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The 6th, 7th and 8th issues are perhaps among the most confusing and ambiguous in modern philately.

They seem entirely philatelic to me.

How are they identified? These issues look very much like tiny variations of the 3rd, 4th and 5th issues: The 8th issue has crosses or plus signs instead of dots in certain places; certain rays in the 5th and 6th issues are continuous instead of broken, the lettering on sheaf stamps is different.

They are classified as type 3 forgeries ("F3's") of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th issues in the identifier part of this website, although other characterizations are provided below. The summary table below provides links to more detail.

Issue Three low denominations High denomination ("Sheaf stamps")
6th Issue 2, 4, 6 gr. "ray stamps" (long ray between the A and D or Rada.) 10 gr. blue sheaf stamp (pointed top on final A in RADA.)
7th Issue 5, 10, 15 hal., like above 20 hal. purple sheaf stamp (pointed top on final A in RADA.)
8th Issue 5, 10, 15 hal. "arc stamps" ("+"s instead of dots on either side of the 1918.) 20 hal. purple sheaf stamp (“+”’s instead of circles inside inner frame lines just above Miasta Przedborza.)

In addition, the 6th issue stamps all have a "short-top Z" in Grosze.

Kronenberg [1987] has a different way of identifying these stamps, which I have not yet investigated.

What are these stamps?

There are several possibilities:

  1. Are they charity or propaganda labels or decorative items (a subset of "cinderella" stamps)? Quite possibly, because the original approval from the Austrian K.u.K. Kreiskommandatur in Konsk was for the sale of charity labels. Sales of C.T.O. sheets at the post office are also consistent with this hypothesis.
  2. Are they stamps issued by a postal authority for postal uses? Probably not. None of the catalogs have an issue date for these items, and their printing date is apparently unknown. For example, the 1935 & 1966 Polish catalogs (PZP) list these stamps with no issue dates, whereas Issues I-V have dates. There seems to be no record of approval by the Austrian postal authorities, although I believe Postmaster Franczak claimed to have received it.
  3. Are they revenue stamps, such as court fee stamps? Possibly:
  4. Are they simply fraudulent stamps? Penn [1953] & Blunt [2004] thought so, and I believe John Barefoot [1999] followed Blunt's lead, as did I. That's why this website lists them as type 3 forgeries. The argument for this is:
  5. Are they stamps which were prepared for postal use, but were never actually issued? Quite possibly: One problem with this view is that the groszy-denominated stamps had to be prepared before the change of currency on about March 26, 1918. If so, why are there sheets with groszy-denominated stamps se-tenant with halerzy-denominated stamps? (See printing and layout, below.)

    Another problem is that preparing these particular stamps for postal use seems odd. If you were going to prepare some new stamps for postal use, you would probably want to make the new ones easily distinguished from the old, in order to increase their collectible appeal. For example, if the 5 Hal. were purple, the 10 Hal. blue, the 15 Hal. red, and the 20 Hal. green, then the set would be clearly different than any of the earlier sets, and therefore people would know to collect them. Making one line solid rather than broken seems hardly worth doing on purpose.

    See some additional arguments against this view.
I personally think it will turn out that these stamps cannot be found on any documents which can now be verified as authentic. (I.e., that the document is genuine and the stamp was affixed and canceled contemporaneously.) So that the most likely explanations are a) they're forgeries, or b) they are unissued but authorized "reprints," as Mikulski [1968] believes.
Printing & Layout:

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1. It would be interesting to read Dudziński [1935a] to see when he bought these stamps at the post office. Was is shortly after Issue V was withdrawn from sale, or was it several years later?

© 2008-13 Sam Ginsburg

Last modified 24 Feb. 2013