Norwegian post issued a set of three stamps in the world’s longest-running definitive series posthorn. Norwegian post offices were informed in a circular dated 16 December 1871 that a red 3 skilling stamp would go into circulation in January 1872.
“On each stamp there will be a large figure 3 surrounded by a posthorn, and above this a crown. Each stamp will also be inscribed with Norge and Tre skilling.” Little did anyone know that this event would create postal history, that Norway’s posthorn stamps would in time become the world’s longest-running definitive series.
The posthorn was no random choice of subject. The original hunting horn had become a symbol for postal services in many countries. In Europe it was introduced in the sixteenth century and in Norway in 1730. German-Norwegian architect Wilhelm von Hanno (1826-82) was commissioned to design the stamp for a fee of 15 speciedaler, about NOK 60. He was a man of many talents and was also known as the architect of the Oslo Military Society, Geographical Survey of Norway and Oslo Commercial Association buildings, Trinity Church and the Grønland Church, School and Fire Station complex. As a sculptor he created a number of beautiful burial monuments and as a drawing teacher he numbered Theodor Kittelsen among his pupils.
Since 1872 and the 3 skilling red, posthorn stamps have been issued in another two currency units. Øre stamps appeared in 1877 and krone stamps in 1991, and in 1997 øre stamps were issued with decimal figures. Paper suppliers, printers, printing methods and designers have changed many times over the years. The subject has also been adjusted, but it was not until 2001 that the stamps were given a real facelift, starting with the introduction of new posthorn stamps with krone denominations. Veteran designers Sverre Morken and Enzo Finger combined historic stamp design with modern, five-colour offset production and, using metallic gold on the crown and posthorn, silver under the wings and all the colours of the rainbow, created a stamp series that is both trendy and classic.
Title: Posthorn – Norway
Date of Issue: 15 November 2010
Denominations: Kr 4,00, Kr 8,00, Kr 30,00