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Albania collectible postage stamps and covers

The southern European country now knows as The Republic of Albania issued its own stamps beginning in 1913; prior to that, the area used the stamps of the Turkish Empire. Those very first stamps were Turkish stamps with an Albanian overprint: a double-headed eagle and the legend SHQIPËNIA. “Shqipënia” would be the first of a large number of variations of the country’s name on Albanian stamps over the years.

The first Albanian stamp issues, 1913

Later in 1913, the first true Albanian stamps were used; these were very simple text-dominated pieces that look more like postmarks than postage stamps. On these interim postage stamps, a small double-headed eagle (on most), with the words të Shqipëniës and the value, were encircled with the words Postat e Qeverriës së Perkohëshme. In December 1913, Albania released its first stamps that look like traditional stamps, inscribed SHQIPËNIE E LIRË.

Complex Albanian history, 1914 — 1946

Immediately, however, there began a rather bewildering era of Albanian stamp history, mirrored by the chaotic history of the country in general around this time. First, an independent republic was declared; stamps of this time included many different overprints, plus different inscriptions for the name of the country, including SHQIPËNIË, POSTA SHQYPTARE, POSTE SHQYPTARE, REPUBLIKA SHQIPTARE, and REP. SHQIPTARE. Others have no inscription at all, and may be identified by the prominent double-headed eagle.

In 1928, Albania suddenly became a monarchy under King Ahmed Zogu (formerly named Zog). Old stamps with overprints were used at first, and then in 1930 new stamps were issued, inscribed POSTAT SHQIPTARE; later inscriptions read SHQIPNI.

Italy invaded Albania in 1939, issuing new stamps inscribed MBRETNIJA SHQIPTARE. German forces occupied Albania in 1943, overprinting the Italian stamps; these were used until 1944.

After World War II, Albania became independent once again. Stamps in 1945 were issued inscribed QEVERIA DEMOKRATIKE E SHQIPNIS. In 1946, the new appellation REPUBLIKA POPULLORE E SHQIPERISE was used, first as an overprint, then as an inscription on new stamp issues. This was subsequently shortened on some stamps to a variation of RP E SHQIPERISE, SHQIPERIA, SHQIPËRIJA, et cetera. Since the 1960s, most Albanian stamps have tended to use SHQIPËRIA, with and without the umlaut over the ‘E’.

Modern Albanian stamps

Despite an ambitious schedule of postage stamp issuance in recent decades, including a wide range of international subjects and special item aimed at international philatelists and collectors, the English name ALBANIA virtually never appears on stamps. In addition to regular collectible postage stamps from Albania’s interesting history, there have been postage due stamps, air post stamps, and semi-postal stamps that appeal to collectors. Check our current selection of Albanian postage stamps for sale in this section, and come back daily to see new listings.

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