The stamp block or just block (plural: -blocks , not -blocks, except in Austria and Switzerland - there they are always referred to as blocks) consists of one or more connected stamps , which are usually decorated and labeled with a wide, Edge are provided. The motif of the stamp is partially continued on the edge or merges into neighboring stamps (see example below). Postage stamp blocks are generally only sold as a whole, and it is not uncommon for the sales price to exceed the face value. For blocks, box perforation is used almost exclusively . The difference between blocks with multiple stamps and miniature sheets is difficult to determine (see below). Stamp booklets do not count towards the stamp pads .
The first forerunners of the blocs appeared on January 3, 1923 in Luxembourg . These were stamps on the occasion of the birth of Princess Elisabeth, which were issued with a particularly wide, inscription-free margin. One speaks of a commemorative edition in block form .
In 1925 France followed the Luxembourg idea with a block edition as it is today. 50,000 blocks were issued on the occasion of the Exposition Internationale de Timbre-Poste in Paris on May 2nd. These blocks have a large, plaque-like frame with decorations and an inscription.
In the German Reich , blocks appeared for the first time at the Reichspost counters in 1930 . In 1937 the edge of Blocks 9 and 11 was pierced in order to be able to sell the four included stamps individually.
In many cases, because of their size, stamp blocks are not used for practical postage purposes . Hermann E. Sieger described them as "stamps in Sunday dress". The smaller the blocks are, the more often they are used for postal purposes, e.g. B. the block "For us children" with the standard postage that was usual at the time.
But especially when combining several stamps in one block, the franking purpose is hardly given, such as B. in the stamp block shown on the right for 750 years of Berlin , postage value: 40 + 50 + 60 + 80 = 230 Pfennig = 2.30 DM . To frank as a postage-fair letter, a large would be DIN - C4 - jacket already been alone mm necessary because of the block format of 130 x 100th Even more advance directives such as registered mail , special delivery , insured letter or similar are for a "FPP" necessary letter. This rare use can only determine the value of a miniature sheet, for example ( Michel catalog sheet no.2 ) of the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin , which in Berlin could only be used as registered mail, appropriate for postage and needs, and in this form is a sought-after rarity. Usually the individual stamps were removed and used by postal customers; centrally stamped single stamps from demand are considered collectable.
The majority of the stamp blocks were viewed as purely collector's items and mostly ended up directly with the philatelists in the album without the issuing postal companies having to provide a transport service. These products were devalued by special stamps printed on them. Individual stamps were obtained by dividing the centrally stamped blocks so that only a stamp fragment could be seen on each stamp.
Unlike specimens with a day cancellation, mint or specially canceled miniature sheets from the last few decades are almost worthless, as they came into circulation in an edition that no longer corresponds to today's collector numbers.
Sheets of postage stamps that contain fewer than the number of postage stamps typical for counter sheets are referred to as miniature sheets . The limit for this is not precisely defined and also depends on the size of the brands. In the case of special editions, in particular, they are sometimes difficult to distinguish from stamp pads; the perforated edge can serve as a distinguishing feature. The Michel catalog only catalogs sheets as miniature sheets that contain a maximum of ten postage stamps plus any decorative fields. Since 1994, Deutsche Post AG has been issuing its wet-adhesive postage stamps (with the exception of machine stamps , roll stamps and pads) only as small sheets of 2 × 5 or 5 × 2 stamps, so-called sheets of ten .
Picture gallery of stamp pads
Ostropa Block 3 German Reich 1935
Block 6, 1971 Block of
special stamps from the Deutsche Bundespost for the 1972 Summer Olympics
special stamp block of the Deutsche Bundespost for the 1972 Summer Olympics
- Duden, Volume 1, 24th edition, page 261
- Philalexikon / letter "K" .
- Peter Tichatzky: Colorful GDR stamp world. Viewed through a magnifying glass . Eulenspiegel Verlag , Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-359-02297-8 , p. 120.
- see e.g. B. Michel Übersee Volume 9.2 - Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Former Soviet Republics in Asia - Catalog 2010 . Schwaneberger, Unterschleißheim, ISBN 973-3-87858-795-8, p. 247.
- Stamp blocks of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Stamp pads of the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin
- Stamp pads of the German Post of the GDR
- Sheet of stamps