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1945 Traugutt 25 Groszy Stamp with 5 ZL Surcharge
Exhibit Synopsis

As the Second World War neared an end, the newly formed People’s Republic of Poland issued a series of three stamps on 7-8 September, 1944 honoring Wodzowie (Heroes) from Polish History.  So honored were Romuald Traugutt, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Kazimierz Pulaski.  The series was issued in relatively low quantities (approximately 54.500 each denomination) and was withdrawn from circulation on February 13, 1945.
January 1945 marked the 82nd anniversary of the 1863 January Uprising, and one of the leaders of the uprising was Romuald Traugutt who was distinguished with his portrait on the 25 groszy stamp of the September 1944 three stamps Wodzowie (Heroes) series.  The Ministry of Post made the decision to reissue the 25 groszy denomination stamp to commemorate the anniversary, utilizing the original 25 groszy Traugutt plate.
The archived zinc plate was cleaned, proofs made, and a new typographic surcharge prepared with the anniversary date 22.I.1863, and a new denomination of 5 Zloty at the J. Pietrzykowski Printing House in Lublin.  The full run of 60,000 stamps (2000 sheets) were completed within four days and were surcharge immediately after printing.
Due to wartime shortages, the printer utilized leftover German letterheads.  The stamps were 11.5 “line” perforated in bundles of several sheets, and shifting created interesting varieties.
The original order called for the issue color to be “Light Brown”.  Since the ink (a combination of brown and red) was mixed in small batches, errors occurred resulting in a wide range of color shades.  The facility had no provision to apply adhesive and the stamp was issued without gum.  Placed into circulation on January 22, it was withdrawn on May 15, 1945.
Purpose & Scope:

This one-frame traditional exhibit detailing the production of this stamp, beginning with proof varieties, basic design properties of both the stamp and surcharge form and finally usage.


Exhibit is divided into four sections.

  • Color Varieties of proofs and unfinished stamps.

  • Surcharge properties including types of surcharge, varieties and errors.

  • Basic stamp with plate flaws, reoccurring ink stains, and perforation, paper and color varieties.

  • Postal Usage.  Due to the high denomination of the surcharged stamp, postally used letters exist, though very scarce.  No commercial usage is known to the exhibitor.

Discovered strip of five proofs printed in error on German text part of double size printing sheet.  The printing form was printed on one half of the sheet.  The second half remained blank.  Several such examples may exist, as subsequent sheets were printed on pre-cut half sheets.

Highlights include but not limited to:

- Proof in pink brown on medium paper with German text on reverse

- Strip of five proofs on a part of double size printing sheet (Discover piece)

- Double surcharge stamp (less than 25 known)

- Imperforate stamp

- Pair of bicolor stamp light grayish red /brown pink (1 of 6 known)

- Orange red on piece stamp (1 known)

- Dark yellowish brown (less than 10)


Fischer catalog vol. I 2011 edition.

H.Monkos, L.Schmutz – Przeglad Filatelistyczny 2003, Nr. 2 pp. 9 - 13.

A.Schoeni, S.Folta – Podrecznik Specjalizowany PZP 1944 - 1999, 2002 pp. 134 - 137.

M.Kalinowski, L.Schmutz – Filatelistyka 1999, Nr. 9 pp. 427 - 428.

Polskie Znaki Pocztowe vol. II Warsaw 1960 pp. 289 - 299, 313.

Proceed to the exhibit gallery.