inner frame line is broken in the lower right corner.

A private reprint above of this value was produced, which may be detected immediately by the lack of the watermark, as well as by the very smooth paper and obvious colors.

Ohrt’s reprint book (Handbuch der Neudrucke) mentions that a private reprint exists of the 1/3 Sgr stamp in two types: with and without dot behind ‘VIER’. This reprint was made on smooth paper, there is no watermark and there is a weakness in the second frame-line under the ‘LB’ of ‘SILBR’.

These are actually cuts from a larger sheets with various reprints made by Laßmann-Braunschweig, Reinheimer and H.Krötzsch who were well known expertisers


Left a very crude forgery
Thick letters some touching the frame.
Front hoof touches the frame
Note the long bottom left leg of the left “1”.

Right just as crude
The main issue being the 3 stones & dog like face of the horse.

1/2 Silbergroschen 1863 Imperforate, 1864 Perce en arc 16 (Serpentine)
Note that some of those shown may be fake roulette – one needs the actual stamp to check the perforations under magnification

Same design as 1853.
black/ green, yellow-green.
Paper: Medium strong or thin. Watermarked: Post Horn framed.
Gum: white to brownish.
The horizontal limb of the “H” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” is broken at the left and at the right.
The second vertical limb of the “W” in “BRAUNSCHWEIG” is shorter than the one on the right.
There is a wide space between the “W” and the “E”
In the center field there are thirty-six lines.
The horizontal end line of the “G” in “PFENNIGE” touches the last inside shading line.
The height of the letters in the lower inscription is 1 1/4 mm.
The height of the letters in the upper inscription is 1 1/2 mm.
In the belly of the horse are seven shading lines.
The hoof of the right front leg nearly touches the frame line of the oval.
The back left hoof is not on the ground.


Forgery left, genuine right
Aside from the color, this is an exceptional forgery so it may be more modern
There are a few minor discrepancies in the letters, especially the middle stroke of the bottom “F” and “E”

This forgery comes up in many of the denominations
3 stones only
Pointed ends of bottom scroll
Crown very wrong.
Letters are crude, no spacing between the “W” & “E”.

1 Silbergroschen 1853

Black/Orange , Black/orange Buff
As before the key features are
The broken ground line
The long serif in the 1
The thick end of the top G
A break in the S of SILB
Appears as if only 3 rocks shown.
Right Hoof almost touches frame.


Both the above are very similar and probably produced by the same forger, possibly Spiro.
The break is missing in the ground line
The crown is poorly shaped.
The tips of the scroll are wrong
Rocks are wrong.
In all of these types, the ground line is made up of 2 straight lines, one light and one heavy.

1 Silbergroschen 1861 & 1864 Roulette

Left yellow, right, dark yellow

Serpentine Roulette
As before the key features are
The broken ground line
The long serif in the “1”
The thick end of the top “G”
A break in the “S” of SILB


The key in both of the above is the lack of a break in the ground line.
The serifs on the “1” are too short.
The stones are incorrect
The “w” & the “E” are joined

Here we again have the same forger with the very thick “1”
Letters touch the frame.
The rocks are wrong.
Irregular ground line.
The downward pointed ends of the bottom scroll.

2 Silbergroschen 1853 & 1864 Roulette

Left, Light blue, right, dark blue

1864 Roulette


Left, Ends of scroll are wrong and almost touch the frame
No space between the “W: & “E”

Right, very crude
Tips of scroll are wrong
Thick “2”’s
No space between the “W: & “E”
Stones wrong

3 Silbergroschen 1853

Left black on Rose, right, black on grey rose

3 Silbergroschen 1862 & 1864 Roulette

Vivid Rose

Lilac Red & Rose
Design as the issue of 1853 but with watermarks.
Imperforate. Rouletted in lines 17 and 12.
The earmarks correspond with those of the issue of 1853.
A note from Poole on the perforations:

The rouletting was done in line and had a gauge of 12. Whether the cuts were made by a rouletting wheel or on the printing press with ordinary notched rule does not appear to be known.
The roulette is always very indistinct owing to the thickness of the paper. It was not particularly satisfactory and in the following month other stamps appeared with the rouletted cuts arranged in a series of short curves giving a scallop effect to the edges of severed stamps.
This is the style known as perces en arc and it had a gauge of 161/2 to 171/2. This rouletting, Mr. Westoby tells us, was done by the printer, Meyer, in the press by means of thin brass printer’s rule.


Forgery on the left, genuine right
A very good forgery.
Scroll and letters are larger and thicker.

A Full sheet of Spiro forgeries

1857 Issue

The 1/4 was only in use for eleven months (the total quantity printed being (271,040) when it was replaced by a new stamp of unusual design.
This was a large stamp, 24 mm. square, capable of being divided into four, each of the divisions representing 3 pfennig, and the entire stamp being equivalent to 1 gutegroschen.

4/4 Groschen black/brown, yellow-brown.
Imperforate. Typographed.
Paper: Thin, colored. Watermarked: Posthorn.

1. The bottom of the “s” is usually weak or broken with a dot to the right.
2. Behind the “a” and “r” in “Postmarke,” in the left upper field a dot appears.
3. The lower part of the “e” is much narrower than the top.
4. A little stroke or dot at the end of the last “e”
5. The lower rim of the crown, right upper field, is open on the left.
6. The “1” in “1/4” right upper field, has no upstroke.
7 & 13. The dots are further from the r
8. The second “g” in “Gutegr.”, right upper field, has no ending bow.
9. The bottom of the “g” does not extend as far below the line as the others.
10. A dot after the “e” right lower field
11. Behind the “a” in “Postmarke,” right lower field, is a dot.
12. The “P” of “Postmarke,” right lower field, touches the border line.
14. The ‘f” crosses the line

The stamps were printed in sheets of 100 in ten rows of ten.
A large quantity of this value was printed in brown on white paper in 1866 but for some reason or other they were never issued.

The variety is quite common, however, for the entire lot was sold with the original remainders in 1868, when the post-office of Brunswick was absorbed by that of the North German Confederation.


I have indicated the main areas that do not correspond to the original.

Forged Cancels commonly used on the rouletted versions
The cancels used by Sperati are:
‘BRAUNSCHWEIG 12/2’ in a halfcircle
‘BRAUNSCHWEIG 15/5’ in a halfcircle
‘BRAUNSCHWEIG 23/7’ in a halfcircle
‘BRAUNSCHWEIG 5/11’ in a halfcircle
‘WOLFENBUTTEL 16/3’ in a halfcircle
‘WOLFENBUTTEL 6/7 11 1/2 – 12’ in a double circle

Fournier cancels

BRAUNSCHWEIG stamps with numerical cancels. The obliterators are in the form of 16-count horizontal lines (bars) in the shape of a small, upended, unframed square, with the numeral designating the post office being centrally located on a plain field.
The vast majority of the numerical oblits were in use during the time period covering the Braunschweig 1852, 1853, 1857, 1861-1863, 1864, and 1865 issues.

1 Badenhausen
2 Bahrdorf
3 Bevern
4 Blankenburg
5 Boden
6 Boerssum
7 Braunlage
8 Braunschweig (Main Post Office)
9 Braunschweig (Railroad P.O.)
10 Calvörde
11 Delligsen
12 Eschershausen
13 Fürstenberg
14 Gandersheim
16 Greene (to 10 Oct 1865)
Naensen (from 10 Oct 1865)
17 Gross-Winnigstedt
18 Halle/Weser
19 Harzburg
20 Hasselfelde
21 Helmstedt
22 Hessen
23 Hohegeiss
24 Holzminden
25 Jerxheim
26 Immendorf (to 31 Dec 1860)
Hehlen (from 1 Nov 1862)
27 Kl.-Rhüden (to Oct 1864)
Bornum b. Seesen (from Oct 1864)
28 Königslutter
29 Kreiensen
30 Langelsheim
31 Lehre
32 Lutter/Bge.
33 Oker
34 Ottenstein
35 Rübeland
36 Salder (thin Bars)
Salder (thick Bars)
37 Schoeningen
38 Schoeppenstedt
39 Seesen
40 Stadtoldendorf
41 Tanne
42 Thedinghausen
43 Vechelde
44 Velpke
45 Vorsfelde
46 Walkenried
47 Wolfenbüttel
48 Zorge
49 Mainzholzen (from 1 Aug 1857 to 10 Oct 1865)
Vorwohle (from 10 Oct 1865)
50 Braunschweig (Very Rare)

Reference: Michel Deutschland-Spezial-Katalog 1995 (München: Schwaneberger Verlag GmbH, 1995), 65.

1865 Issues

In October, 1865, stamps of a new design were introduced. The colors were also changed so as to make them more in conformity with those adopted by the Thurn and Taxis post-office and the German States.
The dies, which were engraved on steel at Berlin, were common to adhesives and a series of envelopes.
Four values were issued, 1/3gr, Igr, 2gr and 3gr all being embossed in color on plain white wove machine made paper.
They were rouletted perces en arc like the set they superseded. The stamps were printed in sheets of 100 arranged in ten rows of ten.
There are several shades of all except the lowest value, and all are known imperforate. These were never issued but are from sheets which were found among the remainders.

At the end of 1867 the postal administration of Brunswick was merged with that of the North German Confederation and ceased to exist as an independent establishment after December 31st, 1867.

The remainders of the 1865 issue were sold in 1868. They were not offered in one lot but could be purchased by the 100 sheets at about 2 thalers by anyone interested. As a matter of fact most of them were purchased by one man, a German dealer, and that there must have been a large stock of some values is obvious from the low prices of unused examples.

Right one is probably a forgery



I have not seen many forgeries of these and those that show up are excellent and tend to duplicate used ones.

Forgery left, genuine right

From a postal stationary
Same design but larger

A Postman of 1850’s Brunswick