The Definitive Set of 1925-1927

When the new designs of the 1925 definitive set were being produced the artists were not certain about the name of the currency and included in the design submisssions values in "Kronen", "Stuber", and "Schilling". Officially, "the date of issue of this set, 1 June 1925, was deliberately chosen to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the issuing of the first stamps of Austria." PTVOB 12 of 14 Feb 1925 hints at other reasons: "their distribution by 1 March is not possible on technical grounds, and the residue of Kronen stamps has to be used up".

Post- und Telegraphen- Verordnungsblatt No. 32 dated 8th May 1925 contains decree I.99 which introduces the new Schilling-currency postage- and postage-due-stamps and withdraws the Kronen issues. It states:

1 On 1 June 1925 new postage stamps with the value description in the schilling currency are to be issued:
(a) definitives of 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20, 24, 30, 40, 45, 50, 80 groschen and 1 and 2 schilling [the 4g was not issued unti1 June 1927].
(b) dues of 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 23, 30, 40, 60 groschen and 1 schilling. [Other values were added later]
The new stamps are described in the appendix.

2 The post offices, postablage and country letter carriers may from 1 June of this year sell only the new postage stamps in the schilling currency; the retailers of postage stamps are to be issued only with the new stamps from that day onwards.

3 (a) The postage stamps in the Kronen currency at present in use remain valid for the franking of mail for home and abroad until 30 June 1925 inclusive. They become invalid on 1 July 1925. They are only to be treated as valid for postal use up to 30 September 1925 if they are stuck on to officially issued postcards and letter cards for supplementing the postal tariff.
(b) in the period from 1 July to 30 September 1925, the postage stamps in the Kronen currency remaining in the hands of the public may be exchanged without charge at any post office against new postage stamps of the schilling currency of the same total value.

4 The current postage dues in the Kronen currency will be withdrawn on 1st June 1925. From this day onwards only the new postage dues in the schilling currency are to be used.

5 Post offices shall on 31 May send their remaining stock of Kronen postage stamps and postage dues to the postal distribution centres by 15 June; they shall return them to the Postal Stock Warehouse by 10 July.

6 New airmail stamps in the schilling currency will be issued later.

7 With regard to the issue of new postcards and letter cards in schilling currency, paragraph 9 of decree 31 in PTVOB 12/1925 applies.

Appendix: official description of the new schilling-groschen postage stamps.

1. The postage stamp series shows four stamp designs: the lowest values a number, then allegorical representations of the plains, the high mountains and the city.
(a). The 1 to 8 groschen values show the value number as the dominating motif, white on a dark background, interwoven in the centre of one of its ribs. On both sides of the number are vertically running white strokes, strongest on the inner margin and gradated finer towards the outside. The inscription "Österreich" is on the upper margin of the stamp and below is "Groschen". These inscriptions are in white on dark backgrounds in strong German lettering with Gothic characters. The space between the numeral and the word "Groschen" as well as the gaps to the two sides are filled with a white, netlike, line-ornamentation, which is arranged differently for the straight and the curved numerals.
(b). The 10 to 18 groschen stamps show as a symbol of the plains a group of sheaves of corn with a telegraph line in the background. The value numeral is in the upper right corner of the stamp with the description "g" in coloured letters.
(c). The 20 to 80 groschen show as a symbol of the high mountains an eagle sitting on a rock, the background of this view being closed by a high mountain chain. The value numeral is as for the 10-18g.
(d). The 1 and 2 schilling stamps show a bird's eye view of an idealised city, into which is inserted some of the principal buildings of Vienna. (The most prominent is the "Minorite" Church.) On the upper margin of the stamp is placed the value numeral and the description "Schilling".

With all the postage stamps described under (b) to (d), the stamp design is bounded above and below by a horizontal hatching, which appears at its most dense at the outer margin and then gradates steadily towards the inside. There is a boundary at the two side margins; the stamp design here often goes over into the white paper margin. All these stamps have on the hatching of the lower stamp margin the inscription "Österreich" in coloured cursive writing.
The postage stamps of the groschen values are to be produced in sheets of 150 pieces by means of typography, the schilling values in sheets of 100 pieces by means of copper recess printing.
The printed surface with the groschen values is 21mm high and 16.5mm wide, with the schilling values 26mm high and 21mm wide. All the postage stamps have an unprinted paper margin 1.5mm wide and are perforated: the groschen values comb 12, the schilling values line 12˝.
The postage stamps mentioned under (a) were designed by Franz Retzl; the designs for all the other stamps are by the academic painter Fritz Zerritsch. The name of the artist is placed on the lower margin of each stamp. The 1S and 2S stamps are to be printed on paper lightly toned with the same colour as the stamp.

List and comments

Oddities are found: imperf all round, imperf-between horizontally and vertically, unissued colours, unissued values. Printing faults: assorted plate errors, abnormal papers and gums, offprints, etc. The 1 and 2 Schilling stamps come in tall and wide formats. The 1S stamp is (very rarely) found in a yellow-green colour and unsharp printing.
The uprating of Kronen postal stationery by added Kronen adhesives was permitted until 30 September 1925, and equally valid if done by a postal clerk or by a private individual. Similarly anybody could uprate Kronen postal stationery by using groschen stamps, until 1 July 1926 when the Kronen cards were finally withdrawn.

The catalogues describe the colours and papers of the 1S and 2S stamps differently

The schilling values can be found in rather more than the range of colours listed in the catalogues!

ANKFaceColour(s)IssuedValid tillNumber
4482glight red-violet1.6.192531.12.1935288,750,000
4504glight blue8.7.192731.12.193550,899,700
4537gdark brown1.6.192531.12.193538,122,000
45510gochre1.6.192531.12 1930279,952,000
45615gdark red-violet1.6.192531.12 1930558,690,000
45716gindigo1.6.192531.12 1930131,820,000
45818gdark olive green1.6.192531.12 193020,194,500
45920gdeep violet1.6.192531.1.193033,847,350
46024gdark carmine1.6.192531.12 193018,565,500
46130gsepia1.6.192531.12 1930106,114,500
46240gultramarine1.6.192531.12 193045,552,000
46345glight brown1.6.192531.1.193030,077,500
4661Schlight, medium & dark green1.6.192531.12 193011,291,000
4672Schred-violet, dark red-violet1.6.192531.12 19301,594,000

Validity of Schilling-groschen stamps

Some of the 'charity' issues had short validity periods; see their individual descriptions. With the exception of the three Dolfuss stamps, all other Schilling-groschen stamps remained valid until 31 October 1938, when under the Anschluss changes all remaining Austrian stamps finally became invalid for franking, though private individuals could if they dared exchange them for German ones at Post Offices until 31 December 1938.