Stamp Stories from around the world

On 1 January 1849 the Swiss National Post took over the fourteen cantonal post services. The postal charges for letters and packages were the same in all of Switzerland from October 1849 onwards. In 1850 the first stamps valid in all of Switzerland were issued.
The adoption of the federal constitution in 1848 made it practical to issue confederation-wide stamps, and the first of these came out in 1850 (the exact date is uncertain). All used the same basic design, a Swiss cross surmounted by a posthorn, but there were a number of variations. The local-rate stamps had a value of 2½ rappen, with some inscribed “ORTS-POST” (German) and “POSTE LOCALE” (French). This was the first of many multi-language issues. For longer-distance mail, the 5-rappen stamp was inscribed “RAYON” and the 10-rappen, “RAYON II”. Initially the stamps were issued with a black frame separating the white cross from the red background, but as a technically incorrect rendition of the Swiss arms, these were withdrawn. Todays stamp is the 10 Rappen “Rayon II” issue from 1850 with a beautiful “PP” (Port payé) cance. CV is 130 euros.