General philatelic page or Sweden Commemorative Main page

Sweden's Commemorative Stamps From the Technical Side

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    Commemoratives 1905-1940

    Commemoratives from1920 - 1940 tend to run in series. There are five great series here:

    1. The UPU Congress. 1924. Scott #197-212.
    2. The UPU 50th Anniversary. 1924. Scott #213-228
    3. 500th Anniversary of the Swedish Parliment. 1935. Scott #239-247
    4. 300th Anniversay of the Swedish Postal Service. 1936. Scott #248-262.
    5. 300th Anniversary of the Swedish Settlement in America. 1938. Scott #268-74.
    In addition we find smaller sets and single stamps setting the basic tone for Swedish stamp subjects in this time: Swedish royalty of the past, and present; and late in the 1930'sSwedish scientists and writers begin to appear.

    The UPU series of 1924

    The UPU series are to Swedish philately what the Columbians are to the US, it seems to me. Two long series with the stamps becoming more expensive as the face value increases. Together their catalog value of almost $1200 mint makes up 5% (?) of the total catalog value of the Scott listings for Sweden. Interestingly enough they are worth more used than mint. Since they are still valid for postage this seems to present an opportunity.

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    Commemoratives from 1941 - 1966

    1. Europa: 1960
    2. The Nobel Prize: 1945-1966
    3. Norden: The Nordic Countries 1956
    4. Sports Championships: 1949-1966
    With these stamps, perhaps between Scott #316 and Scott #713 there are few technical issues. They have great topical interest, but few varieties. Plate flaw varieties are known on several stamps, the last of which is the1946 Tegner. The 1942 Folkskolan &1966 Ships on Stamps series also show plate varieties.

    I collect these MNH (Scott starts their MNH evaluations at #358 (1945)) and used. The used stamps are the challenge. The principal thing that I look for in used commemoratives of this period is well-struck cancels. The era of SOTN cancels ended with the Oscars, and by the postwar period cancels which are readable, clearly dated, and which do not disfigure the stamp, are extremely hard to find. One does find First Day cancels occasionally, presumably soaked off of a FDC, and these can add some interest to the page. The prize FDC cancel is one in which the date is fully on the stamp (or the pair, as often happens).

    I am trying to find examples of each stamp canceled in as many years as possible. I don't pay attention to the day and month so I'm really not seeking the earliest and latest uses. However some Swedish commemoratives come and go quickly, like ours in the USA, and others persist. Finding the cancels shows me which is which.

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  1. Scott #316-18 May 11, 1941. "Reformers Presenting the Swedish language Bible to Gustavus". I picked this issue to start the second group of commemoratives because it marks the end of a series of definitive sized commemoratives issued 1938-40. It also marks the end of the dual perforation booklets for commemoratives (but see #322).

    The Nobel Prize on Swedish Stamps: 1945-1966

    1. Stamps Related to the Nobel Prize

      1. 1945, 27 Feb. 80th Anniversary of the Red Cross" The organization got the Peace Prize in ( ). One value, two stamps. 20 ore red (coil, booklet). Varieties: double transfers around the cross, and right of the cross. These transfers are, I believe, the only plate varieties known on any Swedish Nobel stamps. NOTE: BB pairs are unusually valuable used or on cover. NB a rare stamp also where Scott and Facit numbers agree. Topic Nobel Scott 358-59, 359a. Facit 358, H72.

      2. 1947, Dec 10. The 50th Anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death. Two values, 3 stamps: 20 ore (coil & booklet) and 30 ore. Topic Nobel Scott 380-82, 382a. Facit 372-72, H80.

      3. 1958, Nov 20. The 100th Anniversary of the birth of author Selma Lagerlof. Awarded the Nobel prize in literature in 1909. Three values, 5 stamps. 20 ore red (coil and booket), 30 ore blue (coil and booklet), 80 ore olive.= Scott 532-36, Facit 497-499, H124-125.

      4. 1959, May 8. The 100th Anniversary of the Red Cross idea . Picured is Henry Dunant who conceived the Red Cross. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. One value, two stamps: 30 + 10 ore red (coil and booklet). Scott B47-48, Facit 502, H127


      5. 1959, July 6. 100th Anniversary of the birth of author Verner von Heidenstam .Awarded the Nobel prize in literature 1916. (See Scott 1185-86). Two values, three stamps:15 ore red (coil and booklet), 1 kr blue grey (coil). Scott 541-43, 543a. Facit 503-04, H128.

      6. 1959, Dec 10. The100th Anniversary of the birth of chemist Svante Arrhenius. Awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry 1903. (See Scott 637-39). Two values, three stamps: 15 ore red brown (coil and booklet), 1.70 kr blue (coil). Scott 547-49, 549a. Facit 507-08, H130.

      7. 1960, Nov 23. 100th Anniversary of the birth of politician Hjalmar Branting. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1921 . Two values, three stamps: 15 ore red (coil and booklet), 1.70 kr blue (coil). Scott 564-66, 566a. Facit 519-20, H135.

      8. 1964, Feb 3. 100th anniversary of the birth of poet Erik Axel Karlfeldt, awarded the Nobel prize in literature in 1931. One design, (The Ascensioin of Elia), two values, three stamps. 35 ore blue, coil and booklet. 1.05 kr red. Scott 640-642, 642a. Facit 555-56. H162.

      9. 1966, Jan 15. 100th Anniversary of the birth of archbishop Nathan Soderblom awarded Nobel Peace prize1930. One design, two values, three stamps: 60 ore brown (coil & booklet), 80 ore blue-green coil. Scott 693-95, 695a. Facit 572-73, H175.

    2. The Nobel Prize winners Series 1961-66

      Nobel Prizes are awarded by committees in Sweden and Norway. The Norwegians award the peace prize, the Swedes the literature, medicine, physics, and chemistry prizes. The original plan may have been for the Norwegans to honor the peace prize winner each year, as they did in1961. For whatever cause, the Swedes stamps in this period only depict the winners of the prizes the Swedes awarded. The Norwegians have honored winners 3 times: 1961, 1968, and 1981.

      1. 1961, 9 Dec. The 1901 winners: One design featuring busts of W.C. Rontgen, physics;RFA Sully-Prudhomme, literature; E.A. von Behring, medicine; and J.H.vant Hoff, chemistry. three values, four stamps and one booklet. 20 ore red (coil and booklet), 40 ore blue, 50 ore green. Scott 603-06, 606a . Facit 529-31, H144.

        1961, 9 Dec. Norway releases two stamps honoring the 1901 peace prize winners: Henri Dunant and Frederic Passy. 40 ore brown carmine, 100 ore olive green. Design similar to Swedish stamps. Facit 497-98.

        1961, 10 October. Norway released its third series honoring Fridjof Nansan, Nobel (peace?) prize winner. 100th anniversary of his birth. Two stamps: 45 ore and 90 ore. Facit 493-94

      2. 1962, 10 December. The 1902 winners. Two designs, two values, three stamps & one booklet. 25 ore red, coil & booklet; 50 ore blue. Scott 617-19, 619a. Facit 540-41, H153.

      3. 1963, 10 December. The 1903 winners. Two designs, two values, three stamps. 25 ore olive green, coil and booklet; 50 ore brown. Scott 637-39, 639a. Facit 553-53, H 160.

      4. 1964, 10 December. The 1904 winners. Two designs, two values, four stamps. 30 ore blue, coil and booklet. 40 ore red, coil and booklet. Scott 673-76, 675a, 676a. Facit 559-560, H167-168.

      5. 1965, 10 December. The 1905 winners. Two designs, two values, four stamps. 30 ore blue, coil and booklet. 40 ore red, coil and booklet. Scott 689-92, 691a, 692a. Facit 570-71. H173-174.

      6. 1966, 10 December. The 1906 winners. Two designs, two values, four stamps. 30 ore red-brown, coil and booklet. 40 ore dark green, coil and booklet. Scott 710-713, 712a, 713a. Facit 593-594. H183-184.

      Commemoratives from 1967 - 1996

      In 1967 we start what is really a new era of Swedish stamps. The first two-color stamps are The Field, issued March 15, 1967. Full color comes June 16 in Finnish Settlers which is also the first of a number of stamps printed outside of Sweden. Back numbering becomes common from March 15, 1967's Uppsala Cathedral, and all stamps from March 15, 1967 - June 19, 1976 were tagged. (Scott 719-1165).

      I would end this chapter there but the topical considerations make me consider the subjects of the stamps as the main thread during these years with the technical aspects a secondary theme. For the in these years Sweden developed its system of issuing series of stamps with annual additions. By now, in 1996, most Swedish issues fall into one continuing series or another.

      The Nobel Prize series is the largest and longest running of these. It began in 1961 and continues to this day. There are 35 annual sets of Nobel Prize stamps. It is true that the Norden series harks back to the 1956 issue, and the Europa to a 1960, but neither series got its second set until 1969. That long gap makes me give honors to the Nobel series.

      Christmas Stamps (Julpost)

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      Discount stamps (Privatpost)

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      1960, Sep 19. Europa I - included in this page with later issues as it was the only Europa issue prior to 1969. Two values, common design with other European countries. 40 ore blue, 1k red. Facit 517-18

      Nobel Prize Winners

      1. 1967, Dec 9 Top of page

        This page is Last updated 17 Aug 1996