The popular FACIT Special catalogue that covered Sweden plus the other Nordic countries reached a number of pages that made it difficult to continue publication as a one volume compendium. Beginning with the 2016 edition (published in the fall of 2015) the work was split into two volumes. The Classic volume covers all of the Nordic countries up to 1951 including the detailed varieties. The Norden volume covers the stamps for all the countries from 1951 to date but includes the earlier issues without the variety details.
The 2017 Classic volume contains only 16 more pages than the previous one. However there are some significant changes. Several sections have been revised like the standards for quality descriptions, the text on coil and booklet stamps of Sweden, and the listings for Danish West Indies.
More significant is the addition of new articles in the 2017 book. Mats Ingers provides in-depth discussion of the 11th delivery of the 4 skilling banco stamp. Claes Arnrup elaborates on the scarce Icelandic skilling covers privately held. Arnrup also describes Iceland’s rare “3 Þrir” overprints on 5-aur stamps that are perforated 14 x 13½. Only eleven unused copies are known and they are illustrated. The articles are in both Swedish and English.
FACIT Norden 2017, ed. Gunnar Lithén. 880 pages, 6 ½ by 9 ½ inches, card covers, perfect bound, Facit Förlags, Malmö, Sweden 2016. ISBN 91-86564-78-1, €46 plus shipping from same sources as above for the Classic catalog.
The Norden edition is for the collector who wants to focus on the stamps since 1951 for all the Nordic countries. Again the new 2017 version has only 16 more pages than last year’s. However, there are revisions plus new articles that offer significant changes. The areas that are revised are Sweden’s machine-produced booklets, the franking labels of both Denmark and Greenland, and the gutter pairs of Åland.
New to the 2017 Norden book is a listing of Swedish stamps that were jointly issued with other countries, and an overview of Denmark’s so-called aCon self-service franking labels. Another new section is devoted to the franking labels of the Faroe Islands.
As always the various country listings can easily be found in the catalogs as the page numbers are preceded by a letter identifying the country (S for Sweden, D for Denmark, F for Finland, etc.). However a nice touch has been added to the 2017 Norden with a small country flag in color in the corner of the country pages.
Both the Special Classic and Norden catalogs have descriptive text in Swedish and English. However, one problem with both catalogs is that the inside margin is so close to the binding that it is virtually impossible to scan or photocopy an entire page for research purposes. One other potential problem is that the special articles appear only once in the edition. This is a good marketing ploy to entice collectors to buy the catalogs every year.