The Airmail Set of 1922-24

ANKFaceColourIssuedFirst use*DesignNumber**

* 'First use' date is the earliest recorded air mail.
**ANK states that only 60,000 sets were sold. Sobetsky records that the sale of this series at the Vienna collectors' counter ceased on 12th March 1926, by when only 80,500 sets out of the whole issue had been sold. The quantity sold individually is unclear. The residue, being in the old currency, was presumably recycled.

Two designs were employed for this set, both produced by Professor Wilhelm Dachauer. The four lower values depicting a hawk or falcon were produced by typography and comb perforated 12½. There are two varieties known with the 600Kr value; firstly it is known with double perforations, and secondly, on the 41st stamp in the sheet, a 'cloud' may be seen in the line background at left above the falcon's wing due to a retouching of the printing plate. This only occurs in the later part of the printing. The four higher values depict the Austrian aviation pioneer, Wilhelm Kress. The design was engraved by Prof. Ferdinand Schirnböck and the stamps printed by copper recess process with line perforations 12½.

There exist imperforate "printing pieces" of the complete series in an issue of four sheets (400 pieces), as well as perforated "printing pieces" with sheet edging (the stamps sold over the counter had had the sheet edging removed). In addition, the Post Office had ordered "proof pieces" in various colours, of the 50Kr 4 different; of the 100Kr, 3 different; of the 300Kr 2 different; and of the 1200Kr 4 different colours.

The airmail surcharge could be paid with these stamps or with definitive or charity stamps; however the surface charges could only be paid with definitive or charity stamps. Exceptionally, "first flight" covers could have all charges paid with air mail stamps. This being Austria, examples are known that do not conform to the rules. These stamps were valid until 31 August 1925.