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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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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.
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.