The history of postage stamps from Austria

The history of postage stamps from Austria is a fascinating account of the political and cultural changes the country has undergone. Here you will find a chronological overview of the most important moments and developments in Austrian stamp history:

Early Period (1850-1867)

  • 1850: Austria introduces its first stamps on June 1, 1850. This series contains values ​​of 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 and 12 Kreuzer and shows the coat of arms of the Austrian Empire. These stamps are imperforate.
  • 1858: Austria’s first serrated stamps are issued, with denominations of 2, 3, 5, 10 and 15 Kreuzer, and again the coat of arms of the empire.

Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (1867-1918)

  • 1867: After the Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich of 1867, which created the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, new stamps are issued. These stamps feature the portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph I and are available in both Austrian and Hungarian currencies.
  • 1899: Special commemorative stamps are issued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reign of Franz Joseph I.

World War I and the First Republic (1914-1938)

  • 1914-1918: Various military and field stamps are issued during the First World War. The devaluation of the currency and inflation lead to the issuance of stamps with higher values.
  • 1918: After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the establishment of the First Austrian Republic, new stamps are issued depicting landscapes, buildings and famous Austrian figures.
  • 1922: Austria’s first airmail stamps are introduced, depicting aircraft and aviation-related themes.

Anschluss and World War II (1938-1945)

  • 1938: After the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, Austrian stamps are replaced by those of the Third Reich.
  • 1945: After the liberation of Austria at the end of World War II, stamps are issued by the Allied occupation zones (the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union).

Second Republic (1945–present)

  • 1945: The Second Austrian Republic is founded and new stamps are issued. These stamps often depict themes of reconstruction, peace and neutrality.
  • 1955: Special stamps are issued on the occasion of the Treaty of Austria, which restores full sovereignty.
  • 1960s–present: Austria continues to issue a wide range of thematic stamps, including stamps celebrating national and international events, culture, sports and science.
  • 2002: Austria introduces the euro and starts issuing stamps in euro cents instead of Austrian schillings.

Important Features of Austrian Postage Stamps

  • Imperial Images: Many postage stamps from the early period and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy show portraits of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth (Sisi).
  • Commemorative issues: Austria has a long tradition of commemorative stamps celebrating important national and international events, people and anniversaries.
  • Thematic Diversity: Modern Austrian stamps cover a wide range of themes, such as art, culture, nature, sports and science.
  • Innovation and Technology: Austrian stamps use modern printing techniques and innovative designs, such as personalized stamps and digital printing technology.


The history of Austrian postage stamps provides a rich and detailed insight into the country’s political, social and cultural evolution. From the first issue in 1850 to today’s modern, thematic issues, Austrian stamps reflect the changes and continuities in Austria’s national identity and cultural heritage. For philatelists, Austrian stamps are a fascinating collection