Rare Stamps From Austria: A Perfect Piece of History

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Austria has found itself at the center of some of the most significant events in European history. And it’s no surprise that the country’s philatelic history is among the most rich in the world, one that inspires passionate devotion from collectors of all levels. From the Austrian Empire to the establishment of the Second Republic following World War II and beyond, the country has produced many attractive, rare and highly collectable stamps.

Stamps of the Empire

At its peak, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was the second largest territory in Europe, comprising parts of what today makes up Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Ukraine, the Balkan states and several other countries.

Starting in 1850, the Empire began producing stamps to cover this vast expanse. These stamps, which were initially printed on handmade paper and featured the House of Habsburg’s famous Coat of Arms, were produced up until the Empire’s dissolution at the end of the First World War. Among the most famous is the Red Mercury, used for mailing newspapers and today valued at up to $40,000.

Republic and Occupation

The period between the end of the First and Second World War was one of turmoil for Austria. Hyperinflation in the 20’s necessitated the printing of larger denomination stamps. During its occupation, first by Germany and later by Allied forces, Austria variously used German, Soviet and US-printed stamps.

Today, these unique issues vary in value considerably. Many were widely printed and can be found for a relatively inexpensive sum — others are rarer and more highly sought-after. Whether you’re a war historian or a stamp collector looking for something interesting to specialize in, this era of European philately is a fascinating one. It’s a great place to begin any collection of Austrian stamps.

Austrian Stamps Today

Following the establishment of the Second Republic in late 1945, Austria has reliably produced stamps both for common use and for collectors. The country has also reprinted some of its more noteworthy 19th century stamps, which are a great way to complete collections on a budget. One interesting facet of Austrian philately is the degree of specialization among collections — stamps are frequently listed by paper variety, type and thickness down to the micrometer.

Whatever era of Austrian philatelic history you are interested in, Apfelbaum, Inc. has plenty of stamps for sale that can help you complete even the most detailed collection. Check out our online Stamp Store, Buy It Now Sales and regular public auctions to see what we have for sale today.