27 Feb 2012

Slovenia SHS Chainbreaker Postage Due 1921 Ljubljani to Ribnica

I was rummaging through a load of old covers I had squirrelled away in a shoebox and came across this item of ephemera. It's a 1921 Slovenian money order sent from Ljubljani to Ribnica. The stamp on the reverse of the order is the Chainbreaker or Verigar stamp with a postage due (Porto) overprint. It is considered to be the first Slovenian stamp and was issued for the first time in 1919. The design of the stamp, a man breaking the chains that bind him in front of a rising sun, symbolise the freedom of the Slovenes from Austro-Hungary.

Interestingly the inscriptions on the stamp in both cyrillic and latin scripts relate to the short-lived State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (Dr┼żava Slovencev, Hrvatov in Srbov - SHS) that was formed following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. By the time the stamp was issued the SHS had merged with the Kingdom of Serbia to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later to be known as Yugoslavia) and as such was a stamp of a country no longer in existence.