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Introduction



At the end of World War I, Slavic nations residing in the southernmost parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared independence. The State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was proclaimed on 29 October 1918. The capital was Zagreb were National Council (Narodno Vijeće) was residing. The State of S. C. S. remained internationally unrecognized. On 1 December 1918, unification with The Kingdom of Serbia was proclaimed and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed.

At the beginning, on the territory of the State of S. C. S., Astro-Hungarian krone was legal tender (100 heller/filler = 1 krone). In 1918 banknotes were stamped by the new authorities and they become State of S. C. S. krone, in 1919, after unification with the Kingdom of Serbia, new banknotes were printed where krone was converted to dinar at the rate of 1 dinar = 4 krone.

The State of S. C. S. was highly decentralized. After proclaiming independence, postal directorates ordered overprinting of existing stocks of stamps in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Printing of new stamps to be used on the whole territory of the State (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Vojvodina) was ordered by Postal Directorate in Ljubljana (Slovenia), hence the naming of the Slovenian editions.

Dire post-war situation and haste in which printing was prepared, resulted in especially rich philatelic area. Chainbrakers (“Verigarji” or “Verižniki”, as they are locally called) offer endless possibilities for philatelic specialization. Although these editions were well researched, many facts and circumstances related to them remain obscure to this day.

Austrian and Hungarian stamps were still being in use when stamps of Slovenian editions were issued. That resulted in many mixed frankings. Also, as the stamps were in use on the whole territory of the State of S. C. S., mixed frankings with stamps from other parts of the State exist (SHS Croatia and SHS Bosnia and Herzegovina). On top, mixed frankings with stamps of Baranya, Temisioara and Fiume (Rijeka) are also known.

Stamps of the Slovenian edition were officially in use until 15 April 1921, as on the 16 January 1921, a general issue for the whole Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (latter Yugoslavia) came into use. But in practice, these stamps were postally used well in the year 1922.

Definitive issues


A. Denomination in krone

Background

Stamps were designed by prof. Ivan Vavpotič, a painter and illustrator from Ljubljana. Printing of stamps was first entrusted to press Tiskarna Blaznikovi nasledniki in Ljubljana where the first editions were printed in lithography.

As the press Tiskarna Blaznikovi nasledniki was unable to deliver required quantities in time the printing of stamps was entrusted also to Jugoslovanska tiskarna in Ljubljana, where stamps were printed in letterpress using plates created by photo-chemigraphic artistic institute A. Krampolek in Vienna.

When press workers in Ljubljana went on strike, Postal Directorate in Ljubljana ordered manufacturing of printing plates for letterpress printing technique at the same institute in Vienna and, in agreement with them, chosen press A. Reisser in Vienna for printing stamps in letterpress.

Country name: Država S. H. S. / Држава С. Х. С.
Currency: 100 vinar = 1 krone

Differentiating between Ljubljana and Vienna letterpress

Stamps were printed in three printing offices and in two techniques. Early attempts to differentiate between Ljubljana and Vienna letterpress prints were troublesome as there was no solid ground on which this differentiation could be made. Under this so-called three-part classification stamps were classified into three groups: Ljubljana lithography, Ljubljana letterpress and Vienna letterpress.

Contemporary philatelists agreed upon these issues being Ljubljana letterpress:

  1. Color nuances
    • 5 vinar: yellowish green and olive green
    • 10 vinar: brick-red
    • 15 vinar: gray blue and slate blue
    • 20 vinar: olive brown and dark brown
    • 30 vinar: carmine and burgundy
    • 50 vinar: green and dark blue green
    • 60 vinar: violet blue, slate blue, dark violet
    • 1 krone: vermilion
    • 2 krone: blue
    • 5 krone: dark pink
  2. Denominations of 50 and 60 vinar and 1, 2 and 5 krone printed on thin paper, with gum being applied after perforation process.
  3. All stamps with rouletting (perce en scie) perforation.

Stamps printed both in lithography and in letterpress

As it is impossible to fully differentiate between Ljubljana and Vienna letterpress, contemporary stamp catalogs use two-part classification and differentiate only between lithography and letterpress as the two printing techniques can be easily identified.

Differentiating between stamps printed in lithography and in letterpress
Lithography
(Ljubljana)
Letterpress
(Ljubljana and Vienna)
Description
3 vinar, lithography: chain not touching the frame 3 vinar, letterpress: chain touching the frame 3 vinar
Lithography:

  • short chain (not touching the frame).

Letterpress:

  • long chain (touching the frame).
Details  
5 vinar, lithography: chain not touching the frame 5 vinar, letterpress: chain touching the frame 5 vinar
Lithography:

  • short chain (not touching the frame).

Letterpress:

  • long chain (touching the frame).
   
10 vinar, lithography: numeral 8 mm high, close to the upper frame 10 vinar, letterpress: numeral 7 mm high, wider distance between numeral and upper frame 10 vinar
Lithography:

  • numeral 10 is 8 mm high,
  • denomination is close to upper frame.

Letterpress:

  • numeral 10 is 7 mm high,
  • wider distance between denomination and upper frame.
Details  
15 vinar, lithography: chain not touching the frame 15 vinar, letterpress: chain touching the frame, additional ornament above letter H in S.H.S. 15 vinar
Lithography:

  • short chain (not touching the frame).

Letterpress:

  • long chain (touching the frame),
  • additional ornament above letter H in S. H. S.
   
20 vinar, lithography: baseline of numeral 2 thicker, almost horizontal on top, wrist not broken 20 vinar, letterpress: baseline of numeral 2 wavy and thinner, line on the right wrist broken 20 vinar
Lithography:

  • baseline of numeral 2 thicker, almost horizontal on top,
  • line on the right wrist not broken.

Letterpress:

  • baseline of numeral 2 wavy and thinner,
  • line on the right wrist broken.
Details  
25 vinar, lithography 25 vinar, letterpress 25 vinar
Lithography:

  • wavy line above inscription ДРЖАВА С.Х.С. approaches the frame on top and touches the frame on the left,
  • wavy line above inscription DRŽAVA S.H.S. touches the frame on the left,
  • thin lines inside numeral 2.

Letterpress:

  • wavy line above inscription ДРЖАВА С.Х.С. not even close to the frame on top and doesn’t touch the frame on the left,
  • wavy line above inscription DRŽAVA S.H.S. doesn’t touch the frame on the left,
  • thick lines inside numeral 2.
Details  
30 vinar, lithography: 1 mm between numerals and upper frame 30 vinar, letterpress: 1,5 mm distance between numerals and upper frame 30 vinar
Lithography:

  • distance between denomination and upper frame is 1 mm.

Letterpress:

  • distance between denomination and upper frame is 1,5 mm.
   
40 vinar, lithography: vertical lines of numeral 4 of equal height 40 vinar, letterpress: right vertical line of numeral 4 is shorter 40 vinar
Lithography:

  • both vertical lines in numeral 4 are on top of equal height.

Letterpress:

  • the right vertical line in numeral 4 is shorter.
Details  

 

Stamps printed in letterpress only

 
50 vinarjev 60 vinarjev 1 krona 2 kroni 5 kron 10 kron
Details          

 

Stamps printed in lithography only

 
15 kron 20 kron
Details Details

 

B. Denomination in dinars


On 24 June 1920, the Postal Directorate in Ljubljana started issuing stamps in new currency and state inscription. Stamps with denominations of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 40, 45, 50 and 60 para and 1 and 4 dinars were printed in letterpress. Values of 2, 6 and 10 dinars were printed in lithography. Stamps of 2 and 10 dinars were perforated line 11½, other stamps with rouletting (perce en scie).

Stamps with denomination in krone were still in circulation, many mixed franking exist.

Country name: Kraljevina S. H. S. / Краљевина С. Х. С.
Currency: 100 para = 1 dinar

 
5 para 10 para 15 para 20 para 25 para 40 para 45 para
  Details Details     Details Details
50 para 60 para 1 dinar 2 dinara 4 dinara 6 dinar 10 dinar
  Details Details Details   Details Details

Postage dues


A. Denomination in krone


Stamps used to indicate extra postage due on underpaid pieces of mail were printed in lithography in presses Tiskarna Blaznikovi nasledniki in Ljubljana and A. Reisser in Vienna. Stamps of both issues are best differentiated by sizes of numerals. Perforation line 11½.

Differentiation between prints

Ljubljana print Vienna print
Sizes of numerals vinar values (red) 9 mm 12½ mm
krone values (blue) 8 mm 7 mm
Paper vinar values (red) white, rough & white, smooth white, smooth (with or without structure)
krone values (blue) gray, thick and rough white, smooth
Gum vinar values (red) yellowish white
krone values (blue) yellow brown white
Print vinar values (red) inscriptions thick, better quality print inscriptions thin
krone values (blue) inscriptions thick, better quality print inscriptions thin

 

Ljubljana and Vienna prints

Ljubljana print
Ljubljana print: numerals 9 mm high Ljubljana print: numerals 9 mm high Ljubljana print: numerals 9 mm high Ljubljana print: numerals 9 mm high Ljubljana print: numerals 8 mm high Ljubljana print: numerals 8 mm high Ljubljana print: numerals 8 mm high
Details

 

Vienna print
Vienna print: numerals 12½ mm high Vienna print: numerals 12½ mm high Vienna print: numerals 12½ mm high Vienna print: numerals 12½ mm high Vienna print: numerals 7 mm high Vienna print: numerals 7 mm high Vienna print: numerals 7 mm high

 

B. Provisional issue, denomination in dinars


On 5 July 1920 provisional issue of postage dues came in circulation. Stamps of 15 (blue) and 30 vinar (red) of both lithography and letterpress issues were overprinted with the same overprint. Stamps were overprinted in letterpress by Jugoslovanska tiskarna in Ljubljana.

Overprints
5 para overprint 10 para overprint 20 para overprint 50 para overprint 1 dinar overprint 3 dinar overprint 8 dinar overprint

 

Layout of overprints

An error which appears on all stamps of 8 dinars: DINAPA instead of DINARA
An interesting design error
appears on all stamps with 8
dinara overprint: inscription
reads DINAPA instead of DINARA.

Circulation

Number of stamps by prints and denominations
Denomination Lithography 11½
Blaznikovi nasledniki
Letterpress rouletting
Jugoslovanska tiskarna
Letterpress 11½
A. Reisser
Total
5 para 720.000 420.000 56.200 1.196.220
10 para 240.000 140.000 18.740 398.740
20 para 720.000 420.000 56.220 1.196.220
50 para 720.000 420.000 56.220 1.196.220
1 dinar 300.000 300.000 600.000
3 dinar 180.000 180.000 360.000
8 dinar 120.000 120.000 240.000

Newspaper tax stamps


Newspaper tax stamps were also used on the whole territory of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. On 2 September 1920 a part of these stamps were overprinted in new state currency as a provisional issue. In September and October 1920 these stamps were overprinted to commemorate Carinthian Plebiscite.

The stamps were not extensively used since in 1920 flat rate fees were introduced for newspapers. From 15 June 1921 postage fees for newspapers were paid in cash for domestic shipments and in regular postage stamps for sending abroad.

Stamps were printed only in lithography technique, both in Ljubljana by press Tiskarna Blaznikovi nasledniki (issued on 15 May 1919) and in Vienna by A. Reisser (issued on 15 November 1919). All denominations were printed on one press sheet. Perforation was applied only between different denominations in order to create sheets of stamps.

Charactheristics of prints Ljubljana print Vienna print
Papers A. Rough with net structure, thickness 0.05 – 0.09 mm. 2, 4, 6, 10, 30 vinar
B. Smooth, white, no structure, thickness 0.06 – 0.10 mm. 2, 4, 6, 10 vinar
B1. Smooth, white with structure (network) 2, 4, 6, 10 vinar
C. Porous with miniscule pores (nonuniform), thickness 0.07 – 0.09 mm. 2, 4 vinar
C1. Porous, striped 2, 4, vinar
D. Rough yellowish, with structure (network) with color fibres 2, 4, 6 in gray color
2, 4, 6, 10 vinar in blue color
D1. Bluish gray, rough, with structure, sometimes with color fibers 2, 4, 10 vinar
D2. Bluish gray, smooth, with structure, with color fibers 2, 4, 10 vinar
Gum Yellowish White
Print Fine, thin lines Rough, disconnected lines
Distance between stamps in a sheet 3 : 3 mm 3,5 : 4 mm

Differentiating between Ljubljana and Vienna prints

Ljubljana print
Ljubljana print: numeral 2 thick Ljubljana print: base of the numeral 4 is flat Ljubljana print: numeral 6 is more enclosed Ljubljana print: numeral 1 with flat base Ljubljana print: 30 vinara stamp was not printed in Vienna
        Details

 

Vienna print
Vienna print: numeral 2 is thin Vienna print: numeral 4 with wavy base Vienna print: numeral 6 more open Vienna print: smaller numerals 30 vinara stamp was not
printed in Vienna
  Details Details  

B. Provisional issue, denomination in dinars


On 2 September 1920 a provisional issue of newspaper tax stamps was issued. 2 vinar stamps of Ljubljana and Vienna prints were overprinted in black color with new value in dinars. Stamps were overprinted in Jugoslovanska tiskarna in Ljubljana.

The overprint

Sheets of Ljubljana and Vienna printed stamps were overprinted with the same form, although the distance between stamps in sheets varies between the two prints. To overcome this problem two sets of overprint forms were created and then joined together: “group of forms A” (5 x 10) intended to overprint the left part of the sheet while the “group of forms B” intended to overprint the right side of the sheet. There are noticeable differences between the two forms which makes 2 types of each overprint (see the table below).

When overprinting stamps of Vienna print, the both groups of forms were fixed wider apart to reduce shifts in overprints. It so happened that the forms were fixed in BA layout instead of AB, which means that in case of stamps of Vienna print, form B was used to overprint the left side, while the form A was used to overprint the right side of a sheet.

Differentiation between types of overprints
Form A Form B Description
Form A: empty space between letters p and a in para Form B: additional two lines between letters p and a in para 2 para on 2 vinar
Form A:

  • empty space between letters p and a in para.

Form B:

  • additional two lines between letters p and a in para.
Form A: empty space between letters p and a in para Form B: additional two lines between letters p and a in para 4 para on 2 vinar
Form A:

  • empty space between letters p and a in para

Form B:

  • additional two lines between letters p and a in para.
Form A: empty space between letters p and a in para Form B: additional two lines between letters p and a in para 6 para on 2 vinar
Form A:

  • empty space between letters p and a in para

Form B:

  • additional two lines between letters p and a in para.
Form A: empty space below letter р in пара Form B: additional line below letter р in пара 10 para on 2 vinar
Form A:

  • empty space below letter р in пара.

Form B:

  • additional line below letter р in пара.
Form A: additional line below letter р in пара Form B: empty space below letter р in пара 30 para on 2 vinar
Form A:

  • additional line below letter р in пара.

Form B:

  • empty space below letter р in пара.

 

Note: there’s a design error on overprints of 2 and 4 para. In order to be grammatically correct, the wording should be “pare”, not “para”.

Layout and perforation

Original sheets consisted of 100 (10 x 10) stamps. Every overprinted sheet contained overprinted stamps of all 5 values:

 

Originally, newspaper tax stamps were printed imperforated. Since all the 5 values were printed on one sheet, they were separated with perforation line 11½.

Carinthian plebiscite edition


To commemorate the Carinthian Plebiscite, 2 and 4 vinar newspaper tax stamps of Ljubljana issue were overprinted in red color and denomination in dinars. Abbreviation KGCA stands for “Koroška glasovatelna cona A” (Carinthian Voting Zone A).

Stamps were sold in sets at 3-times denomination price and were in use until the 31 October 1920 on territories of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Vojvodina. Money collected from sales of stamps was donated to Slovenian propaganda committee for Carinthia.

Sheets of stamps were overprinted in a way that they contained overprints of different denominations:

 

Overprints only on Ljubljana issue
Ljubljana print: numeral 2 thick Ljubljana print: numeral 2 thick Ljubljana print: numeral 2 thick Ljubljana print: numeral 2 thick Ljubljana print: numeral 2 thick Ljubljana print: numeral 2 thick

 

The so called “Celje issue”


Introduction

In May 1919 a group of private investors came to an idea to overprint Austrian stamps issued in years 1916/17 to commemorate creation of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. A consortium was established for this undertaking.

Original stamps were got either from post offices in Slovenia, seized stamps from Carithia or by buying remaining stocks in Vienna. Complete sheets were not available anymore so it was decided to overstamp fragments and individual stamps by hand.

It is unclear at which stage the Postal Directorate in Ljubljana got involved but it is known that overstamping took place in its premises. As it didn’t have authority to issue stamps the Postal Directorate in Ljubljana asked for an approval the competent ministry in Belgrade. The initiative was rejected, existing stock counted and sealed.

SHS Slovenia - signature Apenik on postage stamp
Signature Apenik on the
back of the stamps.

It is unknown how stamps came to the market. Some sources state that the consortium of investors sued the state as they claimed compensation for their investment that was backed by official institution (Postal Directorate in Ljubljana). These sources also mention that stamps were handed over to the consortium after it won juridical procedure. Other sources state that after 2 November 1921, when stamp issues of Slovenia lost validity, the whole remaining stock of stamps was sold at an auction.

Whatever the truth a part of this issue came to the hands of a prominent stamp dealer who stamped his signature APENIK on the back of the stamps. The dealer, Mr. Repernik, was from city of Celje – hence the naming of “Celje issue”.

These stamps were never in circulation. Used stamps are either forgeries or (according to some testimonies) essays, as unused stamps were available only in low quantities saving measures were introduced.

List of overprinted values

In total 27 stamps were overprinted with black, blue and red overprints. Note: strong offsets on stamps’ back are common on red overprints. Blue and red overprints are fuzzy and mostly of type II.

Overprints on 10 krone stamps, printed on silk-thread paper are forgeries.

DEFINITVE ISSUE
Denmination Circulation Overprint black Overprint blue Overprint red
3 vinar 7.175 Link
5 vinar 13.000 Link
6 vinar 17.050 Link
10 vinar 2.000 Link
12 vinar 7.020 Link
15 vinar 10.591 Link Link
20 vinar 15.000 Link Link
25 vinar 7.530 Link Missing
30 vinar 7.336 Link Link
40 vinar 6.800 Link Link Link
50 vinar 6.837 Link Link
60 vinar 6.831 Link Link
80 vinar 6.800 Link Link
90 vinar 6.897 Link Link
1 krone 6.806 Link Link
2 krone 6.848 Link Link
3 krone 1.307 Link
10 krone 109 Link
DEFINITVE ISSUE: NEW VALUES
10 vinar on 5 vinar 12.000 Link
3 krone on 1 krone 6.800 Link
4 krone on 1 krone 6.805 Link
10 krone on 1 krone 6.800 Link
SPECIAL DELIVERY STAMPS
2 vinar 10.000 Orientation 1
Orientation 2
5 vinar 10.000 Orientation 2
POSTAGE DUES
5 vinar 10.000 Link
10 vinar 10.000 Link
15 vinar 10.000 Link

 

Types of overprints

 
SHS Slovenia Celje issue overprint types
Types I and II
Type I:

  • dimensions: 17 x 23,2 mm,
  • the second letter S in SHS twisted downwards,
  • numeral 9 in 29, indicating day in date, normal,
  • rectangular ornament more closed.

Type II:

  • dimensions: 16,5 x 22
  • the second letter S in SHS more straight,
  • numeral 9 in 29 in date narrow,
  • rectangular ornament more open.

Type III:

  • dimensions: 16,5 x 23
  • the second letter S in SHS twisted downwards,
  • numeral 9 in 29, indicating day in date, normal,
  • rectangular ornament more closed,
  • letter X in date, indicating moth, with lower right stroke bent upwards and touching the dot,
  • big rectangular spot on S in Slovenija,
  • overprint black and fuzzy.

Note: Type III overprints are most probably contemporaty forgeries as this is the only type of overprint appearing on “suspicious” stamps: used stamps and stamps not not officially recorded to be overprinted, such as newspaper stamps, stamps with effigy of Jranz Joseph I, postage dues of 25 and 50 vinar, etc.

Bibliography