- The first Dutch postal stamp was issued in 1852
- Many rare Netherlands stamps feature King Willem III and Queen Wilhelmina
- The most valuable Dutch stamp is the 1924 Queen Wilhelmina 17 1/2 cents overprinted with 15 cents, estimated at $4,750
A Glimpse into Dutch Postal History
The Dutch postal system has a rich history dating back to the 18th century, with the Dutch States Post being founded in 1752 and the first Postal Act confirmed in 1807. However, it was not until 1852 that the first Dutch postal stamp was issued, during the reign of King Willem III.
King Willem III: A Controversial Monarch on Dutch Stamps
King Willem III ruled the Netherlands from 1849 to 1890 and was known for his difficult personality and debauched lifestyle. Despite his character, the first Dutch stamps featured his portrait, marking the beginning of a long tradition of royal representation on Dutch stamps.
Queen Wilhelmina: A Pivotal Figure in Dutch Stamp History
Queen Wilhelmina, daughter of King Willem III and Queen Emma, ascended to the throne in 1890 and ruled until 1948, overseeing both World Wars. Her portrait graced numerous Dutch stamps throughout her reign, including some of the rarest and most valuable examples.
Rare Netherlands Stamps: Top Five Picks
- 1924 Queen Wilhelmina 17 1/2 cents overprinted with 15 cents – Estimated value: $4,750 This hard-to-find stamp features an overprint that partially obscures the original portrait of Queen Wilhelmina. A well-preserved example is highly sought after by collectors and can fetch a handsome price.
- 1867 King Willem III 25 cents – Estimated value: $3,600 This stamp belongs to a series of six stamps that were the first Dutch stamps to include the name of the country. The 25-cent denomination is the most valuable of the set, with one example selling for $3,603 in March 2019 at a Corinphila Velingen auction.
- 1903 1 cent lilac Dutch telegraph stamp – Estimated value: $3,200 This stamp, which features a forgery, was sold for $3,168 in October 2010 at a Corinphila auction. Some estimates of its value go as high as 40,000 Euros.
- 1927 Queen Wilhelmina 7 1/2 cents – Estimated value: $3,000 This stamp stands out due to its syncopated perforation Type D and is highly prized by collectors.
- 1927 Queen Wilhelmina 1 cent – Estimated value: $3,000 Another valuable stamp featuring Queen Wilhelmina, this 1-cent denomination is prized for its rarity and historical significance.
A Storied History Preserved in Rare Netherlands Stamps
While these rare Netherlands stamps may not be as valuable as those from other countries, they hold significant historical value and serve as a testament to Dutch history. Collectors treasure these stamps not only for their rarity but also for the stories they tell about the country’s past and its prominent rulers, King Willem III and Queen Wilhelmina.