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Latvian Stamps

Issues of 1918-1919

First Latvian Postage Stamp issued in 1918
Printed on the Back of a German Military Map


When the first Latvian stamps appeared at the end of 1918, there were some serious obstacles hampering their production.  During World War I, Latvia was one of the principal battlegrounds between the armies of the German Empire and the Russian Empire.  By the end of the war, Latvia's economic and agricultural infrastructure had pretty much been destroyed.  One of the things that there was a serious shortage of was paper, and unfortunately, the production of postage stamps required a lot of paper.

It was during this period that the Latvians solved their printing problems by utilizing paper products that were left behind by the German army, when they left the country.  There were large supplies of worthless German military maps and occupation banknotes, and the Latvians were able to use them to solve their postage stamp production difficulties.

Many of the early Latvian definitive and commemorative stamps were issued both imperforate and perforated.



The two definitive Latvian stamps shown above were issued on December 18, 1918.  The stamps are lithographed, printed on the backs of German military maps, and they were issued both imperforate and perforated 11 1/2.

The design features the Arms of Latvia in front of the Sun.

With the map portions on the backs of these stamps, collecting the maps could be almost as exciting as collecting the stamps themselves!

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1918 - Sc. #1) - Carmine.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 11 1/2, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1918 - Sc. #2) - Carmine.



The three Arms & Sun type definitive Latvian stamps shown above were issued in 1919.  The stamps are lithographed, printed on the paper with ruled lines, and they were issued both imperforate and perforated 11 1/2.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1919 - Sc. #3) - Carmine.
  • 10 K.  (1919 - Sc. #4) - Dark Blue.
  • 15 K.  (1919 - Sc. #5) - Deep Green.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 11 1/2, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1919 - Sc. #6) - Carmine.
  • 10 K.  (1919 - Sc. #7) - Dark Blue.
  • 15 K.  (1919 - Sc. #8) - Deep Green.



The nine Arms & Sun type definitive Latvian stamps shown above were issued in 1919.  The stamps are lithographed on various types of pelure paper.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on unwatermarked, pelure paper and that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 03 K.  (1919 - Sc. #9) - Lilac.
  • 05 K.  (1919 - Sc. #10) - Carmine.
  • 10 K.  (1919 - Sc. #11) - Deep Blue.
  • 15 K.  (1919 - Sc. #12) - Dark Green.
  • 20 K.  (1919 - Sc. #13) - Orange.
  • 25 K.  (1919 - Sc. #13A) - Gray.
  • 35 K.  (1919 - Sc. #14) - Dark Brown.
  • 50 K.  (1919 - Sc. #15) - Purple.
  • 75 K.  (1919 - Sc. #16) - Emerald.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on unwatermarked, pelure paper and that are perforated 11 1/2 or 9 1/2, are as follows:

  • 03 K.  (1919 - Sc. #17) - Lilac.
  • 05 K.  (1919 - Sc. #18) - Carmine.
  • 10 K.  (1919 - Sc. #19) - Deep Blue.
  • 15 K.  (1919 - Sc. #20) - Dark Green.
  • 20 K.  (1919 - Sc. #21) - Orange.
  • 35 K.  (1919 - Sc. #22) - Dark Brown.
  • 50 K.  (1919 - Sc. #23) - Purple.
  • 75 K.  (1919 - Sc. #24) - Emerald.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on paper that is watermarked honeycomb and that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 03 K.  (1919 - Sc. #25) - Lilac.
  • 05 K.  (1919 - Sc. #26) - Carmine.
  • 10 K.  (1919 - Sc. #27) - Deep Blue.
  • 15 K.  (1919 - Sc. #28) - Dark Green.
  • 20 K.  (1919 - Sc. #29) - Orange.
  • 25 K.  (1919 - Sc. #30) - Gray.
  • 35 K.  (1919 - Sc. #31) - Dark Brown.
  • 50 K.  (1919 - Sc. #32) - Purple.
  • 75 K.  (1919 - Sc. #33) - Emerald.



The three pictorial commemorative Latvian stamps shown above were issued on June 15, 1919 to celebrate the Liberation of Riga from the Red Army on May 22, 1919.  The stamps are printed on various types of pelure paper.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on paper that is watermarked honeycomb and that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1919 - Sc. #43) - Carmine.
  • 15 K.  (1919 - Sc. #44) - Deep Green.
  • 35 K.  (1919 - Sc. #45) - Brown.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are printed on unwatermarked paper and that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1919 - Sc. #49) - Carmine.
  • 15 K.  (1919 - Sc. #50) - Deep Green.
  • 35 K.  (1919 - Sc. #51) - Brown.



The three pictorial commemorative Latvian stamps shown above were issued on July 7, 1919 to celebrate the Liberation of Northern Latvia from the Red Army in June 1919.  The stamps are printed on unwatermarked paper.

The design features a Rising Sun.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 10 K.  (1919 - Sc. #55) - Gray Blue.

The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 11 1/2, are as follows:

  • 10 K.  (1919 - Sc. #56) - Gray Blue.



The two high-denomination Arms & Sun type definitive Latvian stamps shown above were issued on November 14, 1919.  The stamps are printed on laid paper and they are perforated 11 1/2.

The Scott catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 03 R.  (1919 - Sc. #57) - Slate & Orange.
  • 05 R.  (1919 - Sc. #58) - Gray Brown & Orange.





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Issues of 1918-1919






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