25 August 2015

First red-violet than wine-red

2 kr in two colours

2 kr was the last denomination to be issued in the long running Three Crown series. It was however the second time it was issued. The first 2 kr Three Crown, the red-violet one, is from July 1952. The event that triggered the release was that the rate for domestic parcels 3 - 5 kg was raised from 1.70 kr to 2 kr from 1 July. The last raise to 1.70 kr occurred just a year earlier but the 2 kr rate was effective until 1 July 1961, a long time for a parcel rate.

As usual with the Three Crown series the old rates kind of traveled down the weight classes and 2 kr became the new rate for the next weight class the 1 - 3 kg. The rate 2 kr lasted only a year, until 1 July 1962. After that the 2 kr covered the lowest weight class  - 1 kg. It did so until 1 July 1965. Which meant that the 2 kr red-violet did good service on domestic parcel cards for 13 years in a row. It was also used as single stamps for insured and express deliveries as well as various money orders during those years. 2 kr was also a good denomination to use for higher rates since it was easy to use many 2 kr stamps to count the correct sum. A very versatile Three Crown stamp indeed.

Domestic parcel card 15 kg fee: 14 kr
1952, 1 July. 2 kr red-violet Three Crowns. Qty: 84,800,000
1958, September 17. 5 kr blue Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000 

The parcel address card from 1968 above is an excellent example where the 2 kr was used for higher rates. It was sent from the Post Office Göteborg 2 at 3 Oak Groove Street (Ekelundsgatan 3) in Gothenburg on Friday 1 November 1968 and arrived three days later at the Post Office Stockhom 1, the general post office at 28 - 34 Vasa Street (Vasagatan 28 - 34). Stockholm 1 was also co-located with the head office of the Swedish Post, where the Swedish Post filled up two blocks. Among many functions the stamp print shop was located there at the back towards Klara North Church Street (Klara Norra kyrkogata). Also at the back in the corner of Brewer Street and North Klara Church Street (Bryggargatan/Klara Norra Kyrkogata) was the special parcel office where this parcel was picked up on 5 November 1968.

The parcel card was actually sent just two months before the new version of the 2 kr showed up, the 2 kr wine-red. To me it is puzzling why the Swedish post as the last stamp in this series of 34 stamps choose to issue another version of the 2 kr stamp. Why? They could have kept the 2 kr red-violet. In the end of the 60s the Three Crown series was slowly phased out in favor of the new kind of definitive stamps for parcels that begun with the 3.50 kr olive-grey Ale´s Stones in 1965 and the three new parcels stamps from the spring of 1967, the 3.70 violet the Lion Fortress, the 4.50  red Uppsala Cathedral and the 7 kr blue/red Gripsholm castle.

Below is a domestic parcel card with the new 2 kr wine red Three Crowns, as earlier mentioned the last stamp issued in the series. Yes, it was sent outside the time period for this blog, but it looked so similar to the one above and all the stamps were issued before the end of 1973 so I made an exception . . .

Domestic address parcel card  - 5 kg fee: 9.80 kr + fragile 50% extra fee: 4.90 kr,
over franked with 10 öre.
1969, 20 January. 2 kr wine-red Three Crowns. Qty: 67,700,000
1971, 22 January. 80 öre blue/brown the Waxholm Boat. Qty: 58,100,000
1973, 12 November. 10 kr six-coloured Goosegirl. Qty: 14,700,000

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