The first definitive Montenegro stamps were issued in 1874, coinciding
with the opening of the first post office for public use, in Cetinje.
The seven major-type definitive Montenegro stamps shown above were first issued in 1874, with additional printings in 1879 and 1893. The differences in the printings are primarily determined by the perforation gauge and the physical appearance of the perforations.
These stamps are typographed, and they are printed on paper that is watermarked "BRIEF-MARKEN" or "ZEITUNGS-MARKEN" in double-lined capital letters across the middle of each sheet. A single stamp may only show a small portion of a single letter from the watermark, or it may not show any trace of a watermark at all.
The common design features a contemporary likeness of Prince Nikola I.
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 10 1/2 with large holes and pointed teeth, are as follows.
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 12, 12 1/2, 13, or compound with large holes and pointed teeth, are as follows.
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 10 1/2 or 11 1/2 with small holes and broad teeth or that are perforated 11 1/2 with pointed teeth, are as follows.
The six definitive Montenegro stamps shown above were overprinted in black or red in 1893 to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Introduction of Printing in Montenegro. Only the stamps with black overprints are shown above.
The Scott catalog attributes, for stamps with various perforation gauges, ranging from 10 1/2 to 12 1/2, are as follows.
Some of the perforation gauges on these stamps are scarce. Please refer to the major catalogs for details. Many overprint errors also exist on these stamps.
The thirteen definitive Montenegro stamp types of 1874-1893 shown above were re-issued between 1894 and 1898. These re-issued definitive stamps feature color changes and new denominations.
These stamps are typographed, perforated 10 1/2 or 11 1/2, and they are printed on paper that is watermarked "BRIEF-MARKEN" or "ZEITUNGS-MARKEN" in double-lined capital letters across the middle of each sheet.
The Scott catalog attributes are as follows:
The twelve bi-colored commemorative Montenegro stamps shown above (Sc. #45-56) were issued on September 1, 1896 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the ruling Petrović-Njegoš Dynasty, founded by Danilo Šćepčević of Njegoš (1670-1735), the Metropolitan of Cetinje (1696-1735).
Montenegro has always been a hereditary monarchy. The early Montenegrin Princes were also Orthodox Bishops, who had to follow a vow of celibacy. In those cases, the line-of-succession was usually to a nephew or other relative. The later Princes of Montenegro were not Bishops, thus the line-of-succession was usually to their children.
These commemorative stamps are lithographed on unwatermarked paper, and they are perforated 10 1/2 or 11 1/2.
The common design features the 18th Century Serbian Orthodox Monastery at Cetinje. The monastery contains important Christian relics, and it has also been the burial place for some members of the Montenegrin nobility.
Stamps with inverted centers and other errors are considered printer's waste. Forgeries also exist.
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Avis de Reception or Acknowledgment of Receipt stamps were issued by Montenegro between 1895 and 1913. All of these stamps were issued during the reign of Nikola I, and they all bear his portrait.
These Acknowledgment of Receipt stamps were usually similar to the regular definitive postage stamps, except that they had the letters "A" and "R" imprinted on them, usually in the upper corners. These types of stamps were rarely used elsewhere in Europe.
When these stamps were affixed to mail matter, a form would be mailed back to the sender, from the receiving post office, confirming the arrival of the letter.
The 10 N. denomination Acknowledgment of Receipt stamp shown above (Sc. #H1) was issued in 1895. The stamp is lithographed on watermarked paper, and it is perforated 10 1/2 or 11 1/2.