A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar


A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Finland 1917-1940

1918 70p gray brown
"Arms of the Republic"
Quick History
When the October Revolution occurred in Russia, Finland declared independence on December 6, 1917. But a civil war broke out in Finland between the Whites, who had the support of Imperial Germany, and the Reds, with the Whites prevailing. The enmity between the Whites and Reds strained the social and political fabric of Finland for many years: well until the Winter War with the Soviet Union (1939-40) and beyond.

In 1917 the population was 3 million, and of course Helsinki was the capital.

But Finland after 1917 was now independent. After a short monarchy, Finland became a presidential republic. The relationship with the Soviet Union continued to be tense.

During WWII, Finland fought the Soviet Union in the Winter War (1939-40) and the Continuation War (1941-44). As a result, Finland was forced to cede Karelia, Salla, and Petsamo to the Soviet Union.

Areas ceded to the Soviet Union 1944

But Finland was never occupied by the Soviet Union and maintained its independence, but at a cost of 93,000 soldiers killed.  Finland also forced the Germans out of northern Finland in the Lapland War (1944-45).
1938 2m + 1/2m blue semi-postal
Victory of the White Army over the Red Guards
Into the Deep Blue
Affordable collectability
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, from 1856-1940, 281 major stamp descriptions.
Prior to 1900: 63 stamps: <$20 - 27 stamps; Of those 12 are <$5.
1900-1952: 218 stamps: <$5 - 181 stamps; of those 144 are <$1.
Total "inexpensive" stamps: 208
Affordability Index = 74%.
  
Finland's stamps are quite reasonable in price, but not dirt cheap. ;-) The issues after 1917 are dominated by two long definite series: the 69 stamp 1917-29 "Arms of the Republic", and the 43 stamp 1930-46 "Arms" issues. In fact, for many collectors, these two series is what characterizes Finnish stamps to them. And the bonus: The issues are both inexpensive and striking in design.

In addition, Finland has issued from 1922-1940 some lovely 43 semi-postal stamps; many for the benefit of the Red Cross.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

1917 10p rose & 1919 50p deep blue
Arms of the Republic
The iconic designed 1917-29 Helsinki issue was the first for this newly independent republic. It features the heraldic Finnish lion without the crown seen in earlier issues. This 26 stamp issue was unwatermarked, and generally is perforation 14. Some stamps also come in perforation 14 1/4 X 14 3/4, and are given minor numbers in Scott.

 1919 75p on 20p orange & 1921 60p on 40p red violet
There are eight stamps of the "Arms of the Republic" design that can be found surcharged in 1919 and 1921. Presumably, this reflects the inflation occurring in central Europe during this time?

1926 40p blue green Type I, 1925-29 "multiple swastika" wmk
1928 40p blue green Type II, 1927-29 "post horn" wmk
The 1917-29 "Arms of the Republic" design was printed again in 1925-29 with a "multiple swastika" watermark (9 stamp issue), and then in 1927-29 with a "post horn" watermark (10 stamp issue). If you review the watermarks in a catalogue, it should help to pick out the admittedly faint "multiple swastika" and "post horn" watermarks imaged above.
The "swastika" is a jarring watermark to find here in a Finland issue, as today we generally associate the symbol  with the Nazis.  But in the earlier 20th century, it was a symbol of good luck. The Finnish Air Force from 1918-45 used the swastika as an insignia.
Insignia used by the Finnish Air Force 1918-45 as a good luck symbol.
 Nothing sinister about it.

Of interest,  the 1927-29 issue reverts to a more familiar  "post horn" watermark.
The (Stamps)  image above also illustrates two types of 40p inscriptions: the type I -a thin figure of value; and type II- a thick figure of value.

1930-46 5p chocolate & 2m indigo "Arms"
The second major definitive series was first issued in 1930, and repeats the heraldic Finnish lion design. This issue had 38 stamps! BTW, I read an amusing anecdote that at one time a bear rather than a lion was suggested as the Finnish symbol. After all, there are plenty of bears in Finland, and no lions. ;-) But the bear was too closely associated as the Russian symbol, so the idea was dropped.

 1931 50p 0n 40p blue green & 1.25m on50p yellow
1937 2m on 1 1/2m carmine
Here are some surcharged varieties of the "Arms" issue. These examples gives me an excuse to show off more of this iconic Finnish stamps. ;-)

1930 10m lilac gray & 1943 10m red violet "Lake Saima"
The 1930 10m lilac gray was re-engraved, and comes in a dark violet ('32) and a red violet ('43) shade. The re-engraved version has the clouds, the foliage, and the islands outlined more clearly. Check your collection for the original 1930 version, as it is catalogued at $4+ used/$60 mint!

1937 2m +20p brown lake "Turunmaa"
Finally, as an example of the beautifully designed semi-postals of 1922-40, here is the 1937 "Turunmaa" stamp. Most of the semi-postals issued by Finland were for the benefit of the Red Cross. Wow! Gorgeous!

Deep Blue
The Deep Blue album, on 22 pages, provides space for all the major Scott numbers. Particularly appreciated is the separate 1941-46 "Arms" page, which gives spaces for the "Arms" definitives issued during those years.
"Ship of Mercy"
1930 2m + 20p dark blue & red semi-postal
Surtax for the benefit of the Red Cross
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on 6 pages, provides space for 118 regular and 42 semi-postal stamps, for a total of 160 stamp spaces. Coverage is 57%. As I noted in the earlier Finland blog, BB includes spaces for "1866-71" serpentine rouletted Scott 9 20p blue on blue ($60+), and Scott 10 40p rose on lilac rose ($70+). I may need to obtain these to keep up with Big Blue. :-) BB provides representative space for all the earlier issues I covered in the earlier blog, although BB does condense the 1901 and 1901-14 redrawn issues into one space.


Simple Checklist

1868-71
9,10,

1875-81
17 or 25,18,21 or 28,29,23,

1885
31,32,33,34,

1889-90*
38,39*,40,

1889-90
41a or 41,42 or 42a,43,

1891-92
46,47,48,49,

1891-92
50,51,52,

1901-03
64 or 70,65 or 71, 66 or 72, 67 or 73, 68 or 74,

1911
77,78,79,80,81,

1917-18
83,85,88,91,94,96,101,107,

Next page

1918
111,112,113,114,115,116,117,

1919-21
119,120,121,122,123,124,125,126,

1921-26
87,93,98,99 or 133,100,104,105 or 136,106,

1919
84,86,89,92,97,

1927
141,142,

1925-28*
90 or 128,95 or 131,102,103 or 135,108,(110),

1929
155,156,157,

1931
180,181,

Next Page

1930
177,178 or 205 (re-engraved),179

(1930)
158,159,160,

(1930)
161,162,163,165,166,167,169,

1930
171,175,

1931
182,183,

1931
195,196,

1931
197

1934
206,

1935
207,208,209,


1936
173,176,212,


1937
213,

1938
214,

1939
215,216,217,218,219,

Next Page

1940
220,

Next Page

Semi-Postal
1922
B1

1930
B2,B3,B4,

1932
B10,

1932
B9,B11,

1931
B5,B6,B7,

1933
B12,B13,B14,

1934
B15,B16,B17,
1935
B18,B19,B20,

1936
B21,B22,B23,

Next Page

(semi-postal)
1937
B25,B24,B26,

1938
B34,

1938
B27,B28,B29,B30,

1938
B31,B32,B33,

1939
B35,B36,B37,B38,

1940
B39,B40,B41,B42,B43,

Comments

A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold)
1868-71 (Serpentine Roulette)
Scott 9 20p blue/bluish Type III $67
Scott 10 40p rose/lilac rose Type III $77

1875-81
Scott 25 2p gray $15
Scott 18 5p orange $15
Scott 29 25p rose $10
Scott 23 32p carmine $57

1891-92
Scott 48 3k carmine $12 mint
Scott 49 4k rose $15
Scott 51 10k dark blue $15

B) *1889-90 : Note 1895-96 (Scott 60-63) issue not in BB

C) 1889-90 : *39-is 5p green in Scott, Rather than “yellow” in BB. Of interest, the ’47 Scott lists the color as “yellow-green”.

D) *1925-28: The 1927-29 Scott 143-152 “Arms of the Republic” issue, all inexpensive, is not in BB.
Also, there are some "near-miss" colors that did not qualify for a space in BB among the "Arms of the Republic" issues. Missing a space because of that are some of the 1925-29 Scott 127-140 issue.

E) ( ) around a number signifies a blank space choice

1938 1 1/4m dark blue
"Mail delivery in 1700"
Out of the Blue
Iconic designs, inspirational history, and generally inexpensive. The earlier issues require an attention to detail, and an awareness of the Russian "look alikes". A great and rewarding philatelic country.

Note: Maps and image appear to be in the Public domain.

Please leave a comment below! Thanks!

Finland today





4 comments:

  1. Working on Finland. I'm looking at 1875 - 1881. You have 17 or 25, 18, 21 or 28, 29 and 33.

    The illustration for #33 suggests a 32 penni stamp. The catalogue number suggests that the value is 20 penni.

    Is there a mistake in Blue? My catalogue? My analysis?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joseph-
    Whoops, wrong number! ;-) My "33" should be "23" as you said.

    I note I did write "23" in the Finland space for the illustrated 32 penni stamp in my Big Blue, and have the "23" marked as a stamp needed for BB in my 1840-1940 Scott catalogue, so I made a mistake when creating the checklist.

    Thanks for pointing out the error. I have corrected it.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi

    For your information.

    From January 1, 1963 one old markka became one penni, 100 penni's became one new markka. And then, of course, euros. At the beginning, one euro corresponded about six markkas.

    Old, engraved stamps are beauties as are early offset issues. After Posti, early directly owned by the state, became a kind of company, the quality - I think - dropped disastrously. A birds stamp collector, I'm ashamed of all nature-related stamp designs after, say, the1970's.

    Kari
    Turku, Finland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kari- thanks for the update, and your opinion about the quality of stamps after 1970. I too focus on stamps prior to 1970.

      Delete