Scandinavian Collectors Club


More Stamps and Story of the Faroe Islands by Don Brandt. 5 ¾ by 8 ¼ inches, 360 pages, perfect bound, in English, Postverk Føroya, Tórshavn 2006, ISBN 99918-3-191-6. Approximately $50 plus shipping from Faroese Postal Service

This is an expanded edition of the author's book first published in 1996. Rather than revising the earlier edition the publisher reprinted it in the new version as Volume I, and a Volume II has been added consisting of seven more chapters in an additional 184 pages, essentially doubling the size of the book.

Volume I begins with a history of the Faroe Islands followed by an exploration of the country and its culture using stamps and postal history items to tell stories about poetry, place names, birds, churches, whaling, art, and fishing in these fascinating islands. However, there are strictly philatelic chapters as well such as the one on postal history from the stampless period up to 1919, and another on the World War II period that generated the provisional overprints and Red Cross forms. Volume I ends with the same bibliography that was in the first edition.

Volume II continues the story of the Faroes including its culture, history and philately. There are at least two advantages to the new section. It contains some wonderful color photos such as those of churches in the new chapter on that subject. The second improvement is that all of the illustrations including those of stamps and postal materials are in full color compared to the black and white images in Volume I.

The stories told in the new volume, in addition to churches, include more birds plus butterflies and other insects, profiles of artists, the folk high school, the fishing industry folk ballads, and the modern Faroes as seen through the country's more recent stamp issues.

However, this volume also carries an important chapter on the Faroe collection formed by Per Erik Knudsen of Norway and sold at auction in 2003. Many stunning items of postal history from this collection are shown and described. Examples include skyds mail and other prestamp items as well as stamped mail, a postal money order, the only known pre-1900 cover from Greenland to the Faroes, and some early 20th century pieces sent to the Faroes from the Danish West Indies.

An additional bibliography concludes Volume II. These two books-in-one contain a wealth of information about the Faroes, its history and culture, as well as its stamps and postal history. It is therefore disappointing that neither volume has an index that would help researchers find specific information.

Alan Warren