First Issues - 1852 to 1854

page 3.5


Luxembourg provides another example of orderly, attractive issues and sensibly-priced stamps together with some key innovations. The rather ordinary first commemorative shows Grand Duchess Charlotte and celebrates the birth of her first son: the same design was used for a series of definitive for six years from 1921. The 75c airmail, Biplane over Alzette, was the first issued, the 50c green Sc-C1 following two years later.

Luxembourg SG1 Sc1 Luxembourg SG193a Sc125 Luxembourg SG297 ScC2 Luxembourg SG209 ScB1 Luxembourg SGO79 ScO1 Luxembourg SGD173 ScJ1
15th September 1852
SG1 Sc1
Grand Duke William III
1921 SG193a Sc125
Birth of crown prince Jean
1931 SG297 Sc-C2
1921 SG209 Sc-B1
War monument fund
1875 SG-O79 Sc-O1
o/p SG23 / Sc4
Post Due
1907 SG-D173 Sc-J1

The country’s two notable philatelic inventions are the miniature sheet and the stamp booklet.

Luxembourg SG162 Sc82
The stamp in the World's First miniature sheet
SG162, Sc82

There is, of course debate over the definition of the miniature or commemorative sheet, which country was first and, if Luxembourg, which issue, but the 1906 sheet of ten to commemorate the accession of Grand Duke William IV to the throne is the likely winner. These sell for around $1,000 and so just one of the ten stamps is shown. The first Luxembourg miniature sheets mentioned (but not given an MS designation) in Gibbons contain the 1921 first commemorative: a ‘normal’ sheet contained 100 stamps, but sheets of 5 and 25 were also issued (see overleaf).

Luxembourg SG155 Sc73
The stamp in the World's First stamp booklet
SG155, Sc73

On booklets, Mackay notes that the idea was first suggested in Britain in 1878, but not implemented until 1904. First, then, is Luxembourg in 1895 (Wood identifies the US as second in 1900). Two booklets were issued (Gibbons SB1 and SB2), containing 4 panes of 6xSG155 and 2 panes of 6xSG128 respectively and priced at £1,200 and £2,000. They sold at 5c over face value. The SG155 definitive is shown.


page written May 2013