First Issues - 1850 to 1851

page 2.5

German States

Four of the German States issued their first stamps in 1850 and two in 1851, following Bavaria's 1849 lead. Although most German states only issued definitives, Baden issued a post due and Württemberg a commemorative overprint and an official.

West Germany SG1872 Prussia SG4 Schleswig-Holstein SG1 Hanover SG1 Baden SG1 Württemberg Sg1
Saxony Prussia Schleswig-Holstein Hanover Baden Württemberg
[first issue 29th June 1850]
West Germany
1978 SG1872 Sc1282
15th November 1850
Friedrich WIlhelm IV
SG4 Sc2
15th November 1850
SG1 Sc2
1st December 1850
SG1 Sc1
1st May 1851
SG1 Sc1
15th October 1851
SG1 Sc1

Saxony’s first design is shown on a 1978 commemorative as the stamp sells for £5,000, mint and used.

British Guiana

Between Saxony and Prussia, on 1st July 1850, came British Guiana's first issue, the 'cottonreel' type-set design.

Guyana SG717 British Guiana SG216 British Guiana SG271 British Guiana SG D1a
[first issue 1st July 1850]
Guyana Cottonreel commemorative
1979 SG717 Sc298
Victoria's Jubilee
Mount Roraima
1898 SG216 Sc152
War Tax
1918 SG271 Sc-MR1
Post Due
1940 SG-D1a Sc-J1
Guyana SG393 Guyana SG408
Guyana first stamp
1966 SG393 Sc7
o/p SG331 Sc253
Guyana first real stamp
26th May 1966 SG408 Sc20

Famed for the prices of some of its early stamps, the first issue sells for £70,000 and is illustrated by a 1979 commemorative.

British Guiana demonstrates a popular debate between FI collectors over what constitutes a first issue. My simple preference is to spread the net as widely as possible, including changes of name. British Guiana became Guyana upon gaining independence in 1966, celebrated first as an overprint and then their first real stamp. The Scott catalogue helpfully restarts Guyana as #1.

There are some early officials: expensive, but on the wants list.


original page March 2008
rewritten April 2013