Scandinavian Collectors Club


Julemærker Norden (Nordic Christmas Seal Catalog). 856 pages, 5 ¾ by 8 ¼ inches, perfect bound, card covers, in Danish, Otterup, Denmark, 2012. ISBN 87-7012-043-9, 395 DKK (approx. $68 plus shipping), from AFA Forlaget, Kvindevadet 42, 5450 Otterup, Denmark.


            This year’s catalog of the Christmas seals of the Nordic countries is the last in this size. In the future only new issues or new seals from local cities or regions will be included in the catalog. Seals in this edition therefore become the historic reference. Although the lists are in Danish, the introduction and guide to terms are in English as well. English is well done with the exception of using the term “rubber” instead of “gum.”

            The official national seals of Denmark begin in 1904. Values are shown in Danish kroner for perf and imperf and significant varieties. Used copies with cancels are valued at half catalog. Year packs are also valued. In a few cases a rarity scale is used: R for over 1,000 DKK, RR for over 1,500 DKK, and RRR for over 2,000 DKK. The classic seals end in 1951. In that year a provisional was made by overprinting “1951” on the 1950 seals.

            Also in 1951 Denmark began issuing new seal designs in small sheets. Prices are shown for perf, imperf, perf on 3 sides, year pack, sales sign on card stock, and a printing process set showing the color sequences of multi-colored issues (“Skalatryk”). Some specialty listings follow like postcards with Christmas themes, the HAFNIA 1987 souvenirs, booklets, souvenir packs, and reprints (generally 50 years after the originals). Another list illustrates Christmas meter stamps used by Danmark Post 1939 to 2009. The final listing for Denmark shows the Christmas PP imprints (Porto Betalt) used by Danish banks from 1988 to 2009.

            The seals of Danish West Indies are listed 1907-1916 and some more recent ones of the Virgin Islands. Next are listings for Faroes, followed by Greenland (includes the children’s issues). The largest section of the catalog is devoted to the many Christmas themed charity seals of local towns and cities including those for Lions Clubs, Y’s, Scouts, and other organizations.

            The next country Christmas seals are Norway (1906-2010) along with charitable organizations, and then Sweden (1904-2004). The latter listing includes Advent seals, Sweden’s Flag Day, and other charities. Finland listings date from 1908 to 2001 plus other charities, followed by Iceland (1904-1917) and its Thorvaldsen Society (1913-2009). Local seals and other charitable organization seals are included. Newcomers are Åland (1993-2010) and Estonia (1938-39, then 1988-2009).

            Rather than an index a detailed table of contents appears at the end of the catalog so that seals of countries and towns and charities within them are easily located by page number. Illustrations are in color throughout. This catalog will be the key reference in the future with subsequent editions showing only new issues or new seal-issuing entities (towns, organizations, etc.). The compilers of the catalog acknowledge the help and support of seal collectors and the importance of the Danish Christmas Seals Society (Danmarks Julemærkesamler Förening or DJF) in making this catalog possible.


Alan Warren