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first issues > countries > bulgaria


1st May 1879

- Changes of Admin - Innovations

Europe 25

  Bulgaria Sc1  

perf 14½x15, wmk, typographed
Printed at the Russian State Printing Works, St. Petersburg

Description   Scott# SG# Mi# Y&T# Mink#  
5 centimes black and orange   1 1 1 1 1  
5c black and yellow   1a 2     1a  
10c black and green   2 3, 4 2 2 2  
25c black and violet   3 5 3 3 3 Sc3a imperf
25c black and purple   3b 6        
50c black and blue   4 7 4 4 4  
1 franc black and red   5 8 5 5 5  

Minkus [1] reveals a surprising ancient Bulgarian history, waxing and waning from Thracian, Roman and Byzantine influence and control; tribal conflict through the 10th century; becoming "Europe's greatest power under Simeon I"; further decline and recovery and decline to subservience under Serbia (1330) and the Ottoman Empire (1366), becoming a "province of the latter [in] 1396". After "4 centuries of Ottoman political rule and religious domination by Greek patriarchs, Bulgaria faded into obscurity. [At the] beginning of the 19th century a Bulgarian literary revival led to a revival of nationalism which received support from Russia … Bulgarians supported Russia against [the] Ottomans in [the] 1877 war from which emerged an autonomous principality in Northern Bulgaria (1878) under nominal Ottoman suzerainty and strong Russian influence. In 1885 a coup drove [the] Ottomans out of Easterm Rumelia and it was annexed to Bulgaria."

Minkus also mentions overseas offices in Bulgaria from Austria Lombardy-Venetia (1863-67), Austria Levant (1867) and France (1857-76).

Yellow variant
Bulgaria Sc7a

There have been two articles on Bulgaria in the Newsletter:

Bulgaria Imposter, David Olson
This warns of mistaking the 5 stotinki Sc7 for the 5 centime Sc1, following the currency change of 1881.
Bulgaria, a Yawner Country?, Bob Sylvester
Suggests that the similarity between the early issues, 1879-1887 makes Bulgaria less than exciting for first issue collectors but there are some subsequent highlights, see below.

Changes of Administration

Independent Kingdom
Independent Kingdom,
King Asen Tower
People's Republic
ST. Clement of Ohrid
1909 Sc83 SG140 1910 Sc89 SG159 1946 Sc534 SG628 1990 Sc3576 SG3724

Gibbons identifies:

Sunday Delivery
1925 SG286b Sc-RA1


Bulgaria has a First First to offer with the world’s first Sunday Delivery stamp. As Bob Sylvester explains in the Newsletter,"the money thus raised was used to maintain a sanatarium for employees of the postal service".