LAPE Special Stamp Catalogue of Finland. 784 pages, 6 ¾ by 9 ¾ inches, perfect bound, stiff covers, color illustrations, Philatelic Service of Finland, Turku, Finland, 2007. ISSN 1797-0644, $85 plus postage from Jay Smith & Associates, PO Box 650, Snow Camp NC 27349.
This specialized catalog of Finland is not published every year but it remains an important resource for collectors of this country. The previous edition in 2004 was smaller in size (dimensions) and fewer pages. The larger size improves utility. The text is still mostly Finnish and Swedish although each stamp subject is identified in English as well. Parts of the introductory material are also in all three languages.
Following a short description of prestamp mail, the early cancellations are valued for the straight line, boxed, single and double ring postmarks, and then 19th century stamped covers are listed for both domestic and foreign destinations.
The stamp listings begin with the oval issues and the serpentine roulettes. The 19th century stamps are dealt with in some detail in all three languages. The stamp listing proceeds chronologically with significant descriptions of the major definitive series that touch on paper, watermarks, perforations, sheet layout, gum, etc. Values are shown for mint, used, on cover, and first day covers. Issues through 2007 are included.
Following the stamp listings are personal stamps, official yearbooks and maximum cards, bus parcel stamps, field post, East Karelia, North Ingermanland, Aunus, stamp booklets including slot machine types, Frama labels for both Finland and Åland, Christmas seals, shipping company stamps, Helsinki and Tampere local post, railway stamps, revenues, perfins, postal stationery, rate tables (1875-2000), and commemorative cancels from 1920 to 1979.
The stamps of Åland (1984-2007) are then listed including the booklets, official year sets and maximum cards. All items are shown in color. The LAPE catalogs have been published for over 70 years and this latest one will serve the collector of Finland and related areas extremely well.