TYPE: A 1
ISSUED: May 1, 1871
DESIGNER: John (Janos) Unrein
PURPOSE: Regular postage
DESIGN: King Francis Joseph I
HISTORY: Francis Joseph I, born 1830, died 1916; was Emperor of Austria from 1848 to 1918; King of Hungary; brother of Maximilian.
#1 to #6 are known to exist imperforate.
The 25 kr. stamp of 1871 (both lithographed and engraved) was intended for the payment of money orders or for special delivery letters. When used for the payment of money orders the stamp shows the town cancellation with the word “PENZUTALVANY” or “GELDANWEISUNG” both of which mean “money order.” Should the cancellation not show either of the above words, the stamp was used for special delivery. There are a few known covers showing the use of the stamp for registration.
Mr. John Grafel, president of the Austro Hungarian Philatelic society, explained the 10 types of this issue in the September, 1947 issue of the S.P.A. Journal as follows:
“There is no definite knowledge as to the method used in printing the 1871 issue of the lithographed stamps. The only information available is from older collectors, who recalled seeing a full sheet of the 3 kr. value of 100 stamps in the famous Hungarian collection formed by Lajos Richter. This sheet was sold to the Senf brothers in Leipzig and is our only basis for assuming that the stamps were printed in sheets of 100. This sheet never appeared again and may have been broken up or destroyed.
“The method used in making the stone from which the sheets of stamps were produced is in doubt, on account of not having enough lithographed stamps, let alone pairs, strips, or blocks, which are almost non existent. The first attempt to determine the method of printing was made around 1920 by Hugo Grieber, the great English philatelist, who died in 1923. He was able to assemble enough 5 kr. lithographed stamps to begin his work.
“Based on the process of lithography, during the transfer of the subject from the master engraving to the stone from which the 100 subject stamp sheets were produced, some minute flaws naturally occurred. These included breaks in lines, dots, spots, etc. A study of these flaws led to the possibility of the existence of the types. With the material on hand Hugo Grieber found that from the master engraving ten impressions were made and transferred to the stone and this was repeated nine times more to give the 100 subjects for the stone from which the stamps were produced.
“This gave the first impetus for further studies and, soon after the establishment of the ten types and the death of Hugo Grieber, the great Hungarian philatelist, Miklos Redey, took up these for further study. He also found ten types. However, he believed in the following process:
From the master engraving five impressions were made on transfer paper. This was repeated five times on to a stone until a block of 25 was created. The block of 25 was then transferred three more times, which gave the 100 subjects to the stone.
“From both of these studies the existence of the ten types of the 5 kr. lithographed stamps is an established fact. The writer of this article also was able to work out the ten types of the 10 kr. denomination. But it will be extremely hard to work out the types of any other denomination, because of the scarcity of these stamps.