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. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Norway 1928-1940+ & BOB

1930 Scott 153 30o deep blue 
"Death of Olaf in Battle of Stiklestad"
Quick History
This blog post will cover Norwegian regular stamp issues from 1928-1940+, and the so called "Back of the Book (BOB) " issues- the semi-postals, the postage dues, and the official issue stamps.

There is a continuation during this era of the famous and iconic "Post Horn and Crown" Norwegian stamps, as well as the "Lion Rampant" design. Although not extremely challenging, one does need to pay attention to detail with these stamps, so one can identify the correct issue among a series of issues with these designs.

And one will find the Official "Coat of Arms" issues also need careful evaluation.

1929 Scott 149 14o on 2s orange "Coat of Arms"
Into the Deep Blue

A closer look at the stamps and issues
120 Skilling = 1 Specie Dollar
100 Ore = 1 Krone (1877)
1928 Scott 135 30o deep ultramarine "Henrik Ibsen"
Since the three stamp "Constitutional Assembly" issue of 1914, there were no other commemorative issues -until this one. If you are attracted to a conservative stamp issuing country, Norway will definitely suffice. ;-)

The 1928 four stamp issue in quite small, for size, in format, and celebrated the 1828 birthday of Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian realistic dramatist. His "A Doll's House" was the most performed play by the early 20th century.

1929 Scott 137 4o lilac rose
Postage Due Stamps of 1889-1923 Overprinted
Nine overprinted postage due stamps were issued for regular postage in 1929. CV ranges from <$1-$8+.

1929 Scott 145 10o green "Niels Henrik Abel"
It took only one year for the next commemorative issue- the 1929 four stamp "Niels Henrik Abel", celebrating this Norwegian mathematician. If you know what a general quintic equation is, or what elliptic functions and Abelian functions are, perhaps you can enlighten this stamp blog?  :-)

1932 Scott 156 20o rose red "Bjornson"
Bjornstjerne Bjornson received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1903. A four stamp issue was produced in 1932 celebrating his life.

There is an apocryphal story, based on the above cartoon, that when Norway was attempting to unloosen the union between itself and Sweden in 1905, Bjornson sent a telegram to the Prime Minister, stating "Now is the time to unite". The Prime Minister, in turn, sent a telegram which read "Now is the time to shut up". 

Although this specific incident was not true, Bjornson was, in fact, an advocate of maintaining the bonds between the two countries.

1934 Scott 159 15o brown "Holberg"
Ludvig Holberg had a four stamp set released in his honor in 1934. He is considered the founder of modern Danish and Norwegian literature.

1937 Scott 162 1o olive "Post Horn and Crown"
Second Redrawing, Perf 13 X 13 1/2, Wmk 160 
Back to the "Post Horn and Crown" issues. ;-)  The five stamps released in 1937 have a solid- as opposed to vertical lines- background of all of the former issues. And they are found with Wmk 160 "Post Horn".

Wmk 160 "Post Horn"
A refresher- the "Post Horn" watermark.

1941 Scott 189 3o deep orange 
1940-41 Issue, Perf 13 X 13 1/2, Unwatermarked
A six stamp "Post Horn" issue was produced in 1940-41: this time unwatermarked.  One will need the watermarking tray to distinguish this issue from the 1937 issue.

1937 Scott 167 10o bright green "Lion Rampant"
Wmk 160, Size 17 X 21 mm
In 1937, in conjunction with the "Post Horn" issue, there was also a 10 stamp "Lion Rampant" issue, watermarked 160 "Post Horn", and in size 17 X 21 mm.

1926 Scott 118 20o plum, Wmk 160, Size 16 X 19 1/2 mm
1940 Scott 196 20o red, Unwmk, Size 17 X 21 mm
The former (prior 1937) "Lion Rampant" issues are all 16 X 19 1/2 mm, so comparison should confirm the latter's larger size. The 17 X 21 mm issues are found, though, both watermarked ( Wmk 160), and unwatermarked.

1946 Scott 201A 55o deep orange
Unwmk, Size 17 X 21 mm
The 1940-49 issue- some 15 stamps- were issued unwatermarked. One will again need the watermarking tray to distinguish the 1937 vs 1940-49 issues.

1940 Scott 206 5k dull purple "Lion Rampant"
Finally, a four stamp "Lion Rampant" issue was released in 1940, but the denomination was in Krone/Kroner.

Semi-Postal 1931 Scott B4 20o + 10o carmine
"Radium Hospital"
Norway issued some semi-postals, beginning in 1930. Shown above is a 1931 release with the surtax aiding the Norwegian Radium Hospital.

1899 Scott J3 10o carmine rose "at betale"
1922 Scott J10 40o deep ultramarine "a betele"
There was a six stamp postage due issue between 1899-1914, and another six stamp set issued 1922-23. One can readily distinguish the two, as the first issue has "at betale" script, and the second "a betale".

1933 Scott O13 15o olive "Coat of Arms"
Lithographed, Size 35 X 19 1/4 mm
The 1933-34 Official "Coat of Arms" issue is found with both lithographed and typographed stamps.  The lithographed 12 stamp issue has major numbers in Scott, and measures slightly larger.

1933 Scott 19a 60o blue
Typographed, Size 34 X 18 3/4 mm
The typographed 8 stamp issue has minor numbers in Scott, and measures a bit smaller. 

1938 Scott O31 60o prussian blue
1937-38 Issue, Watermarked 160
The 1937-38 Official issue has 11 stamps, and has  Wmk 160 "Post Horn".

1939 Scott O37 20o carmine
1939-47 Issue, Unwatermarked
In contrast, the 1939-47 14 stamp issue is unwatermarked. The watermarking tray will be needed to distinguish the issues. ;-)

Deep Blue
1940-49 "Lion Rampant" issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) provides a space for all the issues discussed in this blog post, including the minor number 1933-34 Official typographed stamps.

1938 Scott 181 15o olive brown "Reindeer"
Big Blue
Big Blue's checklist is found in Norway's earlier blog post, but I will make a few comments here..

* All of the semi-postals are included in BB
* The 1937-38 wmk 160 issue: I also added the 1940-41 unwatermarked stamps as choices.
* The 1933-34 Official issue: Both the lithographic and typographic stamps are choices.
* The 1937-38 Official "Wmk 160" issue: I also added the 1939+ unwatermarked issue as a choice.

Official 1929 Scott O8 2o on 5o magenta 
"Coat of Arms"
Out of the Blue
I don't know if I've seen a country- stamp wise- as sober as Norway. Having grown up in Minnesota with a large Scandinavian population with it's share of, as the radio show "Prairie Home Companion" puts it- "Shy Bachelor Norwegian Farmers", I do, though, have an appreciation for it.

Note: Bjornson "cartoon" appears to be in the public domain.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Norway 1855-1927

1856 Scott 5 8s dull lake "King Oscar I"
Quick History
By 1814, Sweden and Norway, although each sovereign (Norway had just ratified a constitution),  had the same King and foreign policies. But Sweden was the leading state, and the King generally resided in Stockholm. With the rise of national identity (Example: Edvard Grieg and the incorporation of Norwegian folk music into his compositions), the Norwegians were increasingly unhappy with this arrangement.

Norway & Sweden, 1847
The first stamp of Norway in 1855 had the "Lion Coat of Arms", but the 1856-57 issue had the visage of King Oscar I. He was both King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1844- 1859. This was followed by Charles IV (1859-72), and Oscar II (1872-1905). Oscar II can be found on the stamps of 1877-78. But, for the most part, Norway used the "Post Horn" motif.

Finally, Independence (from Sweden) was declared in 1905- actually, a peaceful separation. The monarchy form of government was retained, however, and Haakon VII ( the former Prince Carl of Denmark) became the first independent Norwegian king in 586 years.

Norway tried to stay neutral in WW II, but was invaded by the Germans. They set up a collaborating government, under Vidkun Quisling, the minister president.

The Capital is Oslo, and the population was 2,900,000 in 1940.

1878 Scott 34 2k rose & maroon "King Oscar II"
Into the Deep Blue
Norway will be divided into two posts. This post will concentrate on the earlier regular issues up to 1927. The next post will show the rest of the regular issues as well as the "back of the book' issues.

The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Norway 1855-1949, 211 regular, 18 semi-postal, 3 air post, 12 postage due, and 46 official major descriptions.Total = 290.

Of those, 156 are CV <$1-$1+, or 54%.  The definitive issues beginning in 1893 are generally inexpensive, while the 1855-1893 stamps are "European" expensive for the WW collector.

Several comments about the stamps of Norway....
* Modest, small stamps with mostly definitives. Even the commemoratives tend to be small. I've noticed that small countries in population with despotic governments and  megalomaniac leaders tend to have large (in size) stamps. Not Norway. A good thing.
* The "Post Horn" and "Lion Rampant" designs are used for decades. Refreshing. But that does mean a close examination of the stamp is necessary to place it in the right issue.
* The Scott catalogue does a credible job with Norway.  But, if one really wishes to get to know these issues well, a Facit catalogue should be available for reference.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
120 Skilling = 1 Specie Dollar
100 Ore = 1 Krone (1877)
1857 Scott 2a 2s orange "King Oscar I"
Four stamps with the visage of King Oscar I were issued from 1856-57. He was a generally an enlightened king, and attempted to established equality between the two kingdoms.  Of interest, he appears here on Norwegian stamps, but never had a Sweden portrait stamp.

1863 Scott 10 24s brown "Coat of Arms"
The "Norwegian Lion" and an axe handle long enough to be a halberd is on the "Coat of Arms". This five stamp set was issued in 1863.

Coat of Arms
This was considered the official Coat of Arms between 1844-1905, when, in 1905, the coat of arms was changed with full independence.

1867 Scott 12 2s orange "Coat of Arms"
Another set of five stamps was issued in 1867-68 with a change in design for the lower denomination tablet..

1875 Scott 20 6s orange brown A5 "Post Horn and Crown"
The first, and by no means the last! :-) , of the Post Horns was issued in 1872-75. The six stamp set was denominated in Skilling.

1878 Scott 31 60o dark blue  A6 "Post Horn"
A similar set of 10 stamps was issued in 1877-78. The denomination is now in "Ore". Note the Sans-Serif lettering of "NORGE", and the shaded ring of the post horn.

1878 Scott 32 1k gray green & green 
"King Oscar II"
The three higher values of the stamps of 1877-78 show King Oscar II, who ascended the Swedish and Norwegian throne in 1872. Of interest, King Oscar II did not appear on a Swedish stamp until 1885.

1884 Scott 42 12o orange brown A8 "Post Horn"
Large Die (21 mm)
O.K., now we confront some of the complications of the "Post Horn" stamps. Scott lists this issue as 1882-1893, and has 11 major numbers (Scott 35-45). Note the unshaded post horn except for the filled in portion below the crown? Scott also mentioned in the footnotes the dies can vary from 20-21 mm high.

The Facit catalogue divides this issue into the 1882-85 Large Die (21 mm) stamps and the 1886-93 Small Die (20 mm) stamps. Above is an example of a large die stamp (21 mm).

The Deep Blue (Steiner) album pages follows the Facit layout.

If one is sorting this issue, one will need to measure the stamp (height)  in many instances to determine if it is a large die or a small die.

Also, recall that large die stamps were issued between 1882-85, while small die stamps were issued between 1886-93. This might be helpful when reviewing postmarks, especially a stamp with an 1882-85 date.

The Scott major numbers that are large die stamps include Scott 40 10o rose, Scott 41 12o green, Scott 42 12o orange brown, Scott 43 20o brown, and Scott 45 25o dull violet. But, for instance, the 10o rose can also be found as a small die, and a minor number in Scott.

1886 Scott 35 1o black brown A8 "Post Horn"
Small Die (20 mm)
Scott major numbers that are small die (20 mm) stamps include Scott 35 1o black brown, Scott 36 1o gray, Scott 37 2o brown, Scott 38 3o yellow, Scott 39 5o blue green, and Scott 44 20o blue. But, for instance, the 3o denomination in an orange color is a large die stamp (minor number).

* If you are following the Scott catalogue, check the major and minor numbers carefully for a certain color denomination to see what are the possibilities. Some stamps are found with both large and small dies. You will need to measure them.
* If you want to parse this issue finely, then use the Facit catalogue. And I recommend having a Facit catalogue  for the Scandinavian countries as a reference resource for WW classical collectors.

1893 Scott 53 20o deep ultramarine A10 "Post Horn"
Note "NORGE" in Roman script
The next issue, which was produced between 1893-1908 is the same as the preceding issue ( unshaded post horn except for the filled in portion below the crown ), BUT now the "NORGE" script is in Roman script. Study the two scripts ( Sans-Serif  and Roman ) so you can tell the difference.

There are twelve stamps in Scott with major numbers (Perf 14 1/2 X 13 1/2), and eight more stamps issued between 1893-98 with  minor numbers (Perf 13 1/2 X 12 1/2).

So far, so good, except one may need to measure perforations on some stamps.

But the Facit catalogue additionally divides the issue between the "Knudsen's Printing Works" and the " Central Printing Works" productions.

Of interest, Steiner album pages follows the Facit catalogue format.

As near as I can discern, the difference is, the wings design in the corners of the stamp are more defined with the Knudsen's, and less defined (blurred) with the Central stamps. There are also two dies involved.

My take?

It is difficult enough just getting the post horns sorted into major issues. ;-)

I will follow the (simplified) Scott catalogue here, and perhaps revisit the Facit parsing at a later date.

1918 Scott 73 5k dark violet , Die C "King Haakon VII"
This is an interesting issue. When Prince Carl of Denmark (his grandfather was Christian IX of Denmark) accepted the role of becoming the first independent Norwegian king in 1905 after 586 years, he took the name "Haakon", an old Norse name used by previous Kings of Norway. He is beloved and revered even today; not the least for the resistance he lead against the Nazi invasion during WW II. He died in 1957 after reigning for 52 years.

The issue is found with three dies.
* 1907 (Die A) - three stamps
* 1909-10 (Die B) - three stamps
* 1911-18 (Die C)- four stamps.

The least expensive CV by far are the Die C stamps and the 2k rose from Die B. I only have Die C stamps in my collection, which has a solid background around the portrait. The Die A and Die B stamps have ruled lines around the portrait. Consult Scott for details.

1910 Scott 76 3o orange 
Post Horn Type Redrawn
Back to the Post Horns. The 1910-29 issue, some 22 stamps, have perforations 14 1/2 X 13 1/2.

The spot of color that was in the post horn below the crown is now removed, and the post horn interior is completed unshaded. Compare. Also, The "3" in the lower oval (as well as the "3" in the "30" denomination) is now rounded on top, rather than flat.

The CV is <$1 for all but one stamp.

1922 Scott 101 20o deep violet "Lion Rampant"
"NORGE" in Roman script, line below "ORE"
In 1922, a new design was introduced, the "Lion Rampant". The first issue of four stamps is characterized by the Roman script "NORGE" and the line below "ORE".

"Coat of Arms" adopted 1905 after Independence
The "Lion Rampant" design is clearly modeled after the coat of arms adopted after independence in 1905.

1925 Scott 112 15o indigo "Lion Rampant"
Annexation of Spitsbergen (Svalbard)
Another "Lion Rampant" four stamp issue was released in 1925. The stamps celebrated the annexation of Spitsbergen (Svalbard).

Spitzbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago
The Svalbard archipelago is located about half way between Norway and the North pole. Mining, research, and tourism for this Arctic climate outpost are the economic mainstays.

1927 Scott 121 25o orange brown, Wmk 160 "Post Horn"
Size: 16 x 19 1/2 mm
Between 1926-34, another 14 stamp issue with "Lion Rampant" was released. This issue is characterized by the "sans-serif" lettering for "NORGE", and no line under the "ORE".

The stamps also measures 16 X 19 1/2 mm. This is important, because beginning in 1937, some larger 17 X 21 mm size stamps were released.

I have not mentioned anything about watermarks. The reason is it has not been necessary for identification purposes - so far, ;-)  But, let's take a look....

Wmk 160 "Post Horn"
Note the "Post Horn" watermark on the lower right and upper left stamp. The other two stamps- the wmk is on the edge and only partially present, and difficult to discern. In my (limited) experience, seeing the
"Post Horn" watermark can be a challenge on some stamps.

There will be stamps shown in the next post where determining the presence or absence of this watermark will be important.

1927 Scott 130 30o on 45o dark blue
Three of the preceding "Lion Rampant" stamps were surcharged in 1927-28. CV is in the $2+-$8 range.

1925 Scott 107 10o yellow green 
"Polar Bear and Airplane"
Finally, what would a Norway post be without a polar bear stamp? This lovely seven stamp set was produced  in 1925. This set was released to help finance Roald Amundsen's attempted flight to the North Pole.

(He did, but not in 1925- where he got as far north as 87 degrees 44 minutes- but in 1926, with a flyover by the airship Norge.)

Deep Blue
Post Horn 1910-29 Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 22 pages for Norway, and of course provides spaces for all the major Scott numbers.

But also, Deep Blue provides separate spaces for the 1882-85 Post Horn Large Die (21 mm) stamps, and the 1886-93 Post Horn Small Die (20 mm) stamps. This is clearly a Facit catalogue addition, as Scott only mentions the die size differences, but does not provide additional detail.

And Deep Blue provides separate spaces for the 1893-1908 "Knudsen Printing Works" and "Central Printing Works" stamps- only listed in Facit.

1911 Scott 70 1k light green, Die C "King Haakon"
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on six pages, has 183 spaces. Coverage is 63%.

* There are six stamps with CV $35-$85: They are in the "Most Expensive" category. See the "Comments" section after the checklist for specifics.
* There are 27 more stamps with CV $10-$30+. Clearly, Norway is "European" expensive to collect.
* All the semi-postals are included in BB.
* There are a lot of mistakes made in my feeder albums with correct space placement for the "Post Horn" and "Lion Rampant" issues. Hopefully, this blog post will help. ;-)







35,37,38,39,44a or 44, 45,


47,48 or 75,49 or 76,50,51 or 80,52 or 83,53 or 85,54,
55 or 89,56,57,58,70*,71,72,73,

Next Page












Next Page

1937-38* (Actually 1941)
162,163,164 or 189,165 or 190,166 or 191,167 or 192,168 or 194,169 or 195,
170,171 or 197,172,173 or 199,174 or 200,175 or 201,176 or 202,177,


181 or 184,182 or 185,183 or 186,


Next Page

Postage Due



Air Post Stamps

C1, C2 or C3,

Next Page

Semi-Postal Stamps






Next Page

Official Stamps



1937-38* (Actually 1939+)
O22, O23 or O34, O24 or O35,
O25, O26 or O37, O27 or O38, O28 or O39, O29,
O30, O31 or O42, O32 or O43,


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
1856 Scott 4 4s blue ($10+)
1856 Scott 5 8s dull lake ($55)
1863 Scott 8 4s blue ($10+)
1868 Scott 11 1s black ($65)
1867 Scott 12 2s orange ($20+)
1867 Scott 14 4s blue ($10+)
1867 (Scott 15) 8s carmine rose ($60)
1875 Scott 16 1s yellow green ($10+)
1874 Scott 17 2s ultramarine ($20)
1872 Scott 18 3s rose ($10+)
1873 Scott 19 4s lilac ($10+)
1873 (Scott 21) 7s red brown ($50) 
1877 Scott 22 1o drab ($10)
1877 Scott 23 3o orange ($35)
1877 Scott 24 5o ultramarine ($10+)
1877 Scott 26 12o light green ($20)
1877 Scott 27 20o orange brown ($10+)
1878 Scott 29 35o blue green ($10+)
1877 Scott 30 50o maroon ($10)
1878 Scott 31 60o dark blue ($10)
1878 (Scott 34) 2k rose & maroon ($20+) 
1886 Scott 35 1o black brown ($10+)
1889 Scott 38 3o yellow ($10+)
1884 Scott 45 25o dull violet ($10+)
1925 Scott 107 10o yellow green ($10+)
1922 Scott J7 4o lilac rose ($10+)
1922 (Scott J11) 100o orange yellow ($10+)
1922 (Scott J12) 200o dark violet ($20+)
1930 Scott B2 20o + 25o carmine ($30+)
1930 Scott B3 30o + 25o ultramarine ($85)
1935 Scott B6 15o + 10o red brown ($10)
1935 Scott B8 30o + 10o bright ultramarine ($10+)
1938 Scott B10 30o + 25o deep ultramarine ($10+)
B) (   ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *1883-90- BB and the current Scott catalogue colors do not agree in several cases for this issue.
D) * 1893-1918- both the 1893-1908 issue and the 1910- 29 redrawn issue are admitted to these spaces. Because of BB's color and date criteria though, some stamps were not included.
E) *70- Die C image is in BB
F) * 1937-38- in the interest of pragmatism, the 1937 wmk 160 issue, and the 1940-41 unwmk stamps from the 1940-49 issue are included, provided there is a space for them.
G) *1937-38- actually 177 is in the "King Haakon " set also.
H) *1938-39- choices are wmk 160 vs unwmked.
I) *O8- the 1929 O8 is the only stamp that will fit in the space for choice.
J) *1933-34- Choice for spaces in BB between the Lithographic 35 X 19 1/4 mm stamps (All major numbers) and the Typographic 34 X 18 3/4 mm stamps (All minor numbers except O17).
K)  *1937-38 Choice for spaces in BB between the 1937-38 Wmk 160 issue, and the 1939+ unwmk issue.

1914 Scott 98 20o deep blue 
"Constitutional Assembly of 1814"
Out of the Blue
One can understand why Scandinavian countries- here Norway- are attractive to collectors. Conservative stamps, conservative issuing policies. I'm hooked!

Note: Pics and map appear to be in the public domain.

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