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Austrian Empire

Issues of 1908

In 1908, the Austrian Empire celebrated the Diamond Jubilee or 60th Anniversary of the accession of Franz Josef to the imperial throne.

To mark this event, a new set of large format pictorial postage stamps were issued, featuring Kaiser Franz Josef and his ancestors. These new stamps would become the definitive postage stamp issues of the Empire for the next eight years.

The new Diamond Jubilee stamps, shown above, with the exception of the 72 Heller denomination, were all issued on January 1, 1908. The 72 Heller denomination was issued in February 1913.

The denominations from the 1 Heller through the 35 Heller were all typographed on chalk surfaced white to yellowish paper. The denominations from the 50 Heller through the 10 Kronen were all engraved on regular white to yellowish paper.

Occasionally, the paper of the engraved stamps can be confused with the wartime grayish paper printings. The paper of the original printings, always looks yellowish on the back side, whereas, the grayish paper varieties are dark gray all the way through, including the back side of the stamps.

The designs of the 60th Anniversary stamps are as follows:

  • 1 H. - Karl VI (ruled 1711-1740)
  • 2 H. - Maria Theresa (ruled 1740-1780)
  • 3 H. - Joseph II (ruled 1780-1790)
  • 5 H. - Franz Josef in 1908 (ruled 1848-1916)
  • 6 H. - Leopold II (ruled 1790-1792)
  • 10 H. - Franz Josef in 1908 (ruled 1848-1916)
  • 12 H. - Franz I (ruled 1792-1835)
  • 20 H. - Ferdinand I (ruled 1835-1848)
  • 25 H. - Franz Josef in 1908 (ruled 1848-1916)
  • 30 H. - Franz Josef in 1848 (ruled 1848-1916)
  • 35 H. - Franz Josef in 1878 (ruled 1848-1916)
  • 50 H. - Franz Josef in Field Marshall's uniform
  • 60 H. - Franz Josef on horseback
  • 72 H. - Franz Josef in Field Marshall's uniform
  • 1 Kr. - Franz Josef in royal robes
  • 2 Kr. - Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
  • 5 Kr. - Hofburg, Vienna
  • 10 Kr. - Franz Josef in 1908 (ruled 1848-1916)

During 1913, the Austrian Empire began printing the typographed stamp denominatons, from the 1 Heller though the 35 Heller, on regular white to yellowish paper (NON CHALK SURFACED). They are all shown in the images above.

In 1916, the Austrian Empire started printing the engraved denominations from the 60 Heller through the 10 Kronen, on grayish paper. These are known as the wartime printings.

With the exception of the 10 Kronen denomination, they are all shown above.

The wartime printings are actually much more expensive than the 1908 printings, especially those of the 10 Kronen denomination.

A new series of newspaper stamps, featuring a right facing depiction of Mercury, was also introduced in 1908. The 1908 stamps were issued imperforate and were printed on chalk surfaced paper, as shown at the top of the image above.

During 1909, the stamps were again printed on regular paper (NON CHALK SURFACED), and during 1910, the same newspaper stamps were printed on thick paper. The regular paper printing is the scarcest of the three types.

As with the previous imperforate newspaper stamp issues, many people had the sheets privately perforated, to facilitate their separation. Two of them are shown in the image above. The privately perforated stamps are much scarcer than the imperforate ones.

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Issues of 1908