Austrian Stamps 

The collection "Austrian Stamps" is not on view in 2024.

In 2018 the stamp collection of Herbert Liaunig was opened to the interested public. Rare Austrian and Lombardo-Venetian postage stamps, newspaper stamps and newspaper tax stamps from the years 1850–1867 were put on display. The collection includes not only uncancelled postage stamps but also letters and stamped rarities, as well as official reprints that were printed by the court and state printing office at the request of the responsible ministry.

Austria, the first country in the world to issue its own newspaper stamps, chose as the image for its stamp the messenger to the gods Hermes, or Mercury – the term "blue, yellow, rose or vermilion Mercury" entered the history of philately. These "Mercuries" differed from postage stamps not only in their square format, but also in the fact that they were issued without a denomination. The red "Vermilion Mercury" – the rarest stamp from Europe and the most valuable from Austria – can be seen in the exhibit.

The collection was academically reviewed by Ulrich Ferchenbauer and is accompanied by an extensive catalogue that provides an overview of the postal administration under the Austrian monarchy: beginning with the postal regulation that entered into force in 1842, the founding of postal associations, the introduction of the first Austrian postage stamps under the young Kaiser Franz Joseph on 1 June 1850 and the further developments until the political settlement with Hungary. In 1867 the state system was divided: the Austrian Empire became the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and the postal service was divided as well.