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The Post Office in Kitzbühel opened on 1st May 1840, at which time the town was called KITZBICHL. See here for a brief History of Kitzbühel and its Post Office. In reference 1, Müller lists KITZBICHL as entry 655, with a straight-line cancel in roman capitals, having the day in figures and the month in letters. It is his type RL-R, in black. It continued in use on stamps until the 1863 issue. From 1845, it occurs in blue. In the 3rd supplement, Schmirler notes that green is also found from 1845, and lists another type where the date is omitted (Müller 655b, his type RL; the RL-R then becoming 655a) found in black from 1841. Zopelli confirms the above, giving dates of 1841-42 for 655a in black, 1845-49 for green & blue, and 1841 only for 655b in black. It seems that only 655a in black (and, briefly, blue) continued when stamps were introduced.
The letter shown above was posted on 30 December 1849 from the local Court at Kitzbühel (written as 'KITZBUICHEL') and cancelled with a blue KITZBICHL cancel, Müller type RL-R. At the bottom left is 'Exoffo' in florid handwriting, claiming free postage, and a reference number.
This is an enlarged tracing of the cancellation. Note the huge serifs, and the signs of damage (eg on the 'L')
The Types listed are those of the Classification of 20th century cancellations on Austrian stamps. The illustrations are nearly all actual specimens, or traced from 'real life', which is why their quality is not always as good as I would wish!
|Type||Specimen||Cancellation description and notes|
|aL||This is Müller 1265a (see reference 4); it is the continuing pre-stamp Müller 655a - ie the straight line cancel (Müller type RL-R) in black on issues 1-3. The blue is (rarely) found on issue 1. This would be Klein (see reference 5) & thus APS type aL. Here is a larger and better illustration.|
|aE||This is Müller 1265b, a single circle cancel in roman capitals, with day and month in figures (Müller type RS-f). Klein lists it as 2140a; his type aE. Known in black on 1858-1867 issues. Here is a larger and better illustration.|
|gEj||This is Klein 2140b, a single circle cancel in sanserif capitals, with day, month and year in figures. Known in black on 1867-1883 issues; possible on 1890 issue. Klein type gEj. Here is a larger and better illustration.|
|gSj||This is Klein 2140c, a black striped lozenge cancel in sanserif capitals, with day, month and year in figures. Introduced 5 Feb 1895 when the town's name was changed to KITZBÜHEL. Klein type gSj. Here is a larger illustration on a postcard. Recorded 1900 - 1901, but here is a late usage in 1905. Stohl 4a0|
|aK2j||A standard "Railway Station" 2-section boxed cancel. Recorded 1903 - 1913. This is on a letter card, cancelled 28.6.1912 Stohl 5a2|
|DB||Standard bridge cancel (in use by July 1908). Many subtypes, all with sanserif KITZBÜHEL above date with month in roman numbers, various large or small letters with flanking 6- or 8-point stars below. Recorded 1907 - 1936. Here is a larger and better illustration. Stohl 6b10, 6b20, 6c20|
|gK3jb**||3-section boxed cancel, with letter flanked by stars in the bottom box. [Faked picture!] Recorded 1926 - 1938. Stohl 5r1|
|DBe||Standard bridge cancel with the time after the year. Many subtypes, all with sanserif KITZBÜHEL above date with month in roman numbers, various letters with flanking 6-point stars below. Recorded 1926 - 1937. Stohl 6l20 [that's 6 ell 20]|
|DR||Standard ring cancel. Month in roman numbers, various letters below. Recorded 1942 - 1965. Stohl 7k1|
|DBe(**)||Standard bridge cancel with month in roman numbers & the time after the year, but with no stars. According to Stohl, this was used intermittently between 1939-40; 1945-51; and 1955-65. This example is dated 1966. Stohl 6l90 [6 ell 90]|
|DB(**)||Standard bridge cancel with month in roman numbers, no time, no stars. Recorded 1944-65. Stohl 6c90|
|gK3jb||3-section boxed cancel, with counter letter in the bottom box. [Faked picture!] Recorded 1955 - 1962. Stohl 5t1|
|DSe||Standard segment cancel with the time after the year. Sanserif KITZBÜHEL above date with month in arabic numbers. No stars. Recorded 1957 - 1966. Stohl 8q0|
|ME||Machine cancel (pre-postcode), often found with wavy lines or a variety of slogans. All with sanserif KITZBÜHEL, and date (4-figure year) in arabic numerals. Known to me used 1958 - 1965.
The slogans are described in Part 2.
|P1||Type 1 postcoded cancel, often found with wavy lines or a variety of slogans. These are found in hand and machine-made types. They incorporate the four-figure Post Code with sanserif KITZBÜHEL Town Name at the top; counter letter, day, month, 4-figure year and time (all in arabic numerals) in 3 rows in the centre; and postcode 6370 at the foot of a single circle.|
|P2||Type 2 postcoded cancel, with the Day/Month/Year/Time arranged in a single line across the middle. Again this was used for both hand and machine types regardless of whether the machine type had wavy lines or a slogan to the side. All with sanserif KITZBÜHEL, date (2-figure year) in arabic numerals, and postcode 6370. No lines above/below the date.|
|P3||Type 3 postcoded cancel, exactly as type 2 but with lines above and below the date. Note that this specimen has the same 'counter letter' r as the type 1 cancel: both are traced from actual examples.|
The top row of numbers refers to the various stamp issues of Austria, as grouped for the APS classification system. The column of type codes is also according to the APS classification. Stohl (Ref 10)'s dates are given; a few of my examples (eg gSj) fall outside his limits.
|Type||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||Stohl dates: 19--|
|Type||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||Stohl dates: 19--|
'Ortswerbestempel' is a term used for cancellations with 'town propaganda': text and/or pictures which publicise a place, or commemorate some historical event associated with it. Kitzbühel has two main versions of all Ortswerbestempeln: words in an outer ring (with a twiddle or two) surrounding a normal bridge cancel, and a stylised Chamois in a large ring with cancellation information inside.
This is a standard bridge cancel with a slogan "WINTERSPORTPLATZ I. RANGES -----*-----" in an outer ring. Sanserif KITZBÜHEL above date with month in roman numbers. This was used 1925-29.
This is a standard bridge cancel with a different slogan WINTERSPORTPLATZ KITZBÜHEL ˜ TIROL ˜ in an outer ring. Sanserif KITZBÜHEL above date with month in roman numbers. Used 1928-30.
Chamois type 1 - known used 1939-1958. A better illustration is here.
Chamois type 2 - known used 1958-1964. A better illustration is here.
"DEUTSCHE U. ÖSTERREICHISCHE SKIMEISTERSCHAFT 7 u. 8 FEBER 1925"
This was used in early 1925.
12.1.1941 - Tag der Briefmarke. Large circle with "KITZBÜHEL / Mountain trooper / Tag der Briefmarke in 'hand-printed script' / 12.1.1941 / Eagle holding three ?playing cards"
14/24.7.1957 - 50 years of the Postbus. Three postbuses went on tour from 14 June till 24 July, one calling at Kitzbühel.
22/24.1.1965 - 25 years of the Hahnenkamm ski races. A better illustration is here.
23.8.1971 - 700 years of Kitzbühel [4 subtypes known]: see FDC section below
10.12.1978 - Tiroler Landeskrippentag (Nativity Crib Day)
11/13.1.1980 - Ski world cup at Hahnenkamm.
On 11 March 1938, the day before the Anschluß, the Schuschnigg government caused either or both of two slogans to be applied to all mail cancelled in several places, including Kitzbühel. The details were left to be arranged locally, so some offices used black machine cancels and others black or violet hand cachets. The wording was the same everywhere:
First slogan: Jeder Österreicher stimmt mit Ja!
Second slogan: Mit Schuschnigg für ein freies Österreich? Ja!
A wide variety of slogans can be found alongside circle and postcode cancellations (as well as the wavy lines!).
Used with type ME cancels from 1956 - 1966.
A cancel identical except that the upper height is 2000m was used with type P1 postcoded cancels from 1966 - 1070; it is also known with the entire date portion inverted.
Used with type P1 cancels from 1970 - 1972; it is also known with the entire date portion inverted.
Used with type P1 cancels from 1973 - 1982.
Used with type P3 cancels from 1984 - 1988 and with type P2 thereafter.
The cachet Kriegs Gefangnis Arbeits Kommando was used to claim free postage on mail sent from a WWI working party of POWs (ie captured soldiers) - typically from the guards to their families.
Red WW1 censor mark, cancelled 29.6.1916
Feldpost cancel 6.6.1917 and "K. k. Standschützenkompagnie Kitzbühel" cachet.
The cachet rotated for easier reading!
These markings are on a card with a picture of Kitzbühel, and the "Von der Armee im Felde" cancel was used when military mail was posted in the civilian post. It is quite possibly posted at Kitzbühel
These markings are on a Feldpostkorrespondenzkarte, and the "Von der Armee im Felde" cancel. It was definitely posted at Kitzbühel, as on the back is handwritten "Kitzb., 17.11.15"!
After WW2 the French occupied Tirol (and Vorarlberg) from about July 1945 until the signing of the State Treaty. They had a Bureau Postal Militaire (Field Post Office) at Kitzbühel until 1952 numbered BPM420B, but each postal sector that fed into it had its own cachet, eg SP50.349. The BPM cancel was a single circle containing "POST AUX ARMEES / * / dd mm / yyyy / 420B" (where 'dd mm yyyy' is the date).
This cover was posted in Kitzbühel to Germany and censored by the French in Innsbruck. On the reverse there is a boxed 7 in violet ink (the censor's personal cachet), as well as another strike of the censor mark. If the oval had contained IKC it would have been censored at Worgl, which was the facility for Kitzbühel and Kufstein from October 1945 till mid-1946; it then transferred to Innsbruck but used IKC-I in a circle.
On 26 November 1951 the 2S40 value of the Costumes series (ANK915) appeared, to provide for the newly-increased postage rate for letters abroad. It shows a girl in a traditional costume of the Kitzbühel area and holding a plate showing a chamois on a background of pine trees and mountains. She wears a black hat trimmed with cord, tassel and ribbons, a bodice tapering to the waist with the sleeves full to the elbow and then tight to the hand. A kerchief is tied at the neck.
When it was decided in the middle of 1948 to introduce a new definitive set of stamps, it was necessary to select a topic which would be not only of general appeal but also representative of the whole of Austria. The final decision was to use an idea which had proved very popular in 1934-36, namely to use the traditional costumes of Austria as the theme. Professor Josef Seger (b.1908), a pupil of Alfred Cossmann, who had studied at the Graphical Teaching and Research Institute in Vienna and then at the Academy of Pictorial Art, was selected as the designer of this set. The Museum of Folk Art in Vienna did the original research for the costumes. It had long been believed that one of his girl students, whose likeness is most apparent on the 50g stamp, posed for Professor Seger's drawings; but it is now known that there was no model, the designs being a purely intellectual creation.
The designs were then engraved by Professor Hans Ranzoni d.J. and the stamps (except the 10S value which was recess printed in sheets of 50) were printed in photogravure at the State Printing Works in sheets of 100, perf 14.25:13.5. It was also decided to sell new stamps, from this set onwards, a few days before they were valid for postage in order to give collectors and dealers the opportunity of preparing first-day covers in time. Thus the first stamps of this set to appear, though valid for postage on lst June 1948, could be purchased on 26th May 1948. As a further encouragement for the collection of FDCs, on 1st June 1948 a special 'Ersttag' cachet was applied officially on all covers posted on the first day of validity. This design of cachet was to remain unaltered until 26th January 1973. During the long life of this issue numerous changes occurred apart from the issuing of extra values and changing of colours as required by the U.P.U. rules. The two main changes were the substitution of a 100-screen for the original 70-screen in the photogravure process, and the use of a thin white paper with white gum (from mid-1958) for some of the values instead of the original greyish paper with yellowish gum.
This is the 'Tag der Briefmarke 1958' stamp (ANK1075) showing the Kitzbühel Post Office and issued on 6 December 1958 as part of the annual sequence of 'Day of the Postage Stamp' issues.
This stamp was designed by Stephan Koller, to depict the post office of Kitzbühel in Tirol, engraved by Georg Wimmer and recess printed by the Austrian State Printing Works in an impression of 980,000 copies (line perforated 13.75). It was available on 3rd December 1958 (FDC 6th). The stamp depicts the post office building, which had been newly built between 1954 and 1956, in a somewhat idealised winter setting. To the left of the building there is now a large office block, and in front of it the main road!
This is the '700th anniversary of Kitzbühel' stamp (ANK1396) issued on 23 August 1971
The 700th anniversary of the foundation of the town of Kitzbühel in Tirol was commemorated with a 2.5 schilling multi-coloured stamp that was available on 18th August 1971 (FDC 23rd). It was designed by Otto Zeiller, to depict the coat-of-arms of Kitzbühel, engraved by Werner Pfeiler and printed, by both recess and photogravure, in an impression of 3.2 million; comb perforated 14. The stamp depicts Kitzbühel's arms created about 1321 (when the first town council was formed) surmounted by a chamois and with another on the shield 'rampant' on three green hills. The history of Kitzbuhel is described here.
The Christmas stamp of 25 November 1983 (ANK1790) shows figures from the Crib of Kitzbühel parish Church by J Giner, 1756-1833.
The 19th value in the sequence of Christmas stamps was a 4 schilling multi-coloured stamp that was available on 10th November 1983 [FDC 25th]. This stamp was designed by Otto Zeiller, to depict figures of Our Lady, the Christ Child and St. Joseph in the crib by Johann Giner the elder [1756-1833] in the Parish Church of Kitzbühel in the Tirol. It was engraved by Maria Laurent and printed in both recess [brownish-black] and photo-gravure [pale brown, Turkish blue, yellow, purple-lilac and gold] in an impression of 5.5 million; comb perforated 13.5 x 13.75. The Parish Church of St. Andreas is believed to have acquired the crib by J. Giner in 1829 and the figures shown on the stamp are only part of a larger number.
The St. Andreas parish church of Kitzbühel possesses a crib made by Johann Giner the Elder (1756-1833), which is one of his most important works. It consists altogether of 32 carved wood figures in bright Empire frames, having glass eyes, with heights ranging up to 50 cm. Five different scenes or 'exhibitions' can be displayed: the birth of Christ with proclamation to the shepherds; the circumcision of Jesus; the adoration of the Magi; the homage paid by the four continents to the name of Jesus; and the presentation of Jesus in the temple.
Very little is known about the purchase of the crib. The purchase of the 'Homage to the name of Jesus' in 1829 is documented but it is possible that the first three scenes had already been acquired by that time. The older church crib featuring dressed figures with wax heads was sold to Kirchdorf in 1833. A crib at the Andreas church is mentioned for the first time in 1651 and new purchases are recorded for 1658 and 1747. The first report of a 'khripl' in Kitzbühel dates back to 1586 but it seems not to refer to Andreas church. It was also not a crib in today's sense, but simply the child Jesus on a resting place in a chest, which was displayed for adoration. In 1591 such a 'khripl' is also mentioned as being owned by the Katharinen church. Regarding the churches of Kitzbühel, the first real Christmas crib with additional figures was to be found in the Katharinen church in 1613.
Kizbühel has a centuries-long continuing tradition of displaying Christmas cribs. This is closely connected with the rich culture of folk plays and the so-called 'Kitzbel Baroque'. During 70 years of passion plays performances, it is known that there were 150 perfomers of Christ, the responsibility for the plays being that of the Rosary fraternity.
Johann Giner der Aeltere (the Elder) 1756-1833, the creator of the figures of the Kitzbel church crib, came from a family of artists, among them fresco painters, barrel painters, sculptors, cutters of ornaments and gilders. He lived in Thaur near Innsbruck (hence the relevance of the Thaur cancel). Giner's father was a peasant and pay-clerk for the regional court of Thaur. It is possible that Johann Giner studied with Urban Klieber in Innsbruck. Despite his extensive sculptural work he remained a peasant all his life.
At first, Johann Giner received commissions for the parish church of his native town but later also for Wattens and Oberndorf on the Salzach. Magnificent picture frames, altar frontals and clock stands are witness to his decorative skills. Giner's work can be placed in the transitional period between Late Baroque and Classicism, in which he represents a 'Naturalistic Realism'. It is due to Giner that the cribs with large dressed figures which had been removed during the Age of Enlightenment were now replaced by cribs with woodcut figures. His figures typically combine a certain gorgeous display with ingenuousness and a cheerful nature which is Tirolian in character. Johann Giner who died on 20 April 1833 in his native village of Thaur is one of the greatest and most popular artists of the crib tradition.
A stamp issued 12 January 1990 (ANK2010) shows the Hahnenkamm mountain next Kitzbühel with the world-famous ski run marked: 1990 was the 50th anniversary of the race. Here is a much larger, clearer and better illustration of the stamp.
The 50th Hahnenkamm ski championships were held at Kitzbühel in January 1990 and these were commemorated by issuing a 5 schilling multicoloured stamp on 3rd January 1990 [FDC 12th]. This stamp was designed by Ferdinand Dorner, to depict a panorama of Kitzbühel in Tirol with the 'Streif' downhill run and the 'Ganslern' slalom run, printed in photogravure only [violet-blue, ochre-yellow, lilac-brown, dark green-blue, red and black] in an impression of 3 million; comb perforated 13.75x 13.75
In 1892, Franz Reisch, an innkeeper (and later mayor) of Kitzbuhel, purchased a pair of 'snow shoes' from Norway, thus starting a glorious epoch for his home town. On 15 December 1902, the Winter Sport Club was founded. The Kitzbuhel Ski Club was founded in 1931. In January 1905, the 1st Tirol Ski Championship took place in Kitzbuhel, followed by the lst Austrian Ski Championship in 1907. It combined downhill and cross-country skiing and, in addition, a jumping competition on the Schattenberg ski-hill. The first pure downhill races with timekeeping also date back to this time. It was the birth of the modern Alpine ski sport. Even the conservative British became addicted to 'downhill only' and, at the end of February 1908, the 1st British Ski Championship was organized in Kitzbühel. However, Alpine skiing did not become popular until the Hahnenkamm cable car started operation in 1929. Now, the 1658m high mountain peak could be easily reached. The downhill run, called 'Streif', which had been newly cut into the forest, led directly back to the valley. Finally, the first Hahnenkamm Ski Race took place on 18 and 19 January 1930.
The 100th birthday of the painter Alfons Walde (1891-1958) was marked by a stamp (ANK2049) showing his painting of 'Kitzbühel in snow'.
This 5 schilling multicoloured stamp was designed by Auguste Böcskör, to reproduce Walde's painting 'Kitzbühel in Winter', engraved by Maria Laurent and printed in both recess [black] and photogravure [light cobalt, yellow, lilac-rose, red-lilac and brown-ochre] in an impression of 2.75 million; comb perforated 13.75 x 13.75. Alfons Walde produced this painting in 1924 for an Innsbruck competition on the general theme of a 'Winter Picture'. This stamp commemmorates the centenary of his birth.
Alfons Walde, the son of a Tirolean art teacher, was born on 8 February 1891 in Oberndorf. His first landscape water colours were created in the technique of Late Impressionism. In 1910, Walde began to study architecture in Vienna, but felt drawn more towards the fine arts. He was influenced by Gustav Klimt and, particularly when painting nudes, by Egon Schiele, though he could not achieve Schiele's expressionistic qualities. After the first world war, Walde settled in Kitzbühel, and painted popular motifs from his homeland: the landscape and the rural population of the high mountains, and also the beginnings of winter sport tourism, skiers, bobsledders and holidaymakers. These latter motifs he also used for numerous advertisement posters he designed for the tourist trade. After the second world war, Walde was mainly active as an architect and designed a number of country houses and hotels. Whilst staying at his sister's house in Kitzbühel he suffered a heart attack and died on 11th December 1958.
Alfons Petzold was born on 24th September 1882 in Vienna. He was the son of Friedrich Petzold, a paper-hanger and upholsterer, and of the latter's wife; Maria Schusters. The boy received his elementary school education in Vienna and Szegedin and tben, at the age of 15 years, entered the grammar school of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Pressbaum. He did quite well at school but when he attempted to obtain a skilled trade he found himself persecuted by the masters and older boys so that he had to earn his living by manual labour which affected his health. The death of his father from haemoptysis caused him to fall ill with pleuritis and the death of his mother in a traffic accident led to a complete breakdown. For a time Alfons Petzold lived in doss-houses and in the sewers but was rescued from this existence by a friend, Ludwig Ruppmeier, who helped him back into a normal life. However in 1908 he succumbed himself to haemoptysis and almost died from this illness. As a boy Alfons Petzold had been encouraged by his mother to study German literature and poetry and he had written libretti for the Vienna stage. Now he combined his experiences as a worker and a socialist with his poetry and his poems were brought to the notice of Lady Mühlwerth-Gärtner and the actor Ferdinand Gregori. He was sent to a T.B. nursing home at Alland where he met his first wife Johanna Kraml in 1911. When she died in 1914 he married Hedwig Gamillscheg with whom he lived in Kitzbühel. His poems were published as 'Strange Music' (1909), 'Trotz alledem' (1911) and 'Der Stahlerne Schrei' (1916). Of his five autobiographic novels the most important was 'Das rauhe Leben' (1920) and he also wrote sketches and short stories. Alfons Petzold died on 26th January 1923 at Kitzbühel. Here is the FDC with a Kitzbühel cancellation.
This cover was carried on the 12th balloon flight, which took off from Kufstein and landed at Kitzbühel on the 24th August 1972.
This letter was sent from Hallein in Salzkammergut to Kitzbühel. Inside is the date 12 Feb 1873 which disagrees with the cancellation of the 9th, but as the writing is different it is presumably a filing record of its arrival. As an official letter, it travelled free. The backstamps record its progress via Salzburg and Worgl
This letter was sent from Kitzbühel on 9 August 1912 to a Miss Gossner, from a farming community, who had evidently applied for a job. The text is: "Sehr geehrtes Fräulein! Mit Beziehung auf Ihr geschätztes Schreiben vom 8.d.m. teile ich Ihnen in sofortiger Erwiederung desselben mit, dass bei mir gegenwärtig eine Schreibstelle nicht zur Besetzung gelangt; ich verfüge über bewährte Kräfte, von denen mir bisher nicht bekannt ist, dass sie Ihre Stellungen bei mir wechseln wollen. Dieses zur geehrten Kenntnisnahme." which I translate as "Dear Miss [Gossner], with reference to your valued letter dated the 8th of this month, I inform you in immediate reply to the same, that I do not at present have any job vacancies; I [already?] have reliable staff, from which I do not see how I can change your employment status. You are honoured that I have read your letter. Your most humble and obedient servant". His staff weren't all that reliable - the letter has two overtyped and two manuscript corrections to the typing, as well as several Austrianisms and miss-spellings!
This postcard was sent from the military hospital in Kitzbühel to somewhere in Steiermark. The picture is a photo of a man (presumably the sender) wearing military uniform with no badges or insignia; both his hands are bandaged and he is wearing carpet slippers. The card has the pencil date 14/12/1915, a KuK Not-Reserve-Spital * Kitzbühel cachet and a boxed Militärpflege Portofrei instead of a cancelled stamp.
This postcard with Kitzbühel cancels and a 10 heller Notgeld has cachets from two local huts; the ski club; and the mountain rescue! There is a standard Chamois cancel dated 15/3/1954 on the 5g stamp, but there was no such rate at that date (even Inland Printed Matter was 30g) and it can only have been applied to obtain the cancellation. I'd suspect it's a fundraising, or even a fun, item.
(See APS Library List for additional details)
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©Andy Taylor. Last updated 5 Jan 2014