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Austrian Empire

Issues of 1860-1864


Beginning in 1860, the Austrian Empire issued a brand new series of definitive postage stamps, replacing the issues of 1858-1859.

These new postage stamps were larger than the previous ones. The small, square frames of the previous issues were replaced by large, ornate, oval designs containing the denomination name at the top and the denomination numeral at the bottom. In the middle of the oval was the right-facing portrait of the emperor.

Designs similar to the issues of 1860 to 1864 were also issued for use in Lombardy and Venetia, but they are all denominated in SOLDI at the top of the oval.


The five Austrian Empire postage stamps shown in the first image above were issued in December 1860. These new stamps were embossed, with colored frames, and they were all perforated 14.

Mint condition examples of these Austrian Empire stamps with original gum are pretty expensive. Government reprints of these issues were made for collectors, between 1866 and 1887. These mint condition reprints exist in five different printings. Some are actually much more expensive than the original stamps, but most of them are relatively affordable. The reprints are perforated 9, 9 1/2, 10, 10 1/2, 11, 11 1/2, 12, 12 1/2, 13 and 13 1/2. There are also imperforate reprints of the 2 Kr. and 3 Kr. denominations. The mint 2 Kr. stamp shown in the top image above is a reprint.

The new imperforate newspaper stamp shown in the second image above was issued in 1861. It comes in a wide variety of shades, ranging from pale gray to brownish lilac.


On July 1, 1863, the current large oval postage stamps were re-issued, with the right-facing portrait of the emperor having been replaced by the imperial arms. Like the previous issue, these stamps were also perforated 14. They are all shown in the top image above.

Mint condition examples of this perforated 14 oval arms issue with original gum are very expensive. Unfortunately for collectors, no government reprints were made of this issue.

A new design of the 1.05 Kr. imperforate newspaper stamp, featuring the imperial arms, was also issued in 1863. This newspaper stamp, shown in the bottom image above, also comes in a wide variety of shades.

This newspaper stamp was printed on paper with a large ZEITUNGS-MARKEN watermark in the sheet. Stamps showing portions of the sheet watermark are worth much more than those that do not.


During 1863, the perforation gauge for the oval arms definitive stamps was changed from 14 to 9 1/2. The perforated 9 1/2 stamps are all shown in the image above.

Before July 1864, the perforated 9 1/2 stamps were printed on unwatermarked paper. After July 1864, they were printed on paper with a large BRIEF-MARKEN watermark in the sheet. Stamps showing portions of this watermark are worth much more than those that do not.

The 2 Kr. and 5 Kr. denominations also exist on ribbed paper, and they are very scarce. Bisected examples of the 2 Kr. and 10 Kr. are known on cover, and they are very rare, with prices in the thousands of Euros.

Other collectible varieties of this 1863-1864 issue include red, blue, violet, green, and orange cancellations, Lombardy-Venetia cancellations, and stamps postmarked at Austrian Imperial post offices in the Turkish Empire.

Government reprints of this issue were made for collectors, between 1884 and 1894. These mint condition reprints exist in four different printings, and they are inexpensive. The reprints are perforated 10 1/2, 11 1/2, 13 and 13 1/2. There are also imperforate reprints of the 2 Kr. and 3 Kr. denominations.


Used examples of most of the oval definitive issues of 1860-1864 are relatively inexpensive, and they can provide the basis for a very attractive Austrian Empire postmark collection.




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Austrian Empire, Republic of German
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Issues of 1860-1864





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