Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stamps of Austria

The postal history of Austria dates back to 1850 when a series of imperforate stamps featuring the coat of arms was issued on 1st of June. Issues between 1858-1861 bore the portrait of King Franz Josef, before returning to the coat of arms stamps again, this time in oval frame. With the establishment of the Austro Hungarian Empire in 1867, King Franz stamps again surfaced. These stamps continued till 1907.

In April 1850, the Austro German Postal Union agreement was struck between Prussia and the Austro Hungarian Empire to provide uniform system of postal rates between the two countries. By 1852, the remaining German states also joined in the Union. This agreement and the establishment of the Postal Union later became a role model for the creation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874.

On the eve of 60th year of reign of King Franz in 1908, a series of stamps depicting portraits of various emperors and Emperor Franz. The same design was used in 1910 on the 80th birthday celebrations of King Franz, showing 1830-1910 at the top and bottom of the stamps. King Franz again reappeared in 1916. From 1917-1919 Emperor Charles I appeared on Austrian stamps.

After the World War I, the German Austrian stamps were issued in 1918 with the overprint “Deutschösterreich” on the existing stamps. In 1919 the German Austria issued its own indigenous stamps. The “Deutschösterreich” was replaced with "ÖSTERREICH" in 1922.

The WW-II saw a mixed of stamps as Austria was occupied by the Soviets, Germans and the Allies with overprints of "Österreich" and a bar obliterating the "Deutsches Reich" inscription, bearing portrait of Hitler. On 3rd July 1945, new stamps with "REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH" were issued by the Soviet Union, while the Allied Military Government issued its own stamps in areas under their control.

After WW-II, Austria started issuing its own stamps.

The first stamp on the top left column of my album is of the period of “Deutschösterreich”. The remaining stamps in the left column are also of the period of WW-II and before.


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