County Philatelic Auctions




Information sought – Germany – Portugal

In spite of many years experience, from time to time we come across items we have not seen before and for which we cannot find a reference in our 1300 book library.   We pride ourselves on our accurate descriptions and need additional information on these items so we can enter them in a future County sale.   If you know exactly what any of these items are and what they should reasonably sell for (in US $ or UK pounds) please impart your wisdom.  Thank you.

·         Germany – Hindenburg 3pf yellow brown a fine unmounted mint (NH) pair but with the left stamp overprinted with a sword plus sun rays design and text as follows ‘Aussig ist frei – 16 Okt 1938 – BEFREIUNGSKUNDERBUNG’

No problem pricing or describing the basic stamps but what difference does this overprint make?  We assume this is for the liberation of ?Aussig on 16 October 38 but we cannot find it (or missed it) in the Michel Specialised catalogue.

Answer: thanks to Stephen Tauber, Lexington, Massachusetts

The type of overprint which you show on one stamp of a Hindenburg pair of Germany was extensively applied in October 1938 to stamps of Czechoslovakia hard on the heels of the occupation of the Sudetenland by Germany.  The overprints referred to individual towns, but their great similarity makes it clear that it was a systematic effort by the Germans.  Evidently the same sort of overprint was also applied to then current German stamps.  My speculation on the matter is that this particular example may have been prepared before the Germans had grabbed stamps from the captured post offices.

  • Portugal – a design similar to that of the general 1898 Colonies issues but with differences – The circle has Portugal at left, Correos at the top and CONTINENTE at the right.   There is no colony name in the tablet but the value 2½ (inverted).   
    Answer (with thanks to the webmaster of the
    Portuguese Philatelic Society, UK):
    It is a D Carlos Mouchon inverted overprint. These overprints are called 'clandestines' as they were supposedly done deliberately by the mint house workers 'after office hours'. These exist for most colonies and are not catalogued, as they are not recognized by major catalogue houses as being genuine errors. However, collectors buy these for curiosity.

german and portugal oddities