Time to look at Austrian stamps for 2021. I like this time of year; many post offices announce coming year’s stamp.
I’m experimenting with creating lists of upcoming releases that can be updated with photos and details throughout the year. I haven’t settled on a format, hence the varying styles in the previous articles on coming Canadian, USA and Australian stamps. I’m leaning towards the layout on this article because it’s clean and easy to update. Sometime in January, I’ll create a new index titled – Year Issues – 2021 and link to all the various pages. Not sure how many I’ll manage to setup, it’s not easy finding the info and translating some of the details. It can be a bit of a slog.
Today’s offering, as you can see by the title is Austria 2021. When possible, I’ll include extra information about the stamps and captures of the day of issue cancels. Although the topics and titles have been released, many of the designs have not been. Bookmark the page if you are interested in Austrian stamps and come back each month to see updated details.
Please note I’m depending on Google Translate so some of the English translations may not be 100% correct. If you find an error in my translations, please post a comment and I’ll correct it. Your help would be appreciated in ensuring accuracy.
Austrian stamps for 2021 Jan to March
8 stamps will be released by Österreichischen Post covering topics ranging from architects, cars, trains, and art.
This stamp celebrates the life of Schütte-Lihotzky, the first woman to work successfully as an architect in Austria. Her ground-breaking Frankfurt kitchen designed rationalised kitchens to make them more efficient.
Release date Jan 20, 2021. Designer David Gruber.
All of us benefiting from a modern, well designed kitchen should thank Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. Schütte-Lihotzky was the architect behind what became known as the Frankfurt Kitchen, the forerunner to modern kitchen designs. She was an extraordinary person that would take far too long to write about in this short space. You can read more about here Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky – Wikipedia
Gräf & Stift Pullman car
Gräf & Stift FIRST DAY CANCEL
Gräf & Stift SP 8 Pullman
Release date Jan 20, 2021. Designer David Gruber.
This little stamp will appeal to collectors of automobiles, especially classic, prewar ones. Also designed by David Gruber, the 1930 Pullman car stamp will be issued the same day as the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky stamp. The First Day cancel will be worth getting on its own.
WESTbahn – railways
Special Cancel for WESTbahn Triebzug
WESTbahn | railways
Release date Feb. 11, 2021 Designers Peter Sinawehl and Kirsten Lubach.
Theseus mit den Töchtern des Minos
Benedetto Gennari, (October 19, 1633 – December 9, 1715), Italian painter
Theseus mit den Töchtern des Minos | Theseus with the two daughters of Minos, painted 1702. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Release date Feb. 11, 2021 Designer Kirsten Lubach
Spring flowers – Kamelie | Camelias
Release date Mar 5, 2021
Freimarken 1899 / Postage stamps from 1899
Release date Mar 5, 2021
Adriana Czernin – Ohne Titel, 2004 | Artist Czernin – untitled work
Release date Mar 5, 2021
Adam und EvaMillstätter Fastentuch,
Adam und Eva | Millstätter fasting cloth Adam and Eve
Release date Mar 5, 2021
Austria April 2021 releases
50 Jahre STAUD´S Wien |50 Years of STAUD’s Vienna –
Murbodner Tracht – Not sure but a search pointed to a hardy cow
Austria May 2021 releases
Europa – wolf | Europa wildlife – wolf
Josef Pillhofer – Badende, 1981 | Josef Pillhofer – Bathing, 1981
Gigant 600 | Giant 600
250 Jahre Wiener Börse | 250 Years of the Vienna stock exchange
I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer up stamps for Beethoven’s birthday. As expected, Germany and Austria both issued special stamps commemorating the event.
Germany’s 250th Beethoven birthday stamp
Beethoven was born in Bonn 250 years ago so it’s not surprising Germany issued more than a stamp to celebrate the day.
Stamp designed by Thomas Steinacker of Bonn
Wer kennt sie nicht, die Mondscheinsonate, das Klavierstück Für Elise, die 5. Sinfonie, die auch Schicksalssinfonie genannt wird, und die 9. Sinfonie, deren letzter Satz die Grundlage der Europahymne bildet. Alle vier Musikstücke stammen von Ludwig van Beethoven, der als einer der berühmtesten und meistgespielten Komponisten aller Zeiten gilt. Mit seinem Werk hat er die Wiener Klassik zur höchsten Entwicklung geführt und der Musik der Romantik den Weg bereitet. Seine Schöpfungen zählen zum kulturellen Erbe der Menschheit und seine handschriftliche Aufzeichnung der 9. Sinfonie ist Bestandteil des Weltdokumentenerbes der UNESCO.
Ludwig van Beethoven (getauft 1770, gestorben 1827) war der Spross einer musikalischen Familie und ein klavierspielendes Wunderkind. Er lebte und wirkte zunächst in Bonn, danach bis zu seinem Lebensende in Wien. Er hat, trotz seiner Ertaubung, ein umfangreiches musikalisches Werk hinterlassen. Aus dem beeindruckenden Gesamtwerk ragen vor allem die neun Sinfonien, die fünf Klavierkonzerte und 32 Klaviersonaten sowie eine Vielzahl kammermusikalischer Werke heraus.
Who doesn’t know the Moonlight Sonata, piano piece For Elise, the 5th Symphony, also called the Symphony of Destiny, and the 9th Symphony, the last movement of which forms the basis for the European anthem? All four pieces of music are by Ludwig van Beethoven, who is considered one of the most famous and most played composers of all time. With his works, he led Viennese classical music to the highest development and paved the way for the music of Romanticism. His creations are part of the cultural heritage of mankind and his handwritten 9th Symphony is part of UNESCO’s World Documentary Heritage.
Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 1770, died 1827) was born to a musical family and was piano prodigy. He lived and worked first in Bonn, then, until the end of his life, in Vienna. Despite his deafness, he left behind an extensive musical work. The nine symphonies, five piano concertos and 32 piano sonatas as well as a variety of chamber music works are stand outs in his impressive complete works. 250. Geburtstag Ludwig van Beethoven, Briefmarke zu 0,80 €, 10er-Bogen | Shop Deutsche Post
The souvenir sheet is attractive and displays the design better than the single stamp. It hides a mildly irritating design element. The top of the stamp spills off the edge, creating a bit of an unbalanced look by making it appear improperly cropped. it’s a jarring feature that doesn’t sit well with the stamp collector in me. The lack of top margin works on the full sheet though. I haven’t quite figured out why, but I suspect the stamp was designed with a sheet in mind. The lack of white margin on the top helps the eye run down the full sheet. Without the top margin, the stamps space out better.
Souvenir sheet for Beethoven’s 250th birthday
Maxi card celebrating Beethoven’s birthday
Beethoven’s 250th on a postcard
Austria’s Beethoven birthday offerings
Not to be outdone, Österreichische Post also issued a stamp for the occasion.
Austrian Post’s offering
Die Österreichische Post ehrt den 250. Geburtstag des großen Komponisten mit einer mit Folienprägung veredelten Sondermarke, die sein bekanntes Porträt von Joseph Karl Stieler zeigt.
During his entire life, Ludwig van Beethoven had close ties to Vienna, the city of music, even though he was originally from Bonn. 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of his birthday. Österreichische Post celebrates this occasion by issuing a commemorative stamp dedicated to this genius of music. This stamp features a detail from the well-known portrait of the artist by Joseph Karl Stieler from 1820 along with Beethoven’s signature in silver foil embossing. Post AG
Of the two, I prefer this one. The colours stand out and with the addition of the foil embossing, the overall design has a stronger visual appeal. Combined with balanced margins, this is stamp with a better overall look. Designer Karin Klier did an outstanding job on this issue. Klier is with the design firm Bureau Cooper. I know Cooper has designed several stamps for Austria Post since 2010, but unfortunately, their website isn’t the most informative. You can take a look at previous stamps here Bureau Cooper | Österreichische Post.
Austrian cover by Cooper Design
Österreichische Post |Austrian Post Maxi-card
Impressive post card
The maxi-card (aka post card) would be a nice souvenir to send to a Beethoven lover. You can buy all items at Post AG. Use the search menu to see all Beethoven related stamps and/or coins. As of today (Dec 16th, 2020) all are still available for sale at their respective post office online stores.
If you are a collector of world-wide stamps, check out my growing spreadsheet of post offices around the world. It’s ever changing as I acquire more details. It has links to post offices and (if available) online stores. If you spot an error, pop me a comment. It’s easy to edit someone else’s work, but a royal pain editing my own. Post Offices Around World | Bitter Grounds Magazine
The Austrian post office outdid themselves in October with a stamp that perfectly symbolizes 2020.
Remember – stay one baby elephant away
That is a piece of toilet paper and it’s a legitimate Austrian stamp. The design perfectly describes what all of us think about the year so far. In case you are struggling with the stamp, the point is to emphasis distances. It’s a little reminder to stay 1 meter or 1 baby elephant away from others to help prevent the spread of Covid.
It isn’t marked as sold out on the Austrian Post website, so if you are interested, you can still buy it here. If you are looking for out-of-the-box designs this is a find. It’s a semi-postal block, screen printed on toilet paper. It’s currently selling for €5.50 and is one of those stamps that makes me wonder if it will become a hot collectable in the future. It certainly is fascinating, from both a design and historical perspective.
Marion Füllerer, designer Oct. 2020 Austrian stamp
The designer, Marion Füllerer describes the stamp on her website:
Im Auftrag der Österreichischen Post AG entstand dieser Briefmarkenblock auf Klopapier um die besondere Corona-Zeit fest zu halten. Klopapier wurde in Österreich zu Beginn der Pandemie zur Mangelware. Der Babyelefant ist das österreichische Symbol für den Sicherheitsabstand
On behalf of the Austrian Post AG, this stamp block was created on toilet paper to capture the special Corona period. At the beginning of the pandemic, toilet paper became a scarce commodity in Austria. The baby elephant is the Austrian symbol for the safety distance.
Marion Füllerer Wir Gestalten
Stamps have been printed on a variety of materials over the years, but this is the first on toilet paper. It is symbolic, as many countries experienced an irrational run on items like toilet paper at the start of the pandemic. The stamp takes a lighthearted poke at the initial panic when Covid-19 hit yet still maintains a serious “be safe” tone.
The designer was quite brave in using toilet paper for this Austrian stamp. I’ve read a few criticisms about it, calling it in bad taste, but it isn’t. It’s the stamp for Covid-19. It’s been a tough year all around and an injection of humour certainly helps. As well, this simple, clean design is soothing. Lots of white space, clear symbols, easy to understand and amusing. I love it.
I’m going to keep an eye open for future stamps by Marion Füllerer and have added her to my spreadsheet of stamp designers to watch. The spreadsheet is coming along slowly and when I get it a bit more organized, I’ll share it with you.
I’ve included this post in both the Design and Stamp categories. The more I explore who designs the stamps, the greater my appreciation has been of the incredible tiny works of art produced by unsung heroes of philately. So many of us collect stamps but rarely give pause to the people who put their heart and souls into creating them. Hence the slight shift in some of my articles in putting a light on the creators, not just the topic.
Don’t forget, like this page on Facebook or Twitter (links below) if you want to see the latest articles as they are published. I will be publishing a list of all post offices in the world along with links to their stores and in some cases, their online catalogues made available to the public. I’m about 1/3 of the way through the list. It takes a lot of time to find working links because not all post offices make it easy to find newsletters and lists of available stamps. I’m aiming to have it up, in spreadsheet format, by the end of this week.
In the meantime, later everyone. Let me know if you managed to buy this Austrian stamp.
I rediscovered an early Austrian airmail gem while rooting through my collection, looking for something. It’s a great little cover, primarily because the cancels are pristine. Nothing says frustration like a messy, unreadable cancel. A clear cancel offers up a treasure trove of information such as when the letter was sent, where it was sent from, and in the case of early airmails the actual routes taken.
Considering this cover is 89 years old, it’s looking pretty good. The stamps are bright and crisp with a clean cancel tying them together. It’s one of those treats found in the bottom of a junk stamp box lot I purchased at an auction years ago. Someone didn’t appreciate its beauty.
First Austrian airmail route
Austria established it’s first regular airmail route during WW1 on March 31, 1918. Starting at Aspern airfield in Vienna and ending in Kiev, pilots flew Hansa-Brandenburg C.I 2-seater recon biplanes at first. It covered over 1,200 kilometres along a route that included Vienna to Krakow, Lviv, Proskurow, and Kiev at the end. This route, by-the-way, predates the US airmail permanent route by 2 months.
The Vienna to Kiev route ran until Oct 15, 1918 and ceased with the end of the war. The Saint Germain peace treaty further disrupted airmail service when it demanded the dismantling of aircraft in Austria, killing off the establishment of permanent airmail routes for a couple of years. However, in its short lifespan, the airmail route delivered a substantial amount of civilian mail:
Vienna-Krakow 6488 pieces.
Krakow-Vienna 8333 pieces.
Vienna-Lemberg (Lvov) 9428 pieces.
Lemberg (Lvov)-Vienna 11038 pieces.
Vienna-Budapest 2411 pieces.
*figures from 90 Years of Aviation in Austria
The first stamps were overprints of 1916 Coat of Arms stamps.
Flugpost overprints Austria #C1-C3
My venerable, and much loved 1944 edition of Sanabria describes them this way:
Issues of the Monarchy
Issued March 30, 1918, for air post service operated by military aviators between Vienna and Kieve (Ukraine), via Cracow and Lemberg. First Flight took place on March 31, the service being discontinued on October 15. Printed by State Printing Office, Vienna. Original printings were on grayish-white paper (25 x 30 mm), a second printing on yellowish tinted paper (26 x 29 mm) was issued on June 24, 1918. Imperforate stamps were specially prepared for members of the Imperial Court, and not for public distribution. p. 53 Sanabria’s Air Post Catalogue, Worldwide, 1944
I don’t have any of the first Austrian airmails in my collection. But I do have a few later stamps and covers. The one at the top of the page is a bit of a favourite. It’s one of those finds you don’t expect in a box of common (and often battered) stamps. Pulling it out was a bit like opening up a Cracker Jack box and finding a genuine metal whistle rather than a plastic one that thwips instead of tweets.
While poking around the Austrian archives, I found an interesting photo dating to the 1918 flights.
Title: From the newly opened Vienna-Budapest air mail. Empress and Queen Zita greets the pilot of a mail plane upon arrival in Vienna. Courtesy Austrian Archives.
There is no date on the photo, and the archive information was sparse. But it’s a fabulous peak into early airmail history.
The 1931 Vienna cancel is worth looking at closely.
Aug 31, 1931 post mark
One thing I’ve noted in early airmails, the cancels often seemed to be applied with great care. Even if the date was badly smudged, the modest little monoplane shows it’s later than 1918.
The Austrian airmail stamps C16 and C20 issued 1926.
C16 and C20 – 1926 Austrian airmail
The two airmail stamps (C16 and C20) are clean, with a well-placed cancel. This cancel isn’t the same as the big bold Erstflug cancel at the top of the cover but does add nicely to the overall appeal.
Apologies for only referencing Scotts stamp numbers. I don’t have easy access to specialty catalogues like Michel. If you have Michel numbers handy, feel free to post them in comments or over on my Facebook page.
Sanabria – you can occasionally find them second hand at book fairs or online. They are a great resource for tracking down information on the earliest flights. The one I used in this article was Sanabria’s Air Post Catalogue – 1940 Tenth Edition, Nicolas Sanabria & Harry M. Konwiser. Published by Nicolas Sanabria, Inc., N.Y. Check out ABE books if you’re interested in acquiring one.