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Austria Stamps

Definitives of 1948-1958

New definitive postage Austria stamps debuted in June 1948.  This new definitive postage stamp series featured regional costumes, and over its ten year lifetime, a massive number of varieties were produced, making this series a collecting specialty in itself.

The thirty-six major-type Regional Costumes definitive Austria stamps shown above (Mi. #893-26, #978-80, Sc. #520-56) were issued beginning in June 1948, with additional printings continuing through 1959.  The major mint condition examples, without regard to varieties, are shown above.

All of these Austria stamps, from the 3 G. denomination through the 7 S. denomination are photogravure, perforated 14 x 13 1/2, and they are printed on unwatermarked grayish or white paper.

These new definitive Austrian postage stamps feature women from various parts of Austria in traditional costumes.  Their descriptions are as follows (the bold year in parentheses is the year the denomination was first issued):

  • 03 G. (1950) - Inn Valley, Tyrol.
  • 05 G. (1949) - Pinzgau, Salzburg.
  • 10 G. (1948) - Salzkammergut, Styria.
  • 15 G. (1948) - Lutzmannsburg, Burgenland.
  • 20 G. (1948) - Montafon Valley, Vorarlberg.
  • 25 G. (1949) - Vienna (1850).
  • 30 G. (1948) - Pongau, Salzburg.
  • 40 G. (1948) - Vienna (1840).
  • 45 G. (1948) - Lesach Valley, Carinthia.
  • 50 G. (1949) - Bregenzer Forest, Vorarlberg.
  • 60 G. (1948) - Lavant Valley, Carinthia.
  • 70 G. (1949) - Wachau, Lower Austria.
  • 75 G. (1948) - Salzkammergut, Styria.
  • 80 G. (1949) - Enns Valley, Styria.
  • 90 G. (1949) - Central Styria, Styria.
  • 1.00 S. (1948) - Puster Valley, Tyrol.
  • 1.20 S. (1949) - Vienna Woods, Lower Austria.
  • 1.40 S. (1948) - Inn District, Upper Austria.
  • 1.45 S. (1951) - Wilten, Innsbruck, Tyrol.
  • 1.50 S. (1951) - Vienna (1853).
  • 1.60 S. (1949) - Vienna (1850).
  • 1.70 S. (1950) - East Tyrol.
  • 2.00 S. (1948) - Upper Austria.
  • 2.20 S. (1952) - Ischl, Upper Austria.
  • 2.40 S. (1951) - Kitzbuhel, Tyrol.
  • 2.50 S. (1952) - Upper Styria (1850).
  • 2.70 S. (1951) - Little Walser Valley, Vorarlberg.
  • 3.00 S. (1949) - Burgenland.
  • 3.50 S. (1951) - Lower Austria (1850).
  • 4.50 S. (1951) - Gail Valley, Carinthia.
  • 5.00 S. (1948) - Ziller Valley, Tyrol.
  • 7.00 S. (1952) - Sulm Valley, Styria.

NOW, for the technical aspects of these issues.  As said before, this series could be a separate specialty in itself.

For anyone wishing to specialize in this series,  the specialized Netto or Michel catalogs for Austria are an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY.  My overview of the technicalities will be brief.  Refer to the specialized catalogs for listing details and additional descriptions.

Type I

Type II

Type I

Type II

Type I

Type II

There are TWO MAJOR TYPES, and they have to do with the rastering measurements.  The photogravure images on these Austria stamps are made up of raster lines, tiny dots of color, similar to what we refer to today as pixels, as they are combined to make-up a bitmap image.  Over-sized examples of each of the types are shown in the images directly above.

The philatelic description of these two types, as defined in the Michel catalog, is as follows:

  • Type I - Wide rasterizing (70 raster lines per centimeter)Poorer impression.  Fine details have obscure appearance.
  • Type II - Narrow rasterizing (100 raster lines per centimeter)Better impression.  Fine details have sharper appearance.

For each of these major types, there are two or more paper types, and one or more gum types.  Separating these stamps by rasterizing and paper types is pretty straightforward.  Of course, separating these stamps by gum types requires collecting them in mint condition which can get pretty expensive.  The easiest way to show these two classes of sub-types, as they are categorized in the Michel catalog, is in table format, as follows:


Paper / Gum

Gum Type


x - Grayish paper.  Shiny yellowish gum.

z -
Bright white paper.  Tan to rose gum with no ribbing.

xa -  horizontally ribbed gum.
xb - vertically ribbed gum.


x - Grayish paper.  Shiny yellowish gum.

y -
Dull white paper.  White gum.

z - Bright white paper.  Tan to rose gum with no ribbing.

xa - horizontally ribbed gum.
xb - vertically ribbed gum.
xc - cross-ribbed gum.

ya - virtically ribbed gum.
yb - gum without ribbing.
yc - cross-ribbed gum.

The chart above indicates that there are up to TEN collectible varieties of many of the Austria stamps shown in the images at the top of this page.  That is quite a challenge.

There are also many collectible plate faults on these Regional Costume issues as well.  See the specialized catalogs for detailed listings of them.

The 10 S. denomination Regional Costumes definitive stamp shown above (Mi. #926, Sc. #556) was issued on March 13, 1950.  This stamps is engraved, perforated 14 x 13 1/2, and it is printed on unwatermarked grayish paper.

The design of this stamp features a Viennese Woman of 1850.

This stamp comes with two types of gum.  The first is shiny yellowish, horizontally ribbed gum.  The second is white gum with vertical ribbing or cross-ribbing.  The white gum varieties are much more expensive.

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Austrian Empire, Republic of German
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