The perforated ½ Schilling stamp went through eight issues from 1869
through 1873 and and any remainders were withdrawn in 1875 when the
denomination was switched from schillings to farthings.
It is very exacting work to classify these eight different stamps
because to the unpracticed eye, they all look pretty much alike. To
compound the difficulty, they were reprinted rather often for
private gain over a period of twenty years from 1875 to 1895.
Here are the Michel varieties, shown very large so that the
printing differences can be plainly seen. As a learned friend has shown
me, more can be told by the image characteristics than can be told by
the colors which can be deceiving. It is not unheard of for the leading
experts to misclassify the varieties. I have worked to make these as
accurate as possible [October 25th, 2004], with a lot of help from my
Some of the printings, depending on ink application and the
condition of the plates themselves ( "galvanos" auf Deutsch
) resulted in sometimes sharp and sometimes smeary images. Lemberger
discussed each of them in some detail and what follows is my
translation. The Lemberger color terms can be converted to Michel where
necessary by going to the color terms
page. Many more examples can be seen in my collection. Just click on
the Mi 6 thumbnail.
Mi 6a (Aug 1869)
The frame lines and inscriptions are finely detailed. The inner and
outer framelines are sharp and clearly separated from one another. The
color around the medallion is smooth and even.
The carmine cornices or spandrels are rather dark, their impression is
solid but smeared at the points. The points appear as though excess ink
bled onto the surrounding paper.
Mi 6b (Aug 1870)
The green is less blue and flatter than in 6a. The Framelines and
inscriptions are less fine. The medallion is busier, more sprinkled
with white than 6a.
The carmine cornice is somewhat flat and rather lighter than 6a. The
cornice edges are mostly fuzzy and the cornices overlap the green.
Although the colors here are close to 6a, the framelines flow together
repeatedly so that these two printings are easily distinguished.
Mi 6c (July 1871)
Colors: bronzegrün (sharp)/
karminrot (strike porous)
The green here is darker than in 6a or 6b. The frame is clear and quite
sharp, but not fine. The medallion is porous, showing numerous white
dots and flecks.
The carmine of the cornice is closer to red than to rose. It has a
markedly porous appearance.
Mi 6d (Jan 1872)
Colors: trübhellgelbgrün (unclear)/
The green is a markedly dirty, dull, almost bright yellowish green. The
entire green strike is unsharp and fuzzy. The medallion is porous and
The cornice is dull rose. The cornice edges are frequently fuzzy and
sometimes the cornice points appear to have bled onto the surrounding
Mi 6e (Sept 1872)
Colors: hell(oliv)grün (sharp)/
The paper used here was harder so that the green printing is markedly
sharp and the image can be seen clearly from the back. The green has a
slight olive cast, but it is substantially brighter than the bronze
green of 6c. The green appears in several degrees of brightness, some
bright enough to be confused with 6f.
The cornice is normally not porous but is fuzzy and overlapped. The
carmine appears duller than with the earlier printings.
Mi 6f (Sept 1872)
Colors: lichtgrün/ karmin
The green is a remarkably light, delicate shade but with a light yellow
cast. The green in the medallion area is obviously porous.
The cornice resembles the earlier printings.
Mi 6g (July 1873)
Colors: mattbläulichgrün (unclear)/
The green is flat and lightly bluish. The impression seems to be rather
sharp, but in spite of that it ranges from unclear to smeary. Both
inner and outer framelines are sometimes entirely flowed together. The
medallion is frequently unevenly embossed.
The cornice color is markedly dark, strong and usually overlaps. The
cornice borders are mosly quite fuzzy.
Mi 6h (Sept 1873)
Colors: lebhaftbläulichgrün (sharp)/
The green is lively and pure, with a light bluish cast. The impression
is remarkably sharp and well done. The medallion area is smooth and
The carmine of the cornice is less dark and less solid than in 6g. The
edge contures are basically even.