One Page. Netherlands First Emission 1852

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Netherlands First Emission 1852

On December 27, 1851, the first postage stamps in the Netherlands appeared, imperforated, with the image of King William III and profile in the denominations of 5, 10 and 15 cents. These stamps were valid from 1 January 1852. This is the first issue in the Netherlands, or in short, the first issue if the Dutch context is clear; there is no country indicated.

First Emission 1852. Three values 5, 10 and 15 cents.

Design and Printing

Design and steel engraving were produced by J.W. Kaiser. The printing plates were made by the Belgian engraver Jacob Wiener, who had previously produced the printing plates for the first Belgian stamp (1849). Only one printing plate was used for the 15 cent stamp. Different new printing plates have been made for the other two values ​​due to wear. Printing was done at 's Rijks Munt (Utrecht).

Reconstruction of a plate with 100 pieces of the 5ct blue

In the period from the end of 1851 to the end of 1863, a total of 403,028 sheets of 100 stamps were printed. In one sheet the stamps are grouped in blocks of 25 pieces, with a paper bridge between these blocks. Thus there are bridge pairs with a white strip of 1 cm between the stamps (horizontal or vertical). Pairs, blocks and bridge pairs are rare because the imperforated stamps were pre-cut from the sheet by the counter clerk.


Watermark used in all stamps of the first emission

The stamps are printed on handmade white paper with a watermarked post horn. Each stamp has this watermark, which served as a safeguard against forgery.

Postal rates

The postal rates used at that time were based on the distance from dispatch to destination. These rates were:

* Up to and including 30 miles: 5 cents
* Up to and including 30-100 miles: 10 cents
* Over 100 miles: 15 cents 

(The third of the above rates was abolished in 1855 when, by the Law of 5th July 1855, Staatsblad No. 61, postage to distances over 30 miles was fixed at 10 cents irrespective of distance.)


There were 4 different (main)types of cancellation in use during the period 1852-1879. The first 3 are also referred to as type A, B or C. The fourth one is called "Franco in Box".

Type A

Type A - Cancel Halfround Franco - No year indication - Character type: "Egyptian"

Type B

Type B - Cancel Halfround Franco - Year indication - Character type: "Egyptian"
Venlo 1859
Enschede 1852
Wornmerveer 1852

Type C

Type C - Cancel Halfround Franco - Year indication - Character type: Roman/Grotesque
Zaandam 1861
Sneek 1857
Rotterdam 18xx
Heerlen 1859
Venlo 1861
Amsterdam 18xx

Type FRANCO in Box

Type Cancel Franco in box

Cancellations by small Post offices

In connection with the Postal Act of 1850 and subsequent postal reforms, large numbers of new office name stamps were issued. At the auxiliary offices that were operational on September 1, 1850, the letters received at their offices had to be printed with the office name stamp in red or black ink. Here are a few examples:


End of the First Emission

The sale of stamps was a consequence of the Postal Act 1850. In 1864 the second issue appeared at the counter. In the course of that year, the remnants of the first issue were sold out. Postage expired on October 31, 1879.


  • 1. The major part of the text above is from Wikipedia.
  • 2. Some details were taken from "The postmarks of the Netherlands - 1676/1915" by O.M.Vellinga, KNBF 1931.
  • 3. All pictures have been copied from various auction catalogues published on the Internet.
  • 4. More examples of these stamps are also depicted at my site
  • 5. This presentation is meant for education only.
  • 6. Thank you for visiting. Author: Toon Oomens