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Germany & Related Areas, 1872 - 1945

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Frame & Center Types of the German Colonies Mark Issues

The larger-value Colonial issues were printed in two parts, the frame and the center.  Across the colonies, there were three different frame designs and three different center designs.  Below is a brief overview of the types.

Type I Frame

Type II Frame

Type III Frame

Type I Center

Type II Center

Type III Center

The Type II frames and centers are easily identifiable by the ribbon folds on the top frame, and the corresponding indentations in the center to accommodate the folds.

Type II Frame Folds

Type II Center Indentations

The Type III can be difficult to distinguish from the Type I.  The difference is in the size of the value areas of the frame — slightly larger on the Type III — and the corresponding indentation in the Type III center to accommodate the larger frame.

Type III Overlaid Over Type I

Note the larger Type III value area (overlaid in red)

Type III Overlaid Over Type I

Note the smaller indentation in the Type I center (overlaid in red)

Demos using scans of actual stamps

Top of a Type I/Type III frame

Compare Type I/Type III center with Type II center

Type I & Type III frames

Note distances between bow/stern and edge of the printing

Across the Colonies

As a general rule, certain colonies used certain standard types. However, due to errors at the printers, several varieties exist with mixed types (example, Type I frame with Type II center).

Colony

Standard Design

Exceptions

German New Guinea

Type I

MiNr. 23 I A II (Frame Type I, Center Type II)
MiNr. 23 II B I (Frame Type I, Center Type II)
MiNr. 23 II B II (Frame Type I, Center Type III)

German East Africa

Type III

MiNr. 21 I (Frame Type III, Center Type I)
MiNr. 39 II A II a (Frame Type III, Center Type II)
MiNr. 39 II A II b (Frame Type III, Center Type II)
MiNr. 39 II B II (Frame Type III, Center Type II)

German Southwest Africa

Type I

MiNr. 32 B (Frame Type I, Center Type II)

Kamerun

Type II

None

Karolinen

None

MiNr. 16 (Frame Type II, Center Type I)
MiNr. 17 (Frame Type II, Center Type I)
MiNr. 18 (Frame Type II, Center Type I)
MiNr. 19 (Frame Type II, Center Type I)
MiNr. 22 I A (Frame Type II, Center Type II)
MiNr. 22 II A (Frame Type II, Center Type II)
MiNr. 22 II B (Frame Type II, Center Type II)

Kiautschou

Type II

MiNr. 17 (Frame Type II, Center Type I)

Marianen

Type II

None

Marshall Inseln

Type I

MiNr. 27 A I (Frame Type I, Center Type II)
MiNr. 27 B I (Frame Type I, Center Type II)

Samoa

Type II

None

Togo

Type II

None

German New Guinea

Standard design:

  • Type I          

Exceptions:

  • MiNr. 23 I A II (Frame Type I, Center Type II)
  • MiNr. 23 II B I (Frame Type I, Center Type II)
  • MiNr. 23 II B II (Frame Type I, Center Type III)

German East Africa

Standard design:

  • Type III        

Exceptions:

  • MiNr. 21 I (Frame Type III, Center Type I)
  • MiNr. 39 II A II a (Frame Type III, Center Type II)
  • MiNr. 39 II A II b (Frame Type III, Center Type II)
  • MiNr. 39 II B II (Frame Type III, Center Type II)

German Southwest Africa

Standard design:

  • Type I          

Exceptions:

  • MiNr. 32 B (Frame Type I, Center Type II)

Kamerun

Standard design:

  • Type II         

Exceptions:

  • None

Karolinen

Standard design:

  • None

Exceptions:

  • MiNr. 15 (Frame Type I, Center Type I)
  • MiNr. 16 (Frame Type I, Center Type I)
  • MiNr. 17 (Frame Type I, Center Type I)
  • MiNr. 18 (Frame Type I, Center Type I)
  • MiNr. 19 (Frame Type I, Center Type II)
  • MiNr. 22 I A (Frame Type II, Center Type I)
  • MiNr. 22 II A (Frame Type II, Center Type I)
  • MiNr 22 II B (Frame Type II, Center Type I)

Kiautschou

Standard design:

  • Type II

Exceptions:

  • MiNr. 17 (Frame Type II, Center Type I)

Marianen

Standard design:

  • Type II

Exceptions:

  • None

Marshall Inseln

Standard design:

  • Type I

Exceptions:

  • MiNr. 27 A I (Frame Type I, Center Type II)
  • MiNr. 27 B I (Frame Type I, Center Type II)

    Samoa

    Standard design:

    • Type II

    Exceptions:

    • None

      Togo

      Standard design:

      • Type II

      Exceptions:

      • None