Postryttaren 2006, Postryttaren 2007, Postrytaren 2008, annual yearbooks published by the Postmuseum, Box 2002, 10311 Stockholm, Sweden. 220, 160, and 168 pages respectively, 6 ½ by 9 ¾ inches, case bound, in Swedish with English summaries, edited by Jan Billgren. Issued to the Friends of the Postmuseum for an annual fee of 200 SEK (approximately $35).


Just as collectors look forward each year to the American Philatelic Congress books, many also eagerly await the yearbooks of the Swedish Postal Museum. Both annual publications reveal a diversity of topics that are quite engaging. The three latest versions of Postryttaren are the 56th, 57th, and 58th editions.


Volume 56, 2006

2006 was the centenary of the Swedish Post Museum’s opening in 1906. Editor Jan Billgren gives a brief profile of each of the museum’s 9 directors over the years. Erik Hamberg summarizes some of the major stamp donations made to the museum during this time. Other authors describe some of the major items in the museum’s collections such as photographs, postal history objects, clothing worn by postal employees, and some of the rare stamps.

Another summary describes some of the outstanding exhibitions held at the museum during the previous 100 years. 2006 was also the 150th anniversary of the issuance of Sweden’s black local stamps. These were for use on mail within Stockholm and the surrounding area. Mats Ingers describes the stamps’ production and postal history.


Volume 57, 2007

The lead article by Robert Mattson and Björn Sylwan details many new acquisitions to the museum’s collections including a 22-pound book of proofs from the Post Office Stamp Department. The proofs are for many of the early issues of Sweden. One unusual addition pertains to the 1920 special airmail stamps consisting of Swedish officials overprinted “Luftpost.” The latest acquisition is a hitherto unknown trial overprint using the word “Flygpost” instead.

Fredrik Ydell describes the handling of mail by airship to Sweden and Finland during the period 1919-1930. The Zeppelin mails include the 1930 LZ127 Helsinki trip for which Finland issued the 1930 overprint to be used for that flight. Other articles in the 2007 book discuss the letter-writing of Carl Linnaeus, the abuse of the “free letter” privilege during the 17th and early 18th centuries, the story of Heinrich Lichtenstein who discovered the 3-skilling yellow error stamp, and a profile of Swedish engrave Majvor Franzén who produced nearly a hundred Swedish stamps between 1967 and 1987.


Volume 58, 2008

This edition of Postryttaren begins with Thorsten Sandberg’s appreciation of the late engraver Czeslaw Slania, followed by editor Jan Billgren’s review of the conformance by Nordic countries to the uniform stamp colors recommended by the Universal Postal Union. Other topics covered in this volume include the collecting of picture postcards, postmarks on early Swedish stamps, varieties of the Oscar II copperplate recess issues, 20th century Saturday and Sunday mail delivery, and Swedish philatelic periodicals that began publication during the period 1920-1949.

Illustrations in these three volumes are in color and have both Swedish and English captions. Brief English language summaries of the articles appear immediately after each article in the original language. Each volume ends with highlights of events at the museum during the preceding calendar year. These three issues of Postryttaren continue the fine tradition of scholarly articles on both classic and modern philately of Sweden.


Alan Warren