The first Danish postage stamps were introduced on 1 April 1851, by a law passed on 11 March. The first value was a four (Fire) rigsbank skilling stamp printed in brown, a square design with a crown, sword, and scepter in the center. This was followed by a 2rs value in blue using the denomination as the design. Both stamps were typographed, watermarked (with a crown), and imperforate, and distinctive for having a yellow-brown burelage printed on top of the design.
The design and first printings were made by M. W. Ferslew, but he died and the subsequent printing was by H. H. Thiele, whose firm printed Denmark's stamps for the next 80 years.

In 1854 the currency was renamed to just "skilling" and "rigsdaler", and new stamps were printed, still square and using the coat of arms, but with the new currency names, and the inscriptions abbreviated so that they could be read as either Danish or German ("FRM" instead of "FRIMAERKE" for instance). Values of 2s, 4s, 8s, and 16s were issued at various times from 1854 to 1857.