1939 - Gustaf V, right profile, type II

That's better . . . 

The first attempt to replace the old Gustaf V, left profile, from the twenties did not go well. The type I turned out to be not satisfactory. The new Gustav V series had to be re-engraved during fall 1939.

The old Gustaf V series had been issued in eleven denominations spanning from 15 öre to 145 öre and in different colours, totaling 21 different stamps. In the twenties the series also covered the rates for cash on delivery parcels, C.O.D parcels up to the weight class 3 - 5 kg which was 1 kr 45 öre. The stamps of the old series were printed on different types of paper during the years and there were quite a number of varieties too. Sweden also complied to the UPU-colouring of stamp for international letters (blue colour), postcards (red colour) and printed matters (green colour) which also contributed to the number of stamps issued.

In the late twenties however the Swedish Post decided that the highest denomination of the Gustaf V series would be 50 öre so that set the number of denominations for the new series (which meant 5 - 10 - 15 - 20 - 25 - 30 - 40 - 45 - 50 öre denominations). So far the type I consisted of the 20 öre red which single use was international postcards and the 10 öre violet which single use was domestic postcards.The first stamp of the improved type II was the 10 öre violet issued in November 1939. The new stamp immediately replaced the 10 öre violet of type I. There is an overview at the end of this article.

1939, November 12, 10 öre violet Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 367,000,000
Domestic postcard

The 10 öre violet type II was also printed on panes (sheets) with 120 stamps as the 10 öre violet type I. The panes was cut vertically in a way that the outer stamps was perforated only on three sides. Those 3-sided stamps are of course less common and are worth much more that the 2-sided or 4-sided stamps. Another side effect is the existence of the rare combination of pairs with 4-sided and 3-sided stamps. They are even harder to find and can be quite expansive. Booklets were until 1940 still made by hand and they were made of the sheets which created the really rare booklets with pairs of both 4-sided and 3-sided stamps - they are really costly and rare. From 1940 all booklets were machine made and cut in the way so there were only 3-sided perforated stamps and pair of stamps.

Stamps issued in 1940

From 1940 and on wards . . .
 10 öre violet Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 51,000,000 (pairs). 3-sided perforation.
From the 54th booklet by Swedish Post. 20 stamps, value: 2 kr
International postcard (pair)

In April 1940 first the 30 öre blue and 40 öre olive-green was issued. The 30 öre was UPU-coloured and the blue colour indicated that the stamp covered international - 20 g letter as single stamp. The single use of the 40 öre olive-green was local  - 500 g letter. Sweden had a special post rate for local letters until June 1951. Five days later the 20 öre red was issued, all three stamps were issued in coils only.

8 April, 1940
 Left: 30 öre blue Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 57,300,000. UPU-coloured
International - 20 g letter
Right: 40 öre olive-green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 84,100,000
Local - 500 g letter

The 20 öre red was also UPU-coloured and the red colour indicated international postcard used as a single stamp. In 1942 the rate for domestic   - 20 g letter was raised to 20 öre and that really boosted the issued quantity of this 2-sided perforated stamp. An impressive quantity of 880 million stamps were printed and that amount is the second highest number of Swedish stamps, beaten only by the 10 öre red Oscar II from the 1890s. The red colour could be kept since the rate for International postcard was not changed during its use.

13 April, 1940, 20 öre red Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 880,000,000
International postcard

In June two more stamps in the series were issued. The 25 öre orange and the 45 öre brown. Some possible single use for the 45 öre was domestic  - 250 g letter or a domestic  - 20 g letter express delivery. For the 25 öre a single use would be registered printed matter.

26 June, 1940
Left: 25 öre orange Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 55,300,000
Registered printed matter
Right: 45 öre brown Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 32,400,000
Domestic  - 20 g letter express delivery

Stamps issued in 1941

In January it was time for the next release, two stamps this time too. The green 5 öre and the carmine-violet 35 öre. Green was also an UPU-colour and meant that the single use of the stamp was international printed matter. The single use of the 35 öre was registered domestic   - 20 g letter. The stamps came as coils, 100 or 500 stamps. The 5 öre green could also be ordered in 1,000 stamp coils which was unique. In addition it was also released as a booklet with 20 stamps.

23 January, 1941 
Left: 5 öre green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 415,000,000. UPU-coloured
International printed matter
Right: 35 öre carmine-violet Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 20,000,000
Registered domestic  - 20 g letter
23 January, 1941, 5 öre green Gustav V, right profile. Qty: 58,200,000 (pairs), 3-sided perforation
From the 56th booklet by Swedish Post. 20 stamps, value: 1 kr.
Postcard (pairs)

The highest denomination 50 öre was issued in April the same year. The single use for 50 öre grey was registered international  - 20 g letter or international  - 40 g letter. As usual it could be delivered in 100 or 500 stamp coils to the post offices.

26 April, 1941, 50 öre grey Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 18,600,000
International   - 40 g letter

Stamps issued in 1942

One thing that is a little bit puzzling is that the stamp in the series that cover the most common postal rate, the domestic  - 20 g letter, did not arrive until January 1942. The unique thing with the 15 öre brown was that there were two dies used for that denomination. The first die was used for the special war issue of the 15 öre that was printed in the beginning of the second world war and the plan was to use them in case the Swedish Post's printing-shop at the headquarter in Stockholm would be destroyed because of the war. Die number two was used for the first issue in 1942 and until 1946 when the first die made a revival. The differences between the dies are that die two resulted in a more lighter colour and the base of the figure 1 is broader, the band of medals and the color is less detailed compared with the first die. The 15 öre brown was not valid for many month as a single stamp for domestic  - 20 g letter. In April the rate was raised to 20 öre and there were no apparent single use for the 15 öre until June 1944, then it could be used a single stamp for local  - 20 g letter.

27 January, 1942, 15 öre brown Gustaf V, right profile, version I. Qty: 306,000,000 (both dies included)
Domestic  - 20 g

Since the 20 öre red was "promoted" to be the stamp for the domestic  - 20 g letter from 1 April 1942 a booklet was issued in mid March to meet the demand.

17 March, 1942, 20 öre red Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 98,000,0000 (pairs), 3-sided perforation
From the 64th booklet by Swedish Post. 20 stamps, value: 4 kr
Registered domestic  - 20 g letter (pair), after April 1st 1941
Domestic  - 20 g letter (single stamp), after April 1 st 1941

Stamps issued in 1945

The reason why Swedish Post issued a booklet with the 15 öre brown (using both dies) in February was probably because the single use of 15 öre was since June 1944 local  - 20 g letter. Since both dies were used a booklet could be be either of version I (die 2) or version II (die 1).

14 February, 1945, 15 öre brown Gustaf V, right profile, version II. Qty: 18,400,000 (pairs), 3-sided perforation
From the 71st booklet by Swedish Post. 20 stamps, value 3 kr
International  - 20 g letter (pair)
Local  - 20 g letter (single stamp)

Stamps issued in 1946

In 1946 the second world war was definitely over and Swedish Post had a quite significant stock of the special war stamps that were stored in a secret location, probably somewhere in the part of Sweden called Bergslagen, north west of Stockholm. The Swedish Post decided eventually to use the war issues now when the war was over. The denominations were 5 - 10 - 15 öre and they were printed in panes (sheets) of a 100 stamps. It is interesting that Swedish Post regarded these three denomination to be the most critical ones in case of war. One reason might have been that it is easy to sum up to higher rates like 20 öre or 30 öre. The 15 öre was printed in the biggest quantity; 48,300,000 which made sense since 15 öre covered the most common postal rate when they were printed (domestic  - 20 g letter). The other two were printed in quantities of 34,170,000 for 10 öre and 32,130,000 for 5 öre. Another precaution that the Swedish Post did in November 1939 was to move one of the stamp printing equipments to Lidköping 297 km south west of Stockholm.

25 July 1946
Left: 5 öre green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 32,130,000. 4-sided perforation
Printed matter - UPU-coloured
Center: 10 öre violet Gustaf V, right profile, Qty: 34,170,000. 4-sided perforation.
Right: 15 öre brown, Gustaf V, right profile, version II. Qty: 48,300,000. 4-sided perforation
Local  - 20 g letter (but domestic   - 20 g when they were printed)

The stamps were printed at the beginning of the war, in 1939 or 1940. The consumers had by 1946 really got used to the convenience of booklets and these stamps in large and impractical panes (sheets) were not selling well. Especially the 5 öre was hard to get rid of. In order to sell of the stamps faster some post offices made booklets of the panes. These unofficial booklets with 20 stamps each are known as Postmaster's booklets and are numbered as the 46th (5 öre), 47th (10 öre) and the 48th (15 öre) booklets by Swedish Post.They were the last hand made booklets made by Swedish Post.

Stamps issued in 1948

Some postal rates were changed in April. The rate for printed matter was raised from 5 öre to 10 öre and then the colours of those two denomination had to be changed because of the UPU-colour rules. In order to be UPU-compliant that required two new stamps. The 10 öre now had to have the green colour for international printed matter and the 5 öre green from 1941 had to be withdrawn. The new 5 öre was given an orange colour . . .   but that colour was already used for the 25 öre from 1940. The solution was to issue a new 25 öre stamp that inherited the violet colour of the old 10 öre, The rate for domestic postcard was raised from 10 öre to 15 öre - but that did not require a new stamp. The 15 öre brown would do.

1 April 1948
Left: 5 öre orange Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 156,038,200
No single use
Center: 10 öre green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 353,012,800
Printed matter - UPU-coloured
Right: 25 öre violet Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 25,350,400
No single use - fee for registered letter

Stamps issued in 1950

The last issue of the series came in the end of April 1950. It was the 15 öre brown version II with 2-sided perforation. It replaced version I from 1942. The stamp came as coils, 100 or 500 stamp coils and it was also released as a booklet with 20 stamps.

25 April 1950, 15 öre brown Gustaf V, right profile, version II. Qty: 305,353,500 (including version I)
Local  - 20 g letter
Domestic postcard
25 April, 1950, 15 öre brown Gustaf V, right profile, version II. Qty: 8,200,000 (pairs), 3-sided perforation
Also from the 71st booklet by Swedish Post (see 15 öre version I above). 20 stamps, value 3 kr
International  - 20 g letter (pair)
Local  - 20 g letter or domestic  - 20 g letter (single stamp)

The Gustaf V, right profile, series was the last definitive stamp with the king in uniform. Gustaf V died 29 October 1950 91 years old and the series was replaced by the new Gustaf VI Adolf type I in June 1951.

Overview of the denominations

Gustaf V, right profile, type II. Issued between November 1939 - April 1950.
All denominations issued as 2-sided perforated stamps, including the two varieties of the 15 öre brown

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