Austrian revenue adhesives

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The payment of tax was shown by an adhesive stamp, or alternatively by an imprinted device. These imprints come in a large number of designs and values, but they are obviously not an adhesive stamp! An example from a document of 1841 is shown for interest.

The general revenue issues of Austria

The original illustrations were printed on paper similar in colour to the stamps, which doesn't help in seeing them. The higher values of each issue are usually even bigger and more ornate than the lower values.

For fuller details, more illustrations, and a perhaps tentative guide to prices consult a suitable catalogue, such as that produced by Barefoot or Erler. For information on the production of revenue stamps, and the underlying politics, there is no substitute for Dr Stephan Koczynski’s definitive History of Austrian Revenue Stamps, despite it being written in bureaucratic Austrian. Adhesives with similar designs but different denominations can be from Lombardy-Venetia; if the value-in-words is in Hungarian (eg NÉGY KRAJCZÁR) then the stamp will be from the Kingdom of Hungary.

The first issue, in Conventions Money, of 1 Nov 1854. To enhance the security, the background is an imprint of a natural leaf (apparently from a Linden tree) whose veins and sub-veins form a distinctive and delicate tracery.
The design of each denomination is different. There are 21 denominations: 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 15, 30, 45kr and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 fl.
There are numerous variations in paper colour, paper thickness, perforations etc.

The second issue, in Austrian-money, 1 November 1858.
Various papers, various perfs, some values typo some engraved some both!
There were 23 denominations: ½, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 15, 25, 30, 50, 60, 72, 75kr and 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20 fl.

The third 'legend' issue of 1866.
28 denominations: ½, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 15, 25, 30, 36, 50, 60, 72, 75, 90 kr and 1, 2, 2½, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20 fl.
The 2kr illustrated is unusually badly perforated!

In March 1866 a new issue appeared, with the same designs as the 1866 issue except that the 2kr - 90kr have the value in words in an arc under the centre.

The fourth issue of 1 March 1870.
Same designs as 1866 issue; the 2kr - 90kr have the value in words.

The 1875 and 1877 issues.
A new issue of 28 denominations appeared on 1 Jan 1875, with the Emperor's head on a vertical rectangular stamp; the 1877 issue (illustrated) was exactly the same except that the colours were changed and the year changed at the bottom.

Three low values of the set of 28 issued in 1879. Similar sets were issued dated 1881, 1883, 1885, 1888 and 1893; the colours changed year by year but they can readily be identified by the year at the bottom. The ˝ kr and 12 fl values are particularly scarce.

The 1898 issue, of 35 denominations in heller-Kronen currency. The 1910 issue is identical apart from the date.

Warning! The design is printed on both sides of the paper; if you soak these stamps off a document they will fall to pieces.

First Republic Issues

In 1919, 20 values of the 1910 issue were diagonally overprinted with Deutschösterreich.

On 25 November 1920 a new design appeared, with a single-headed republican eagle; there are 14 values. As inflation took hold, higher values appeared: 3 values in each of 1922, 1923 & 1924.

At the introduction of Schilling-groschen currency in 1925, the same design was reused for 16 stamps with the values altered.

In 1934 the arrival of Dolfuss brought the same design but with a double-headed eagle; 17 values.

Second Republic Issues

In October 1945, 7 values of the 1925 design were issued; the (unstated) currency was Reichmarks. October 1946 saw 8 values in Schilling-groschen currency; the 1947 revaluation required 12 values in new colours; in 1948 and 1950, 8 and 16 stamps appeared with the year at the bottom and ever-changing colours.

July 1955 produced a new design with improved security features; 18 values. In 1956, 1957, 1965 and 1976 the same basic design was reused with changed colours and a range of values.

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©APS. Last updated 19 Oct 2016