Facit Postal VII, 6¾ by 9½ inches, perfect bound, stiff covers, 456 pages, Facit Förlags AB, Västerås, Sweden 2004, ISBN 91-86564-55-2. Approximately $69.

 

This popular postal history catalog of Sweden has been eagerly awaited since the sixth edition published seven years ago. It is basically a postal markings catalog ranging from pre-stamp covers to stamps and covers bearing town cancels from the 19th and 20th centuries. The inclusion of additional listings in this edition is reflected in the fact that the catalog holds 58 more pages that its predecessor.

            The listings begin with pre-stamp markings for the 17th to 19th centuries for courier post, messenger letters, and the Crown Post with its various manuscript and handstamp markings, and the General Post that began in 1636. During this period a variety of transit and arrival marks, use of feathers, and unusual manuscript and handstamp markings all add to the value of the covers, as do also a wide range of postage due markings. Registration and ship and train handstamps are also highly desirable and are illustrated.

            One of the important features of the catalog is the set of rate tables, both domestic and foreign, for letters, post cards, printed matter, and parcels among other service classes. Following the rate tables are priced listings of cancelled stamps by the stamp type (skilling banco, coat of arms, numeral, Oscar II, local stamps, etc.) in various rates and during the appropriate periods of use. These include several classes of service for both domestic and foreign mail. The listings cover many different destinations and include the most recent discoveries brought to the attention of the catalogers.

            A rarity index indicates relative scarcity of covers sent abroad by stamp issue up until the early 1930s. Free and Paid hand cancels; straight line, boxed, and circular cancels and some experimental cancels are identified and priced. More extensive tables list town cancellations in alphabetical order, their period of use, the county and province where they were used, and their value on various stamps up until the current time. Socked-on-the-nose cancels are eagerly collected in Sweden.

                        Additional postal markings listed include postal agencies, rural mail, and the greatly expanded railway postmarks over the previous edition. Rounding out the listings are steamship markings, military mail, temporary post offices, and the labels (etiquettes) for registered, express, air mail, and other service classes. The catalog ends with a reverse listing that helps identify town cancels when only the last few letters can be seen.

            Students and collectors of the postal history of Sweden will welcome this latest edition of an important catalog.

 

Alan Warren