About philately

Brief history and basic concepts

О филателији
Word philately implies collecting, storing, exhibiting and studying of postage stamps.

The introduction of the term philately is related to the circle of French stamp collectors in the second half of the 19th century.

The word philately quickly entered all the dictionaries and lexicons and became accepted, not only by those who dealt with it, but also in everyday speech and in all the languages of the world. From it, all the words which, as their base have "philatelie", from the Greek word philos - the one who loves:

  • philately - dealing with collecting, storing, exhibiting and studying of postage stamps;
  • philatelist - one who deals with the collection of postage stamps;
  • philatelic - in the sense of belonging to this activity, as well as many other words, but all of them relating to dealing with philately in any form.

Postage stamp is over 170 years old.

On May 6, 1840, the first postage stamp, commonly known as the "black penny" (one penny stamp, in black color, with the image of Queen Victoria), was introduced in Great Britain, which opened the way for this "miraculous little piece of paper” to be used in charging for postal services.

Immediately afterwards, most European and non-European countries accepted the introduction of postage stamps in the following order: Switzerland (Zurich, Geneva) 1843, Brazil 1849, Bavaria 1849, France January 1, 1850, Austria June 1, 1850, Prussia 1851, Russia 1857, and Turkey on January 13, 1863.

The Principality of Serbia opened its first post offices in 1840, which is also when the first postmarks were introduced.

By the Law on Post, which was adopted on May 1, 1866, it was officially stipulated that the State Printing Office prints and issues postage stamps that have officially entered into use as a means of paying the postage.

When it comes to postmarks, they were not created all at once and in one place. Their application was conditioned by the rapid development and modernization of postal services, opening of new post offices, and the increasing number of postal items in traffic. In any case, the postmark was, as the means of postal operations, at the same time the identification element of the time and environment in which it was used.

Postage stamp, sealed with a postmark within the postal system i.e. within the postal system of a specific country, and affixed to any postal item, represented a receipt for paid or unpaid postage for a particular postal service in the transfer of the item from the sender to the recipient.

Due to its widespreadness, collectionist and propaganda attractiveness, the postage stamp outgrew in time its original prepayment purpose. It has become the subject of special attention of postal administrations, both in terms of its graphic and visual design, as well as due to the choice of topics, themes, content, and motifs. In this way, in addition to its basic (prepayment) value, the postage stamp became the national emblem, due to its quality design, the manner of manufacturing, and even more by the choice and display of themes and motifs to the public - both domestic and international - drawing attention to historical, cultural, scientific, artistic, sports, and even economic achievements of a country.