During the first part of the 19th century private letters from Montenegro are very rare. It is mainly official and ecclesiastical letters carried by couriers that are to be found.
In 1854 an Austrian Post Office, operated by Österreichischer Lloyd, was opened post office in Antivari, then in the Ottoman Empire, now known as Bar; this office was closed in 1878 when the town was returned to Montenegro. The stamps used during this period were the issues for Austrian post offices in the Ottoman Empire.
The first stamps to be issued by Montenegro were in 1874 which coincided with the opening of the first post office for public use. The design of the stamps had a bust of Prince Nicholas. In 1893 seven different values of the existing stamps were overprinted to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of introduction of printing into Montenegro. In 1896 a range of 12 stamps were issued for the bicentenary of the Petrovich Niegush dynasty. 1902 saw the introduction of new currency and new stamps with a new design and a new bust of Prince Nicholas.
Montenegro was one of the few European countries to issue a stamp for the Avis de réception service.
In 1905 a new Constitution was passed in Montenegro and this resulted in existing stamps being overprinted to commemorate the event. Another change in currency in 1907 produced new stamps with another design incorporating the bust of Prince Nicholas.
On the 50th anniversary of the reign of Prince Nicholas, in 1910, he was crowned King of Montenegro and the principality was proclaimed a kingdom. This resulted in a new range of stamps being issued to commemorate this event.
In 1912 a new set of definitive stamps incorporating the bust of King Nicholas was issued.
Austria occupied Montenegro in 1915. Austro-Hungarian Military Post stamps were overprinted Montenegro and issued in 1917. Four stamps were produced but only two were actually used. The general public, however, used stamps of Austria during the occupation
On 13 November 1918 Montenegro was united with Serbia. In 1922 it became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Then in 1929 this became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Montenegro was occupied by Italy in 1941 and then Germany in 1943; they established the Protectorate of Montenegro in 1941 and issuing of stamps resumed until 1944. After 1944 Montenegro became a part of Yugoslavia with no separate stamp issues.
Upon its independence in 2006 the country again resumed issuing its own stamps.
The postal stationery issued by Montenegro used the same designs as those used for stamps.
Postcards were first issued in 1888, envelopes and newspaper wrappers in 1893, and lettercards in 1894. The design of all these was the bust of Prince Nicholas as first used for stamps in 1874.
In 1893, only envelopes and postcards were overprinted to commemorate the 400th anniversary of introduction of printing into Montenegro.
In 1896 all the different items of stationery were issued for 200th anniversary of Petrovich Niegush Dynasty.
The 1902 new stamp design of the bust of Prince Nicholas was also employed on all the items of postal stationery.
In 1906, envelopes, lettercards and postcards were overprinted to commemorate the granting of the constitution.
The 1907 and 1912 (in 1913) stamp designs were also used on all four items of postal stationery.