11 November 2013 - Posthorn

Few people could have guessed on 7 January 1872 that an important event in philatelic history was taking place that day. We know that now.

NK 1864
NK 1865

We know that now. The issue of Norway’s first posthorn stamp, the 3 skilling red, was the start of something that was eventually to become the world’s oldest uninterrupted stamp series. Since 1872, posthorn stamps have been issued in three currency units and in about 160 versions. With this year’s issue of NOK 10 and 20 values, the series must be regarded as complete – at least for now!

The job of designing the stamp was given to Wilhelm von Hanno (1826-82), a German-Norwegian architect, for a fee of 15 speciedaler (about NOK 60). It was not by chance that he chose the posthorn as his subject. The original hunting horn had become a symbol for postal administrations in many countries and it was introduced in Norway in 1730. And, as the architect of many railway station buildings, von Hanno also remembered the significance of rail transport for the postal services. He placed a winged wheel symbolising the railway in each corner of the stamp.

After the issue of the legendary 3 skilling red in 1872 and a subsequent series of other skilling values, the first øre posthorn stamp was released in 1877. Krone stamps appeared in 1991 and øre stamps with decimals were issued 1997. When new posthorn stamps with krone values were introduced in 2001, the stamps were given a veritable facelift by stamp designers Sverre Morken and Enzo Finger.

NK 1864-1865
Date of issue: 11 November 2013
Values and subjects:
Kr 10.00: Posthorn
Kr 20.00: Posthorn
Design: Enzo Finger Design and Sverre Morken
Method of printing: Offset
Printing house: Joh. Enschedé Security Print