Browse Rare Stamps From Belgium

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With its wealth of art and music, and unique mix of Flemish and French cultures, Belgium is a fascinating country in its own right. For stamp enthusiasts, it presents a remarkably consistent philatelic history that occupies both professional and hobbyist collectors.

If you’re in the market for rare or collectible stamps from Belgium, Apfelbaum, Inc. can help. Our online store and public auctions regularly feature stamps from all eras of Belgium’s history.

Early Belgian Stamps

The first Belgian stamps — known colloquially as epaulettes — were issued on July 1, 1849. Designed by legendary artist and lithographer Charles Baugniet, they were available in 10 and 20 centime denominations and featured an engraving of King Leopold I. The smaller denomination was meant for mail within a 30 kilometer radius, whereas the more expensive stamp could be used nationwide.

Later, a 40 centime epaulette was introduced for international use.Epaulettes today are highly prized, with collectors distinguishing between several color differences and mint examples of rare variations known to fetch upwards of €7000 at auction.

Inverted Dendermonde

The inverted Dendermonde is perhaps the most rare and famous stamp in all of Belgian philately. First issued in 1920, it depicts the town hall of Dendermonde upside down — a printing error that occurred in two sheets of the stamp’s first run and one pane of the second.

Of these, the majority were sold and have since been lost. Today an estimated 17 remain, of which 15 are unused and two used. Two of these stamps disappeared following the 1942 murder of a prominent collector, which to this day remains unsolved. Today, inverted Dendermondes are valued at around €75,000 each.

Colonial Belgian Stamps

Belgium’s colonial activities in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are widely considered to be among the most brutal and exploitative. Under the leadership of King Leopold II, Belgian forces decimated up to one fifth of the indigenous Congolese population while stripping the country of its ivory and rubber resources. Belgium issued stamps in both the Belgian Congo and the earlier Congo Free State (a de facto colony). Today, they serve as a harsh reminder of this dark period in history.

Building Your Collection With Apfelbaum, Inc.

For more information about Belgian stamps, contact Apfelbaum, Inc. today. Since 1910, we have been a vital resource for collectors of all types. In addition to sales, we offer appraisals and advice on storing and shipping your collection. Browse our website today to learn more about what we can do for you.