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Switzerland

Sunday, April 7, 1850

Europe 5

Swi1
  Switzerland #1  

Imperforate, no watermark, lithography.
Printed by Karl Durheim of Berne

Federal administration.
Date Description Inscription Cross Scott # SG# Mi# Y&T#
May 18, 1850
2½ rappen black & red
Orts-Post
Unframed
3 2    
July 16, 1850
2½ rappen black & red
Orts-Post
Framed
1 1    
October 1, 1850
2½ rappen black & red
Poste Locale
Framed
2 3    
October 1, 1850
5 rappen dark blue, black & red
Rayon I
Framed or unframed
5, 7 5-8    
October 1, 1850
10 rappen yellow, black & red
Rayon II
Framed or unframed
6, 8 9-12    
1851
2½ rappen black & red
Poste Locale
Unframed
4 4    

Though the stamps inscribed Orts-Post were intended for use in the German speaking parts, and the ones inscribed Poste Locale were to be used in the French speaking parts. However, both types were distributed in both areas. You can therefore find German inscriptions used in French speaking areas, and vice versa.

These stamps are found in 40 types, since the images were produced one by one onto the printing stone, in 5 rows of 8 stamps. The stone was used twice to create sheets of 80 stamps. Later four imprints of the original stone was used to produce sheets of 160 stamps.

Wheather the cross in the center of the stamp has a frame or not was decided by the way the lithographic stones were produced. At first, the frame was missing due to the printer not adding ink for it to print. Later he inked the frame, perhaps because he thought it improved the look. Eventually the postal administration asked that the cross not be framed, and it was removed from the printing stones.

Prepayment of mail became mandatory as of the issue of Rayon I and Rayon II stamps, on October 1, 1850.

Five postal rates were initially used. One was for local mail, four were for mail outside a local area. The term Rayon is meant as a distance indication as follows:

The light blue Rayon I stamps were issued from March 1, 1851. Stamps inscribed Rayon III (Scott #11 & 13) were issued from January 1, 1852. Scott #12, with larger value inscription, was issued from April 1852.

Image from David Olson.

FI ref: 15 Page credit: JA

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 22 Jan 2016