HAMBURG, 'Boten' isues, part 2; Th.Lafrenz, Marz-Verein

(Including bogus issue of the Marz-Verein Hamburg)

Return To Catalogue - Part 1, Hamer, Krantz - Part 3, Scheerenbeck - Part 4, Charles van Diemen - Hamburg

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Hamburg is a Free City of the Hansa in the north of Germany. Besides the official issues for Hamburg there also exists numerous local issues.

The so called 'Hamburger Boten' institute issues:

Issued by C.Hamer, H. Scheerenbeck, W. Krantz, Th. Lafrenz and Ch. van Diemen. Most of these stamps were only issued for stamp collectors. Forgeries have been made in large quantities of these stamps, I am not sure if the stamps shown here are genuine. Probably most of them are forgeries!


1863 Inscription "Verein Hamburger Boten Th. Lafrenz."

Probably genuine

(Genuine, reduced sizes)

  1/2 Sch. black on coloured paper
  1 Sch. black on coloured paper

The genuine stamps (quite rare) and official reprints (also rare) don't have a dot behind "Boten". They also have small stars (8-rayed) left and right without a white dot in the middle. 46 pearls can be found in the circle.

Some varieties exist:
For the 1/2 Sch:
1) Line at left hand top side of the "z" of "Lafrenz"
2) Black spot on pearls under "B" of "Boten" and above "n" of "Lafrenz"
3) Dot above second "r" of "Hamburger"|
4) A comma instead of a dot in the "i" of "Verein"
For the 1 Sch:
1) Dots in the figure of value
2) The "f" of "Lafrenz" is damaged
3) A comma instead of a dot in the "i" of "Verein"

There are also seven different kinds of forgeries:

First forgery (made by Spiro):

The 1/2 Sch has 55 pearls, the 1 Sch 58 pearls. The stars are large and have white dots inside them (though a variety exists of the 1 Sch with no white dot in the right star). There is a stop behind the word "Boten". In the 1/2 Sch the tail of the "g" of "Hamburger" is disconnected, the "e" of this word has a curl on top. The "H" of "Hamburger" of the 1 Sch value has serifs. The following colours exist of these forgeries: black on yellow (shades), black on grey, black on brown, black on lilac, black on green, black on blue (shades) and black on violet. The values 1/2 Sch and 1 Sch of the Spiro forgeries can be found printed together, example:

(Spiro forgeries, 1 Sch and 1/2 Sch printed together, reduced size)

A whole sheet of these forgeries.

Second forgery:

The stars are very large and 6-pointed, however, they don't have a white dot inside them as in the Spiro forgeries described above. A stop can be found behind the word "Boten" (not present in the originals). The "z" of "Lafrenz" has a prolonged upper right hand side. The 1/2 Sch has 44 pearls in the circle, the 1 Sch value has 46 pearls.
I have seen this forgery in many colours; I have seen both values in the colours: black on grey, black on yellow, black on orange, black on green, black on blue, black on brown and black on violet.
Some varieties exist: the 1/2 Sch with an extra dot and circle behind the "z" of "Lafrenz", the 1/2 Sch with line across the left lower corner and the 1 Sch with line across the lower right corner.

Third forgery

(Reduced sizes)

These forgeries have 51 pearls in the circle and small 6-rayed stars. It can be noticed that the left star has a prolounged downwards ray. Again a stop is present behind the word "Boten" (which does not exist in the genuine stamps). The "g: of "Hamburger" has a small tail.

Fourth forgery

1/2 Sch:

(Reduced size)

The 1/2 Sch of this set of forgeries has two rough 8-rayed stars. The left one is squeezed and the right one has sometimes a dot at the lower right hand side. There are 46 pearls in the circle. The left vertical frame line is continued downwards slightly.

1 Sch:

(Reduced size)

The 1 Sch of this set of forgeries has 49 pearls and two reasonably nice stars.

Fifth forgery

(Reduced sizes)

The stars are 6-rayed and are small. There is a dot behind "Boten".

Sixth forgery (made by Scott)

(Reduced size)

These forgeries were made by Scott (USA), there are 46 pearls in the circle (as in the genuine). This circle is not really round. There is also no dot behind "Boten" (as in the genuine). The "z" of "Lafrenz" has a line at the left hand top side. The "Th" is joined a the top. In the 1 Sch there is a line below the second "r" of "Hamburger". I have also seen this forgery in the non-existing colour red (both values).

Seventh forgery

(Reduced sizes)

I have only seen the 1/2 Sch of this particular forgery. It has a 7-rayed star at the left and a 8-rayed star on the right. The "g" of "Hamburger" has a very peculiar tail.

The 1 Sch of this forgery seems to have 50 pearls (sorry, no pictures available yet).

Bogus issue "MARZ-VEREIN VON 1863 HAMBURG"

(Marz-Verein von 1863 Hamburg, reduced sizes)

I have seen many colours of this 'stamp': red on yellow, black on violet, red, black on blue, black on green, green, black on red, black etc. I've been told that these are bogus issues made by Taylor.

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer