Scandinavian Collectors Club

Reviews

Lützenfrimärkena och Sveriges första förstadagsbrev (Lützen Stamps and Sweden’s first First Day Cover), Mats Renhuldt. 6 by 8 ½ inches, 104 pages, hardbound, self-published, Lund, Sweden, 2010. ISBN 978-91-971199-5-5, approximately $50 to USA from the author, renhuldt@swipnet.se.

 

            On November 1, 1932, Sweden issued a set of four stamps in coil format to mark the 300th anniversary of the death of Gustav II Adolf during the 30-years war in 1632 at the Battle of Lützen. The two lower values were also released in booklet format. The stamps were designed by Olle Hjortzberg based on a painting by artist Carl Wahlbom, and engraved by Sven Ewert. The author tells how the design evolved and was eventually announced by Uno Söderberg, the director of the Postverkets Frankoteckensexpedition för Samlere (PFFS or Postal Service Office for Stamps for Collectors).

            Although first day covers are known for earlier Swedish stamps, this was the first time that a special first day cancel was provided for the occasion. Renhuldt studied the first day covers of this issue including varieties of the registration labels for those covers that were registered, and varieties of a hand stamp in Swedish and English applied to the covers that identifies them as FDCs. He shows various combinations of the label varieties and hand stamp varieties. One cover lacks the hand stamp and was sent to the town of Lützen in Germany where it received a commemorative pictorial backstamp.

            In addition to the Stockholm 1 first day cancel there are FDCs with the stamps tied by the smaller PFFS circle dater. First day unofficial cancels are also known from Malmö (airmail postmark) and Göteborg.

            A few days after the first day of issue, more commemorative cards and covers were cancelled November 6, 1932, i.e. the actual anniversary of Gustav Adolf’s death 300 years earlier. Again there are event covers with varieties of the registry label as well as a new hand stamp noting Gustaf Adolf’s Day, November 6, 1932. Renhuldt shows a variety of event items, using picture postcards, printed postcards announcing stamp club meetings, and the postcard announcement of the stamp released by the PFFS as publicity.

            Other varieties of the first day and event covers are franking with a complete or partial set of the four values, and sometimes including the 4-sided perforated format, from booklets, of the lower two values (10- and 15-öre). In his research on this issue, the author discovered two covers bearing registration labels with the same 4-digit registry number, but sent to two different addressees!

            An appendix lists the registered first day covers examined by Renhuldt showing the registry label number, the number of stamps on each cover, and the destination city. A bibliography concludes this lovely but detailed monograph of an important set of stamps in Swedish philately and their use on first day and event covers.

 

Alan Warren