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Fabienne Angehrn, Lucerne

175 years Swiss stamps

The Swiss stamp is celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2018. The country’s first two stamps, Zurich 4 and 6, adorn the one-franc special stamp issued for this occasion. The national colour, red, was intentionally chosen as the background of the cantonal stamps.

On 1 March 1843, Switzerland issued the Zurich 4 and Zurich 6 stamps, and in so doing, became the second country in the world after the United Kingdom to introduce a postage prepayment 
system. This made Switzerland one of the pioneers of this revolutionary idea for postal services. Following on from the Zurich cantonal stamps, the Double Geneva was issued in the same year, and the famous Basel Dove arrived two years later.


After the foundation of the Swiss Confederation, the Rayon stamps, which were valid nationwide, were issued in 1850. Since then, all letters within Switzerland have been franked with stamps.
The special stamp, issued in honour of the 175th anniversary of Swiss stamps, has a face value of 1 franc and a surcharge of 50 centimes. The surcharge goes to the foundation for the promotion of philately and will help finance a special exhibition dedicated to this anniversary which is being held in the Museum of Communication in Berne from 2 March to 8 July 2018. The exhibition will include some particularly rare examples of the first Swiss stamps.

Jürg Freudiger

extreme! – special exhibition at the Museum of Communication in Berne

A veritable “treasure trove” of the most significant items of old Swiss philately, such as the “biggest items”, “rarest objects” and “most expensive pieces”, awaits visitors – it will quite simply be extreme!
The exhibition will impart a wealth of information thanks to numerous exhibits on all areas of philately and on the creation and production of a stamp. It will feature drafts of several stamps, extraordinary collections and collection areas, youth philately and thematic philately, as well as video presentations from collectors and information about looking after stamps. It’s certainly worth a visit!

Place: Museum of Communication, Helvetiastrasse 16, 3000 Berne, Switzerland

Opening times: 2 March to 8 July 2018, Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can find more information at: mfk.ch