Personalized stamps in the Netherlands (1)

Already in 1998 the Dutch Post (then still PTT) offered the possibility to use personalized stamps. In that year, sheets containing 5 self-adhesive stamps were sold with a standard print on the edges and a blank (white) center part on which the user could give free rein to his own creativity. For this purpose stickers with texts and images were included on the rest of the sheet, but of course this blank part could also be used in a different way following your own imagination.
The 5 stamps in the sheet differed in the colors of the border and the positioning of the text.
Of course there were already people who liked to put a motorized two-wheeler on the stamps:

The complete sheet

In 2005 TPG Mail again issued a similar issue in the context of the weeks of the postcard. This time it was a gummed sheet with 3 differently colored stamps, with a white cloud in the middle, like a speech bubble in a comic strip. The intention was to write your own text there, but of course this was also used to print motorized two-wheelers.

The complete sheet

Although these 2 issues already gave the possibility to make a stamp at home following your own preference, it became more serious from 20 May 2003. Then TPG introduced two different sheets, each with 10 differently colored stamps with tabs, with the option of having the tabs printed by the post with your own image. Although the actual stamps were not personalized, the stamp-tab combinations were still "officially" supplied by TPG.

In december 2003 an extra variant appeared with the reduced postal rate for Christmas cards.

At the end of the year, the postal service issued a stamp sheet with "the 10 most beautiful from the Netherlands". For these 10 stamps a selection was made from the images that had been used for the personal tabs up to and including July 1st 2003. This were no personalized stamps, but official TPG Stamps that were normally available at the post office. Interesting for us, because on 1 of these 10 road racer "Fast Wim" Theunissen was depicted on his Yamaha R1.

In the following years other base sheets were used, both for the regular and the Christmas stamps.

In addition during several years there was the option of having self-adhesive stamps made with an attached personalized tab. Because this was mainly intended for companies, these stamps were supplied in sheets of 50 pieces.

Since May 1st 2006 it is possible to order personalized stamps printed by the Dutch Post (then TNT Post, from May 2011 on PostNL). The stamp image of these personal stamps consists of a standard frame with the text "Netherlands" and an indication of the postage value. Within this frame is a blank area, on which the personal image is printed. In fact the same as with the stamps introduced in 1998, with the only difference that now the post prints the surface instead of the user at home. This principle has been maintained until today.
Over the years different frames have been used, of course with different postage values. In the following overview, the frames used are listed as complete as possible, including the period during which each frame was available. The date or year of introduction is in most cases easy to determine, because the Post itself has issued a (generally available) variant of most new frames as an "introduction stamp". The end date until when a frame was available is less easy to determine, and therefore not entirely certain for all variants.
In the overview of Dutch personalized stamps on the MFN website, it is possible to search for stamps by type of frame, or some other characteristics. In the description of the frame types in this overview, the search name is indicated that can be used for the relevant frame type. Because the frame color has been chosen as the most important characteristic for this, it may happen that different frames have the same search name.
Where an orientation of the stamp is indicated (portrait / landscape), the largest printed text is used as the determining factor. Almost all sheets contain 10 stamps, in case of deviating numbers this is indicated in the overview.

May 2006 - December 2006
Portrait orientated stamp with purple striped frame, with the postage value of € 0.39 in large letters on the top, followed by the country designation in small dark letters. Only available in gummed sheets.
Search name: purple.

January 2007 - December 2007
The same frame, but with an increased postage value of € 0.44. Also available as self-adhesive stamps from September on.
Search name: purple.

January 2008 - June 2010
Completely white stamp with the country name and value indication 44 eurocent on 2 of the edges in gray letters. Available as gummed sheets, from March 2009 on also as self-adhesive stamps.
Search name: gray

January 2008 - August 2010
Completely white stamp with the country name and value indication 44 eurocent on 2 edges in orange letters. Available as gummed sheets, from March 2009 on also as self-adhesive stamps.
Search name: orange.

November & December 2008 -2009
Completely white stamp with on 2 of the edges in bright red / pink letters with green areas in between the country name and value indication 34 eurocent, the reduced rate for Christmas mail. Only available as self-adhesive stamps.
Search name: Christmas.

October 2009 - December 2010
Completely white square stamp with the country name and value indication 44 euro cents on 2 of the edges in blue letters. Available as gummed sheets, from January 2010 on also as self-adhesive stamps.
Search name: blue.
We do not know any motorcycle stamp of this variant, so we have to do it with another example:

During the year 2010 PostNL switched from a value indication in (euro) cents to category indications. From then on, the rate "1" was used for normal (letter) mail up to 20 grams within the Netherlands, for Christmas mail "December". The personalized stamp frames were adjusted for this, but not all on the same date.
An overview of the frames that have been published since then will be published in the next newsletter.


Paul Essens


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