January 2023 – precursor letter from Liechtenstein

VorläuferbriefThis time I present again a letter which was made available to me by Sieghard. It is a so-called precursor letter, i.e. a letter with Austrian stamps cancelled in Liechtenstein. These precursor letters existed until the issue of the first own Liechtenstein stamps in 1912.

In this case it is a letter dated 7.8.1899 from Vaduz to Gossau (Switzerland). The letter franked with a 10 Kreuzer stamp is postmarked with the large single-circle cancel of Vaduz, which was valid from 25.2.1886 – 22.3.1912.

10 Kreuzer MarkeThe 10 Heller stamp is from the 1890s postage stamp issue. On September 1, 1890, the values of 1,12,15,24,30 and 50 Kreuzer as well as 1 and 2 Gulden were issued. The rest – like the 10 Kreuzer stamp presented here – were issued after the previous issue was used up at the end of 1890. The 10 Kreuzer stamp was valid for postage until September 30, 1900.

FreimarkenausgabeThe cross stamps were produced in two printing passes. First, the colored stamp image and then, separately, the black value numeral. This led to a whole series of printing anomalies: one of them on today’s cover. These printing anomalies relate in particular to more or less pronounced shifts in the value overprint. In our example, a slight shift of the 10-value impression downwards and very slightly to the left. An almost perfect centering of the overprint, on the other hand, can be seen on the special souvenir sheet issued by Austrian Post in 2019. This souvenir sheet is part of a series “Classic Issue” in which Austrian Post has presented one or two classic stamp issues from the time of the monarchy every year since 2016. Whether this stamp presented today is in addition a high piece from the sheet margin (since the upper margin is somewhat wider), remains to be seen. In any case, I cannot judge it. Perhaps one of the readers?

Literature: Ferchenbauer Handbook and Special Catalogue