Catalog Numbering for Michel, Scott et al.
Printings, Remainders and Scarcity
The Michel 6 Varieties
The Michel 8 Varieties
The One Half Schilling Reprints
Table of Colors, Gum and Paper
Genuine and Imitation Paper
Color Comparison of Originals and Reprints
Reprints on Lemberger Pages

Maps of Heligoland       Heligoland Cancels
Postal History      Postal Rates
Reprint Data Tables      Forgeries
Lemberger and Michel Color Chips
Proofers' Signatures
The Examination of Various Stamps
Higher Value Stamps
The Robert Pollard Study
The Wagner Collection

Signature Placement Rules

Names of Proofers

Here are three illustrations to show the meaning of the proofers' signatures on the backside of stamps. The rules were issued by the BPP (Bund Philatelistischer Prüfer) and the entire set of rules, important to the serious collector, may be found in German or English at: http://www.bpp.de

Standard BPP Signature Positions

This table shows the meaning of the placements on genuine stamps. It is always possible that one finds an old signature, or "Signum" as it is called in German, that is not placed in the "proper" position. I will have to find out when it went into effect. I will guess forty or more years ago.

American expertizers do not follow these rules. They do not mark reprints to knock them out of circulation, either. I am not sure what they do.

There are no imperforate Heligoland stamps. There is an overprinted postcard but there are no overprinted stamps. That really narrows the required knowledge down to four basic positions: used, unused with rouletted or perforated.

Displacement of Signature for Damaged Stamps

If a stamp is damaged, the signature is placed up from the corner as shown here. The more damaged the stamp is, the further it is moved, but not past the middle. In the case of the rouletted stamp, it is moved along its diagonal towards the center of the stamp.

Markings for Proofs, Essays and Specimens

These are the positions for proofs, essays, and stamps marked "specimen." It is extremely unlikely that a collector will come into possession of one of these from Heligoland! If you do, there is a good chance Interpol is looking for your item!

Names of Proofers

Here is a compilation of pencil-stamp signatures that I have run across while looking at the back sides of stamps. Some signatures are of Expertizers, some of Dealers, and some of Collectors. My thanks to a major figure in philately who prefers anonymity. Those listed as lesser known are lesser known to me!

BETTER KNOWN:

Bloch, Herbert; (signum: script HBloch in soft pencil) was the last surviving member of the (Otto) Friedl Expert Committee and surviving proprietor of Mercury Stamp Co. He had a prodigious memory for classic issues. (per a trusted source)

Brettl, Cornelia; Now official expertizer of Helgoland for the BPP (as of 2006). Daughter of the much admired Maria Brettl.

Brettl, Maria; German states, esp Bavaria. Student of Pfenninger.

Drahn, August; knowledgeable dealer and Old States expert.

Bühler, Georg; (WARNING: his signum used   after his death!-per a trusted source).

Dietrich, Arthur—was a general expert for the Old States ca. 1960-70

Drahn, August; knowledgeable dealer and Old States expert.

Engel, Robert F; A respected and knowledgeable dealer. Father of Walter.

Engel, W. (Walter) (red or black); Old States BPP expertizer with Hamburg specialty. When unsure about Helgoland would send to Lemberger.

Friedemann, Albert; the special expert and cataloger for the colonies from WWI through the 20's or later but did make forays into other German areas (per a learned friend).

Grobe, Hans (red); prominent dealer and expertizer; contemporary of Lemburger

Krause, Horst (signum: red conjoined HK, also Krause)-very knowldgeable dealer.

Krueger, Paul; Berlin ca. 1900-1930, like Richter, usually but not always correct.

Lange, Carl H.; Hamburg dealer. Respected and knowledgeable. Also expert on Bergedorf and Hamburg.

Lemaire, Th(omas); Paris, ca. 1900.  A generally respected dealer/expert.

Lemberger, Hellmuth; Hamburg. Main authority for many years. Author of principle reference work, Helgoland Philatelie. Mentor of K.H. Schulz.

Maier, M. Kurt; Berlin Dealer 1920-1940

Müller, Jens; student of K-H Schulz for ten years; was heir apparent in the line from Lemberger; chose not to become a member of BPP; a dealer associated with Wilfried Unterlercher (information as of Jan 4th, 2005).

Müller-Mark, Ewald; author of encyclopedic Altdeutschland unter der Lupe (Reported problems with his work late in life). (per a trusted source)



Dr. Oertel, a respected writer.

Pfenninger, Franz; prominent in European philately after WWII. German states with specialty in Bavaria.

Pichl, Markus; independent proofer. Currently includes Heligoland.

Pyznar, Richard ("RP" or"P?");prominent US East coast dealer in German area.

Richter, Georg. Dealer and expertizer in Berlin in the '30's and 40's. Signum occasionally imitated and not always correct when it is his own.

Schlesinger, Julius (JSchl) Berlin, ca. 1905-1920.  Signum can generally be trusted but like all pre-WWII expertizers, he paid no attention to type or condition.  It was either good (signed) or not (per a learned friend).

Senf, (Gebrüder Senf); Leipzig. Published leading catalog before Michel. Also appears as "S?" (red)

Schulz, Karl-Heinz; Hamburg. Was the only active BPP Prüfer for more than a decade. He retired as of October 1st, 2004—rather early due to ill health. A student of Lemberger for ten years, he succeeded him around 1990. Replaced as BPP expertizer for Helgoland by Cornelia Brettle ( see ) rather than his former student, Jens Müller ( see ).

Stolow, J&H (Julius and Henry)

Thier, Max; Berlin, ca. 1920 (sometimes only gothic "T"? )


LESSER KNOWN:

Baumgar. (Coll?)
Borek?
Brandes, W. `
Ceremuga?(Australia)
Elge?
Franke/Franks Berlin
Graf Strachwitz (Coll?)
Kosack (red orange)
Laurel wreath (purple)
  inverted on used
  (collector-per Schulz)
McNemar?
Peinelt; possible dealer
Schmidt
Steuer?
Taubes
Udam, D (Dutch)

For scanned examples of signatures, go to PROOFERS' SIGNATURES.

BACK TO THE TOP


The Examination of Various Stamps Catalog Numbering for Michel, Scott et al.
The Examination of Various Stamps Printings, Remainders and Scarcity
The Examination of Various Stamps The Michel 6 Varieties     The Examination of Various Stamps The Michel 8 Varieties
The Examination of Various Stamps The One Half Schilling Reprints
The Examination of Various Stamps Table of Colors, Gum and Paper
The Examination of Various Stamps Genuine and Imitation Paper
Color Comparison of Originals and Reprints
Reprints on Lemberger Pages
Maps of Heligoland       Heligoland Cancels
Postal History      Postal Rates
Reprint Data Tables      Forgeries
The Examination of Various Stamps Lemberger and Michel Color Chips
The Examination of Various Stamps The Examination of Various Stamps
Higher Value Stamps
The Examination of Various Stamps The Robert Pollard Study
The Wagner Collection



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