First Issues - 1840 to 1849

page 1.6


Belgium passed the necessary legislation for postal reform in 1847, a year before France, but was slow to implement the service. See note.

Bel Belgium SG93 Belgium SG560 Belgium SG109 Belgium SG-O481 Sc-O1 Belgium SG-D63
King Leopold I
1st July 1849
SG1 Sc1
See note
Antwerp Exhibition
1894 SG93 Sc76
1930 SG560 Sc-C1
Brussels Exhibition
1910 SG109 Sc-B1
1920 SG-O481 Sc-O1
o/p SG352 Sc147
Post Due
1870 SG-D63 Sc-J1


West Germany SG1035
West Germany
Stamp centenary
1949 SG1035 Sc-B309

There was a long history of postal services in Germany, thanks largely to the efforts of Thurn and Taxis which administered Bavaria's post until 1808. On 1st November 1849 Bavaria was the first of the many German States to issue stamps, the others following in the 1850s. This is another expensive first issue (£550, SG1 Sc1), but the 1 kreuzer black was fortunately featured on the third stamp (and the first charity stamp) issued by the newly-formed German Federal Republic in 1949.

The 1862 first post due label is also outside my price range (1862 SG-D34, Sc-J1 at £120). It is unlikely ever to be commemorated.

Bavaria SG138 Bavaria SG Bavaria SG250 Bavaria SG-O195
Prince Regent Luitpold
90th birthday
1911 SG138 Sc77
Prince Regent Luitpold
Silver Jubilee
1911 SG169 Sc93
For wounded war veterans
1919 SG250 Sc-B1
o/p SG178 Sc99
1916 SG-O195 Sc-O1

Prince Regent Luitpold was commemorated twice in 1911, for his 90th birthday (on March 12th) and the 25th anniversary of his regency (issued 10th June). Both are shown above as the second is one of the most attractive stamps of the period. He died in 1912.

Neither Gibbons nor Scott list a Bavarian airmail, but there is a Michel listing for a 1912 stamp from the Bayerische Aeroklub. If generally recognised, this would be the first ever airmail, beating Italy's by five years.

Definitive overprints were issued from 1888 for use by railway officials and perfins from 1912, so the 1916 issue shown is the first real official stamp.


This was the first display, written in 2008. In the 2013 rewrite additional features have been added, such as showing many of the miniature sheets commemorating first issues on the back of pages. The example from Belgium overleaf is the messiest MS found so far, with an example from Uruguay a moderately distant second.

The Belgium #1 was updated in Feb15. For years on the old and new versions of these pages I was showing the wrong stamp. Thanks to Crispin Howell-Jones for pointing this out.


original page March 2008
rewritten April 2013