Scandinavian Collectors Club


Carrying Norwegian Mail Abroad up to UPU, Harry Snarvold, 8½ by 11¾ inches, sewn, hardbound, 308 pages, English text, self published, Göteborg, Sweden, 2003. 500 Swedish Kroner plus postage from the author, Harry Snarvold, Eneliden 11, 43364 Sävedalen, Sweden.

This new book essentially replaces Snarvold’s earlier work, Norwegian Letters to Foreign Destinations 1855-1874 (1990). It is greatly expanded in scope and time period and now includes tables with postal rates and routes.

Since much of the early mail from Norway to Europe went through Hamburg, the author begins with a brief discussion of the Danish, Swedish, and Thurn and Taxis offices in that city. The destinations begin with covers to the nearby countries of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Russia. These are followed by other European countries and then North and South America, Africa, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand.

Each country section begins with a review of postal arrangements, treaties, and rates. Using France as an example, covers are illustrated to reflect the depreciated currency period, disinfected mail, censorship, maritime mail, and different routes depending on political conditions at the time. The book is wonderfully illustrated with examples of covers, many of them shown in color, although in some cases the colors are not a true reflection of the originals due to the method of copying. Preceding many of the destinations are discussions of steamship lines and other aspects of routing the mail.

The book concludes with a bibliography and a listing of currency equivalents. This work with its detailed analysis of the many illustrated covers is a great postal history resource on the early mails of Norway that were sent abroad.

Alan Warren