German States

In 1868, the northern states of Germany unified and became the North German Confederation. Prior to that time, each portion of what we now know as Germany made up its own state. 1Each state within this region managed its own postage service, and began issuing stamps as early as 1849, beginning with Bavaria. Saxony soon followed in 1850, with other states soon following suit. Now, many people seek out these German states stamps for sale as an important remnant of this era of history. After these stamps came German Empire postage stamps. The following states each issued their own postage stamps prior to the unification:

  • Bavaria
  • Saxony
  • Baden
  • Bremen
  • Luebek
  • Wuerttemberg
  • Prussia
  • Schleswig-Holstein
  • Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Mecklenberg-Schwerin
  • Heligoland
  • Hamburg
  • Hannover
  • Braunschweig
  • Bergedorf
  • Oldenburg

In addition, the House of Thurn and Taxis began issuing postage stamps for themselves in 1852, even though they were not a state. This unique entity actually had its own postal service from the time of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, in 1497, which was when Franz von Taxis has been commissioned to begin a service that would carry official mail. This involved a horse relay system, which ultimately created a predictable and reliable mail system that was significantly faster than previous systems.

These states discontinued their various postal services when they unified, becoming the North German Postal District. Treasure Coast Stamps has extensive information about these and other German states postage stamps, and we are always happy to help customers find information about this unique era of German history.