January 1, 1860 – The the first Polish postage stamp is issued.
The first Polish postage stamp was issued when Poland was a constitutional kingdom within the Russian empire. Under Tsarist rule, Poland was allowed to form its own postal system and to issue its own stamps.
On early Russian stamps, the Romanov eagle was very common. The model for the first Polish stamp was of course that of the Tsarist Russian stamps which were then in use. The denomination is 10 Kopecks. It was only valid in Russia and occupied Polish territory.
The Russian two-faced Romanov eagle has been the Russian coat of arms since the 15th century. The eagle was the symbol of the Roman empire. After the division of the Roman empire, the eagle became the symbol of the Byzantine empire. All heirs, from Islamic Albanians to Eastern Orthodox Russians took over the symbol. In Greece, the eagle is used as a symbol for the Orthodox church.
The bird symbol of the crown of the Russian Tsar stands for a wide vision and the unprecedented opportunities of the world’s biggest state and its relation with the church.
This stamp was used in Poland until 1863, when the January Uprising broke out against the tsarist Russian oppression. After 1863, regular Russian stamps were used in Poland until World War I.
There are two main varieties of Poland No. 1: pale and dark prints. Both pale and dark prints have colour varieties of pale blue/rose and dark blue/carmine shades.
Poland, Scott No. 1a (pale):
Poland, Scott No. 1b (dark):
Map of Poland in 1860: