The first postage stamps of the Austrian Empire were released on 1 June 1850 featuring the Habsburg coat of arms and crown. These items were typographed and issued in denominations of 1, 2, 3, 6 and 9 kreuzers. They appeared following the establishment of the German-Austrian Postal Union effective 1 July 1850, which provided a uniform system of postal rates. One of the most impressive stamps from this issue is 1kr black Lombardy-Venetia that is especially desirable on the small piece of newspaper. A very fine example of this item was sold by Robert A Siegel in May, 2001. Considered as a real gem of Austrian philately, featuring large margins and tied by bold strike of blue “Bergamo” handstamp, this spectacular lot made $2,800.