Monday, January 28, 2008

Danish cover

I have already written here about my good experience with Danish post. But I realized that I hadn’t received so far a nice cover (at least worth sharing with you) from Denmark. Until I got this one, through a covers exchange circuit.

The stamp on the right side of the cover, is one of the two stamps issued by Denmark on the 6th of June 2007 for the Europa issue celebrating the centenary of scout movement. Here is the scan of both stamps. They are rather simple but nice I think.

What sounds strange to me is that none of the stamp bears a face value which corresponds to the rate of a standard letter from Denmark to other European countries. The rate for such a letter is 7.75, this is why the sender of the cover had to put an additional stamp. This is a pity for a stamp belonging to Europa issue, don’t you think ? I have sometimes difficulties to understand the choice of face value for stamps issued by French post but at list the Europa issue corresponds to the rate for a letter to Europe…

The second stamp on the cover is probably very well known by all of you. This is a definitive stamp, the oldest stamp design for a Danish stamp still in use. It is sometimes referred as the “wavy lines”. In 1902, the government decided to have a new definitive stamp design, that should be “simple in its composition, easily read and uncomplicated to print”. Among the numerous suggestions received by the postal service, this is the one submitted by Julius Therchilsen, an architect, that was chosen. I did not find a scan of the original design of this stamp, but it looked exactly as the one on the cover, as you will see below. The design was effectively simple, with the name of the country and the face value very easy to read. The lions, the hearts and the crown are borrowed from the Danish Coat of Arms. The wavy lines symbolize the three main waterways of the country : The Sound, the Great Belt and the Little Belt. The stamp was issued for the first time on the 22nd of July 1905. In 1932, due to the evolution of the printing techniques, the postal administration decided to simplify a bit the design of the stamp : the hearts were removed and a second circle was added around the denomination. In 1981 another problem occurred : the face value needed three digits and not any more two as originally foreseen in the design. The face value was then written with a smaller size. Here is an example of the stamp as it looked in 2002 with its modified design.

In 2005, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the wavy lines stamp, Danish post decided to go back to the original design. This is the one you see on the cover.This makes this stamp one of the oldest stamp still in use, and for sure the oldest Danish one !

No comments: