Catalog Numbering for Michel, Scott et al.
Printings, Remainders and Scarcity
The Michel  6 Varieties
The Michel  8 Varieties
The Schilling Reprints
Table of Colors, Gum and Paper
Genuine and Imitation Paper
Color Comparison of Originals and Reprints
Maps of Heligoland
Reprints on Lemberger Pages

Heligoland Cancels
Postal History      Postal Rates
Reprint Data Tables      Forgeries
Lemberger and Michel Color Chips
Proofers: Names and Signature Placement
Proofers' Signatures
The Examination of Various Stamps
Higher Value Stamps
The Robert Pollard Study
The Wagner Collection


My Heligoland Collection has been sold. I will not be able to add to this website in the future. It is not known at this time whether the buyer or some other collector might take over this site and continue its development. I suggest anyone who makes use of the site should save as complete HTML any pages he uses regularly, as a precaution.

I thank all of you for your help and encouragement over the years.

Cordially,

Fritz Wagner May 26th, 2007.


     HELIGOLAND

¼ Shilling from 1867 Michel 4

STAMPS


"Grün ist das land
Rot ist die Kant,
Weiss ist der Sand.
Das sind die Farben
von Helgoland"

¼ Schilling from 1874 ”Michel 8c

A Philatelist's View *

Helgoland (Heligoland to the English and on the stamps) is located in the North Sea about 30 miles from Schleswig-Holstein and sixty miles from the great Elbe river port of Hamburg. It was taken from the Danish and given to the British as a part of the settlement following the Napoleonic wars. While the British used it for its naval facilities and tourism, it was mainly inhabited by local fisherman and farmers.

Stamps were issued for "Heligoland" from 1867 through 1890 under a rather complex arrangement between the British and the Germans. The postal administration was tied to Hamburg (and to Germany after the unification in 1872) and the stamps were printed by the Prussian printing office (which became the Reich Druckerei after unification) for a German speaking populace and yet the stamps bore the profile of Queen Victoria.

In 1890 the British conveyed the island to Germany in exchange for a bit of African territory. The island came under the Reich postal administration and began to use the stamps of Germany. Thus Heligoland stamps became the past issues of a "dead territory" and very collectable.

There were more than twenty reprintings of the stamps for collectors in the nineteenth century, some of them official, some semi-offical, and some purely private. For complicated reasons, it would be fair to say that very few of the reprintings were actually "forgeries." A million and a third valid stamps were printed for use, but only perhaps half of them were ever used. The rest were bought for resale to collectors. Then there were between five and seven million reprints, the number depending on which source you rely on.

Here is the story of the "reprints" as I have it up to now. Since Heligoland stamps are usually found unused, the cancelled stamps are often much more valuable. Since there weren't enough cancelled stamps around to satisfy the desires of collectors, crooks forged cancels and applied them freely to unused and reprinted stamps. It is fair to say that most of the cancels you will see are forgeries. The problems created by the reprints are enormous. Here is an introductory comment by Arthur Wülbern, an early Helgoland scholar.

I have recently obtained permission to publish here the excellent study by Robert Pollard. He wrote with a precision and clarity that are to be envied. Also because he wrote in English, it is possible for those who lack a familiarity with German to acquire an exact knowledge of the issues and reprints. The cancels are not covered in the study.


		

Here is a 1906 postcard showing the fast steamer "Kaiser" in the foreground and the Island of Helgoland in the background.


Kaiser passing Heligoland

For a Chronological Picture Postcard History,
CLICK HERE.


You can get an appreciation of how to examine Heligoland stamps by going to the page where I examine 18 heligoland stamps and compare them with known valid stamps. I have also compiled tables and added images for reference:


This is a work in progress. Additions:

Rescanned the one-half shilling reprints to a larger scale (December 21st, 2006)
Reprints on Lemberger Pages (November 8th, 2006)
Images of Certificates and high value stamps (October 5th, 2006)
Same listed in tabular Form (Scroll down page to table of high values)
Heligoland Long Cancel Images added (May 12th, 2005)
Heligoland Cancels (January 4th, 2005)
New Proofers added; Schulz retires (January 4th, 2005)
Maps of North Germany and Helgoland (December 18th, 2004)
Postal History and Postal Rates (December 14th, 2004)
Added prices for stamps on cover (letters) (December 12th, 2004)
A Chronological History in Picture Postcards (December 7th, 2004)
Large images added for comparing different printings of Mi 6, 14, 17, and 18 (See thumbnails at bottom of page) (November 14th, 2004)
Schilling Reprints Expanded to include 1 Sch, 2 Sch, 4 Sch, and ¼ Sch (November 10th, 2004)
Forged Cancels and Forged Stamps added (November 10th, 2004)
The Wagner Collection (October 31, 2004, November 9th, 2004)
Revision of Stamp Values (Oct 26th, 2004)
Addition of Color Comparisons of Originals and Reprints—Rouletted Issues (Mi 1-4) (June 2, 2004) Revision of Lemberger, Michel and Pollard Color Chips (February 19,2004)
Enlarged images of Michel 6 with Lemberger notes translated (Oct 20,2003)
Additions to Proofers: Names and Signature Placement (Oct 3rd, 2003)
Addition of Pollard Color terms to Lemberger's and Michel's (Aug 31st, 2003)
Proofers' Signatures (Aug 21st, 2003)
Revision of Stamp Values (Aug 17th, 2003)
The Michel  6 Varieties (June 20th, 2003)
The Robert Pollard Study of Heligoland (June 7th, 2003)

* Footnote. "Philately" is the study of postage stamps, revenue stamps, stamped envelopes, postmarks, postal cards, covers, and similar material relating to postal or fiscal history. It comes from the French word philatélie meaning love of postage stamps, which in turn comes from the Greek phil plus atéleia which means freedom from charges (extended to mean the recipient's freedom from delivery charges by virtue of the stamp which sender affixed to the letter, literally, want of taxation.) WEBSTER'S UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Portland House, New York, 1989. Back to top.

Catalog Numbering for Michel, Scott et al.
Printings, Remainders and Scarcity
The Michel  6 Varieties
The Michel  8 Varieties
The Schilling Reprints
Table of Colors, Gum and Paper
Genuine and Imitation Paper
Color Comparison of Originals and Reprints
Maps of Heligoland
Reprints on Lemberger Pages

Heligoland Cancels
Postal History      Postal Rates
Reprint Data Tables      Forgeries
Lemberger and Michel Color Chips
Proofers' Signatures
Proofers: Names and Signature Placement
The Examination of Various Stamps
Higher Value Stamps
The Robert Pollard Study
The Wagner Collection


JULY 2003 STAMP THEFT
For Information CLICK HERE

Photography, Scanning, layout
and original text
© 2003-2007 by Frederick Wagner

HOME