Vaduz Block on a letter

Vaduzblock auf Brief

Cover dated 5.10.1934 from Vaduz to Buchs in Switzerland. Cancelled with a special postmark. A domestic cover – probably overstamped with the 5 Fr Vaduz block despite registered and express label. The special R label with the text of the special cancel is one of the first series of this type.

On today’s cover of the month, two special features of the Liechtenstein philately can be found.

First, it is franked with the so-called “Vaduzblock”. This was issued on 29 Sept. 1934 on the occasion of the first Liechtenstein stamp exhibition in connection with the Liechtenstein National Exhibition – a show of achievements of the local trade and agriculture. The souvenir sheet was sold only during the exhibition until October 15, 1934, but the 5 Fr stamp was available for postal use until December 31, 1935.

This souvenir sheet represents today one of the rarities of Liechtenstein philately. Actually, only 7000 pieces were to be available; however, a total of 7888 pieces were available for sale. The additional 888 came into the sale because instead of the originally planned 2500 stamps, the princely government demanded only 2000 pieces for the Liechtenstein Postal Museum, and because no consignment of this extraordinary stamp had to be made to the Bureau of the Universal Postal Union.

Vaduzblock Muster

The smallest hand-cut blocks were stamped “sample” and archived or given away. There are only about 100 of them.

The souvenir sheet was produced as an intaglio copperplate (engraving Ferdinand Lorber (1883-1957)) on grey-fibered paper with the marginal inscription LIECHTENSTEINISCHE LANDESAUSSTELLUNG VADUZ 1934. The stamp shows in large format the national coat of arms after a drawing by Prof. Dr. Junk (1880-1943). 4 blocks were printed on one sheet and then cut out. The sizes vary between 102×122 mm and 105×127 mm. The smaller sheets were stamped with “Muster” and put into the archive or given away. However, there are only 100 pieces of these “sample blocks” in total. The Vaduz souvenir sheet was sold exclusively by the exhibition post office in Vaduz and the Triesenberg post office.

The second special feature is the registered mail slip affixed to the cover. This is the first special R label (“Sonder-R-Zettel”) from Liechtenstein. “Sonder-R-Zettel”, therefore, because the town name with text, which was identical to the special postmark, was printed on the Type 2.2.31 registered slip. At first, only 1000 of these S-R slips were printed, but due to the high demand, another 600 were reprinted. Both batches can be distinguished by the missing hyphen between the city name and the text in the second batch. The first batch (with a hyphen) was used until 6.10.1934, and thereafter the newly printed 600 were used. I have not yet found the S-R slip shown here in the Ring archives and it indicates that on the 5th and the 6th of October at least 99 registered letters of the first batch were still mailed.

    1. The present table excerpt from the article by Hans Maier 1994 (RLS-Mitteilungen) shows that the present special R label was probably one of the first to be affixed on the 5.Oct. It belonged to the last 100 of the first batch of these slips (with a hyphen).

A letter tells long stories!

Literature: RLS Mitteilungen No. 2 – April 1, 1994 and No. 1- March 2009.

Thanks to the RLS for permission to show the last two illustrations here.