THE 1933 WIPA SEMI POSTAL ISSUE
The 1933 WIPA semi postal is one of the best designed and most saught after issues from Austria. The souvenier sheet is perhaps the most popular of the WIPA items and a staple at auctions that regularly feature Austrian stamps. However, there is much more interesting material to be had as the items below illustrate.

The 1933 WIPA was printed on a white granite paper that contains blue silk threads matching the color of the stamp (Scott 110a). This example also illustrates the official exhibition cancellation.

110a is also known imperforate, but it is quite uncommon.

I obtained this stamp at auction in 1981 for $900. When expertised by the APA, their expert committee had never seen one before. To ensure that it was genuine, they showed it to their European counterparts for verification. Much later, when Scott revalued the entire market downward, its catalog value was slashed to, guess what, $900, presumably because this was the last (only?) available auction result.

Detail showing the background grid.

There are also a variety of essays known, some quite interesting. This one is evidently an early proof of concept essay. Printed on card stock using a different technique, it is larger then life and differs in many of its details from the issued stamp. There are small differences in the hills, trees and coach. The stars on the right side of the arch are placed differently, there is a flag missing from one of the musical notes, the lettering passes through the outer frame line, and the design is not signed.