Scandinavian Collectors Club


             In 2011 The Oslo Philatelist Club published a supplemental volume with its annual specialized catalog of Norway, focusing on postal history. This approach is very similar to the longstanding practice of Sweden’s Facit Postal catalog that is published every few years in addition to the annual Facit Special.

            The introductory section is bilingual in Norwegian and English. However, subsequent discussions on the different types of cancellations appear in Norwegian only. The introduction defines the different types of cancels, describes quality considerations, indicates the problem of forgeries, provides a 3-language word list (Norwegian, English, German) and offers a list of literature references.

            Then follow the major types of postmarks in more or less chronological order: prestamp marks 1845-1855, early single ring marks, 3-ring numeral cancels, manuscript cancellations, the double-ring marks of 1860-1931, 3-ring marks used after 1883, Swiss marks (largely bridge type) from 1889 to 1930, the Swiss marks of 1930-1936, and the crown and posthorn types. For the earlier marks, tables show the value according to the stamp issues on which they occur. The Swiss markings sections have been greatly expanded since the 2011 edition of the catalog, based on data furnished by collectors.

            The Post i Butikk or letter post offices are listed from 2001 to date with location and postal codes, and with opening and, in many cases, closing dates. The letter listing (brevregister) for the period 1855-1909 by stamp issue and destination has been updated, as well as the tables of postal rates that now go up to 2014.

            One important chapter that is missing in this edition is the backward listing of place name cancels that appeared in the 2011 edition. This enables one to identify a postmark if only the last few letters of the town or city is on the stamp. The catalog committee decided against running that listing again for space considerations. That means one has to have both editions in order to be up to date and also have the capability of searching for these incomplete marks. Perhaps OFK could place this list on its web site if it is not going to make it available in future editions.

            Another omission in the 2014 edition is the listing of labels or etiquettes like the registered mail labels. This is bothersome for those who collect these items but cannot be assured they will be in every edition of NK Postal. Despite these obstacles the postal history catalog is meeded for understanding how the postage stamps were used. As many collectors and exhibitors have moved on from traditional philately to postal history, this catalog is increasingly important.

Alan Warren