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Austrian Empire - Offices in

the Turkish Empire - Part II


1896 Registered Cover (front)
From Salonika, Greece to Berlin, Germany


Between 1890 and 1896, the Austrian Empire replaced the Arms definitive stamp types with a brand new series of definitive postage stamps, featuring the left-facing portrait of Kaiser Franz Josef on the lower values and a right-facing portrait on the high values.

This, of course, necessitated the creation of a brand new series of definitive postage stamp issues for the Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire.


During the same period, the Austrian imperial government modified their new definitive postage stamps a bit, and then surcharged them in Turkish currency, for use in their post offices in the Turkish Empire. Some of them are shown in the scan above.

There are also a 2 Pi. / 20 Kr. with horizontal corner numerals, 5 Pi. / 50 Kr. with horizontal corner numerals, 10 Pi. / 1 Gld. ultramarine, 10 Pi. / 1 Gld. violet gray, 20 Pi. / 2 Gld. ultramarine, and a 20 Pi. / 2 Gld. green, which are not shown in the image above.

The new lower value surcharged definitive stamps feature the original Kreuzer value numerals in the upper corners, and the new Turkish currency value numerals in the lower corners, with the new value name in between them.

The Michel catalog lists several perforation varieties on the 8 Pa. / 2 Kr., 2 Pi. / 50 Kr. with diagonal corner numerals, 10 Pi. / 1 Gld. violet gray, and the 20 Pi. / 2 Gld. green denominations. Please see the Michel or Netto specialized catalogs for details.


At the end of 1899, the Austrian Empire officially changed their currency from Kreuzer / Gulden to Heller / Kronen. This required that they modify their existing definitive postage stamps to have the new denomination names on them.

The seven new stamps issued for the post offices in the Turkish Empire are shown in the image above. The surcharging format is the same as that used on the 1890-1896 definitive stamp issues.

In 1901, the four lower value definitive stamps were printed on paper containing diagonal bars of varnish, in order to prevent their re-use. All of them, except for the 20 Para denomination, are shown at the bottom of the image above.

The Michel catalog lists several perforation varieties on the lower value denominations of this issue, with a few of them being quite expensive. Please see the Michel or Netto specialized catalogs for details.


Between 1903 and 1907, the surcharge format of the offices in the Turkish Empire low denomination stamps was changed. Unlike previous issues, the new surcharges had the Turkish currency numerals and denomination names both at the top and the bottom of the stamps.

The 1903 issue featured the varnish bar undercoating. The 1905 issue omitted the varnish bar undercoating. The 1907 issue featured a new color for the 10 Para denomination and a new denomination, the 30 Para. They are all shown in the image above.

These stamps were issued in only two perforation gauges, 13 x 12 1/2 and 13 x 13 1/2. They are worth the same.


In July 1908, a new set of definitive postage stamps, denominated in Turkish currency, was issued to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Josef I. Though similar in appearance and style to the 60th Anniversary stamps issued for the Austrian Empire, these stamps for the Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire are VERY DIFFERENT.

The 10 Para through the 1 Piaster denominations were typographed on surface-colored paper, and all of them feature the left-facing profile of Franz Josef. The 2 Piaster through the 20 Piaster denominations were engraved on surface-colored paper, and all of them feature a portrait of Franz Josef in royal robes.


In 1914, the 20 Para on Rose and the 1 Piaster on Blue denominations were re-issued on paper that was colored all the way through.

The backs of the two types of the 1 Piaster stamp are shown at the bottom of the image above. On the surface-color paper printing, the back side of the stamp is "white". On the color paper printing, the back side of the stamp has the same paper color as that of the front side.

The surface-colored paper printings are the scarcer of the two types.


Between 1902 and 1910, the Austrian Empire issued Postage Due stamps, for use in their post offices in the Turkish Empire.

The 1902 issue consisted of the design type of the Austrian Empire, with the basic stamp color changed from brown to green, and the stamps were surcharged in Turkish currency. All but the 20 Para / 10 Heller denomination are shown at the top of the image above. The shades of the basic stamps of this issue range from yellowish green to dark green.

The 1908-1910 issue consisted of the 1908 design type of the Austrian Empire, with the basic stamp color changed from red to green. There were nine denominations in this set, ranging from the 1/4 Piaster to the 30 Piaster. The 1/4 Piaster stamp is shown in the image above.

There were three different printings of the 1908-1910 issues. The first was printed on chalky white paper, the second on thick white paper, and the third on thin white paper. They also come in two distinct shades of green. The chalky white paper varieties are the cheapest.




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