The first definitive Luxembourg stamps appeared in 1852, with them featuring the portrait of King William III (1817-1890) of the Netherlands who was also the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Coat of Arms of Luxembourg is shown above, on a 12 F. denomination stamp issued in 1981.
<-- Map of Luxembourg
With a total area of under one thousand square miles, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the smallest sovereign states in the World, about the size of the State of Rhode Island. It is also the World's only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy.
Luxembourg is bordered by Belgium, Germany, and France, with the three languages spoken there being Luxembourgish, German, and French. The nation is a mixture of French and German cultures.
Luxembourg's modern history began in 963, when Siegfried (922-998), the Count of Ardennes, the founder of the House of Luxembourg, built a fortress there which eventually became known as Luxembourg Castle. During the Middle Ages, three members of the House of Luxembourg also reigned as Holy Roman Emperors.
After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Congress of Vienna defined Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy, in personal union with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The King of the Netherlands was the Head of State, as the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, until 1890. After the death of King William III of the Netherlands in 1890, Luxembourg passed to Duke Adolph (1817-1905) of Nassau-Weilburg, and the House of Nassau-Weilburg has ruled the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg since then.
With a recorded history dating back to the Ancient Roman Empire, the stamps of Luxembourg beautifully reflect the history, people, and natural wonders of this small country.
Luxembourg has maintained a rather conservative postage stamp issuing policy during their philatelic history. As of the 2015 Edition of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, only about 1,300 definitive and commemorative Luxembourg stamps (not including varieties) have been issued during the last 163 years. A rather complete collection, although fairly expensive, is very attainable for the dedicated stamp collector.
The classical stamps of Luxembourg also offer many opportunities for a philatelic study. The early issues include paper, perforation, and printing varieties, along with many collectible essays and proofs. Add postmarks and postal history, and this could definitely become a long-term endeavor.
Reviews of many of the postage stamp issues of Luxembourg, as well as the occasional historical article, will eventually appear in the page link section at the upper right.
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