Private Ship Letter Stamp Issuing Companies up to 1900 - The Jan Berg Collection

To be offered spring 2020

The first adhesive postage stamp of the world was issued by Great Britain. Every stamp collector knows the famous Penny Black issued on May 6th, 1840. Other countries followed and by the end of the 1800’s most countries had issued their own stamps for postage.

But in the beginning of this era most of these stamps were meant to pay for the postage within the own country only.

In those days, the state-run postal administrations did not think of issuing postage stamps with the purpose to affix on letters going abroad. Let alone did they think of how to issue stamps for the payment of the journeys the letters made on private ships.

Private ship companies had the idea, thus copying the idea from the postal monopolies, to print their own adhesives to document prepayment of these fees.



Jan Berg’s collection is devoted entirely to the stamps designed and issued by these private steam navigation companies. Many of these stamps are very pretty and creatively designed. After all, the private companies were not under pressure to depict heads of states, coats of arms or other propagandistic topics which the state-run postal organizations had to use for their stamps.

Jan Berg’s collection includes great rarities of the Private Ship Letter Stamp Issuing Companies of the nineteenth century. Among the stamps and covers are items which have such distinguished provenances like Arsman, Ferrary, Caspary, Fabergé, Boker, Movrogordato, Lee, Mertens, Casey, Steindler, Provera, Napoleone, Melat, Schneider, von Lind, Chiavarello, Gebauer, Heister, Bustamente, Golden, Stimmel, Czyl, Sundman, Bremer, Capellaro, Linz, Goron, Antonini, Chiangir, Fikri, Ackerman, Chaftar, or Jakob von Uexkull. Each and every one of the aforementioned are highly respected specialists and renowned collectors for their special areas.

The collection includes archival material, stamps, blocks and covers.

Jan Berg’s collection was first awarded Large Gold for his exhibition collection on F.I.P. level at Philataipei 2016. This leaflet will give some examples of which rarities are included in Jan Berg’s collection. For the complete overview, the EDITION D’OR No. 58 is available and can be ordered at Heinrich Köhler, Wiesbaden or Corinphila Switzerland.

The collection will be offered for sale in a special auction catalogue by Heinrich Köhler in the Spring auction of 2020.

Pre-order the auction catalogue now!


This collection is presented in EDITION D’OR vol. 58.

Please check out this book in our shop.