Friday, 10 April 2015

King Gustav VI Adolf

About six months ago, when I first let the thought of collecting Slania engraved stamps start to drift freely about in my head, a stamp friend offered me a few used Slania stamps. At that point I hadn't firmly decided that I was going to embark on such an epic collecting quest. But it was a nice offer and I happily said yes. 

When the stamps arrived I noticed a few Sweden heads in the mix. At that point I knew absolutely nothing about Swedish stamps, and I have to say I haven't gained that much more knowledge yet. But over the past few weeks my learning curve has been high - and a lot of fun! After a bit of time spent trawling the net I discovered that the unknown head (unknown to me, at least!) belonged to King Gustav VI Adolf. Gustav VI was the king of Sweden from October 1950 to September 1973.

Now when I received the stamps I assumed that they were all Slania engraved. It turns out I was wrong and by default so was the friend who sent me the stamps - not that this was a problem in any way! They were a welcomed gift. 

My research - again I must applaud the wonderful site by Anne Mette Hedindorff - led me to discover that there were three different printings of this stamp. Many Slania collectors probably already know the following information, but this Blog is a chronicle of my journey and learning experiences along the way. Besides the information might help someone else just starting out. So what did I find out?

Sweden first issued this particular type of Gustav VI Adolf definitive in 1951. Below is the first printing or Type I (I think that's it). This first printing, contrary to what I thought, was not engraved by Slania but by Sevn Ewert. 

Now here's the trick. To recognize which printing you are looking at you need to direct your attention to the bottom right corner of the stamp.

As you can see it is blank. We now know how to identify the first printing. But as I said, there were two further re-issues of this design. The first re-issue was in 1957. The engraving by Sven Ewert was also used for this issue. I haven't yet worked out if he did another engraving for this issue or whether the same engraving from the '51 issue was used. I'm sure there are those out there who could answer that for me?

To identify the second type of this design we must again look to the bottom right corner of the stamp.

As you can see the initials of the engraver are now printing on the border.

But what about the Slania engraved re-issue? It was issued in 1961. And how do we identify it? You guessed it. To the bottom right once more...

And presto! This time we see the initials of The Master himself.

So there you have it, identifying the three types of Gustav VI Adolf definitive 101. I hope this article has been of some help or at least a bit entertaining. Until next time...

Stay Slania Crazy!


  1. Thanks for featuring this great series! As you say, there's loads to discover about the different printings. I write about the bits that Ewert did on my blog, which you'll find here:
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the support, Adrian! I really appreciate it. I'm really enjoying chronicling my journey. It adds a fantasti dimension to the collecting process.

    2. BTW "sc" stands for the latin "Sculpsit" which means "He engraved it". Thought you might like to know
      Cheers, Rick

    3. Hi Rick,
      Now that I did NOT know. Thanks heaps for the info! That's what I love about these tiny bits of paper we collect! All the snippets of info I gather over time.