Return To Catalogue - Types of the 1850 issue, part 1 - Types of the 1850 issue, part 2 - Issues form 1854-1881 - Issues from 1882-1906 - Issues from 1907-1920
- Cantonal issues: Basel - Geneva - Neuchatel - Vaud - Winterthur - Zurich -
Fiscal Stamps - Miscellaneous; railway, due, Campione etc. - Cancels on first federal issues - Pro Juventute (Chilrens welfare stamps) - Hotel Labels
Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them: .
The stamps of Switzerland often bear the name 'Helvetia'. Several Cantons (provinces) issued their own stamps before the government issue of 1850. Many stamps of the first issued and cantonal stamps can be found on the website http://www.ghonegger.ch/ (with many beautiful pictures of the rarities of this country). A very nice website can be found on: http://www.timbressuisses.ch/cadre.htm.
inscription 'POSTE LOCALE' (=local post in french) 2 1/2 Rp black and red Inscription 'ORTS-POST' (=local post in german) 2 1/2 Rp black and red Inscription 'RAYON I' 5 Rp black and red on blue 5 Rp blue and red Inscription 'RAYON II' 10 Rp black and red on yellow Inscription 'RAYON III' 15 Rp red (large value) 15 Rp red (small value) 15 Cts red
Value of the stamps
vc = very common c = common * = not so common ** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon R = rare RR = very rare RRR = extremely rare
|2 1/2 r Poste Locale||RRR||RRR|
|2 1/2 r Ortspost||RRR||RR||without cross outline: RRR|
|5 r black and red on blue||RR||R||with cross outline: RR|
|5 r blue and red||R||***||with cross outline: RRR|
|10 r||R||***||with cross outline: RRR|
|15 r (large value)||RR||***|
|15 r (small value)||RRR||RR|
The 'Ortspost', 'Poste Locale', 'Rayon I' and 'Rayon II' exist in 40 types each. The 'Rayon III' stamps exist in 10 different types each. Click here for more information on the types of the 1850 issue, part 1: 'Orts-Post', 'Poste Locale', 'Rayon I' or part 2: 'Rayon II' and 'Rayon III'. Furthermore specialists distinguish stamps with a black outline of the cross and stamps without this outline (framed central cross or 'Kreuzeinfassung' in german or 'croix encadree' in french). Examples of these crosses:
5 rp 'Rayon I', black and red on blue with black outline around cross (left) and without (right)
The 'Ortspost', 'Poste Locale', 'Rayon I' and 'Rayon II' exist with or without these crosses. The 'Ortspost' and 'Poste Locale' are more common with outline, the 'Rayon I' (both colours) and the 'Rayon II' are more common without outline. The 'Rayon II' is extremely rare with outline(be aware of forgeries where a cross is added!). The 'Poste Locale' without outline is also very rare.
The 2 1/2 rp stamps were issued first in 1850 and could only be used for local letters (heavier letters needed more stamps). For letters to be send outside the local area the 'Rayon' stamps were issued later.
For typical cancels on first federal issues click here.
Date of issue:
|2 1/2 r Orts-Post||18th May 1850|
|2 1/2 r Poste Locale||1st October 1850|
|5 r Rayon I black and red on blue||1st October 1850|
|10 r Rayon II||1st October 1850|
|5 r Rayon I blue and red||2nd Mars 1851|
|15 r (small) Rayon III||1st January 1852|
|15 cts Rayon III||1st January 1852|
|15 r (large) Rayon III||April 1852|
All these stamps were valid for use upto 30th September 1854.
Many forgeries exists, they are often hard to distinguish from genuine stamps because many types of the genuine stamps exist as well. Examples of forged stamps can be found here and here (some of the above shown stamps could very well be forgeries too!).
The most famous catalogue of Switzerland is the Zumstein catalogue (in German).