The Musicians Set of 1922

During the disheartening period after the First World War the Austrian Post Office started to issue sets of Charity stamps to raise funds for categories of needy persons. These stamps usually consisted of a beautiful portrait or view contained in an elaborately designed decorative frame; a tradition which started in 1908 and which continued into the Second Republic. The first of these sets appeared on 24 April 1922 and depicted seven famous Austrian composers. (OK, Beethoven was born in Bonn and Mozart in the then independent country of Salzburg.)

4182½KrBrownJosef Haydn (1732 - 1809)480,000
4195KrIndigoWolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 -1791)530,000
4207½KrblackLudwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)520,000
42110KrpurpleFranz Schubert (1797 - 1828)530,000
42225KrgreenAnton Bruckner (1825 - 1896)520,000
42350KrlakeJohann Strauss the Son (1825 - 1894)480,000
424100KroliveHugo Wolf (1860 - 1903)480,000

The set was designed by Dr Rudolf Junk; the dies for the printing of these stamps were engraved by Professor Ferdinand Schirnbock; and the stamps were printed by recess process at the Austrian State Printing Works, Vienna, on normal recess printing paper. However, a hundred sets were also printed on Japan paper, and presented in a special folder, signed by the artist, to highly placed officials. The stamps were line perforated 12½ and these are the stamps normally encountered. All the values, except the 5Kr and the 50Kr, also exist with a line perforation 11½, the 7½Kr being especially rare in this perforation. (And imperf stamps are found.) The stamps were sold, only at selected Post Offices, at ten times their face value, in aid of a fund for indigent Austrian musicians. They were useable anywhere for inland and foreign mail, and valid for postal use for about a month, until 22 May 1922.

This complete set (40kr overfranked) was sent on 13 May 1922 from Major Rudolf Wadty / Wien IV / Fleischmanngasse 1 to Hochwohlgeboren / Herrn Landesregierungs-Rat / Sigmund Freiherr von Gussich / Wien I / Stoß im Himmel 3.

Presentation folder

The next illustrations show the "presentation folder", where the stamps are displayed behind cutout windows in a sheet of heavy 'Japan' paper which is signed by the designer Dr Rudolph Junk and the engraver Ferdinand Schirnbock. There were 100 folders issued; this is nr 39. The stamps are printed on heavy Japan paper, and numbered; this illustration shows the stamps themselves (with the presentation folder folded back)


The folder, with the signatures of Dr Rudolph Junk (designer) and Ferdinand Schirnbock (engraver). It is 230mm square.

The outer cover of the folder is printed in dark grey on shades of black. This is almost impossible to reproduce legibly, so here is a false-colour version.