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Danish Stamps

Commemoratives of 1920-1936

The first Commemorative Danish stamps appeared in 1920, with an issue commemorating the return of Northern Schleswig to Denmark following World War I.  Other commemorative stamps issued during the period from 1920 to 1936 included the anniversaries of the Danish Postal Service, the first Danish postage stamps, and the 60th birthday of the king.

The five commemorative Danish stamps shown above (Sc. #156-160) were issued in 1920 and 1921 to celebrate the Return of Northern Schleswig to Denmark.

The three common designs are as follows.

  • Kronborg Castle -- A 16th Century castle in Helsingør, Denmark.  This is the castle that was immortalized as "Elsinore" in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
  • Sønderborg Castle -- A 14th Century castle in Sønderborg, Denmark.  Since 1921, the castle has been a museum, featuring historical artifacts of the Duchy of Schleswig.
  • Roskilde Cathedral -- A 12th Century cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark, which is famous for being the only Gothic cathedral built entirely of brick.  Roskilde has been the burial site for all the Danish monarchs, since the 15th Century.

Northern Schleswig, also known as South Jutland County, was part of the former Danish Duchy of Schleswig, until it was annexed by the Prussian Empire in 1864.  After the end of World War I, the League of Nations held a plebiscite in Northern Schleswig, to determine whether the territory would become part of the Kingdom of Denmark or the Republic of Germany.  During the Northern Schleswig plebiscite, on February 10, 1920, 75% of the electorate voted for reunification with Denmark, and it officially became part of the Kingdom of Denmark on June 15, 1920.

For more information about the Schleswig Plebiscite, please see the Schleswig Plebiscite page in the Germany - Plebiscite Territories category of this website.

The twelve commemorative Danish stamps shown above (Sc. #164-175) were issued on December 1, 1924 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Danish Postal Service.

There are four designs for each denomination, printed se-tenant within each sheet of stamps.  These stamps can be collected as twelve singles or as three se-tenant blocks.  The stamps feature right-facing and left-facing profiles of the Danish monarchs of 1624 and 1924, as follows.

  • King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway and Duke of Schleswig and Holstein (Lived: 1577-1648, Reigned: 1588-1648).  His reign of fifty-nine years is the longest of any Scandinavian monarch.
  • King Christian X of Denmark (Lived: 1870-1947, Reigned: 1912-1947).

The three commemorative stamps shown above (Sc. #178-180) were issued on March 11, 1926 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Danish postage stamps.

The designs of these three stamps are very similar to those used for the definitive postage stamps of 1851.

The ten commemorative stamps shown above (Sc. #210-219) were issued on September 26, 1930 to celebrate the 60th Birthday of King Christian X.

The 05 Ø. and 10 Ø. denominations were also issued in booklets, with some of the stamps having adjoining advertising labels.

The six commemorative Danish stamps shown above (Sc. #246-251) were issued on October 1, 1935 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first publication of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales.  His first publication was called "Eventyr", meaning "Fantastic Tales".

The 05 Ø., 10 Ø., and 15 Ø. denominations were also issued in booklets.  As such, they are also available in tête-bêche pairs, gutter pairs, and tête-bêche gutter pairs.

The three common designs are as follows.

  • "The Ugly Duckling".
  • "The Little Mermaid".
  • Hans Christian Andersen, from an 1869 photograph.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish writer.  Though he was a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Hans Christian Andersen is most remembered for his fairy tales, which have been enjoyed by both children and adults around the World.  Among them are "The Princess and the Pea", "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "The Ugly Duckling", and "Thumbelina".   Many of his stories have been the inspiration for modern ballets, plays, animated films, and live action films.

The five commemorative Danish stamps shown above (Sc. #252-256) were issued between August and October 1936 to celebrate the 450th Anniversary of the Reformation in Denmark.

The 05 Ø., and 10 Ø. denominations were also issued in booklets.

The three common designs are as follows.

  • St. Nikolai Church -- This Lutheran Church in Vejle, Denmark was originally built in the Romanesque Style during the 13th Century.  Two transepts and the tower were added during the 15th Century.
  • Hans Tausen (1494-1561) -- An associate of Martin Luther, Hans Tausen was the leading Lutheran theologian of the Reformation in Denmark.  He served as the Bishop of Ribe and published the first translation of the Old Testament into Danish in 1535.
  • Ribe Cathedral -- This Romanesque Style church is located in the ancient city of Ribe, on the West Coast of Southern Jutland.  It was founded in the early 12th Century, as the first Christian church in Denmark.

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Commemoratives of 1920-1936