Custom Search


Austrian Empire

Issues of 1899-1901


Between 1892 and 1900, the Austrian Empire transitioned to a new decimal currency.  The Gulden (100 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden) would be replaced by the Krone (100 Heller = 1 Krone).  During this period of transition, Gulden and Kronen coins and banknotes circulated concurrently, with one Gulden being traded at two Kronen.  In January 1900, the Gulden was officially demonetized, and the Krone became the official currency of the Austrian Empire.

In anticipation of this event, a brand new series of definitive Austrian postage stamps was issued at the end of 1899.  They were identical in design to the Austrian Empire definitive postage stamps of 1890 to 1891, but these new stamps were all denominated in Heller and Kronen.

All of the Austrian Empire definitive postage stamps of this period feature either the left-facing portrait or the right-facing portrait of Emperor Franz Josef I.  All of the Austrian Empire newspaper stamps of this period feature the profile of Mercury, the Ancient Roman "Messenger of the Gods".



The fifteen definitive Austrian Empire stamp types of 1890-1891 shown above were issued on December 1, 1899.  They are printed on unwatermarked, granite paper, and they were produced in varying perforation gauges.  The numerals on the Heller denominations are printed in black on a colored background.  The numerals on the Kronen denominations are white on a colored background.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 13 x 12 1/2, are as follows.  The colors used in the table are from the Michel catalog.

  • 01 H.  (1899 - Mi. #69A, Sc. #70) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1899 - Mi. #70A, Sc. #71) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1899 - Mi. #71A, Sc. #72) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1899 - Mi. #72A, Sc. #73) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1899 - Mi. #73A, Sc. #74) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1899 - Mi. #74A, Sc. #75) - Rose Carmine.
  • 20 H.  (1899 - Mi. #75A, Sc. #76) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1899 - Mi. #76A, Sc. #77) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1899 - Mi. #77A, Sc. #78) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 40 H.  (1899 - Mi. #78A, Sc. #80) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1899 - Mi. #79A, Sc. #81) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1899 - Mi. #80A, Sc. #82) - Orange Brown.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 10 1/2, are as follows.

  • 01 H.  (1899 - Mi. #69B, Sc. #70c) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1899 - Mi. #70B, Sc. #71) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1899 - Mi. #71B, Sc. #72) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1899 - Mi. #72B, Sc. #73c) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1899 - Mi. #73B, Sc. #74) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1899 - Mi. #74B, Sc. #75b) - Rose Carmine.
  • 20 H.  (1899 - Mi. #75B, Sc. #76) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1899 - Mi. #76B, Sc. #77) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1899 - Mi. #77B, Sc. #78) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 40 H.  (1899 - Mi. #78B, Sc. #80) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1899 - Mi. #79B, Sc. #81) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1899 - Mi. #80B, Sc. #82c) - Orange Brown.
  • 01 K.  (1899 - Mi. #81B, Sc. #83) - Reddish Lilac, Lilac Red.
  • 02 K.  (1899 - Mi. #82B, Sc. #84) - Dark Violet Gray.
  • 04 K.  (1899 - Mi. #83B, Sc. #85) - Gray Green.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 12 1/2, are as follows.

  • 01 H.  (1899 - Mi. #69C, Sc. #70) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1899 - Mi. #70C, Sc. #71) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1899 - Mi. #71C, Sc. #72) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1899 - Mi. #72C, Sc. #73) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1899 - Mi. #73C, Sc. #74) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1899 - Mi. #74C, Sc. #75) - Rose Carmine.
  • 20 H.  (1899 - Mi. #75C, Sc. #76) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1899 - Mi. #76C, Sc. #77) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1899 - Mi. #77C, Sc. #78) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 40 H.  (1899 - Mi. #78C, Sc. #80) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1899 - Mi. #79C, Sc. #81) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1899 - Mi. #80C, Sc. #82) - Orange Brown.
  • 01 K.  (1899 - Mi. #81C, Sc. #83) - Reddish Lilac, Lilac Red.
  • 02 K.  (1899 - Mi. #82C, Sc. #84) - Dark Violet Gray.
  • 04 K.  (1899 - Mi. #83C, Sc. #85) - Gray Green.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 10 1/2 x 12 1/2, are as follows.

  • 01 H.  (1899 - Mi. #69D, Sc. #70) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1899 - Mi. #70D, Sc. #71) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1899 - Mi. #71D, Sc. #72) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1899 - Mi. #72D, Sc. #73) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1899 - Mi. #73D, Sc. #74) - Orange.
  • 20 H.  (1899 - Mi. #75D, Sc. #76) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1899 - Mi. #76D, Sc. #77) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1899 - Mi. #77D, Sc. #78) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 40 H.  (1899 - Mi. #78D, Sc. #80) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1899 - Mi. #79D, Sc. #81) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1899 - Mi. #80D, Sc. #82) - Orange Brown.
  • 01 K.  (1899 - Mi. #81D, Sc. #83) - Reddish Lilac, Lilac Red.
  • 02 K.  (1899 - Mi. #82D, Sc. #84) - Dark Violet Gray.
  • 04 K.  (1899 - Mi. #83D, Sc. #85) - Gray Green.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 13 x 13 1/2, are as follows.

  • 01 H.  (1899 - Mi. #69E, Sc. #70) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1899 - Mi. #70E, Sc. #71) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1899 - Mi. #71E, Sc. #72) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1899 - Mi. #72E, Sc. #73) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1899 - Mi. #73E, Sc. #74) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1899 - Mi. #74E, Sc. #75) - Rose Carmine.
  • 20 H.  (1899 - Mi. #75E, Sc. #76) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1899 - Mi. #76E, Sc. #77) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1899 - Mi. #77E, Sc. #78) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 40 H.  (1899 - Mi. #78E, Sc. #80) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1899 - Mi. #79E, Sc. #81) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1899 - Mi. #80E, Sc. #82) - Orange Brown.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 12 1/2 x 10 1/2, are as follows.

  • 01 H.  (1899 - Mi. #69F, Sc. #70) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1899 - Mi. #70F, Sc. #71) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1899 - Mi. #71F, Sc. #72) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1899 - Mi. #72F, Sc. #73) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1899 - Mi. #73f, Sc. #74) - Orange.
  • 20 H.  (1899 - Mi. #75F, Sc. #76) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1899 - Mi. #76F, Sc. #77) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1899 - Mi. #77F, Sc. #78) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 40 H.  (1899 - Mi. #78F, Sc. #80) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1899 - Mi. #79F, Sc. #81) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1899 - Mi. #80F, Sc. #82) - Orange Brown.
  • 01 K.  (1899 - Mi. #81F, Sc. #83) - Reddish Lilac, Lilac Red.
  • 02 K.  (1899 - Mi. #82F, Sc. #84) - Dark Violet Gray.
  • 04 K.  (1899 - Mi. #83F, Sc. #85) - Gray Green.



The thirteen definitive Austrian Empire stamp types of 1899 shown above were re-issued on January 2, 1901.  They are printed on unwatermarked, granite paper with diagonal varnish bars, and they were produced in two perforation gauges.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for Austrian Empire stamps that are perforated 13 x 12 1/2, are as follows.  The colors used in the table are from the Michel catalog.

  • 01 H.  (1901 - Mi. #84A, Sc. #70a) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1901 - Mi. #85A, Sc. #71a) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1901 - Mi. #86A, Sc. #72a) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1901 - Mi. #87A, Sc. #73a) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1901 - Mi. #88A, Sc. #74a) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1901 - Mi. #89A, Sc. #75a) - Rose Carmine.
  • 20 H.  (1901 - Mi. #90A, Sc. #76a) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1901 - Mi. #91A, Sc. #77a) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1901 - Mi. #92A, Sc. #78a) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 35 H.  (1901 - Mi. #93A, Sc. #79) - Opal Green.
  • 40 H.  (1901 - Mi. #94A, Sc. #80a) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1901 - Mi. #95A, Sc. #81a) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1901 - Mi. #96A, Sc. #82a) - Orange Brown.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes, for Austrian Empire stamps that are perforated 13 x 13 1/2, are as follows.

  • 01 H.  (1901 - Mi. #84B, Sc. #70a) - Bright Brown Purple.
  • 02 H.  (1901 - Mi. #85B, Sc. #71a) - Dark Gray.
  • 03 H.  (1901 - Mi. #86B, Sc. #72a) - Brownish Ocher.
  • 05 H.  (1901 - Mi. #87B, Sc. #73a) - Dark Greenish Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1901 - Mi. #88B, Sc. #74a) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1901 - Mi. #89B, Sc. #75a) - Rose Carmine.
  • 20 H.  (1901 - Mi. #90B, Sc. #76a) - Dark Ocher Brown.
  • 25 H.  (1901 - Mi. #91B, Sc. #77a) - Gray Ultramarine.
  • 30 H.  (1901 - Mi. #92B, Sc. #78a) - Medium Brown Purple.
  • 35 H.  (1901 - Mi. #93B, Sc. #79) - Opal Green.
  • 40 H.  (1901 - Mi. #94B, Sc. #80a) - Greenish Olive.
  • 50 H.  (1901 - Mi. #95B, Sc. #81a) - Medium Prussian Blue.
  • 60 H.  (1901 - Mi. #96B, Sc. #82a) - Orange Brown.



The four Austrian Empire newspaper stamps shown above were issued on December 20, 1899.  They are printed on unwatermarked, granite paper, and they are imperforate.  These were the first Austrian Empire newspaper stamps to feature the denomination numeral in the design.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes are as follows.

  • 02 H.  (1899 - Mi. #97, Sc. #P11) - Dark Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1899 - Mi. #98, Sc. #P12) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1899 - Mi. #99, Sc. #P13) - Yellowish Brown.
  • 20 H.  (1899 - Mi. #100, Sc. #P14) - Carmine Red, Magenta.



The four Austrian Empire newspaper stamp types of 1899 shown above were re-issued in 1901.  They are printed on unwatermarked, granite paper with diagonal varnish bars (three types), and they are imperforate.

The Michel / Scott catalog attributes are as follows.

  • 02 H.  (1901 - Mi. #101, Sc. #P11a) - Dark Blue.
  • 06 H.  (1901 - Mi. #102, Sc. #P12a) - Orange.
  • 10 H.  (1901 - Mi. #103, Sc. #P13a) - Yellowish Brown.
  • 20 H.  (1901 - Mi. #104, Sc. #P14a) - Magenta.





eBay Auction and Store Links

Austrian Empire, Republic of German
Austria, and the First Republic of Austria


The following links feature category-focused affiliated seller listings on various eBay sites worldwide. They may enable visitors to shop for and to buy specific items for the particular collecting subject they've just read about. 

The affiliated eBay seller auction lots provided by eBay, Inc. are not the responsibility of the management of this website.  On high priced material, make sure the lots you are buying are properly authenticated.

Remember that the lots on European eBay sites are priced in EUROS.  Shipping charges may be more, and the lots may take longer to arrive.  Also, make sure the foreign seller ships to your country, before bidding on or buying his lot.










Return to Austrian Empire from
Issues of 1899-1901





SBI!









Varnish

Bars

(Lackstriefen)




Experiments involving the coating of the paper used for printing stamps with diagonal "varnish bars" or "enamel stripes" began during the 1890's.  The German word for these varnish bars is "lackstriefen", meaning "lacquered".  There were many changes during this period of experimentation and during the early period of their official production, including the width of the bars and the spacing of the bars.

The diagonal bars of varnish were applied to the paper BEFORE THE STAMPS WERE PRINTED. Thus the varnish bars are UNDERNEATH the printed stamp design, NOT on top of it!


These varnish bars were a security measure, designed to prevent the erasure of a postmark and the re-use of the postage stamp.  If one tried to erase the postmark on these types of stamps, the printed stamp design would also be erased, rendering it useless as a postage stamp.

Varnish bars were officially applied to the paper used for the printing of all Heller denomination Austrian Empire stamps, beginning in January 1901.

The varnish bars are said to be yellowish in color, however they can vary in appearance, depending on the lighting they are viewed with and the equipment used to make images of them.  The examples above, from my collection, were viewed in fluorescent light, and they were scanned with a Hewitt Packard scanner.  They appear white.  Stamps viewed in other types of light or that are reproduced with other types of imaging equipment may appear quite different. Having gone through thousands of these stamps over the years, sometimes the bars can be so heavy that they distract from the appearance of the stamp, and at other times, they can be so light that they are barely discernible.

In the long run, this methodology turned out to be unacceptable. Sometimes the printing ink did not stick very well to the varnish bars, causing parts of the image to be smudged or missing, and environmental effects, such as the handling of the stamps by postal clerks and postal patrons, could also cause portions of the printed stamp design to flake away. 

The use of stamp paper having varnish bars was finally discontinued during late 1905.