The 1925-34 Postage Due Issue

With the influx of 650 million gold crowns from the League of Nations to stabilize the currency, and with a 1000-to-1 revaluation, a new currency namely the Schilling and Groschen was introduced on 1 Jan 1925. Due to the late printing of the postage due stamps there was a period of 92 days when the old stamps were used at the revalued rate. A series of 27 postage due stamps in Schilling currency was issued from 1 June 1925 with additional odd values up to June 1934. The Kronen postage dues were withdrawn on 1st June 1925, and from that day onwards only the new postage dues were used. They mostly remained valid for use until the introduction of the set of 1st June 1935.

ANKFaceColourIssuedValid tillNumber
(second printing)9.193231.12.1935


The stamps are introduced and described in the same decree (PTVOB 1925/32 I99) as the new definitives. The postage dues are a rectangular shape; the printed area of which is 22mm wide and 16mm high. The stamps were designed by Erika Giovanna Klein, whose name is on the bottom margin. The groschen values are divided diagonally from the bottom left to the top right, the bottom half of which is divided by rays which go from the left corner into three fields in the form of wedges. The bottom field is fully printed, the middle one is strongly shaded and the top one is delicately shaded, so that the stamp colour appears in three different gradations of tone. The schilling values are divided horizontally into two fields; the bottom field shows, in three horizontal stripes, the same gradations of tone as the groschen values.

With all the values, the numeral of value is placed in strongly coloured writing on a white ground, so that it takes up about ¾ of the height of the stamp. The stamps have "ÖSTERREICH" on the top margin in block capitals, and underneath it "GROSCHEN" or "SCHILLING". All are printed by typography in sheets of 150 stamps on white paper. The groschen values with one digit are printed in red, those with two digits in blue; the 1g to 8g values have the word "GROSCHEN" in a larger lettering than do the 10g to 60g values. The schilling values are in green. All have a 1½mm broad imprinted paper margin and are comb perf 12.

During the decade of validity of this postage due stamp issue, several values were added (as tabulated above) to deal with the steady rise in inland and foreign postage rates. The 10g value is known bisected on cover from the town of Stainz in Carinthia. Forgeries of the 24g and 39g values are known used at Andritz (the XII district of Graz), from April to October 1933. Mixed frankings with the 1922 Postage Due Set are also known. Imperforate specimens are known for many of the values.


Specimens of these postage dues are common enough on covers, and on forms retained by the public. However, while the Schilling-groschen stamps were also used for Post Office internal accounting, examples still on the forms are very rare. This is caused by the practice of "Skarting". Internal forms were retained for prescribed periods, eg the end of the year after the year of use. Then they were sent for clipping, sometimes by convicts, where the stamps were cut off and bagged for sale to dealers and the paper sent for recycling. This also explains why the relative numbers of loose stamps on the market bears little relation to the numbers observed on covers.


Underfranked heavy cover Salzburg to Wien 23.1.1926.
The rates at that date were 15 groschen up to 20 grams, 17 groschen up to 40 grams, etc.
Taxed at 8 groschen, the smallest collectable amount, for a 2 groschen price increase for the extra weight

Inland letter, posted unpaid (to a lawyer!) in 1932. Rate was 24g. Large blue underlined T in crayon indicates a charge.
Dues charged at double the deficiency, minimum of 12g so 48g was applied.
The handwritten "eigenhändig" means "only to be opened by"; the lawyer's reaction is unrecorded

Very late use of the 1925 dues in November 1935 - the 1935 issue had appeared on June 1, 1935. Franked 1½d and cancelled at the House of Commons, London, GB. While 1½d is the rate for the British Empire, Austria is Foreign (and no longer an Empire) and the rate is 2½d, so it's 1d underpaid. The postage due is twice the deficiency ie 2d. The T mark would have been added in London (confirmed by the L below the T) and as it is foreign mail the charge is stated in French centimes not English pence. When received in Austria they would have converted the charge to groschen and applied the postage due stamps. The post mark indicates that the letter was posted at the House of Commons; it could have been sent by an MP, a member of staff at the House, or just someone visiting and wanting to get the cancellation.

Postcard; cancel date unreadable but "16-10-25" in text.
Rate was 8gro; franked 7gro so 1gro under. Charge is double deficiency but minimum of 8gro.

Posted unfranked 1-12-1932. Inland letter is 24 gro so charged 48.

Official mail; recipient pays but at a discount rate of 14gro instead of 15gro.
The lower item is certified as a Rückscheine which also qualifies for the discount - hence total charge is 28 gro.