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Playing-Card Tax Stamps from Austria

This stamp was in use in Tyrol and Outer Austria ('Vorderösterreich') from 1739 to 1784. There were two stamps with different sizes on two cards.
(from a museum collection)
In Austria, from 1803 to 1850, the stamps were dated. The appearance changed in many years.

These are examples from 1814, 1824, 1826, 1831, 1834, 1836, and 1845, all from Wien (Vienna), as the 'W' indicates.
(1814 stamp from a scan by Gerd Matthes, all other stamps except the 1834 stamp from a museum collection)

This stamp was in use in Austria from 1850 to 1857.
Again, the 'W' is for 'Wien' (Vienna), the value is 10 K.


This stamp was in use in Austria from 1857 to 1858/59.
(scanned by José Luiz G. Pagliari)


This stamp was in use in Austria from 1858/59 to 1877.


This stamp was in use in Austria from 1877 to 1881.
The text is 'K.K.KARTENSTEMPEL'. The stamp number is at the bottom.


This stamp was in use in Austria presumably around 1879.
It is similar to the previous stamp except for the colour and the letter at the bottom (here it is a 'C').

On the stamps below, the value is at the bottom. The value depended on the number of cards in the pack, and on their quality. You can find the values in a separate table.

This stamp was in use in Austria from 1882 to 1899.
The stamp number is on a shield inside the eagle.


This stamp was in use in Austria from 1900 to 1920.
It differs from the one before by having the colours interchanged.


This stamp was in use in Austria from 1920 to 1925.
The text is 'ÖSTERR. KARTENSTEMPEL', the eagle has a sickle and a hammer in the claws. The value is given in Kronen ('K').


This stamp was in use in Austria from 1926 to 1934.
The design is like that of the previous one, but the value is now in Groschen ('g') or Schilling ('S').


This stamp was in use in Austria from 1934 to 1939.
The text is again 'ÖSTERR. KARTENSTEMPEL', but the eagle is different: the heads have halos, and the sickle and hammer are left away. The value is in Groschen ('g') or Schilling ('S').


These stamps (or imprints) were no official tax stamps, but the manufacturers used them from 1939 to c. 1946.
The text is the maker's name and place; the value is the tax value. There were playing-card taxes at that time, but the tax stamps had been abandoned.
(middle stamp scanned by Christoph Leifer)

The stamp was on the Ace of Hearts for French-suited cards, on the Seven of Bells for double-figured German-suited cards, on the Eight of Bells for single-figured German-suited cards, and on the Ten of Coins for Latin-suited cards.

For some strange overprints on tax stamps from Austria, see the 'overprints' page.

There was also a stamp on playing-cards that was introduced in 1881 when Galicia got its autonomy.

(from a scan by Niki Märzweiler, explanation from Ulrich Knüpfer)

Besides the stamps on the cards there were also paper bands ('Verschlussmarken') to seal the packaging.

This is an example from 1885, the value is 30 Kreuzer.

You can get additional information and illustrations of Austrian sealing bands on a 'Sealing Band Page'.

© Peter Endebrock, 21 July 2019