Habibullah Khan (who ruled from 1901 to 1919) was determined to modernise the
Afghan postal service. To further this aim he introduced Afghanistan’s
first “European-style” stamps in 1907. However, that issue was only an interim
step and not without its problems: the sheet size was still too small – only
two panes of six could be printed at a time, and the perforating equipment was
unsatisfactory and soon abandoned. It can be looked upon as a trial run for the
issue which followed it: the 1909-19 series. That series was the first truly “modern” Afghan issue.
·it was the first Afghan series to
be produced by typography
·the sheet size of 50 stamps was a
big improvement on what had previously been managed
·it was the first issue to be
perforated as a matter of course (although, as will be seen, there were still
Initially, there were three values: 1 Abasi, 2
Abasi and 1 Rupee (1 Rupee =
three were reissued in different colours in 1916, and again in 1918/19. An
additional 2 Paisa value was introduced in 1913 (2 Paisa =1/10 Abasi).
The 2 paisa
For examples used on postcards, see the Stationery Section of the website.