The Austrian Empire was founded on a remnant of the Holy Roman Empire. Napoleon I of France had attacked and then crushed the thousand-year-old Holy Roman Empire in 1804. Following the defeat of Napoleon I, a new empire was founded by the Hapsburg monarch, former Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, who became Emperor Francis I of Austria. The new empire was composed of his personal lands, within and outside of the boundaries of the former Holy Roman Empire.
When Francis II assumed the title of the first Emperor of
Austria, the empire stretched from lower Poland in the North to the
Balkans and Northern Italy in the South, and from Russia in the East to
Bavaria and Switzerland in the West. It would remain the largest and most powerful European empire, until early in the 20th Century.
The multi-national population of the Empire included Germans, Czechs, Poles, Romanians, Hungarians, Italians, Ukrainians, Croats, Slovaks, Serbs, Slovenes and numerous smaller nationalities. The Empire, in this form, lasted from 1804 to 1867.
of Austria-Hungary, which lasted from 1867 to 1918, was a monarchical
union with the independence-minded Kingdom of Hungary. The union was the result of the
Compromise of 1867, under which the Austrian House of Hapsburg agreed to
share power with a separate Hungarian government, dividing the
territory of the former empire between them. The Kingdom of Hungary then had their own parliament and internal self-government, but their sovereign continued to be the Austrian emperor.
This union was expressed on official documents as K.U.K. or Kaiserlich und Königlich, meaning Imperial and Royal. This indicated that the Hapsburg monarch, Emperor Franz Josef I at the time, reigned simultaneously as the Emperor of Austria and as the King of Hungary.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved by the Treaty of Versailles, after the end of World War I, and all of its possessions were broken up into independent states, along ethnic and cultural lines. Unfortunately, this nation-making process made a political and geographical mess out of Eastern Europe, and the fallout would continue through the end of the 20th Century.
scan at the top of this page is the Austrian Imperial Coat of Arms. The scan at
upper right is an early 20th Century postcard, showing the flag of the
Emperor Franz Josef I - from a 1908 Postal Card
celebrating the 60th Anniversary of his reign
Links to content pages for stamps of the Austrian Empire appear in the right-hand column of this page.
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 Home Page from Austrian Empire
Issues of 1850-1856
Issues of 1858-1859
Issues of 1860-1864
Issues of 1867-1883
Issues of 1890-1896
Issues of 1899-1901
Issues of 1904-1907
Issues of 1908-1910
Issues of 1914-1918
Airmail Issues - 1918
Offices in Crete
Offices in the Turkish Empire - Part I
Offices in the Turkish Empire - Part II
Offices in the Turkish Empire - Postage Due
Offices in the Turkish Empire - Postmarks
Bosnia Herzegovina - A Brief History to 1918
Bosnia Herzegovina - Issues of 1879-1904
Bosnia Herzegovina - Issues of 1906-1912
Bosnia Herzegovina - Issues of 1912-1916
Bosnia Herzegovina - Issues of 1916-1918