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Monday, March 3, 1856

Europe 13

  Finland Scott #1  

Imperforate, wove paper, no watermark, typographed.
Printed by the Finnish Treasury.

Description # printed Scott # SG Mi Y&t
Small perls in posthorn. March 3, 1856
5 kopek blue
138,500 1 1    
10 kopek red
442,400 2 2, 3    
Large perls in posthorn. 1858
5 kopek blue
? 3 4, 5    

In Scott [1] the 1856 issues (Sc1 and 2) are specified with wove paper and the 1858 Sc3 with vertically laid paper. Gibbons [2] differentiates paper types within the issues.

All issue quantities are approximate.

These stamps were issued following an Imperial Edict dated March 1, 1856. The stamps were issued provisionally to test demand for distinctive Finnish stamps as opposed to existing Russian postally embossed envelopes that had been in production since 1848.

Each oval printed about 3 mm. apart, so large margins should be required for high quality stamps. However, as you can see, these stamps are quite rare.

The stamps were printed on a small press at the Office of the Treasury in Finland. The was not large enough to accommodate a complete sheet, so the stamps were printed using the "work and turn" method; the first horizontal row of ten stamps was printed, then the paper was turned to print the second and final row. Therefore the layout of the tête-bêche pairs is often uneven.

The denomination is in kopek since Finland was a Grand Duchy of Russia until Finland declared independence in 1917. After a war Finland was independent from 1919. From 1866 the currency was pennia & markka

Sources: ScS [1], SGP11 [2].

Image from JM1

The August 2019 clarification to the first paragraph was at the suggestion of Vince King.

FI ref: 59 Page credit: JA

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 21-Jul-2019