Postage Due stamps from the Netherlands and ex-colonies
Between 1870 and +/-1970 a letter that did not have sufficient postage got one or more postage due stamps stuck on it. The mailman who delivered the letter then collected the money that was due from the receiver.
In recent years the use of special postage due stamps has been abandoned. Instead a card is attached to the letter with the request to pay the postage by means of stamps and send it to the postoffice.
Most of the Dutch postage due stamp didn't carry a countryname, they only say "te betalen" on top of the stamp and "Port" at the bottom.
During the years the Netherlands Postal Services used postage due stamps, there have only been two designs: the Schmidlin design, with the chain round the numeral and the Van Krimpen design. All postal entities within the kingdom of the Netherlands used the same stamps, only in different colours. Aruba, that issues stamps since 1985 never made use of postage due stamps.
Fortunately every part of the kingdom used its own colours:
These colours were used in all kinds of different shades: from light to dark.
* From 1950 to 1954 Dutch (blue) postage due stamps were used on New Guinea. The total number was only a few 1000. The only way to recognise them is on cover, with a clear New Guinea cancel.
There are only a few exceptions to the standard colours and designs.
To make things genuinely confusing, the highest values of the postage due stamps in use in the Netherlands and in the Netherlands Indies had a different colour than the normal ones. In the Netherlands they were red, and in the Indies they were blue (see pictures).
In 1947 the longserving Schmidlin postage due stamps were replaced with stamps of a new design. The star designer of the moment, J. van Krimpen, who was also responsible for the 1946 definitive numeral stamps and the fonts on many stamps from the 1930s and 1940s. Van Krimpen's main strength was in the design of letters, and his design for the new postage due stamps shows this. The colourscheme was unchanged: blue for the Netherlands, green for the Antilles, purple/brown for Surinam. The Netherlands Indies had become independent as Indonesia and now used their own postage due stamps. Although different, they still resembled the old Schmidlin design and for a long time were only printed in orange.