Postage stamps and postal history of the Netherlands

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A used 5c stamp of the Netherlands from the series first issued in 1852

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of the Netherlands.

The postal region of the Netherlands is located in North-West Europe and comprises the whole territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe and until 2010 the full territory of the country the Netherlands. Four other postal regions exist in the kingdom: for Aruba, the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

First stamps[edit]

The first stamps of the Netherlands were issued in 1852 and depicted King William III.[1]

Second World War[edit]

During the Second World War the Netherlands were occupied by Germany. Stamp issues continued and a number of semi-postal stamps were issued.[1]


The Netherlands were liberated on 5 May 1945. The previous stamps continued in use until a new series was introduced on 1 April 1946. This series contained stamps originally issued by the Netherlands Government in Exile in Britain in 1944 for use on ships of the Netherlands Navy serving with the Allies.[1]

Regular stamp issues have continued since then including several long-running definitive stamp series, numerous commemorative stamps and the regular issue of semi-postal stamps for charitable causes which has become a notable feature of Netherlands philately.

Provincial stamps[edit]

In 2002 a series of 12 provincial stamps were issued. Whilst not strictly local stamps, as they were valid throughout The Netherlands, the stamps were only available to purchase from post offices in the relevant province or from the Netherlands Philatelic Bureau.[1]

Variable value stamps[edit]

Variable value stamps have been issued in the Netherlands since 1989.[1]

Stamp booklets[edit]

The Netherlands Post Office has been an enthusiastic issuer of postage stamp booklets, issuing over 150 since the first one in 1902.[1]

International Court of Justice[edit]

A number of stamps have been issued since 1934 for use at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue Part 4 Benelux. 5th edition. London: Stanley Gibbons, 2003, pp.215-292. ISBN 0-85259-543-3

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]