The Serbian Post Offices Act came into force on 1st May 1866 and laid foundations for postal stamps issues that remain popular till today. To commemorate this important philatelic event Serbian Post has released two stamps depicting the famous examples of postal history of this country.
StampNews.com invites our readers to return to the beginning of Serbian philatelic world with this piece of news.
The first Serbian postal stamp was issued on 1st May (13th May by the Gregorian Calendar) 1866. That was a newspaper stamp, with the motif of the Coat of Arms of the Principality of Serbia, printed in two nominal values: 1 and 2 paras. The stamp design was made upon proposal of Anastas Jovanović, painter and lithographer, and printing done in the State Printing House (Pravitelystvena knyigopechatnya) in Belgrade.
The stamps were delivered to border post offices and pasted onto newspapers (partly pasted on the newspapers and partly on the wrapping, so they had to be torn when the wrapping was removed), and the payment was made by a deposit which the subscribers of foreign newspapers deposited in the post office). In the same year 1866, on 1st July (13th July by the Gregorian Calendar) the first regular postal stamp with the image of Prince Mihailo Obrenovich III was issued as well. When Anastas Jovanović approved the specimen print, the design, woodprint and printing blocks were made by the Austrian painter and lithographer, Wincenz Katzler.
The stamp was printed in the Imperial State Printing House in Vienna, in three colours and three nominal values ‒ of 10, 20 and 40 paras and was used for the collection of taxes on conveyance of letters and postal items. The Act on Postal Stamps for Letters and Newspapers came into force on 31st October 1866. Printing of the Serbian postal stamps had tremendous significance not only because of the simplification and improvement of postal services but, before all, because of the choice of motifs (the Coat of Arms of the Principality and the image of the monarch), that served to strengthen national identity and enhance state sovereignity.