By:- Douglas Syson
In the southern part of
His son, Maximilian II, took the throne in 1848. He was king when the first Bavarian stamps were issued. He lived until 1864 and was succeeded by his son, Ludwig II, who ruled until his mysterious death in 1886.
Following the death of Ludwig II, the castle builder,
The 3 kreuzer blue, on the other hand, remained in use until about 1864, following the introduction of the 3 kreuzer red in 1862.
Less than a year after the introduction of the postage stamps, the postal authorities devised a system whereby each town was given a number, and the well-known “millwheel cancel” came into being. The numbered cancel was to be applied to the postage stamp and then the town cancel was to be applied to the cover near the millwheel cancel. The system worked fine for a number of years, becoming a bit cumbersome with the addition of new post offices. These were added at the bottom of the list and issued the next available number. In late 1856, the postal authorities called in all of the millwheel cancels and then re-distributed them according to a revised alphabetical list. Thus, the same number was used by two different towns. The millwheel cancel system continued in use until March of 1869 when it was scrapped. The number of new post offices was increasing at a fairly rapid rate and the system lost its alphabetical arrangement. From then on, the towns reverted to the use of the town cancels.
Collecting millwheel cancels has become a fascinating sideline in Bavarian philately. With more than 900 different numbers, and both closed and open millwheel cancels, one could amass a very large collection in short order. The millwheel cancels were used on Scott numbers 1-22, as well as on postage due stamp J1.
In 1870, the first perforated stamps were issued. These were also the first Bavarian stamps to be watermarked. Two such sets were issued before the Bavarian currency was changed at the end of 1875 to match that of the German Empire. On the first day of January 1876, all of the previous Bavarian stamps being used were declared invalid and the new coat of arms series, in pfennigs and marks, was put into service. This series, with three different watermarks, two different perforations and a number of new values and color changes, served until 30 June 1912, when they were declared invalid for postage.
At that point in time, we have the very first set of Bavarian stamps to portray its ruler. In 1911, a complete set of stamps, from 3 pfennig to 20 marks, was issued to commemorate the 25th year of the regency of Luitpold. Two other commemorative stamps, Scott 92-93, were also issued at this time. They had postal validity for about 20 days and were only valid for use in
With the death of Luitpold in December of 1912, his son became Regent, and then in 1913 ascended the throne. In 1914, a set of stamps was issued, showing the new king. This set remained valid until the end of Bavarian postal autonomy in mid-1920. In 1918, with the collapse of the monarchy and the rise of the Communist government, the Ludwig III stamps were overprinted “Volksstaat Bayern” (Bavarian People’s State). With the collapse of the Communist government after a few months, the Ludwig III stamps were overprinted “Freistaat Bayern” (Bavarian Free State). The curious thing about this period of time is that all three varieties were valid for postage at the same time and interesting combinations can be found on cover. Also, during this time, with the rise of the Communist government in
In early 1920, with the loss of postal autonomy looming close, the Bavarian government issued a final set of stamps, both regular postage and official stamps. These were long sets, including denominations that had not existed before. It was a totally unnecessary set, since there were plenty of the Ludwig III stamps available for use. These were issued in mid-February of 1920 and on April 1, the Bavarian Post Office was absorbed by the German Reichspost. The Bavarian stamps retained postal validity until the end of June 1920. Then, to cap things off, with the rise of inflation, the Reichspost determined that it would be cheaper to overprint all of the excess Bavarian so-called Farewell issue than to try and produce new stamps. Thus we have the Farewell issue overprinted “Deutsches Reich” and valid for use throughout
With the loss of postal autonomy, an era came to an end.
I, personally, have thoroughly enjoyed
This has been reprinted from Global Stamp News – February 1991 – Issue #4