A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Austria & L-V - 1860-64 Franz Josef & Coat of Arms Issues

Austria 1860 Scott 14 5kr red "Franz Josef"
Into the Deep Blue
The early Austria 1860-61 & 1863 issues continue with embossed printing, introduced with the 1858-59 issue, and covered in the last post.

Franz Josef was placed on the 1860-61 five stamp issue, with his profile portrait switched from facing left to facing right.

And then the 1863 issue of five stamps changed the embossed center to the "Coat of Arms".

Lombardy-Venetia likewise had a two stamp 1861-62 and a five stamp 1863-65 issue.

The embossed technique for stamp printing has never been very common.

Other countries that used this printing method include early Germany, Bavaria, Lubeck, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg, Prussia,Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Wurttemberg, early Sardinia and Italy, Heligoland, and Gambia (extensively). That's about it. Can readers think of any other examples?

Update: Here are some more stamps that are embossed.. (Thanks, in large part, to "Beryllium Guy" at The Stamp Forum.)
Austria #6-26
Great Britain #5-7
Poland #NB28-NB32
Portugal #1-51, 570
Russia #87, 137-138
Switzerland #14-68

Newspaper stamps were also used extensively in Austria.  We will also take a look at them in the next section.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
Austria: 100 Neu-Kreuzer = 1 Gulden (1858)
Lombardy-Venetia: 100 Soldi = 1 Florin (1858)
Austria 1860 Scott 12 2kr yellow "Franz Josef"
In December, 1860, a five stamp embossed "Franz Josef", facing right, issue was released for Austria.

They are perforated 14. Government authorized reprints, intended for collectors, were printed between 1866-1887, but these perfs range from 9 to 13.5.

The bottom denomination, the 2 kreuzer, was printed in yellow.

41,290,000 stamps were printed for the 2 kr, the lowest output for the issue. CV is $30+.

Let's change tints for a better look at the design.

Austria 1860 Scott 12 2kr yellow "Franz Josef"
Cyan tint
The stamp had a fine machine lathe-work design in an oval pattern, with the embossed portrait in the center.

Only a minimalist "Kreuzer" and "2" are inscripted on the stamp. Considering the multiple languages used in the Austrian Monarchy Empire, that was probably necessary.

Austria 1860 Scott 12 2kr yellow "Franz Josef"
Orange Filter
Using an orange filter, which washes out the color, one can appreciate the fine center embossed portrait.

One can argue that this issue, so exquisite and classical, is at the apogee of clean design, and has never been surpassed. !!

Austria 1860 Scott 13 3kr green
The 3kr green has the second lowest production (76,800,000), and the CV is $30.

The entire issue was valid until May 31, 1864.

Austria 1860 Scott 14 5kr red "Franz Josef"
Here is a lighter shade for the 4kr red. The header stamp for this post shows a richer color. The Austria "Netto katalog" parses 2-3 color shades for each denomination of the issue.

Austria 1860 Scott 15 10kr brown
The 10kr brown had a production of 153,960,000 stamps, while the 5kr red had 174,760,000. The CV for these stamps is a modest $1 and $3 respectively. One could clearly have a lot of fun collecting varieties, uses, postmarks etc for these stamps.

Although the quantities seem large for the classical era, they are not even close to the top of the list. For instance the 1893 US Columbians - the 1c deep blue, and the 2c brown violet - had production runs of 449,195,550 and 1,464,588,750.

Austria 1860 Scott 15 15kr blue
The Free Imperial City of Trieste was Austria's main port during the 19th century. Collecting postmarks from the wide-ranging Austrian Empire could be an interesting diversion for the WW classical era collector.

Austria 1863 Scott 18 3kr green "Coat of Arms"
Perf 14
On July 1, 1863, a new five stamp embossed set with the "Coat of Arms" (Double Eagle) was issued.

The perforation is 14.

Imperial Coat of Arms 1816-1866
Empire of Austria
The imperial Coat of Arms of the Empire of Austria was used between 1815-1866. Austria was the largest country in the German Confederation.

Austria 1863 Scott 20 10kr blue, Perf 14
CV for the five stamp Perf 14 set ranges from $10+ - $100+.

Austria 1864 Scott 22 2kr yellow
Perf 9.5
The 1963-64 stamps of the set had their perforations changed to 9 1/2. The perf change is given major numbers in the catalogues. (Isn't it interesting how some countries are "favored" with major numbers for perf changes, while other countries, perhaps with collectors who are not as astute with lobbying, have minor numbers for their perf changes.)

Austria 1863 Scott 24 5kr rose, Perf 9.5
The issue was initially unwatermarked, although for stamps produced after July, 1864, a large BRIEF-MARKEN watermark in the sheet was used. Only some stamps will show a portion of the watermark. (I don't have any.)

There are official reprints that were produced between 1884-94, and have perfs ranging from 10,5-13.5.

CV for the five stamp 9.5 perf set ranges from <$1-$10+. 

Austria 1863 Scott 26 15kr yellow brown
As three of the stamps (5kr rose, 10kr blue, 15kr yellow brown) only have a used CV of <$1-$3+, a collection of these stamps, in the pursuit of socked on the nose (SON) cancellations, would be interesting indeed. !!

Lombardy-Venetia 1861 Scott 13 5s red "Franz Josef"
Lombardy-Venetia had their own issues of these stamps, substituting "Soldi" for "Kreuzer".

(Of course, recall that Austria lost most of Lombardy (Milan) to Sardinia in July, 1859.)

The "Franz Josef" embossed portrait can be found on a 1861 5s red (shown here), and a 1862 10s brown.

The perf is 14, while reprints have perfs ranging from 9-13.

CV  is $7 and $70 for the two stamps respectively.

Lombardy-Venetia 1864 Scott 22 5s rose 
"Coat of Arms"; Perf 9.5
The coat of arms embossed stamps for Lombardy-Venetia are 1863 perf 14 (five stamps, CV $35+-$300+), and 1864-65 perf 9.5 (five stamps, CV $10+-$600). The perf 9.5 5s rose (shown here) is only CV $10+, while the perf 9.5 2s yellow is CV $600+ unused! Reprints are perf 10.5-13.

Austria Newspaper 1859 Scott P6 (1kr) lilac, type II
Newspaper stamps were also used extensively throughout the Empire, and between 1851-1866, the same Austrian stamps were also used in Lombardy-Venetia.

I only have a partially clipped 1859 Newspaper stamp, but interesting nevertheless, as it is still on paper.

The embossed portrait of Franz Josef is the same as the regular 1858-59 Austrian issue, including two types: 1858 type 1 with the loops at the back of the head broken; and 1859 type II, where the loops are closed.

The stamp shown is a Type II (loops closed).

CV for Type I/II is $600+-$300 respectively.

Austria 1863 Scott P8 (1.05 kr) gray
The 1863 Austrian "Coat of Arms" regular issue also had an associated newspaper stamp- the (1.05kr) gray. There are also gray lilac and brownish lilac minor number shades in Scott.

1867 Scott P9 (1kr) violet, type I "Mercury"
The coarse print 1867 Scott P9 (1kr) "Mercury" is considered Type I by Scott. The back of the helmet fades into the background, and is not well defined.

The color is "violet", though Scott has a note that the color shades vary a lot: from gray to lilac brown and deep violet. This stamp looks ultramarine to me.

1876 Scott P9B (1kr) violet, type III
This 1876 Scott P9B is a Type III, defined by the the outer white circle around the head is open at the top.

1876 Scott P9Bd (1kr) violet, type II
For Type II, the helmet is clearly defined. There are four thin short discrete lines in front of the wing.

1880 Scott P10 1/2kr blue green
The 1880 newspaper stamp can be found in blue green (P10)  (above), and yellow green (P10a) (below)

1880 Scott P10a 1/2kr yellow green
Out of the Blue
Austria is one of those countries, where, if one wanted to specialize, there would be a whole "world" to explore! (And it would be helpful to brush up on the German too. ;-)

Comments appreciated!


  1. Another great overview Jim. Since the 1859-1864 series was the last issued before the Ausgleich of 1867 separated the Hungarian half of the empire into a self-governing region (with its own postal service starting in 1870) there is also a lot of information about use of the issue with town cancellations from Hungary, Croatia, Transylvanian Romania and Slovakia that can be found in catalogs such as the Hungarian Specialized Catalog by Philatelica Hungarica. The stamps were also used in the Galicia region of Poland and what is now Western Ukraine so there is also that usage element that is covered in Polish specialty catalogs such as the Fisher. So brush up on your Hungarian and Polish while you are at it :D.

    1. Gene- thanks for the input on the far flung areas where the stamps were used, the catalogs needed, and the languages recommended! ;-)

  2. A few early British stamps (Scott #s 5-7)are embossed as are, of course, most envelopes sold by post offices. But the latter are not considered stamps even though they were "stamped" in the making.