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.

Have a comment?


  1. The "Post Horn" series are still current today (2015). They still issue new denominations.

  2. Thanks Steamboat for the update.