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The Blue Flea : Advanced Information.

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Posted 11/28/2010   09:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add rod222 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message


The tiny Notopfer stamp of Germany is a collecting dicipline
in itself.

Advanced variety, info for those interested.

Used with permission:
Acknowledgement "The Byrum Catalogue"

The Notopfer (Blue Flea)




The Byrum Catalogue:


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Posted 11/28/2010   09:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Using those numbers, one could deduce there must have been
eight different perforators.

40 seconds of fame, to anyone who could explain why
they came with so many varieties of puncture.
(not a trick question)
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Posted 11/28/2010   09:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I pulled this one out of a dealers bulk tub yesterday because I just do not see that many of this type of early post war commercial mail..would be interested to know if others see many of them...

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Posted 11/28/2010   2:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bujutsu to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice thread

I noticed the Byrum Catalogue mentioned and was wondering if this publication is still available or long out of print? If out of print, where can one buy a copy?

I have a window envelope literally stuffed with well over 2000 of these that have to be sorted and I might be blurry-eyed by the time I ever get them finished <G>.

Chimo

Bujutsu
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Posted 11/28/2010   3:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Puzzler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A guess, maybe the perfs were made bit by bit, as the stamps were needed, and by different machines and people throughout the city area?

So each machine was set to perf by eye (so they looked correct to that person) and not by a single central authority?
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Posted 11/28/2010   6:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

This may go towards explanation of Phils commercial covers
and different location areas of perforating.

The origins of this stamp are in the June 21, 1948 Currency reform by
the western zones of Germany, which caught the Soviet with their pants
down and lead to a rushed currency reform in the Soviet (and Berlin)
on June 24th (June 25th in West Berlin). Emergency stamps were over-
printed in many post offices (the so-called "District Handoverprints")
every night to meet the next day's demand, until machine-overprinted
stamps became available on July 3rd.

This immediately lead to the Soviet Blockade of West Berlin and the
Berlin Airlift (Operation Vittles). The population of West Berlin
suffered greatly during the time of the blockade, which was not lifted
until May 12, 1949. (The Airlift continued until Sept. 30.)
As a means to defray the costs of this massive resupply operation and
to provide continuing assistance to the people of Berlin, the German
parliament (with military government approval) passed a law requiring a
2 Pfennig tax on various classes of mail. (Covers franked contrary to
this law exist, e.g. Notopers used to pay postage and ordinary stamps
used to pay the tax.)
The tax was to be paid ONLY by the "blue flea" stamp, first issued on
Dec. 1, 1948 and inscribed "NOTOPFER / 2 BERLIN / STEURMARKE". This
translates to "Emergency Victims / 2 Berlin / Tax Stamp". Although
this is technically a tax stamp, it was in fact sold by the post office
and it had no use other than on mail.



Covers franked contrary to this law exist, e.g. Notopers used to pay
postage and ordinary stamps used to pay the tax.
The Notopfer was not required on all pieces of mail. Initially, the
Notopfer was required only in the Bizone (combined American and British
zones). It was later used in the French Zone (see below). It was never
used in Berlin itself. It was not required on mail to Berlin, on mail
to the Soviet Zone and on mail to foreign destinations. Examples used
inadvertently to the Soviet Zone or Berlin were often defaced and
returned by the Soviet Zone authorities (and are very collectable),

For mail that was not exempt per the above, initially every class of
mail required the Notopfer. This represented a 10% tax for letter mail,
but was a whopping 50% for printed matter. Businesses complained loudly
about this and printed matter was later made exempt.

Even official mail that was otherwise free required a Notopfer!

The period of use for the Notopfer was Dec. 1, 1948 to March 31, 1956,
thus surviving the transition from occupied Germany to Federal Republic.
Overall, more than 10 billion of the "fleas" were printed. Depending on
how specialized one wants to collect these, a collection could consist
of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of stamps. And then there's the
postal history ...
The French Zone was a bit of a maverick. They at first elected not to
participate. When they did, it was sporadic and with a few twists:

Baden used the Notopfer on July 1-2, 1949 and again from July 17 on.
They also designated that a portion of the funds would go to the
relief of Kehl (another interesting story).

Rhineland-Pfalz used the Notopfer in Feb. & March, 1949, and again
from July 1 on.

Wurttemberg used the Notopfer from Jan. 10 to May 31, 1949. For
the rest of the year they used overprinted Notopfers or specially
printed stamps, the proceeds of which went into a fund for housing
reconstruction. From Jan. 1, 1950 on they reverted to the use of
unoverprinted Notopers.

The area around Lindau caught a break, as the use of the housing
reconstruction stamps was not required there. This part of Bavaria
had been given to Wurttemberg so the French could have a corridor
to their zone in Austria.


The Notopers were even used in parts of Austria! - the mountainous
border areas that were served by the German post office since there was
no land access to the rest of Austria.

Getting back to basics, the Michel catalog, or a specialized handbook
by Harlos & Harlos, lists the various permutations of watermark and
perforation that makes this issue so interesting. I won't go into the
details here, except to mention one particular perforation used early
on.



The sheet of 200 Notopfers was the same size as a sheet of 100 (pfennig

value) Buildings Series stamps. One of the first attempts at perforating

the Notopfers was to use the Comb 14 perforator used for the Buildings

and supplement it with a Line 12 perforation between each vertical pair.

Such stamps are very interesting, but alas they are really cheap.

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Posted 11/28/2010   7:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rod, thanks for the history lesson, that explains why mail to the U.S. did not have the blue flea...i have a Baden cover which I believe is dated October 30,1949 to Kreiensen (location ?) it has a airmail label but no flea !!
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Posted 11/28/2010   8:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Information care of the very knowledgeable, Mr. Jay Carrigan, Phil,
it would tend to explain your lack of commercial covers.
I am still unable to grasp the entire situation
of that little stamp.

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Posted 11/28/2010   9:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add warrehouse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great Info Rod222!
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Posted 11/29/2010   11:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bujutsu,
the information I was given were the few pages
addressing the notopfer, it appears the entire
Byrum Catalogue is 2.5 inches thick! Goodness.

It is available at $95, but the freight
would be worrisome

440 The Supplemental Stamp Catalog $95.00
Compiled and edited by Donald A. J. Byrum, 1974 revised edition which has all of his revisions, there is no page count but it is 2 inches thick, punched for a 3-ring binder. This catalog covers non-Scott tax and fee type stamps. It covers the world. Examples of stamps cataloged are as follows: parcel post, money order, return for postage, radio fee, railway express, postal savings, and many other Cinderella's.

http://www.jameslee.com/book12.htm

I am led to believe a more current CV is in the
Michel catalogue for the notopfer, and offers the same deatail
as Mr. Byrum.
Hope that assists

I'll certainly keep it in mind for the cinderella work.

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Posted 11/29/2010   11:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bujutsu to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Rod for that information.

I try to get as many foreign (to me) publications as I can to see beyond the scope of the Scott's Catalogues because they tend to list more varieties etc.

However. like you state, the price and the freight can be scary and therefore because of this, I have to be very sure I want a particular publication bad enough before I spend the big $$ <G>

Thanks again

Chimo

Bujutsu
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Posted 11/29/2010   11:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Shsssh! Bujutsu,

If Ryan sees this post,
he will go crazy with desire,
He is a confirmed bibliophile.

So far, I want the commercial and private perfins
of Australia, and the Byrum, and all over $70


...Oooh and of course a full set of Billigs!

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United Kingdom
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Posted 11/29/2010   1:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add David King to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the info, Rod very interesting.

I've always liked this little stamp since I first came across one as a very young collector ie long time ago . . .

Can you (or anyone else) explain the differences between types S1 and S2 in the Byrum catalogue? Stanley Gibbons only lists one type, but does have most of the various perfs listed in Byrum, though the "blue fleas" are rather confusingly divided between the Allied Occupation and West Germany.
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Posted 11/29/2010   7:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


David,
I have chapter and verse on the blue flea,
but a weird experience when I try and offer you
the address.
My browser refuses to open the address
but free to dowload the file.

It is a great piece of work, so be warned
it may have you sidelined for weeks

I'll post an image of the address for the *.pdf
that's the best I can do.





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Posted 11/30/2010   01:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add peterethio to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is a great site Rod. The other exhibits on this site are well worth a look too. (Link below)

http://www.gps.nu/exhibits/index.html

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Posted 11/30/2010   03:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ah that's great Pete,
thank you very much indeed.
Will get lost in there for hours.
This is what seperates myself as a recreational collector,
and true philatelists.
I love the attention to detail,
and the precision. Good stuff.
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