1910s German Boxing Stamps Set and Checklist
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||German Boxing Stamps
|Size||1 3/8″ x 1 3/4″
|Number in Set
1910s German Boxing Stamps Overview
This rare stamps set is hardly seen. It features a collection of some of the greatest pre-war boxers of all-time and was issued in sheets of 25 perforated stamps.
‘Stamps’ is really not the correct term, though that is what these are most often referred to as. Really, they are transfers which were printed backwards so that when applied to a surface, they would display right side up. Each one has the fighter’s name facing the right way and backwards so that it didn’t matter which way they were affixed.
The dating on this issue is a bit subjective and I have never seen a conclusive date for them. However, they are the same style as these baseball stamps, which are cited as a 1909 and/or 1910 issue. Thus, they are believed to be from the same period. The baseball stamps are more in demand and more expensive, however, I have seen the boxing stamps offered far less.
Three subjects have more than one stamp in the set — John Sullivan, Willie Lewis, and Joe Gans. Each of the poses are different.
Prices for these stamps fluctuate quite a bit because they are so rarely seen. But complete sheets are generally in the $100-$200 range.
Note that while these were printed in sheets of 25, there are only 20 in the set. That is because some of the stamps duplicated on the sheets.
Stamps that I believe were duplicated on the sheets are Abe Attell, Frank Erne, Peter Maher, Battling Nelson, and Jack O’Brien. However, it should be stated that I have only seen one completely intact sheet of these and those were the stamps that were duplicated on it. It is possible that other sheets had different stamps that were duplicated.
If there is only one version of the sheet, though, that would mean that the Attell, Erne, Maher, Nelson, and O’Brien stamps were double printed. Typically, that would make them less valuable. However, because the issue is so rare in general, I doubt their values would be significantly less — particularly in the case of Attell, who is a popular subject of collectors due to his role in the 1919 World Series fix.
A Major Mixup
Speaking of the aforementioned Gans, his stamps are interesting in that he is depicted as a white boxer even though he was black.
It is difficult to believe that the producers did not know he was black since he was a popular fighter. And some might believe that he was made to appear white simply out of convenience to not needing to use another ink color. But brown certainly was available to printers and used on these stamps as shown on boxing gloves for other fighters.
As ridiculous as it seems, if not done with racist intent, this could indeed have been done as a mistake.
1910s German Boxing Stamps Checklist
- Abe Attell
- Tommy Burns
- Jim Corbett
- Young Corbett
- Frank Erne
- Bob Fitzsimmons
- Joe Gans (Red Trunks)
- Joe Gans (Yellow Trunks)
- Battling Hurley
- Willie Lewis (Shirtless)
- Willie Lewis (with Shirt)
- Peter Maher
- Phil McGovern
- Owen Moran
- Tommy Murphy
- Battling Nelson
- Jack O’Brien
- Tom Sharkey
- John Sullivan (Alone)
- John Sullivan (with Opponent)