Switzerland was the second country in the world to introduce postage stamps after the UK. UK issued its first postage stamps in 1840 while Switzerland started doing the same after three years in 1843. That’s the reason why Swiss stamps are popular all over the world. Some rare Swiss stamps are showcased at the at the Museum of Communicationexternal link in Bern to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Swiss postage stamps. These beauties are worth several million Swiss francs today. The 4-Rappen (4-cent) stamp and the 6-Rappen stamp were the first ever stamps to be issued in continental Europe.
The 4-rappen stamp has text which reads "Local-Taxe". It was used to pay for letters posted locally. The 6-rappen stamp has the text "Cantonal-Taxe". They were used on letters which were supposed to be delivered within canton Zurich.
Fine red lines were printed behind the numbers to prevent counterfeiting. Though they were popular, not many were issued in the beginning. These scarce stamps are now worth CHF1,400 ($1,500) to CHF18,000.
Works of Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler will also be showcased at the exhibition "EXTREMEexternal link". His creation was first rejected as a competition entry in 1901 but was accepted in 1937. The design was used to make a special stamp with a surcharge that was used to fund military activities.
Image Courtesy: Swiss Post