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first issues > countries > czechoslovakia, czech republic, slovakia


incl. Bohemia and Moravia

October 1918

- Changes of Administration - Innovations

Europe 35

  Czechoslovakia #1 xxx

imperf, no wmk, typographed
Printed by the Czech Graphic Union, Prague

Description   Scott# SG# Mi# Y&T#  
3 haleru red-violet   1 4      
5h yellow-green   2 5, 5a      
10h rose   3 6      
20h bluish green   4 7      
25h deep blue   5 8      
30h bister   6 9      
40h red-orange   7 10      
100h brown   8 12      
200h ultra   9 13, a, b      
400h purple   10        
5h yellow-green   13, 13a 19      
10h rose   14 20      
20h bluish green   15, 15a 16, 21      
25h deep blue   16, 16a 17,22      
200h ultra   20 18, 18a      

Revolutionary Committee of Prague
1918 Sc-OL1-2 SG1-2

The gaps in the Scott listings are accounted for by stamps "now known to have been privately perforated".
Gibbons begins with two stamps for the Revolutionary Committee of Prague (regarded by Scott as locals) and then runs stamps for both versions of the initial design in the first set, hence the Gibbons gaps.

Summarising Gibbons [1], previouly part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the Czechs of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovaks of northern Hungary supported a Czechoslovak National Council formed in Paris in Feb 1916. on 28th Oct 1918 the Council issued a declaration of independence, on 30th the Slovak National Council voted to join the Czechs and on 14th Nov a National Assembly in Prague confirmed the creation of the Czechoslovak Republic.

In addition to the categories below, Gibbons identifies four entities:

Czechoslovakian Socialist Republic
Federal Socialist Republic
Czech and Slovak Federative Republic
1960 Sc988 SG1166 1969 Sc1601 SG1802 1990 Sc2788 SG3022

Changes of Administration

  Europe 35a  

Czech Republic
1993 Sc2887 SG1 1993 Sc150 SG145

As noted in the forum, the Czech Republic changed its name to Czechia in 2016, but as at August 2018, this had not been reflected in their stamp designs.

E.Clark Buchi (FICC #2) wrote an entertaining piece entitled Obituary in the Journal [2] (1993, v3n4p4),

Born 1918. Died December 31 1992. Death followed a lengthy period of ill health. Survivors include two children: Slovakia and the Czech Republic. During her lifetime, Czechoslovakia issued more than 3,240 stamps, an average of more than 43 per year … Czechoslovakia had been responsible for several Number Ones. Czechoslovakia #1 itself was issued at her birth in 1918.

Legion Post
Bohemia and Moravia
1919 Sc1 SG1 1939 Sc1 SG1 1939 Sc2 SG2 1939 Sc1 SG

Czechoslovakia, Legion Post #1, issued in 1919, was short-lived; it served to carry mail from the Czechoslovakian Legion, stationed in Siberia. No stamps were issued … after 1920.

Czechoslovakia, Bohemia and Moravia #1 was one of the triplets born in 1939. Supported by the German govt, B&M lived for five years, issuing stammps until May 1944.

Czechoslovakia, Slovakia #1, also born in 1939, survived until Dec 1944. But as mentioned above, a miraculous resurrection has occurred, as Slovakia has again begun issuing stamps after an interval of 49 years. Due to an error on the birth certificate, Scott's Catalogue has decided that Czechoslovakia, Slovakia #1 should not have been listed as such. It is now listed as Czechoslovakia #254A. Slovakia #2 is now listed as the first issue of Slovakia.

§ Czechoslovakia, Carpatho-Ukraine #1, the third of the triplets, was the black sheep of the family. The only stamp ever issued by Carpatho-Ukraine was listed for many years as Czechoslovakia, Carpatho-Ukraine #1, and was thus the "country complete." Scott's has since decided that the designation was in error, and that the stamp was an issue of Czechoslovakia in honour of the birth of Carpatho-Ukraine. That stamp is now listed as Czechoslovakia #254B. There being no other stamps ever issued by Carpatho-Ukraine, it no longer exists philatelically. Historically, however, it did exist - for one day, like the mythical village of Brigadoon. Carpatho-Ukraine appeared on March 15, 1939. It immediately issued a stamp (or had it issued by Czechoslovakia, as Scott's now claims). It then petitioned Hungary for acceptance into the Kingdom of Hungary, a request which was accepted on March 16, 1939, ending what must be surely one of the shortest national histories on record.

Czechoslovakia now joins the ranks of such stalwart dead countries as Dalmatia, Angra and the ever popular Elobey, Annobon and Corisco.

Philatelic friends will mourn the passing of a nation whose stamps were often beautifully engraved and topically significant. Philatelic foes will rejoice at the demise noting the proliferation of needless new issues and the "cancelled to order" policies inflicted on much of Czechoslovakia's production.

No resurrection is expected at this time.”

§ The August 2021 issue of the FICC Journal (vol.20 no.3 p.6) noted as follows,

Carpatho-Ukraine has Sc#1 - Again
By Tim Balm, FICC #91
The 2022 edition of the Scott Catalogues once again lists Carpatho-Ukraine as a separate listing. The stamp formerly listed as Czechoslovakia Sc#254B is now Carpatho-Ukraine #1 (shown at left, 150%). The CVs are $4.00 for mint and $16.00 for used.
Information regarding this stamp has appeared in FIRST ISSUES several times. The first time was in V1N2 (1990) when John Loga reported that the new 1991 edition of the Scott Catalogue (Volume 2) changed the listing for Carpatho-Ukraine Sc#1 to Czechoslovakia Sc#254B. [John also commented that Slovakia Sc#1 was now listed as Czechoslovakia Sc#254A.] Note: I have not verified that this listing transition occurred between 1990 and 1991.
This stamp is reported as valid for use on only one day (March 15, 1939) in a brief article in V5N6 (1997) and more extensively in V23N2 (2015). The area was invaded by the Nazis on that same day, and by Hungary the following day when the area was formally annexed. For members who are interested, the 2015 article gives a much more complete history of the Carpatho-Ukraine region as it migrated from being part of Czechoslovakia to part of Hungary and finally as part of the Ukraine.
Prior to this revival of listing Carpatho-Ukraine separately, Scott recognized this 1939 stamp as the only stamp from this region. The new 2022 Catalogue, however, also lists several 1945 post-war provisional issues.

Personal Delivery
1937 Sc-EX1 SG-P363


Czechoslovakia invented the Personal Delivery stamp, delivery to the specific addressee. They have only been issued by Czechoslovakia (first, in 1937) and Bohemia and Moravia.