Scandinavian Collectors Club


Icelandic Cancelers 1894-2003, Þór Þorsteins, soft covers, spiral bound, 8¼ by 11¾ inches, 124 pages, Icelandic and English text, self published, Reykjavík, Iceland, 2003. $46 from Jay Smith & Associates, Box 650, Snow Camp NC 27349.

This is the second edition of Þorsteins’ catalog of the bridge, roller, and machine cancellations of Iceland. The material is much expanded over the previous version and includes many corrections and such features as the bilingual text and the values priced in Euros. The book begins with illustrations to identify numeral, crown and posthorn, bridge, and pictorial cancels.

Bridge cancelers are known in Iceland as early as 1894 but they were not widely introduced by the postal service until 1930. Bridge cancellations are listed in eight major types, alphabetically by place name, showing period of use and earliest and latest usage where known. Periods of use were determined by cancelled stamps, manufacturer’s invoice, or opening and closing date of the post office or branch.

Roller cancels were introduced in 1931 and appear similar to bridge cancels but with the addition of wavy lines. Machine cancels in Iceland began with use of a Krag machine in 1921. Fifteen different machines were used and the cancels and some slogans are shown. Each listing includes an illustration of the cancel, slightly reduced in size. The illustrations are quite good and help with identification. A “synonym” list shows the possible place names containing the last 3 to 6 letters of a cancel, for identifying partial cancels.

This book is the authoritative source for information on these three cancellation types of Iceland.

Alan Warren