Liechtenstein Collectors' Stamps
One of the world's smallest countries, the principality of Liechtenstein survives today as a reminder of what Europe was like in the days of city-states. It offers a fascinating look at what the continent would be like if it never underwent a period of intense nationalization in the 19th century. In addition to being attractive in their own right, the stamps of Liechtenstein serve as an interesting window into this alternate history.
Today, Liechtenstein is known among philatelists for its well-made issues, many of which have been created in collaboration with leading international artists and designers. As a result, some rare Liechtenstein stamps are highly sought after, with notable issues fetching high prices from collectors in Austria, Switzerland and around the world.
With a population of just 37,000, tiny, landlocked Liechtenstein commands an outsize influence on the world financial stage, in part because of its high GDP and favorable banking laws. The country's history as an independent state dates as far back as 1140, with the founding of the Liechtenstein Dynasty. In 1719, the territories of Vaduz and Schellenberg, owned by the dynasty, were formally afforded the status of principality in the Holy Roman Empire. Following the collapse of the Empire, the state was annexed into the Confederacy of Germany in 1808. In 1866, it was granted independence.
Today, Liechtenstein is the second-richest country in the world, has one of the lowest unemployment rates and is an internationally known destination for winter sports. The state and its citizens retain strong ties to their larger neighbors Switzerland and Austria, and the country uses the Swiss franc as its official currency.
Liechtenstein's Postage System
Liechtenstein began issuing stamps in 1912. These issues were initially printed in neighboring Austria. Following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the country's postal system became fully independent, while still retaining some formal ties to Switzerland.
To this date, Liechtenstein produces both definitive and commemorative stamps, many of which are highly prized by collectors. The country's history and Royal family are popular topics. Many of the most prized and rare Liechtenstein stamps compensate for these rather prosaic subjects with an emphasis on lush, striking designs.
Switzerland, Germany and Austria are all popular areas of philatelic specialization. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the market for rare Liechtenstein stamps is strong. The country is also easily complete-able, particularly if one focuses on the postwar period.
Rare Liechtenstein Stamps
Liechtenstein’s postal system has issued many notable stamps in its more than a century of operation. Some of the most collectible Liechtenstein stamps for sale on the open market include:
- 1925 Prince Johann II: In 1925, the young Liechtenstein postal system issued its first commemorative stamps, marking the 85th birthday of Prince Johann II.
- 1928 "Railroad Bridge Demolished by Flood": Another early commemorative, this attractive stamp was produced to raise money in support of victims of that year's flooding of the Rhine.
- 1930 "Airplane over Rhine Valley": Liechtenstein's first airmail issue, this is another great example of the attention to detail and design paid by the country's stamp designers.
While the period between 1921 and 1960 is considered the classic era of Liechtenstein philately, more recent issues have done an admirable job of carrying the country's traditions into the 21st century.
Shop for Rare Liechtenstein Stamps at Apfelbaum, Inc.
Apfelbaum, Inc. has more than 100 years of experience buying and selling rare stamps. In fact, our origins go back to 1910, two years before Liechtenstein's postal system was established. If you're a collector with an interest in the principalities of Central Europe, you'll want to check out our inventory of rare Liechtenstein stamps for sale. We offer several convenient ways to shop, including our buy-it-now sales. Looking for something in particular? Contact our office directly for assistance from our team of experts.