The Memel – Klaipėda Territory, spanning an area roughly the size of Luxemburg has a somewhat complicated philatelic history. After WWI, Memel was one of the occupied areas in Europe to come under the administration of France. French and German stamps were overprinted specifically for use in the area. Lithuanian revolt, which took place in January 1923 abruptly ended Allied rule. New administration issued provisional stamps overprinted with Lithuanian Mark values, followed by Lithuanian Litas overprinted issues. Finally, from 1925 until 1939 stamps of Lithuania were used in the Territory.
Memel – Klaipėda territory is one of those “dead countries” where a stamp collector has a reasonable chance of actually assembling a complete collection. Perhaps more important, it also means that a substantially complete collection of the major varieties is within the reach of most collectors. World-class philatelic exhibits can be assembled for less than a tenth of the cost of material of equivalent rarity from the North American or European countries.
Another pleasure in collecting the area – Memel has a fascinating history!
In other words, if you enjoy new challenges and are attracted by material a bit on the offbeat side, Memel – Klaipėda territory can be a very enjoyable and a very rewarding area to collect.
- 1800–1850 Use of prephilatelic cachets and cancels
- 1850–1867 Use of stamps of Kingdom of Prussia
- 1868–1871 Use of stamps of North German Postal Confederation
- 1871–1920/Jul Use of stamps of German Reich
- 1920/Jul–1923/Apr Use of overprinted French stamps (Mi 18-120)
- 1920/Aug–1920/Nov Use of overprinted Germania stamps (Mi 1-17)
- 1923/Jan–1923/Jun Use of Lithuanian Mark stamps (Mi 121-166)
- 1923/Apr–1925/Aug Use of Lithuanian Litas stamps (Mi 167-237)
- 1925/Aug–1939/Apr Use of stamps of Lithuania
Memel stamps (French administration)
- The Germania Provisional Issue (Mi 1-17)
- First French Issue (Mi 18-33)
- First Intermediate French Issue (Mi 34-39)
- First French Airmail Issue (Mi 40-46)
- Second Intermediate French Issue (Mi 47-51)
- Second French Issue (Mi 52-71)
- Second French Airmail Issue (Mi 72-83)
- Third French Issue (Mi 84-97)
- Third French Airmail Issue (Mi 98-107)
- Third Intermediate French Issue (Mi 108-109)
- Fourth French Issue (Mi 110-118)
- Fourth Intermediate French Issue (Mi 119-120)
- Unissued French Issue of 1923 (Mi I)
- First Provisional Lithuanian Issue (Mi 121-123)
- Second Provisional Lithuanian Issue (Mi 124-128)
- Third Provisional Lithuanian Issue (Mi 129-134)
- Fourth Provisional Lithuanian Issue (Mi 135-140)
- First Klaipėda Issue (Mi 141-150)
- Second Klaipėda Issue (Mi 151-163)
- Second Provisional Klaipėda Issue (Mi 164-166)
- First Klaipėda Lithuanian Currency Issue (Mi 167-173)
- First Klaipėda Interim Lithuanian Issue (Mi 174-175)
- Second Klaipėda Lithuanian Issue (Mi 176-182)
- Third Klaipėda Lithuanian Issue (Mi 183-192)
- Fourth Klaipėda Lithuanian Issue (Mi 193-205)
- Fifth Klaipėda Lithuanian Issue (Mi 206-229)
- Sixth Klaipėda Lithuanian Issue (Mi 230-233)
- Seventh Klaipėda Lithuanian Issue (Mi 234-237)
Klaipėda stamps (Lithuanian administration)
- Fugalevičius, V. (1990). Pašto Antspaudai Lietuvoj - Poststempel in Litauen - P.O. Cancels in Lithuania (2nd ed.). Schlesen: Self-published.
- Michel (2011) Deutschland-Spezial-Katalog (Band 1). München: Schwaneberger Verlag. (latest edition 2013).