Scandinavian Collectors Club


Om varianter i Ålands frimärken (Varieties of the Stamps of Åland), Tom Sarpaneva, 8¼  by 11½ inches, stiff covers, perfect bound, 74 pages, text in Swedish, Finnish, English, and German; Helsinki, 2003. ISBN 952-91-5384-8, approximately 20 € from Tom Sarpaneva, Kalliolinnantie 12, 00140 Helsinki, Finland.

            This is a priced catalog of the varieties and printing errors known on the stamps of Åland issued from 1984 to 2000. The catalog is quite different from Robert Fillips specialized catalog of that country. Sarpaneva focuses only on the plate varieties and printing errors of the stamps. The values assigned are based on retail and auction sales. The book is a flyspecker’s delight.

            A nice feature is a guide at the beginning of the catalog for additional value if the variety is on a first day cover, has a bullseye cancel, is on a commercial cover, or is in a block of four or six. The varieties are all shown chronologically and in color. The descriptive 4-language text includes the plate position where the variety occurs.

            Although the emphasis is on Åland stamp issues, there is a brief listing of Frama and similar labels at the end of the catalog. The best known and scarcest of these is the label printed in 1992 that reads Suomi-Finland instead of Åland.

            The text and illustrations are very clear. Recommended for the specialist of modern Åland issues.

Alan Warren